There’s a sign above the door at Artisan Roasters on Broughton street; ” JK Rowling never wrote here”.
This is is not a tourist destination in Edinburgh- unless you really like your coffee.
Which we do.
We lunge through the door at 10 am on a Saturday morning. Artisan is a grungy sort of space with burlap sacks lining the walls and worn wooden floors. There are markets further up the street and a sweet chocolate store two shops down. The floor staff sport ironic moustaches that would make Hercule Poirot jealous and are nattering on about their hangovers. It is festival time. There are plenty of posters up on the wall and recommendations on what to see written on a blackboard.
This is one of four branches of Artisan Roasters- one is on Bruntsfield Place- the others are in Glasgow and Kuala Lumpur.
Until two years ago the coffee was roasted on site in Broughton Street- until they discovered it was illegal in that location; and so the operation was moved to Glasgow.
The food side of things is fairly simple- there are a couple of wicker baskets filled with pastries. Doughy snails and croissants come on the sorts of plates your Nan would pull out for special occasions.
The espresso is made on a nifty Kees van der Western machine which uses a foot pedal to control the steam. It’s £1.70 for a single shot flat white.
There’s a nice crema. The flavour carries a good touch of caramel. It’s a coffee made with care and consideration. It’s the kind that makes you want to order two.
Artisan is not the cafe where the biggest selling books of the last decade were written.
But it is a sound spot to find a good dose of caffeine in Edinburgh. Which is all we were after.
57 Broughton Street
Friday: 08:00 – 18:30
Saturday: 09:00 – 18:30
Sunday: 10:00 – 18:30
Honorary mention- Wellington Coffee
Closer into the centre of town there’s another great option in Wellington Coffee.
It’s below street level, on the corner of George St and Hanover St. It’s modern and cosy (read small). There are plenty of sweets, from scones to tiffin cakes to pick at.
The coffee comes from Square Mile and the baristas know what they’re doing. It’s right across the road from a Starbucks and close to the hustle of Princes Street.
If you feel the need to do some community service while you’re in Edinburgh you could do a lot worse than directing one or two prospective patrons away from Starbucks and towards Wellington. Just make sure there’s room for you to sit down first.
Edinburgh, EH2 2HN