Posted in Kafevend Blog

It's merely a matter of weeks before the people of Scotland go to the polls to vote in the Scottish independence referendum. No matter which way the result goes Scotland will continue to draw tourists from around the world, enthusiastic to revel in its stunning scenery. Aside from the glens though, there's a thriving city culture and no sooner has Glasgow finished hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games, than Edinburgh is already off the starting blocks with its International Festival and Festival Fringe, not to mention the Royal Military Tattoo.

If you're off up to Edinburgh this August, you'll surely need plenty of tea and coffee breaks to keep you buzzing all day long, and if you're not planning to make that trip perhaps our hot tea tips will provide the extra incentive you need to get on up there and have a good time!

Permit us a momentary digression however, as we feel bound to give a mention to Scotland's number one drink and no, we're not talking whisky! Scotland has long been synonymous with the brightly coloured fizzy drink 'Irn-Bru'. First produced in 1901 under the name 'Iron Brew', it was following a fallow period during World War 2 that it was relaunched as the phonetic 'Irn-Bru'. And you can put thoughts of plain old vanilla ice cream cones out of your head too; earlier this year the Irn-Bru ice cream lolly made its debut. Scotland's famous fizzy orange brew also provides a handy link to our first tasty tea tip, a strange brew indeed!

'The Strange Brew Tea Company' is the family run Edinburgh business of Jim and Kirsty Strange. The pair take their environmental responsibilities very seriously, using a bio-fuel water boiler and vending their wares around the city from none other than a specially adapted tricycle, which runs entirely on pedal power of course; it's a good job they've got some refreshing tea on board after slogging up all those Edinburgh hills. As well as serving a range of high quality hand-picked teas, they concoct their own fruit and herbal infusions, which they serve either piping hot or icy cold depending on what the weather's doing.

If you fail to spot the trundling trike, the equally wonderfully named 'Eteaket' has been firmly rooted on Frederick Street since 2008, when its owner decided that loose leaf teas were the way to reignite the British love affair with tea in the face of the ever expanding enthusiasm for speciality coffee. Their tea menu is extensive and even includes a tea latte named 'Chocolate Abyss', doubly reinvigorating by the sound of it!

If it really is a coffee you're after, you could visit 'The Elephant House', situated on George IV Bridge. This gourmet tea and coffee shop has become famous for its J. K. Rowling connection; it's one of the places where she sat and wrote much of her first Harry Potter novel. The café's focus on speciality coffees, ground locally and replaced each morning with new batches, ensures the café has a glowing reputation for both fresh and flavoursome coffee.

Alternatively, 'Brass and Copper Coffee' on William Street is another independent which is rated highly by visitors and locals alike for its excellent coffee at reasonable prices. The menu is not extensive, but this allows the team to focus their utmost on quality, which is what really matters for weary coffee aficionados.

We'll just finish by wishing much fun and laughter to anyone fortunate enough to be travelling up for the festival season this August. However, if you're not heading that way, but want to try out a strange and quirky brew or two, don't despair - both 'The Strange Brew Company' and 'Eteaket' have online tea shops up and running.

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