Figment Coffee

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In the thick of Scottish winter and the post-New Year slump, I was in no rush to climb any hills that weekend – but I knew I needed to move my backside ‘cos those festive pounds weren’t going to shift themselves.

The days were still short but it was a glorious one at least, which inspired me to revisit the ol’Railway Line and turn it into a circuit of the West End. I had spring in my step and went as far as Hazlehead Park before turning back towards town – at which point, I felt a bit peckish. I was doubtful there would be any decent places to stop at after 3pm on an early-January Sunday… and then I remembered about Figment Coffee, mentioned just the other day at work.

I promptly Googled it (a – questionable – benefit of walking in town among all those 5G masts!) and not fully trusting the information on the Google My Business page suggesting it was, indeed, open, I clicked on the icon to visit their website. Just scrolling through it I made my mind up that’s where I was heading – my marketing heart rejoicing at the playful, interactive design. I liked the brand – I was confident I’d like the coffee too.

I had driven past the shopfront a few times over the years – a location nowhere near any significant locations I’d be stopping at and therefore always noted vaguely in passing – so I was taken aback by how spacious it was inside. Despite the cool website, I also wasn’t expecting the hipster vibe: the asymmetric layout, sharing tables and minimalistic decor with prevailing wood and exposed supporting beams painted white.

Stepping into the short queue just to the right of the door, I tried to locate a vacant spot – the place was buzzing with patrons, representing a much younger demographic than I was expecting. When it was my turn and I asked for a mocha I realised I needn’t worry as the staff allocate a seat to you, quoting a number where your order will be served – that’s a nice touch. With the other eye I had scoped the handful of fresh bakes, on open-air display on the counter just by the till, but nothing grabbed my fancy.

I picked up a copy of Trend magazine and made my way to the allocated table. I read, and waited. And waited some more. Then the coffee was served – to the table next door, who had been already settled in their seats when I arrived. I didn’t understand why the service was so slow – I saw quite a few staff in aprons on the cafe floor, behind the bar and coming out of what must have been the kitchen, and the queue was only ever 2 couples long…

At this point I started to wonder if I’ll still be wanting my mocha when it arrives… but eventually, I saw someone heading my way with a single cup on a tray from the direction of the bar. The sight of the lovely latte art calmed me down and made me hopeful again for a good experience.

Sadly, the taste did not quite live up to the expectations set by the visuals. While it was certainly a proper barista-made mocha, the drink was barely warm, which made it a bit dull and sickly. I think the sweetness would actually be spot-on, had it been served at higher temperature – there were still bits of undissolved chocolate on the bottom of the cup indicative of a quality recipe. At £3.80 I was hoping for more: warmer, and served a bit more speedily. There may be a correlation there…

I have to say, I’m disappointed my experience of Figment was so deflated, especially that I heard positive reviews of the place from a few sources. I spotted some cool (albeit undoubtedly also hipster) touches that demonstrated their passion for the brew, and they roast their own coffee which is always intriguing and commendable (because there’s both art and science to it!).

As I think about it, while I was not blown away by my first visit, I may need to orchestrate a mission that would require a stopover on Countesswells Road, so that I can give the black stuff a try sometime…


Mocha: £3.80


Coffee aficionados that are going for it, and putting cool back into the brew. The service needs a bit of a perk-up, however.

To learn more about the Figment Coffee, visit their website here.


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