Black Medicine Coffee Co

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.

The Black Medicine Coffee Shop

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.


  1. Hi Brenda,

    This is the first post of yours, I’m reading.I have started liking your posts, as they are well crafted.

    You have went through several difficulties and tough time which reflects in “your purpose” to live a life worth living.

    Do you know, what’s special about you?

    That you describe life in the form of stories, balancing ups and downs, counting each pleasurable sip of “the black medicine”.

    Thanks for going through my blog. We’re going to be good friends.

    Take care. My best wishes you.😁💡🌍🚀

    • Thank you so much for your very kind words. I’m glad you are enjoying the posts and that you find them well written. I look foward to reading more of your posts too. Have a great day 🙂

  2. I don’t remember ever not liking coffee – but it does go well with cake – so we can cater for your sweet tooth too 🙂

  3. Interesting experience and your clicks are amazing.
    Keep clicking my friend.
    These clicks are going to be the cherished moments when you look back in the future.
    Probably the coffee has got medicinal property for a good health thanks to the ambience in the shop!

    • Aw thank you. I’m thinking of getting a new phone, so I’ll be making sure it has a good camera. i’m learning that I need to take more snaps when I’m out and about. The problem I’m thinking about just now is the locations where you’re not allowed to take photographs

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  5. What a beautiful interior. I used to live in Edinburgh, I do miss the coffee shop scene! Shall look this one up if I’m ever back in the city. Hopefully, one day.

  6. […] Normally (and in future), I would exit Waverley Train Station onto Princes Street. I turn right, walk along past the expensive Balmoral Hotel with its concierge standing outside in his very smart uniform waiting to be of service to the hotel’s guests. The Balmoral is on the corner of Princes Street and North Bridge Street. On the corner, I cross the road and its a straight road across the bridge and just keep walking straight ahead until I see the Festival Theatre on the other side of the street. Diagonally opposite the theatre on the street I’m walking along, I’ll find my destination, the Black Medicine Coffee Co. […]

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