As you wander down Leith Walk in search of a coffee, you’ll soon find a Starbucks on Alberta Place and in a modern building that replaces old Shrubhill.
Don’t go there. Cross the road and to Crighton Place instead. It’s right there.
Also, right there: Coffee Tepuy.
You can drink some freshly and ethically sourced coffee in the small establishment. Or you can get something to go; a cup to drink or a bag to take home.
I didn’t have a coffee grinder when I was just starting out, so Tepuy asked me some questions about my setup and ground something especially for me. I had an Aeropress at the time. Now I buy my beans whole and grind them to suit my fickle whimsy.
Coffee Tepuy’s service
As my grinding example shows, Coffee Tepuy is both helpful and friendly.
They’re also very swift! I’ve walked up, seen the door ajar with customers but also seen the line move even as I walk up. I’ve never had more than a brief wait.
This is partly due to experienced hands at the coffee machine, not a suffering and underpaid student workings the summer holiday. Also, Coffee Tepuy has a neat coffee machine.
I’m starting this review talking about Coffee Tepuy’s service because there are two ways to be a Coffee Tepuy’s customer, and I’ve only tried one.
You can pop in and buy a coffee. If you do this and want some hot coffee in a mug to go, then, in my opinion, speed and quality matter. You don’t want to hang around.
I’m a grump. Waiting for coffee is awful; I often squeeze the coffee in between meetings, and I simply don’t have the time for delays. The fact that Coffee Tepuy can put quality and ethical coffee into your hands quickly matters.
The rush probably isn’t there if you’re stocking up on bags of coffee, which you can also do here.
The second way is to visit the website. That’s a better mobile experience than desktop, at least on my current configuration, which shows only a blank homepage until I scroll down. That’ll be a single image file that my browser won’t show, something trivial like that.
The point of the website is this; if you want excellent and ethical coffee, you can subscribe to Tepuy. The shop offers subscription packs.
There’s a lot to be said for the subscription model as it dramatically helps small businesses manage their cash flow, reduces logistics and transport, therefore is better for the environment. Coffee Tepuy is a contender should I ever upgrade my current “Coffee rank amateur” status to “drinker with subscription”.
Yeah, but is the coffee any good?
It’s gorgeous. At least, I’ve tried three different packs (the same one twice), and it’s all been great.
I boggle at how we ended up with coffee that doesn’t meet this standard. How did we end up with unethical, poorly grown and worse tasting coffee that’s sometimes more expensive?
Once, years ago, perhaps decades ago, buying ethical and green sometimes felt like you were paying more for lower quality but putting up with it because it was the right thing to do.
You can buy packs of Tepuy coffee for £10 from the site. I just ran the search [packet of coffee] through the price comparison site Kelkoo, and single packs there cost, on average, £13 each with P&P extra. Even the ones from Amazon. Yes, I found it cheaper, the “Coffee Care” brand has 227g packs for a bit cheaper, but they’re smaller. Yes, I know; people can probably recommend a coffee brand that they like and even lower cost.
Okay, okay. I know buying coffee isn’t “cheap”, it’s still a luxury purchase, but my point is that Coffee Tepuy is ethical, available locally and no more expensive.
Phew, what a rabbit hole!
When I’m at the top end of Leith Walk, when I need (need!) a coffee for a perk-me-up or the heat or simply want a coffee as a treat, then Coffee Tepuy is my go-to.
Oh! Once, just once, I went in, and they had baked goodies on sale too. I bought a sponge cake, and it was tasty. I know it’s a pain and an expense, but I still hope to be tempted by such an offer each time I push open the door.
Given the abundance of choices, I think that’s a compelling vote for the little shop.