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Independent Coffee Guide Scotland   Picture: Ottoman Coffeehouse / Colin Hyslop Photography
Independent Coffee Guide Scotland Ottoman Coffeehouse / Colin Hyslop Photography

Glasgow coffee shops named among Scotland’s best

Latest Independent Coffee Guide lists some of the best places

Twelve Glasgow coffee shops have been named among Scotland’s best in the latest Independent Coffee Guide.

The top places to find the perfect latte or espresso are revealed in the 2022 Independent Coffee Guide Scotland.

More than 120 coffee shops, cafes, roasteries and trainers have been handpicked for inclusion in the sixth edition of the guide.

Strict criteria for entry – coffee expertise and the use of the highest quality roasted beans – means only Glasgow establishments selling what the book says is ‘top-notch coffee’ have made it into the guide, as well as independent roasteries.

Those being celebrated this year are Hinba, 1841, Perch & Rest, Ottoman Coffee House, Willow Grove, Sprigg, Spitfire Espresso, Outlier, Us V Them, Mayze, Zennor and The Good Coffee Cartel.

Passport

The guide is the caffeine connoisseur’s passport to the world of speciality coffee.

Willow Grove on Sauchiehall Street is featured in the guide
Willow Grove on Sauchiehall Street is featured in the guide

Write-ups, complete with maps of where to find them, will delight those in search of a seriously good coffee hit.

While those passionate about the bean can discover more about Scotland’s roasteries and training spaces.

Editor Kathryn Lewis said: “One of my favourite things about the Glasgow speciality scene is the diversity of its venues.

 

Like a coffee-loving friend with connections across the country, this book is designed to guide you to the best speciality spots in Glasgow and beyond.

Kathryn Lewis

 

“From coffee bars celebrating island vibes to uber-historic cafes celebrating cultures from across the globe, each coffee shop, cafe and roastery offers a unique experience.

“Like a coffee-loving friend with connections across the country, this book is designed to guide you to the best speciality spots in Glasgow and beyond.

“You know the kind of places: those little backstreet brew bars hidden in plain sight, the off-the-beaten-track roastery cafes, and the multifaceted venues that also happen to craft a damn good flat white.”

 

 

The sixth edition of the guide
The sixth edition of the guide

Full list of Glasgow venues named in Independent Coffee Guide


Hinba, 86 Dumbarton Road

Hinba is an old Gaelic word meaning ‘isle of the sea’, and the moniker of this cool city cafe makes sense when you know that its roastery is located on the beautiful Isle of Seil in Argyll.

Hinba owners Fergus McCoss and Ness Achilles followed the creation of the roastery with a coffee shop in Oban, which was so successful they decided to bring the island vibes to this corner of Glasgow too.


1841, 14 Vinicombe Street

Named after the year in which Thomson's Coffee Roasters (Scotland's oldest roastery and the iconic outfit behind this Glasgow gem) was founded, 1841 is a must-visit for the caffeine curious.

A collaboration between Thomson's and a former employee, the cafe is a fantastic opportunity to sip brews crafted from speciality beans direct from the roastery.

 

Perch & Rest, 39 Otago Street

This family-run coffee shop in Glasgow's West End is near the university, so its alfresco tables and countertop cabinet of freshly baked cakes and pastries lure students craving a caffeinated pick-me-up between lectures.

A bright and airy Aladdin's cave of speciality coffee delights, it's packed with all manner of kit to help visitors recreate the magic at home.


Ottoman Coffeehouse, 73 Berkeley Street

Stepping inside Ottoman Coffeehouse is an absolute feast for the senses. Evoking the aesthetic, grandeur and bustling atmosphere of the historic coffee houses of Istanbul, this is a place to unshackle yourself from your regular coffee order and be immersed in an unusual sensory experience.

 

Willow Grove, 531 Sauchiehall Street

The crew at Willow Grove on Sauchiehall Street usually have four different brewing methods on the go at any one time, so there's plenty to try if you want to switch up your usual flat white. Guest coffees are updated monthly, but don't fret if you fall in love with one in particular as the most popular roasteries make regular reappearances.

 

Sprigg, 264 Sauchiehall Street

This Sauchiehall site is the big sister venue of the original Sprigg in Merchant City, which has long been a favourite with office folk looking for a more inspiring lunch than a supermarket meal deal.

Reassuringly, the coffee line-up at both establishments is as inventive as the salads. The house blend comes from Glasgow's The Good Coffee Cartel, and there's also a regular rotation of guest filters from Scottish favourites such as Thomson's, Glen Lyon and Dear Green.

 

Spitfire Espresso, 127 Candleriggs, Merchant City

A pillar of Glasgow's speciality scene since 2015, Spitfire is loved by locals for its consistently on-point espresso, banging breakfast burritos and life's-too-short-not-to-have-fun vibe. Founder Danny Gorton's trusty house blend, Gunnerbeans, is roasted across the city by the pros at Thomson's and is a bespoke mix of Colombian and Brazilian beans.

 

Outlier, 38 London Road

Award-winning head of coffee Tony Lee Johnson roasts all of the beans for the contemporary coffee shop himself, providing the goods for filter, batch, espresso and AeroPress brew methods. Those who find themselves hooked on the house blend can also pick up a bag for home brewing.

 

Us V Them, 200 Gallowgate

By looking to cafes in Brooklyn and Los Angeles for inspiration, Us V Them founder James Aitken has crafted a venue unlike anything else in Scotland: steel columns, chequered flooring and a striking black communal table create a unique industrial-minimalist vibe. However great the aesthetics, the focus is very much on coffee. The main roaster changes each quarter and is usually a Scottish supplier such as James' former colleagues at Dear Green.

 

Mayze, 172 Sword Street

Mayze might be a newcomer in Dennistoun but, thanks to its flagship cafe in Finnieston, this fresher is already enjoying a quality reputation on the Glasgow coffee scene. The original venue is famed for its revolving bean selection and the options at this new site are just as varied.

 

Zennor, 3564 Duke Street

The Zennor team roast their coffee in-house, sourcing green beans from around the world. What's available as espresso, batch, hand and cold brew changes seasonally, however, you can be assured that whatever you choose will be expertly crafted by the clued-up baristas.

 

The Good Coffee Cartel, 12 Cornwall Street

Built on the mantra of ‘We want to do good’, this roastery cafe is on a mission to make incredible coffee as sustainable as possible. The original “tin-fluencers”, The Good Coffee Cartel team are pioneers of the green movement within the Scottish coffee scene thanks to their reusable packaging (own-roasted beans are sold in refillable tins).

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