I’ve seen the Black Medicine Coffee shop regularly over the years while my friend and I attended various productions at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh. Usually, we meet up for a coffee in the city centre when I get of the train, but we decided on a change during the summer so I had my first opportunity to visit the Black Medicine Coffee Co’s shop on Nicolson Street. Its strange that, until this year, we’d never visited this coffee shop even though its just across the road from the theatre.
Even before I tasted their black medicine (apparently its what early Native Americans called coffee) I fell in love with this cafe – it just looks so amazing and I hope my very limited photos capture the magic. It feels dark – but warm and welcoming – all that’s missing is an old-fashioned roaring fire in the corner somewhere.
They have decorated the ceilings with dark colours (deep reds), heavy stone walls and lots of solid wooden furniture: tables, chairs; even the floor is wooden. it feels old, taditional and well established. I can see me coming back here again; why haven’t I discovered this place before; there is so much character in this ‘old’ place – although the company itself was only established in 1998, it feels like it has a well-established legacy.
And all this even before I’ve got to the counter and ordered my coffee. That will be the next test. I don’t actually remember the smell of coffee when I entered the cafe, but once I sat down with my cup, I was in heaven. The counter display was a feast for the eyes – their sandwiches/filled rolls and cakes were very much on the generous side – had it been a bit later in the day I would have had lunch here, but I was content with my coffee. I’ll need to return to take more photos to share.
I think when I entered the shop, there was just so much for my senses to cope with (not sensory overload but possibly close) that I don’t remember the smell of coffee, but when I sat down with my own cup of black medicine, it did not disappoint. My medicine was in the form of a cuppuccino which, as you can see from the photo, I was impatient to taste. It was good! The cappuccino was perfect, just the right amount of froth, not too milky – don’t you just hate it when a cappuccino is more like a latte – too much milk.
In terms of the atmosphere, its clear that the proprietors want you to enjoy your coffee and the welcoming atmosphere – there is no wifi – they want people to actually talk to each other over their coffees. It occurs to me that this place might be a good environment for writing (so long as the chatter over coffee isn’t too loud).
To sum up, a visit to the Black Medicine Coffee Co is certainly something the doctor might order. Its well worth a visit for the coffee, cakes (which I believe are home made) and just for the atmosphere. I’ll certainly be back – is it possible to be in love with a coffee shop?
Some family are visiting next month. I can feel a visit to Edinburgh coming on – I guess we might be stopping by for our medicine – which we can sweeten with some cake.
The Black Medicine Coffee Co is open 8am – 6 pm daily.