Machina Espresso

The folks at Machina Espresso dropped me a line to let me know that it was time for another visit as they’d made some changes to the lunch menu at their Nicolson Street branch. I was more than happy to oblige on a sunny Monday.


I’d visited the place shortly after it opened and been suitably impressed. Since then they’ve been roasting more of their own coffee which is now available in several cafes across the city.

Today’s espresso was a Rwandan musasa ruli. It was a jammy shot, rich with juicy fruit. It was an absolute belter.


Their new menu features some familiar cafe staples, like avocado toast, and some tempting looking salads. I opted to give the latter a whirl choosing the roasted butternut with sugar snap peas and pumpkin seeds. I added prosciutto and feta for an extra quid.

This dish was freshly prepared and soon with me. It looked very smart and an extremely generous portion.


It proved to be one of the standout dishes of the year. It packed an excellent array of textures with every mouthful popping with crunch, smooth and delicate sweetness. It was the kind of dish – minus the cheese – that MJ would have loved.

So overall, it was great to see Machina on such fine form. It’s particularly satisfying when places you really value have such a strong commitment to constantly challenging themselves to improve. They’ve hit the nail squarely on the head with their latest menu incarnartion. Make sure to try it out soon.

Blythe scores Machina Espresso
5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 17/20

I ate: roasted butternut salad with prosciutto and feta

I drank: espresso

I wore: lemon

Total bill: £9.50 (owner Steve had offered to pay for lunch, but I declined in favour of our usual under-the-radar approach)

Address: 80 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9EW

Written by BKR