The barista’s little black book – Scotland

  • Scottish Independent Coffee Guide

Ever wondered where the pros go for a ‘spro on their day off? Or where your fave barista fell in love with filter? We got the low-down from some of Scotland’s most experienced espresso slingers

Want to know where else to grab a cracking coffee in Scotland? Find 130 first-class recommendations here.

Dave Law – Brew Lab, Edinburgh

Where do you go for coffee on your day off?

Home! I spend all week in a cafe so I really enjoy the opportunity to make coffee at home. My favourite ritual on a day off is to make a one litre batch of coffee in our brewer for my wife and myself, and spend a lazy morning slowly making our way through it.

What’s your most memorable coffee experience?

My first visit to our original roaster, Has Bean Coffee, when we were setting up Brew Lab. I tasted a naturally processed Nicaraguan coffee from Finca Limoncillo as an espresso. It tasted like lemon sherbet. It blew my mind and opened it up to the amazing range of flavours coffee can present.

What’s your favourite bit of coffee kit?

My Knock Feldgrind (hand grinder), and my micro-scales. The grinder is always with me when I’m travelling. I can usually find some decent beans wherever I go (or take them with me) and if I have my Feldgrind and my scales, I know I can make a tasty coffee. I always get questions at airport security, though.

Lisa Cartho – Zest, St Andrews

Where do you go for coffee on your day off?

I go to The Bach in Dundee.  Stephen and Wendy are great people with a fab team. They do really good food, great coffee from Sacred Grounds and created a chilled Kiwi atmosphere. 

What’s your most memorable coffee experience?

I went to Holland to learn how to make better coffee with Joost (Leopold Coffee School) four years ago. I knew nothing about speciality and the coffee I worked with there blew my mind – I didn’t know coffee could taste that good. When I came back to Scotland, I sought great coffee, got Glen Lyon on board and soon became addicted to learning more and passing that on to my team.

What’s your favourite bit of coffee kit?

Our new Victoria Arduino Black Eagle is my favourite. I’m a geek – I love experimenting with the variables, exploring beans and seeing what flavours we can pull from them. The most inspiring thing for me is seeing the team pick up new things and get excited about learning, especially when it doesn’t come easily for some of them.  The Black Eagle lets me break my lessons down into small and easy-to-learn chunks.

Jason  – Little Bird Coffee House, Inverness

Where do you go for coffee on your day off?

At home or a 20 mile trip to Cromarty to visit the guys at The Slaughter House. 

What’s your most memorable coffee experience?

William from It All Started Here introduced us to speciality coffee on the Foundry Stand at Glasgow Coffee Festival in 2015. The Ethiopian Rocko Mountain as a flat white was a game changer. 

What’s your favourite bit of coffee kit?

My acaia lunar scales.

Mike Haggerton – Habitat Cafe, Aberfeldy

Where do you go for coffee on your day off?

I don’t often drink coffee on my days off. Haven’t you heard of the ‘barista’s curse’? Once you know how good coffee can be you can’t tolerate the bad stuff found in most places. Although I did have an excellent espresso at The Milkman in Edinburgh last year. 

What’s your most memorable coffee experience?

Lots of us recall that ‘god shot’ we had a few years back (Rwanda BUF, incredibly sweet and juicy) but honestly the defining moment for me was eight years ago, hating coffee and then one hour later discovering that it could taste wonderful. That was thanks to Jon Skinner, a former UKBC judge who came to my London flat with a small espresso machine and a life-changing training session.

What’s your favourite bit of coffee kit?

Loving our Puqpress right now, and have always enjoyed the Hario syphon because it enthrals customers, but I’m going with the woodneck brewer because so few people have come across it. The combination of pourover and cloth filter offers the best of both worlds: clarity with big mouthfeel. Oh and I like playing with different milk jugs too, and seeing their effect on latte art.

Sammie Mcpherson – The Steamie, Glasgow

Where do you go for coffee on your day off?

I often come back to The Steamie on my day off but I also go to Kaf Coffee a lot. Leo is always changing up the coffees and I know I can try something new there. 

What’s your most memorable coffee experience?

Probably going right back to the start before I got into speciality coffee and the first time I poured latte art. It was at Cup in Aberdeen and it looked like a messy blob but after that I was hooked. 

What’s your favourite bit of coffee kit?

The V60. It’s the one piece of kit I can get the most consistent and clean cup from. It’s easy to use and always produces good results. 

Find these guys, and 130 more cracking coffee destinations, in the Scottish Independent Coffee Guide No3.

2018-03-13T17:58:05+00:00