The rise of Glasgow’s independent coffee culture

Glasgow last night played host to the launch of Scotland’s first Independent Coffee Guide, cementing its place as a major player on the speciality coffee scene.

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Over 100 people packed into South Block on Osborne Street to experience the landmark moment for the local industry, as Salt Media publishers unveiled their glossy 130-page encyclopaedia of Scottish coffee shops and roasters.

The guide is the first of its kind in Scotland after similar successful projects by Salt Media in the south-west and north of England. North Berwick-based photographer Gavin Smart contributed an array of images to the guide, and these were displayed in a mini-gallery at the launch event.


Jo Rees, editor of the Indy Coffee Guide, said: “There’s loads of coffee in Scotland – some of it incredible, some not so good, but with your Indy Coffee Guide in your back pocket, you can be confident that you won’t waste your precious and limited caffeine intake on anything but the very best speciality coffee. It’s your starting point for some brilliant coffee adventures.”

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, UK Barista champion, said: “The guide represents the emergence of “coffee tourism”. After all, guidebooks have led people to new and exciting realms for centuries.”

A four-strong panel picked out 44 top coffee shops and 11 top roasters stretching from Ullapool to Berwick. Also included are supplementary lists of 27 highly recommended shops and 7 roasters. All in all, 22 Glasgow establishments are featured in the Guide.

The Scottish speciality coffee industry is riding a wave of publicity at the moment. The second Glasgow Coffee Festival was held in October last year, and the launch of the Independent Coffee Guide comes one day before the ‘northern’ heat of the 2016 UK Barista Championship which is being held in Glasgow today.

The guide will be available for sale at the coffee venues featured in the guide, at Waterstones and good bookshops, via Amazon and from the Indy Coffee Guide website

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