Espresso Quest

Following on from the Espresso 100, here’s a summary, very much along the lines of Soupquest, of the best espressos we’ve sampled in Edinburgh. This will be regularly updated, as new and intriguing espressos are consumed.

The holy trinity - espresso, water, silly hat
Artisan RoastArtisan Roast
The igniting spark behind the explosion of Edinburgh’s coffee scene, Artisan Roast serves outstandingly good espresso from branches on Broughton Street and Bruntsfield Place.

Brew LabHasbean
The arbiters of Edinburgh coffee cool, Brew Lab’s box of tricks extends well beyond mere espresso production, with all manner of gadgets and whatnots. A coffee geek’s paradise.

Cafe on the CornerArtisan Roast
A real hidden gem, in the New Town, the Café on the Corner serves delicious Artisan Roast Primavera (most others use Janszoon as their espresso blend), from very smart premises.

Cairngorm CoffeeMr Eion
Another gem of the New Town, Cairngorm had a bit of shaky start, but a switch to Mr Eion has seen their coffee improve to match their excellent cheese toasties.

Castello CoffeeAllpress
Our number one place for espresso in the city, Castello serves wonderfully rich Allpress, to an exceptional standard. It’s a lovely place for a lunchtime visit, too.

Century General Store – Steampunk/Assembly/Williams & Johnson
A magnificent little oasis of calm in Marchmont, Century General Store serves excellent espresso. They’ve now added a second outstanding cafe in Abbeyhill, too.

The CounterMr Eion
Another outstanding bespoke blend from Mr Eion served from this converted police box in Morningside, which has now expanded to two further locations – Tollcross and just outside the Usher Hall.

Cult EspressoRound Hill
Absolutely outstanding Round Hill espresso served up in this new and rather wonderful place.

Filament – Hasbean
An absoultely first-rate purveyor of an ever-changing range of coffees, Filament is now safely installed in permanent premises on Clerk Street, after a brief pop-up on Victoria Street in 2014.

Fortitude CoffeeWorkshop
Fresh, smart cafe showcasing Workshop espresso and retailing an impressive range of beans, Fortitude is a great addition to the Edinburgh coffee scene.

Gamma Transport Division – Mr Eion
Blending coffee, bicycles and regularly changing art exhibitions, Gamma is a great wee place. Mr Eion’s roastery is based just across the road, and delivers an excellently fragrant and fruity house blend to his near neighbours.

HulaArtisan Roast
Our number one café in the city, with its outstanding breakfast, lunch, smoothies and coffee options, Hula is the sunshine of our life.

Little Green VanArtisan Roast
The Little Green Van served me a belter of a ristretto in the lovely surroundings of Portobello promenade.

LovecrumbsArtisan Roast
Serving Artisan Roast (both Janszoon and a recent guest single origin) to a very high standard, our favourite cake shop is a must-visit.

Lowdown – Koppi
An outstanding basement cafe on George Street serving a stellar range of coffee, with marvellous Koppi to the fore.

Machina EspressoDear Green
New to Tollcross, Machina Espresso showcases excellent Dear Green espresso, served in really smart, fresh premises. A great new addition.

Noir is a really fine coffee shop in the West End. And it’s always satisfying to see an independent coffee shop take over where once there was a Starbucks.

PapiiArtisan Roast
Providing Hanover Street with coffee excellence, Papii is another great exponent of the Artisan Roast espresso, from their quirky little café premises. They previously had an outstanding Ethiopian yirgacheffe from New Town Coffee on as a guest.

Pekoe Tea – Dear Green
One of Edinburgh’s finest tea purveyors, Pekoe are one of the few places you’ll find Glasgow’s excellent Dear Green espresso in our fair city. Well worth a visit.

Pep & FodderDear Green
The masters of salad dressing, Pep & Fodder serves excellent espresso. The place offers a nice, quiet sanctuary, right in the centre of town.

