Traveling to the United Kingdom and Scotland brings a lot of things to mind: the Highlands, Loch Ness and castles, but another thing the UK is well-known for is its love of tea. In Edinburgh, this love for tea is prevalent everywhere – but don’t fret those who aren’t fans of tea, for Edinburgh also has a large array of independent coffee shops. Whether you’re a student studying abroad, an early riser exploring the city, or a connoisseur of hidden gems, if you find yourself in Edinburgh make sure to check out some of these coffee and tea shops.
Located at 155 West Port in Edinburgh’s Old Town, with a second location having recently opened at 22 Stephen Street in New Town, Lovecrumbs is the perfect place to grab a cup of coffee or tea, a slice of cake, and catch up with friends. Lovecrumbs’ philosophy is “Nice Times,” and they definitely live up to that motto! Doubling as a bakery and coffee shop, their menu includes handmade floral cakes, such as pistachio and rose, and delicious drinks, such as violet petal tea or Steampunk espresso. You can enjoy your order at one of their rustic tables or on the cushions in the front window display.
© STV News
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2. Black Medicine Coffee Co.
Black Medicine Coffee Co. opened in 1998 and has been a great place to grab coffee ever since. Legend has it that J.K. Rowling used to work on Harry Potter there, back when it was known as Nicholson’s Café. Now named after the Native American term for coffee, this coffee shop has a long menu of coffees, teas, and cold drinks. They also have a huge variety of flavored syrups, such as banana or gingerbread, which can be added to any hot drink. Black Medicine is located on 2 Nicolson Street, just near the Festival Theatre.
3. The Elephant House
Of course, who can forget the coffee shop J.K. Rowling spent most of her time in before becoming famous? That shop would be The Elephant House, located at 21 George IV Bridge, in the center of Edinburgh’s historic heart. This café is within walking distance of Greyfriars Kirkyard, the National Museum of Scotland, the University of Edinburgh, and Grassmarket, and offers fresh arabica coffee, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While being known as “the birthplace of Harry Potter,” The Elephant House is also well-renowned simply for its coffee, having been voted best Edinburgh coffee shop by The List magazine.
4. Coffee Angel
Coffee Angel & Coffee Angel Kitchen is a family-owned business and is much more than a coffee shop. With two locations, one at 24-27 Brandon Terrace and the other at 99 Nicolson Street, Coffee Angel is a café, restaurant, and caterer. Coffee Angel has a modern atmosphere and is a great place to study, work, or relax with friends while enjoying a cup of coffee and a snack. There are a large variety of drinks, snacks, and sandwiches to choose from, including London Fog, an Earl Grey tea latte with vanilla, and Edinburgh Fog, an Earl Grey tea latte with caramel.
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For those looking for the full UK tea experience, Anteaques is a must-visit. At 17 Clerk Street, this traditional tea house and antiques shop has an endless menu of loose leaf teas, scones, and cakes, and is perfect for enjoying a traditional Afternoon Tea. If it wasn’t difficult enough to choose a tea from the regular menu, there are also seasonal options! As you enjoy your tea, you can take in the beautiful selection of antique tea cups and sets around you, and even buy some to take home. Reserving a table in advance is a must, as the shop is only open Friday-Sunday!