Modern Standard opens first café in Edinburgh

Modern Standard Coffee, which is the fastest growing speciality roaster in the UK, has opened its first café in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield.

The Scottish brand, which has been supplying coffee to Five Guys, Amazon’s UK headquarters, Locke Aparthotels and Ole and Steen, is the brainchild of founder Lynsey Harley. Lynsey is one of the leading women in the UK coffee industry today, having been involved in the country’s booming speciality coffee industry since its inception, gaining some of its top accolades along the way.*

Harley founded Modern Standard Coffee with a vision to make great coffee for everyone and it is with this ethos that she launched her first café at 49 Barclay Place overlooking Bruntsfield Links. The café serves its own roasted and ground coffee sourced directly from farmer partners in origin countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala. These are ethically sourced speciality coffees made from the highest-grade beans in the world selected for their flavour, complexity, and aroma. Lynsey’s team then roasts, grinds and brews to an exceptional standard. These qualities set speciality coffee apart from most commercial coffee which is bought and roasted in bulk with less attention given to detail.

The café serves its award-winning Momentum Espresso as the house coffee, as well as rotating single origins from Bolivia, Colombia, Kenya, Ethiopia or Guatemala where Lynsey travels to source her beans from. There is decaf available and Lynsey is also planning to introduce a naturally low caffeine option, something that is relatively new to the UK coffee shop scene, but more popular in Europe. Fresh pastries and cakes from Wild Hearth and Bakery 101 are served daily and affogatos will be available in the summer months.

The original architect of the building at Barclay Place was Thomas Purves Marwick (1854 – 26 June 1927) a Scot specialising in the Free Renaissance and Neo-Baroque styles whose work is particularly important to the architectural character of the Bruntsfield and Marchmont areas of the city. Lynsey, who project managed the renovation, was keen to ensure a sympathetic approach to the re-design. Having spent time in Denmark and being the coffee roaster to bakery chain, Ole & Steen Lynsey was inspired by its design aesthetics when planning the interior for the café and hired Copenhagen based architect and interior designer Mia Borch Münster from Münster Copenhagen.

Harley says: “Adding some Danish design to Scottish architecture makes for a wonderful combination of old and new. I think we’ve lucked out hiring Mia. She totally understood my vision a comfortable light filled space to relax and enjoy a bit of hygge. Opening with pandemic restrictions in place means that the café has been carefully designed to account for the welfare, safety and comfort of our guests.”

She added: “It’s been a long-held dream of mine to return to Edinburgh, where I went to university and where I had my first job in a big brand coffee shop, and open my own café. When I left the city there was little or no coffee scene and then the industry just exploded. Ever since that first job my passion has been for coffee. I have been lucky enough to travel the world discovering and buying great coffee so I am very excited to be able to bring, what I think is, the very best coffee in the world to my old home-town. With our roastery based in Glenrothes, the beans don’t have too far to travel either.”

Modern Standard Coffee’s new café address is 49 Barclay Place, Edinburgh. The café is open seven days a week, 8am – 3pm.

Related content

Leave a reply

Tea & Coffee Trade Journal