A first-class Leith café, Printworks serves delicious Monmouth espresso, coupled with a lovely range of lunchtime classics, from light and airy premises.

Project CoffeeSquare Mile
Offering Bruntsfield patrons another excellent coffee option, Project Coffee’s power-packed Squaremile espresso is something to savour.

Reekie’s SmokehouseHome Ground
First rate coffee from Cardross roaster Home Ground served in this excellent, meaty BBQ restaurant.

Salt CafePapercup
A very impressive espresso from Glasgow roasters Papercup served in this compact and classy little eatery.

Steampunk – Steampunk
A regular at Stockbridge’s Sunday market, with their little van, Steampunk is based in North Berwick, and produces really good espresso.

StrumpetsArtisan Roast
A lovely little coffee and cake shop on William Street, Strumpets serves really punchy Artisan Roast espresso.

A smart little corner bistro, Sylvester’s is ably demonstrating that coffee excellence can be delivered in a restaurant setting. Long may that continue.

Twelve Triangles – Steampunk
Although they change between various blends and styles, the folks at Twelve Triangles seem to have settled upon high quality Steampunk as their go-to bean. All coffees are served to a splendid standard.

Wellington CoffeeSquare Mile
The Edinburgh masters of the flat white, Wellington’s espresso is really pleasing, too, and their freshly made scones are an absolute delight. I sampled a really good Caravan market blend and a lovely New Town autumn blend here, too, so watch out for their regularly changing guest espressos.


Very Good

The Bearded Barista – Steampunk
Highly accomplished work from this fine purveyor of Steampunk espresso.

Blackwood’s – Square Mile
Morningside’s finest, Blackwood’s is a friendly and welcoming corner café, serving high quality Square Mile espresso.

Cafe Colpamia – Mr Eion
Locally roasted in the Italian style, the coffee at Colpamia will appeal to adherents of both classic and “third wave” tastes, so is a rare thing indeed.

Chapter One – Dear Green
Serving very good Dear Green coffee, Chapter One brings much needed quality coffee to Dalry.

Grounds – Dear Green
A very smart and friendly Stockbridge cafe, serving consistent and assured espresso.

KilimanjaroSquare Mile
A popular purveyor of Squaremile espresso, Kilimanjaro is a southside favourite. I hear great things about their breakfast, so will need to sample their food, soon.

Leo’s BeaneryHands On
A lovely little New Town café, Leo’s Beanery is fine exponent of Hands On espresso, so should be added to your list.

Mademoiselle MacaronSteampunk
From premises on Grindlay Street, Mlle Macaron has brought sweet delight to our fair city. She serves up a very good espresso, too.

The Milkman – Dear Green
With one of the most stylish bars in the city, The Milkman is a fine pourer of Dear Green.

Odds & EndsMr Eion
Another impressive blend from Mr Eion is central to the offering from this smart Polwarth cafe.

Patisserie MaximeArtisan Roast
This stylish French patisserie serves excellent Artisan Roast espresso.

PressSquare Mile
Another of the Square Mile brigade, Press serves a high-quality espresso. It’s a bright blend, which will enliven your palette.

Rocket – Artisan Roast
Serving very good, very inexpensive Artisan Roast espresso, Rocket is a great stop for a breakfast coffee.

A wonderful cafe/bike shop, Ronde serves very good Avenue espresso. Definitely worth a visit.

A really smart Italian deli in Stockbridge, the folks at Sprio pride themselves on producing very good quality Italian coffee. A great lunch stop, also.

ThymeArtisan Roast
A very good place for a Tollcross lunch or coffee visit, Thyme’s a great little spot to pick up your morning espresso.

Urban AngelCaravan
Urban Angel’s coffee is on the upgrade, following a move from Ozone to Alchemy to Caravan. Their espresso is consistently served to a very good standard.

Wild Wood – Mr Eion
I didn’t particularly care for the food at Wild Wood, but I really enjoyed their Mr Eion espresso.