Coffee Angel at Brandon Terrace has been a firm favourite of ours for some time and was even where Edinburgh Spotlight had some of its early concept meetings.
It was with great pleasure that I got to chat with Chris, one of the owners. We spoke at length over a wonderful pot of tea one afternoon and discuss how far the place has come since opening in summer 2008. Co-owned by four friends and family, Coffee Angel have succeeded in providing the professionalism of a High Street chain, but with the individuality of their own making. The owners wanted to create somewhere they would want to visit themselves and in doing so have an over sized kitchen cum lounge where everyone wants to gather, taste everything on offer and come back time and time again.
Coffee Angel does coffee very well. Praise includes a customer who returned three times in one day stating that she had just drunk the best cappuccino she had ever had. The lady was from Rome so that is really saying something. The beans are roasted to order every week and are organic, fair trade and rainforest alliance certified. A small americano starts at £1.45 with a large cappuccino costing £2.25 to sit in. Extra espresso and syrup shots are available.
Despite being having coffee in their name, there is also a great selection of tea to choose from. They have carefully selected some great teas, including herbal ones from Suki, such as midnight grey with lime and the delightful lemongrass and ginger. If hot chocolate is more your thing, then you are well catered for with standard, dark and white hot chocolate available as well as a few flavoured choices (start at £1.50). Marshmallows and whipped cream are available for an additional cost if you can’t resist the inner child in you. Chai lattes and mocha drinks complete the hot menu, with a varied selection of super smoothies, frappes (non coffee choices included) and milkshakes. There really is something for every taste on the menu and I am slowly but surely working through the whole selection!
The food compliments the fantastic range of drinks starting early in the morning with the breakfast choices. Filled bacon rolls as well as porridge, yoghurts and pastries are on offer to help kick start the day. For lunch there are two selections of soup (weekdays), including vegetarian options. Coffee Angel serve hot paninis for lunch or early dinner. There is a whole host of options in the fridge to choose from with house classics such as goat’s cheese, chilli jam and rocket or a simple tuna melt. They are grilled for you to sit in or take away and certainly do their job in satisfying hungry appetites.
At the weekend, you can choose from paninis such as roast chicken and chorizo melt, or roast pork with apple sauce. The menu is too extensive to do it justice in this article so check out the range for yourself. Toasties, baguettes, rolls and sandwiches are also on offer.
It’s hard to decide which cake to choose from their inviting selection. All the old favourites are there, including banoffee cake and empire biscuits, alongside more unusual cupcakes such as beetroot and chocolate (works well from experience). Tray bakes such as rocky road and millionaire shortbread also make an appearance and I have yet to have a cake that wasn’t completely satisfying. The New York cheesecake is to die for and I look forward to trying the new blueberry gateau. Fruit cakes and tiramisu are baked on the premises with the carrot cake coming from the award winning Hand-Made Cake Company. Prices are reasonable to sit in, but if you don’t have time to savour them inside, then you can take them out for a few less pennies.
It’s all the little touches that make Coffee Angel such a friendly place to return to over and over again. The staff are encouraged to get to know people and suggest things they may like when faced with the difficult choice of what to eat and drink. Ten staff form the close-knit team and you are always greeted with a warm welcome and a cheery goodbye as you leave. They know their coffee and tea, with on-site training as well as training packages sent by the companies providing the drinks.
Facilities include free magazines and daily papers (great selection at the weekends) alongside the free wifi (fast and secure). There are high chairs and full changing facilities, making this a welcome place for mothers with babies and children. There is no set demographic in Coffee Angel – it’s as mixed as you can get and that’s probably why it works so well. Business people get their morning coffee whilst on their computers, changing over to people having morning coffee and cake followed by office workers at lunch time and even school children on their way home. A real Edinburgh mix.
I love the music in the premises and it wasn’t until speaking to Chris, one of the owners, that he told me that it was a carefully chosen playlist. Uplifting music is played in the morning to lift your mood, which slowly mellows out over lunchtime and is positively laid back by the afternoon. I have noticed it even more since learning about the effort in making the background music choice and love sinking back into my seat of an afternoon.
The decoration and artwork in Coffee Angel is classy and understated. The artwork on the main wall has come from a company in France which was spotted on the travels of the owners who had the work re printed in Coffee Angel colours. The quote on the wall leave you contemplating where it comes from and is open to your own interpretation. There is a good selection of chairs and sofas amongst the various tables. The inside area sits 44 people and 30 outside (reduced number outside in winter). Dog walkers are welcome to sit with their animals outside (guide dogs are allowed in) and will probably find that the dog-loving staff produce bowls of water and treats from under the counter for the four-legged guests.
There are loyalty cards available to be stamped with every drink purchase and when you’ve bought nine, your tenth is free. If you’re in a rush, you can phone up in advance so your order is waiting for collection or for larger orders (5 lunches or more) they will deliver to you (local only).
Coffee Angel is currently open every weekday from 7.30am to 6pm and from 8.30am to 6pm Saturday and 9am – 7pm Sunday (longer summer hours may apply).
This has been firmly chosen to be one of my favourite tea places in Edinburgh. The New Town location is perfect when near to the Botanics or making a short hop off the Water of Leith Walkway. When in this area, Coffee Angel will always be my choice for the relaxing surroundings, good service, delicious drinks and food.
Their website is updated every morning around 8.30am with the day’s best sandwiches, specials (sometimes delicious crayfish salads etc) and the treats of the day. You can also join their facebook page or sign up for their newsletter which keeps you up to date with everything coffee angel and occasional special offers.
Coffee Angel are also suppliers to Lyon and Turnbull auctioneers at Broughton Place. So if you are visiting the auction house on preview or sale days, you know are in good hands with the food and refreshments. They are also about to open a satellite shop in Tanfield, to help supply great drinks and feed all the workers within.
If all the above mentioned services weren’t enough, Coffee Angel also do catering. You can download their catering pack via this link. I would be more than happy to have their food on my office table or private party. Ranges of finger food, sandwiches and canapes can be tailored for small and medium sized parties.
Suitable for disabled ? Yes, there is a door which can be opened on ground level to let you into the seating area easily, with fully accessible toilets. If you have some mobility, there is just a short step down from the area in which you order to where you sit.
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