You may know Edinburgh as the capital of Scotland, a wee gem of a city which hosts the most acclaimed arts festival in the world. But, even though it is famous for its Harry Potter-like buildings, narrow, winding closes and let’s face it, (mostly) awful weather, Edinburgh hides a very well kept secret to the world.
In the heart of the capital lie some of the UK’s finest and most exciting speciality coffee roasters and coffee bars. With more speciality coffee shops per capita than any other city in the UK (232 cafes in total - one for roughly every 2000 residents), and with Edinburgh being the most prosperous city in the United Kingdom after London, the speciality coffee scene in Edinburgh has developed far more rapidly and to a much larger extent than almost any other city in the UK - and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.1 2
Learn more about products featured in this article: Navigator
What Makes The Coffee in Edinburgh Higher Quality?
As tourists flock to visit the extinct volcano, the ancient castle or the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, they might be surprised to find at the heart of the city is a growing appreciation and passion for exceptional and exciting speciality coffee. This is in part fueled by the flow of money into the city, Edinburgh has the second largest financial centre in the UK after London, and partly by the exceptional quality of soft, clean water that occurs naturally in Scotland.3 4
These two factors have changed the game for speciality coffee roasters in Scotland and as the political and cultural capital, Edinburgh has paved the way to become the leader of the speciality coffee map of Scotland.
Artisan Roast Coffee Roasters Leading the Charge
Artisan Roast Coffee Roasters have been at the top of the game for over thirteen years. Opening the very first speciality coffee shop and roastery in Scotland in 2007, they have been the “pioneer of speciality coffee in Scotland”.5 6
Fast forward a decade and Artisan Roast has expanded to four coffee shop locations (three in Edinburgh, one in Glasgow), a roastery, a lab and training centre, and a huge number of online retail and wholesale customers across the world.
In the cosy, residential neighbourhood of Bruntsfield, Artisan Roast has one of it’s coffee bars - situated away from the bustle of the city - it is the ideal location to perfect the art of speciality coffee. Surrounded by educational institutions and independent boutiques and restaurants, the growing demand for speciality coffee has embedded Artisan Roast as the main speciality bar in the neighbourhood. Artisan Roast’s Bruntsfield store is one of the few remaining independent coffee bars in Edinburgh to still serve hand brewed pour over coffees using chemex, aeropress, V60 and kalita wave methods.
At the heart of speciality grade coffee are three inextricably linked needs; state of the art technology, exceptional quality coffee beans and a wholesome knowledge and experience of the industry. At Artisan Roast, baristas operate a variety of equipment:
- La Marzocco Linea PB espresso machine
- Victoria Arduino Mythos grinder
- Kony Mazzer grinder
- Mahlkonig EK43 grinder and, of course,
- OHAUS Navigator XT 1601M scales
Working within speciality coffee is a delicate science made up of sensory awareness and complex multitasking. The senses of sight, smell and touch form the foundation of creating consistently high quality, great tasting coffee time and time again. This requires only the best and most trusted equipment. Artisan Roast Coffee Roasters have used OHAUS Navigator XT 1601M scales, a portable scale with precision weighing, in all their stores every single day since opening back in 2007.
The OHAUS Navigator is also used in the Coffee Nexus Consultancy x Artisan Roast Lab where beans are tested for density, moisture content and defects, before being graded. A final decision is then made on which coffees are going to be sold to customers. We also sample, cup and analyse every single origin roast to make sure that our customers receive delicious high quality coffee every time. A weekly quality analysis ‘cupping’ is also set-up which uses the OHAUS navigator scales to weigh out and dose coffee samples.
Artisan Roast Bruntsfield Barista, Lindsay Hunter
Explains Why They Choose OHAUS Scales
Every single espresso made drink within the company uses OHAUS scales as the starting point. For the daily task of dialling in espresso, as well as for the high volume of drinks made throughout the day, the Navigator XT are the most reliable, most consistent and easiest to use scales on offer in the industry.
The portafilter is placed on the sturdy weighing tray, the scales are tared using the ultra sensitive and super fast infrared sensor, the portafilter is lifted and filled with freshly ground coffee and then replaced back on the weighing tray. This action forms the basis of pulling espresso shots and is repeated hundreds of times in a day, making the OHAUS scales one of the most hardy, necessary pieces of equipment within a speciality coffee shop.
In fact, the touchless infrared sensor of OHAUS scales is a huge game changer for baristas who need to free up their hands to complete multiple tasks, ultimately streamlining workflow and increasing productivity. This feature maintains hygiene, as well as ensuring there is limited wear and tear on the scales, increasing their longevity and ensuring that ever needing to replace the scales, is not a worry you will ever have!
There are a multitude of reasons why OHAUS scales fit perfectly within the speciality coffee industry, and accuracy and speed are definitely the most important. The accuracy of the Navigator XT allows for repeatable weighing results throughout the day, without any need to adjust the balance, a major advantage for baristas who are always looking to streamline the naturally hectic workflow of coffee bars, improving consistency and reducing human error wherever possible. The scales also have slip resistant and adjustable feet which allows for modification depending on the load size.
This balance must be robust to withstand the business of a small coffee shop and the OHAUS scales are second to none, with overload protection at four times it’s rated capacity. Featuring an accuracy to the nearest 0.1 g, a clear LED screen and an ultra fast stabilisation time of 0.5 seconds, the rate at which one can use the Navigator scales is super quick, perfect for a bustling speciality coffee bar in the heart of Scotland’s capital. The intense, multi-tasking nature of being a speciality coffee barista means that a smart, reliable and highly accurate piece of technology is required and the OHAUS Navigator XT fulfil their duty perfectly, day in, day out.
Learn more about products featured in this article: Navigator
Written by Lindsay Hunter: (@lindsaylouisehunter, @edinburghcoffeehunter, @artisanroastbruntsfield)
Photographed by Jak Camoletto (@jakxcamoletto)