The year is 2001 and an eight-year-old Colin is passing his time watching series five of Friends on VHS. Episodes one to twelve to be exact – we only had the two cassettes.
As I watched laughing at the ‘adult’ jokes I had no clue about, I always remember thinking, “I can’t wait to live in a city and sit in a coffee house when I’m older”. Drinking from oversized cups, eating cake, lounging around with friends – it seemed like heaven.
The harsh reality when I finally came to the big smoke was that I hated coffee and cafes didn’t appreciate you loitering around taking up paying punter seats. Oh Warner Bros, how you did crush my dreams.
Fast forward some years and now coffee is my elixir of life with much friendlier cafes on the go to pass the time. Here’s my top picks of the best places for coffee in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
This humble coffee house’s story all started following a three year globe trotting adventure by husband and wife duo Jonny and Ali. Tasting their way around fine coffee establishments they found a new understanding of what a great cup of coffee should be. It was on their return to Scotland that they put their dreams of having their own cafe into motion and set up The Coffee Apothecary.
Setting up shop in the former post office of the quiet town of Udny Green near Ellon, this coffee house brings exceptional flavours from all over the world. Supplied by Edinburgh based Artisan Roast, the roasters resident coffee hunter searches the globe to find the best coffee beans around.
The coffee tastes may be global but Jonny and Ali are committed to supporting local and Scottish suppliers as much as possible. You’ll soon notice most of its menu options use locally sourced ingredients. If you order anything, make sure it’s the cinnamon rolls which make a popular feature on its menu.
Here is the home of the coffee tasting board. Discover the different tastes coffee holds and how much the process changes the flavour through three board types.
It’s a popular spot for many but coffee gannets can now get a slice of apothecary at its two bases at Udny Green and Ellon.
Those searching for an escape are well catered for at Figment Coffee. Its bold print of ‘dreamers welcome’ sets the tone as you enter the cafe with its bright and open space with minimalist interior and plenty of houseplants!
The science of crafting incredible flavours meets art, just look at the foam top to their coffees which are no stranger to flowers, dragons and other creative designs. Explore the Figment range of ethically sourced and specially selected coffee using beans from across the globe and all roasted in the cafe. Play it safe with its house favourite of Wonderland or choose from its changing range of single origins on offer.
Expect to be well fed here too with brunch and dinner items to see you through the day along with plenty of homemade bakes. Keep your eye out for doughnuts from Simply Donuts and patisserie from Sourcloud Bakes which make the odd feature from time to time.
No need to swear in or draw blood for this cult, just a sip of its carefully crafted coffees and delicious cake will make you a loyal follower. Settle up near its log burning stove, sip away and let the cafe chit chatter act as your soundtrack to watching Rosemount life pass by. That’s what I call bliss.
Cakes are an essential partner to your coffee here and you’re never short of choice with its counter lined with the finest of sweet treats – the scones are a must. Those hooked on its coffee can purchase bags of its beans to get a slice of The Cult of Coffee action at home.
Dog owners can add a puppuccino to their order here and take in their furry friends to join them. As if I need more excuses to love this place even more.
Over to Fraserburgh where pastel colours and boho vibes await to satisfy the senses at Lister Coffee Co.
You’ve heard of people marrying the Eiffel Tower, Berlin Wall, sandwiches (don’t ask) but I may soon add to the list catching a glimpse at the cups here. Obviously I’m kidding – I’m in no financial position to book a wedding – but I’m a firm believer that a good mug is an essential ingredient to a vibing coffee. Its handleless, two-tone and matt selection of crockery are right up my street.
If you’re not on my level of cuppy love, its selection of bakes will seal the deal. The vegan Ultimate Carrot Cake looks tempting with just the right thickness of frosting and topped with a scattering of petals and pumpkin seeds. Keep your eye out for the wonders of the From Bakery Lane kitchen making an appearance too.
It’s not a coffee house as such but it’s a coffee hut, so I’m making it fit. Nestled amongst the food delights of the South-end of Aberdeen Beach Boulevard, the smell of freshly brewed Cairn Coffee travels in the beach breeze hypnotising the masses.
This is always a well received spot when strolling along on the nippy beachfront days and I can confirm its serving of Machina coffee never fails to warm the cockles.
Book lovers listen up – or should I say, look up? Books & Beans has forged its way as a vital spot for those who love coffee just as much as their books over the years. It’s an ideal spot to escape and get lost in the written word with its huge collection of second-hand books. I’m led to believe that there’s over 10,000 books to pick from and buy.
Make yourself at home in the confines of the resident ‘Comfy Chairs’ which would be tagged ‘sit on me’ if part of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
And it’s not just books to get lost in either, upstairs is home to an ever changing art exhibition showing off the works of local artists. Right now it’s ‘Celestia Travellers’ by Beorli.