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Artisan Roast started out as a coffee bean company before it morphed into a cool hangout dispensing brews for caffeine aficionados. Look for the arty blue and yellow signage, and expect a
shabby-chic vibe, with the emphasis on a Kees Van Der Westen machine, three espresso blends and a single-batch menu in the brew bar. There’s also a selection of teas and an assortment of wacky
flavoured chocolate drinks (anything from lavender to rose and black pepper) if you need a different kind of fix. Artisan Roast is a serious socialising hub too, with open cupping sessions, a surf
club, meditation classes and all manner of cultural goings-on including a mobile gallery, library and impromptu live gigs. Food is limited to cakes and pastries, although you can get some savoury
grub if you visit the branch at 138 Bruntsfield Place.
Sitting at Artisan Roast felt like a revival of my university days. Its laid-back atmosphere elicited memories of long gone winter afternoons, spent nestling in a quiet cafe or in someone’s shared house, doing nothing but sipping coffee and chatting with the couple of friends I’d met with the fleeting intention of studying. Boy, I miss those days. I wish my afternoons could still be like that.The decor did little to break the spell. Walls covered with coffee sacks, lamps made from broken mugs, and a dim-lit backroom with low tables and wooden benches give the cafe the shabby and quirky character of a student’s...
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