Monthly Archives: July 2012

Porto & Fi

I walked past this place only a couple of times but both of those times I felt an urgent need to stop in my ways and get myself a cup of mocha inside. Together with the neighbouring Whiski Rooms, this part of the mound looked very stylish and classy, whilst the prices on the menus at the front door were very appealing. So, having visited Jamie’s Italian, the same day I made the extra trip up the wee hill for an extra treat that cold, rainy afternoon. Unfortunately, this was also how I spoilt the magic of the day.

Porto&Fi was indeed an inviting place, for its modern décor with comfy booth-style chairs, the patio outside, with a view out on the New Town, which must be a lovely place to sit in the sunshine when it happens, and for the staff, who, despite probably being pretty bored, since we were the only customers they had seen in a while that day, were nevertheless smiley, courteous and understanding to our indecisiveness and completely non-intrusive in their cheerfulness.

Mocha at Porto & Fi

I had thought that it was a day of treating myself, so with my mocha I asked for a Banoffee Pie – to my defence, it was the first time I tried it, ever. Bananas, caramel, whipped cream, short crust base… my non-carb diet was to die a thousand deaths with that decision; and although I felt a bit guilty, I tried not to think about the calories and only remember the good, that is – the taste, because it actually was great (providing that I took my time with it). My partner had a Bakewell Tart, and although I’m not a cake-spec (experience does not always translate to expertise!), I am pretty sure this one was right from the top shelf of Bakewell’s.

Unfortunately, the mocha did not stand up to the task. After getting through the dry foam on top, it tasted more like a bitter cocoa than a chocolate coffee, and I didn’t manage to drink it up. The shortbread on the side was a nice touch though, but not good enough to make up for the lack of flavour.

It’s a shame really, because it seems like a lovely place; but with this one out of the two calling itself a “café”, it should really look to improve their beverages; maybe then the crowds that were at the same time filling up  Whiski will form a part of Porto’s clientele.

Mocha: £2.60

Verdict justification: Lovely atmosphere, but very few – if any – points for the coffee!

http://portofi.co.uk/

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Artisan Roast

Visited on Broughton Street, Edinburgh

Those of you who have been following my coffee journey for a while might recall the Bruntsfield Place Artisan Roast review I posted a few months back; and the La Barantine review later in which I was planning on visiting the refurbished venue again. However, after ending up in the Broughton Street shop, I have decided not to venture to any Artisan Roasts again – their coffee simply doesn’t suit my tastebuds.

Nor does their style, on that matter.

Flat White at Artisan Roast, Broughton Street

I could repeat myself talking about the etno-hippie atmosphere inside, the open space venue with no sales-desk per se, with low and narrow cushioned benches and tables, old cafetieres and mugs serving as lampshades – and a barista that didn’t seem too bothered about anything really – the whole thing, probably to the liking of some (like the specific, very ‘statement’ kind of people that were there at the time) is certainly not my cup of tea. Not that I am a fan of over-the-top baristas, to be perfectly clear – but it is nice when they make a little bit of effort to make you feel welcome when you walk through the door, as opposed to the “do-what-you-want-I-just-make-the-coffee” attitude.

Soy Mocha at Artisan Roast, Broughton Street

Against all odds, I was really looking forward to the coffee, genuinely believing that this acclaimed roastery, complimented by so many, has to deliver – despite my past personal experience – especially that every coffee I spotted looked great with the milk steamed to perfection, and with a latte art decorating every single cup. As I took my first sip, I appreciated the delicate texture of the mix; but that bitter taste I knew from before hit my tongue straight after, and wouldn’t let go for hours to come. Again, I’d blame the espresso, but this time I’d like to say I know better to accuse the poor barista making the drink for leaving the shots out for too long or for not calibrating the machine properly – I dare say, the fault is in the beans themselves, a question which I will attempt to investigate, in comparison with other famous roasteries whose products are available in Edinburgh.

I drank the coffee quickly, but with no pleasure whatsoever; and to make it worse, the lingering bitter taste stayed with me, despite downing a glass of water soon after. On top of that, the price didn’t impress with a shocking (even for me, being used to paying 30p extra in Starbucks) 50p add on for soy milk.

Whether it’s my skewed sense of taste or too much experience in the field, I have to say Artisan Roast is a no-no for me.

Judge freely.

Categories: Chains, Edinburgh, Local | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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