Cairngorm Coffee

Probably the most well rounded of coffee shops in Edinburgh. Two central locations, each with their own personality and each with their own clientele. Dedicated to presenting the best product available with the most accessible attitude achievable, Robi Lambie has the right approach to speciality coffee. His two stores both offer their own different personalities:

The Frederick Street store presents like you'd expect a speciality coffee bar to. Downstairs, drop lighting, exposed brick, limited seating. It is very industrial with it's chunky wood and exposed lightbulbs, while their approach to coffee is a little more polished - being the only store in Edinburgh currently freezing coffee beans. This method, though more labour intensive is shown to increase the extraction of flavour from their already well chosen coffee beans.

Cairngorm coffee on Melville Place is the epitome of a welcoming environment. Offering an open plan with a variety of seating options, bright lighting and a wall of alluring windows; it doesn’t appear like many other speciality cafes in Edinburgh. You wont find any exposed brick, graffiti on the walls and only one current staff member has a beard. There is avocado on toast though… (but it’s pretty great)

This though doesn’t get in the way of Cairngorm offering a solid rotation of coffee year round - prepared in all your typical ways. They may not offer individually made filter options (V60, Aeropress etc) but their batch brew is always on the go while also probably being the cheapest in town. £2! It's always a good option.

Interestingly while using some of Europe’s most awarded roasteries, Cairngorm will not advertise what is currently being served on the bar. As their coffee is seasonal their philosophy revolves around sampling, selecting and then providing the best possible option available at that time.

On top of this, Cairngorm do not believe in preaching a speciality coffee doctrine. All of the staff are experienced enough to provide insight and will gladly do as such if you’re interested but don't worry, it wont be forced on you. They believe in providing an open accessible environment; if you just want to sit down and enjoy your coffee in peace, that’s cool.

After you’re done with your coffee, don’t miss out on a quick bite. Their cake selection is extensive, lunch roll options imaginative and own the king of all cheese toasties. The toastie even ties somewhat into Robi’s service philosophies.

Hear what Robbi had to say when we had a chat here.

Cairngorm Coffee - 1 Melville St, Edinburgh EH3 7PR and 41A Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 1EP

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