Travel Log

Cognito on the Corner

I remember visiting the original Cognito for the first time three years ago (has it really been this long?!). At the time the standalone cafe only had a few seats outside – by now, the brand has built a mini local empire.

Today, Cognito is sporting a lovely outdoor area at the original shop, a wee branded van running about town, and a total of four different venues across the West End. I’m yet to visit the Deli across the road from the cafe, or the newest addition situated within the Queen’s Cross Church nearby, but I have already been twice to the stunning bistro/gin bar, Cognito on the Corner.

The first visit was on an early spring night, not too long after its opening. The decor was mesmerising: gold and brass in art deco, very Gatsby and very much to my taste – which made the few G&Ts, a charcuterie platter and the tête-à-tête with my company that night that much more enjoyable, even if we were sat at the bar.

After that, I forgot about the venue, partly due to it being a bit away from the city centre, and partly because the couple times I’d enquired for a table, they were fully booked.

But this was an unusual Sunday for myself and my other half, as we decided to take a break from hiking and stay in town. We fancied ourself some brunch, so our first shout was the Deli – unfortunately, as it later turned out, we picked the wrong date for it, as it was hosting Cognito’s bi-annual staff do that night, and was therefore closed.

Mocha at Cognito on the Corner

The Corner wasn’t, however, and – once more – we managed to get the last seats at the bar. By that time ravenous, I ordered my Eggs Royale and a mocha, trusting in the coffee quality implied by the venue’s heritage; since the brew arrived first I went straight for it.

Unfortunately, the first sip revealed it did not stand up neither to the glam interior nor the Cognito legacy. Although it was well made, with smooth texture, it lacked the chocolatey sweetness, but at the same time had a bit of a powdery taste to it. There was only one size available to order and it was pretty big, and as it cooled down it developed a bitter milk aftertaste.

Sadly, neither did the Eggs Royale impress on this occasion. Because it was after noon at this point, my other half went for the Sunday roast, which still left him craving more; we thought about maybe ordering sweets from the pastry section at the back of the restaurant, but once we saw the minimalistic display, we decided against it.

Even though this wasn’t a memorable experience, I’m sure we will pay the Deli a visit soon, and I would still recommend the Corner for a romantic dinner or a night out with the girls – but probably best to stick to the original Cognito for coffee and cake.

Mocha: £3.50

Verdict justification: The venue is great for evening entertaining – not so much for a coffee break.

Categories: Aberdeen, Cafes, Local, UK | Tags: , , , , ,

The Cult of Coffee



Rosemount is a highly desirable area of Aberdeen. It has its own community feel, and if it was separated from the City it would be a lovely self-sufficient “village” with all the nice places: from hairdressers to retro sweet shops, and from Italian delis to cosy cafes.

Despite that, this is not an area I frequent these days, even if I drive through it fairy regularly. Due to tricky on-street parking, it’s easier – and also much nicer – to do a stroll up by foot for a wee browse.

It was actually on my way for a hair appointment that I noticed The Cult of Coffee for the first time. I passed it walking from town, and was instantly attracted by the symbol of the Allseeing Eye in the window (holler all Dan Brown fans!) and the modern blue-and-gold decor, which suggested it wasn’t one of those after-thought / last-resort cafes that have been popping up around Union Street recently. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I’d paid it a visit.

Mocha at The Cult of Coffee

That opportunity arose a few weeks later as I was attending to a message in the area on a busy Saturday, when I actually managed to park the car directly up the road from The Cult. I walked past it again, and thought I wasn’t neither hungry nor particularly thirsty… and then realised I still had 20min left on my parking session, which would have been a shame to let go to waste.

I turned round and strolled into the cafe. The inside was fresh, bright and welcoming, albeit there weren’t many customers making use it. I made my way to the end of the room to the counter, with a selection of sweets and bakes displayed. It was just a coffee visit this time, but my order of a mocha was greeted by an option of either milk or dark chocolate. On the server’s recommendation I went for the milk option, paid and asked to sit outside, as it was a lovely sunny day – a break in the recent rainy weather which followed an incredibly hot summer (in Scottish terms, of course).

I was invited to help myself to some infused water at the condiment section by the door, which was stocked up to cater for all the morning office goers needing to take their coffees away.

There were only two tables outside, and the second one had just freed up as I arrived, so as I awaited my coffee I entertained myself watching the not-so-busy Rosemount life go by, as well as doing a quick browse through The Cult’s Facebook page. It looks like the place is living the ethos of its neighbourhood, not only by celebrating coffee from the bean stage, but also organising music events and workshops to pull the community together.

When the mocha arrived shortly afterwards, it looked big but luxurious: it had chocolate shavings on top which were just beginning to melt. I took a sip, and was pleased I decided to make that pit-stop. The concoction was velvety smooth, wholesome and moreish; I could see how milk chocolate made it more indulgent, but at the same time the drink wasn’t overpowering or too rich, and was of the perfect temperature to just lock your lips on.

The only minus was the sheer size of it – and by the time I got through most of it, it had cooled down quite a bit which made it taste heavier. I still polished my cup, and within 15min I was on my way again – thinking this was a pleasant discovery, and a good enough reason for me to visit this charming part of town more often.

Mocha: £3.35

Verdict justification: Great coffee, nice staff and pleasant venue, promising to deliver more than just quality beverages.

The Cult of Coffee’s Facebook page.

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