Artisan Roast, Stockbridge

Some lovely latte art in my flat white at Artisan Roast in Stockbridge, Edinburgh.One of my early posts on the Coffee Spot was Edinburgh’s Artisan Roast (the original on Broughton Street). It therefore seems only fitting that my 500th post (depending on exactly how you count them) should be the latest Artisan Roast. This one opened in March this year on the north side of Raeburn Place in Stockbridge, in Edinburgh’s New Town. It was, in some ways, unplanned: I was told that when the space came up, sharing with a florists (The White Petal Company) which no longer needed all the space, it was too good an opportunity to miss. Thus the fourth Artisan Roast was born.

Artisan Roast has a habit of occupying interesting spaces. Of the three Edinburgh Artisan Roasts, it’s easily the biggest, second only to Glasgow’s Gibson Street. However, that’s not hard since both the original, and the second in Bruntsfield, are very much on the small side.  However, it shares a common feature with both those in that it has a cosy back room.

In keeping with all four stores, the coffee’s all from Artisan Roast, with multiple options on filter, plus the house-blend on espresso. There’s also a decent selection of cake and soup/sandwiches for lunch.

July 2016: I’ve learnt that the florists is no more, but the good news is that Artisan Roast is still going strong!

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • On the sunny side of Edinburgh's Raeburn Place, is it a florists? Or a coffee shop? Or both?
  • Hint: it's both. Nice outdoor seating by the way, although the street's very busy...
  • Stepping inside, this is the view from just inside the door, which is on the right-hand side.
  • If you don't fancy sitting outside, then the three window tables are just as good.
  • It really is on the sunny side of the street, by the way!
  • A slightly less blinding view of the first two window tables.
  • Turning around, the L-shaped counter is in front of you.
  • But where's the florist? The answer is to be found to your left...
  • If you can't get a seat at the front, then head past the counter to the back of the store...
  • ... where you'll find this neat seating area, with a couple of long tables...
  • ... and this reused cable reel acting as another table (there's also a second of these).
  • One of the long tables, complete with Artisan's in-house newspaper.
  • However, there's more. Through a doorway at the back, directions lead you onwards...
  • ... down this long, shall we say 'interesting' corridor. At the far end, you'll find...
  • ... the toilet on the left, while on the right, through this doorway, is this interesting room.
  • The view from just inside the door...
  • ... and the view looking the other way, back towards the door.
  • Probably the best feature is the sofa with the mirror behind it.
  • The door is flanked by some interesting chairs/tables. There's this to the left as you enter...
  • ... and this one of the right, by the sofa.
  • A different view of the table in the right-hand corner.
  • The fireplace/stove is another lovely feature, although I don't think it actually works...
  • Another view of the sofa before we go.
  • No, we can't stay. We have to go and order our coffee...
  • The corridor has an unfinished look, don't you think?
  • Interesting lighting. Why do you think they're kept in cages then?
  • Talking of lighting, back out front, there's this skylight which makes the front even brighter.
  • There are also plenty of lights for days when the sunlight fails...
  • ... and I do mean plenty!
  • Artisan has always had a decent cake and sandwich selection in all its shops.
  • However, the main draw is the coffee. Nicely presented menu.
  • Talking of coffee, Artisan Roast's full range is on display on the wall to the right as you enter.
  • You can buy bags of any of Artisan Roast's considerable output of single-origins or blends.
  • There's helpful flavour wheels for each, linked back to the origin of the coffee.
  • Today's single-origins, available as filter, are helpfully hung up by the door.
  • This is conveniently located right next to the filter bar.
  • Meanwhile, the espresso machine is at top of the L...
  • ... along with the three grinders. From left to right: decaf, guest & house-blend (Janszoon).
  • Nice (takeaway) cups.
  • However, I was staying in. My flat white.
  • That latte art is worth a second look, don't you think?
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Artisan Roast occupies the lion’s share of the space, the florists restricted to a little triangle on the left-hand side, the opposite side from the door. It’s split into three distinct areas, four if you count the florists, five counting the outside seating (two attractive-looking tables, each with a pair of chairs, on the pavement in front of the windows).

First, there’s the front of the store, three tables occupying prime spots in the windows, opposite the bottom of the L-shaped counter, which houses brew-bar and cake display. Around the corner, on the long part of the L, there’s the till, where you order, followed by espresso machine, three grinders (house, guest, decaf) and a big soup-urn.

Floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows flood the south-facing area with light. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a skylight above the counter and plenty of lights too! The only downside is the constant of stream of customers for both café and florists, who pass you on their way in and out.

Heading between the counter (to the right) and the florists (to the left), the second space is at the back, two high, round tables, made from old cable reels,  and two, long, thin six-seat tables projecting from the back wall. It’s quieter here, although there’s the noise from the grinders and espresso machine. On the plus side, most of the tables afford an excellent view of the barista in action if that’s your sort of thing. Effectively one continuous space with the front of the store, there’s plenty of natural light, supplemented by a small window in the right-hand wall, plus more lights suspended from the ceiling.

The décor’s a pleasing combination: bare wooden floorboards and counter, wooden furniture and grey-green painted walls. The high ceiling, which contributes to the sense of space, is painted white.

The third space is the cosy back room, which, although well sign-posted, takes a little finding. A long, unfinished-looking corridor runs from the back of the store. The spacious backroom is at the end, on the right-hand side, with its own window on the left. Either side of the door are some interesting table/bench combinations, while at the back, to the left of a lovely-looking fireplace/stove, is another cable-reel table. The highlight is the gorgeous sofa on the right. It’s an ideal escape from the bustle of the front of the café, unless occupied three screaming toddlers…

Artisan offers six single-origins (which are pinned to a board in front of you as you come in) through V60, Aeropress and Chemex. While there’s a preferred method for each bean, if you ask nicely, you can have any bean/any method. However, for what was my first coffee of the day, I had a flat white. Since the regularly-rotating guest espresso was changing over when I came in, I had the ubiquitous Janzsoon house-blend. This was a good, strong coffee with plenty of body, providing dark, chocolate notes that sit on top of the milk rather than blending with it. It mellowed a little as it cooled, the coffee harmonising with the milk.

It was a fine start to me day. While I prefer cosying up in the Mooch on Broughton Street on a cold winter’s day, on the sunny morning I was there, Stockbridge had suddenly become my favourite Artisan Roast!

100A RAEBURN PLACE • EDINBURGH • EH4 1HH
www.artisanroast.co.uk
Monday 08:30 – 18:00 Roaster Artisan Roast (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:30 – 18:00 Seating Tables, Sofas (back room), Tables (outside)
Wednesday 08:30 – 18:00 Food Cake, Lunch
Thursday 08:30 – 18:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:30 – 18:00 Cards Cash Only
Saturday 09:00 – 17:00 Wifi No
Sunday 09:00 – 17:00 Power Limited
Chain Regional Visits 20th October 2015

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