40 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LE, UK
Lowdown Coffee is one for purists, and adventurous coffee afficionados. This tiny little downstairs café on George Street is amongst a lot of independent and speciality coffee shops, but Lowdown still manages to separate themselves from the crowd. The café itself has the feel of a lab, or a development kitchen, eschewing the exposed brick and kitsch wooden furniture that characterise a lot of what Scotland has to offer. A long brew bar stretches across the back wall with baristas tinkering away at what they're making, plus an urn of soup that helps make the place smell pretty great. In terms of what they're making, this is what differentiates Lowdown, in that, they're always rotating their coffee — every two weeks, to be precise. When I visited they were changing from Swedish roasters Koppi Coffee, incredibly highly regarded in Europe, to Italian award-winners Gardelli. Everything is for sale too, so it's a good place to pick up some reasonably rare roasts to make for yourself at home. That philosophy extends to their teas too — they're the only cafe to stock from Postcard Teas in London.
Food options are well chosen too — as well as a daily soup, they have a selection of good cakes and enviable toasties, with smart vegan and vegetarian options too. Lowdown are definitely doing something different to the rest of Edinburgh — they also offer Clover brewed coffee, which sets them apart even further and speaks to how seriously they take their coffee. Perhaps not a place to while away a few hours, but if you know what you like, and want to try something a bit different, then make sure head down.
Reviewed by Harry Harris; image courtesy of the venue
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