This was a Sunday post-work lunch trip (short shift, after all – it was Sunday); rumbling stomachs asked for something in the proximity of my workplace where I was being picked up by a friend, and that meant: the George Street area. A tough cookie, as I have visited most of the cafes in the New Town and did not really feel like returning to any, not for brunch at least. Thankfully, my friend had a place in mind and she reminded me Eteaket was a place I had previously planned to visit, but never managed to do so.
Unfortunately, it was one o’clock when we arrived and breakfast was not being served anymore. I had to give up the idea of scrambled eggs or toast with jam and ended up ordering a toasted ciabatta; I didn’t however ask for a mocha this time – I asked for a Chilli and Cherry Mocha.
Whilst we were chatting away waiting for our food and drinks, we were also exchanging our observations on the place: first of all, we both agreed that although the place was in a nice spot and was quite spacious, it somehow lacked the warmth and familiar atmosphere of a tea shop. The staff were friendly but there were too many of them for the level of business and they seemed more interested in themselves than the customers – to an extent that even I noticed.
Secondly, my companion pointed out that the serverware was not to her liking; although I actually found it somewhat charming – mismatched cups and saucers from different aunties’ sets fitted the style of this tea-themed establishment. Also, the merchandise that was available to buy as well as the vast variety of fresh teas were as much intriguing as tempting for one to covert to a different kind of brew.
But when my mocha arrived I focused on it my full attention – although even if I didn’t, it couldn’t have gone unnoticed. Through the thin chocolate texture the chilli hit the throat instantenously and at first I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish it. The spice was so overpowering that it left nothing more in my mouth than a tingling burn at the back of the tongue. Slightly panicking (I had been very much looking to trying – and enjoying – something different) I gave the coffee a good stir before handing it over to my friend to have a sip.
“It’s quite nice, isn’t it?” she asked handing me the cup back, “It balances out nicely.”
I gave it another go, and I breathed relieved. Indeed, the chocolate and chilli blended together to create an interesting but not too overwhelming drinking experience. The coffee was not too strong, the chilli not too fiery and the chocolate not too sweet – although personally I’d preferred it slightly sweeter, smoother and thicker.
It certainly was good to try a mocha with a twist, and this was the first spot in Edinburgh where I was given such an opportunity. However, this particular one did not wow me to a point that I would recommend in to others.
As for Eteaket, it definitely is a place to go if you’re a tea lover – but you probably figured that one now anyway!
Chilli & Cherry Mocha: £2.95
Verdict justification: Every city needs a teashop in this coffee-dominated age. As for the latter, it’s OK, but not amazing.