Portobello, long an attractive location, is an increasingly fashionable spot with a lively cultural scene. Tanifiki, at the Figgate Burn end of the town, is a great new addition to the range of cafés and eateries in the town. Along with the popular Greek Artisan Pastries and the independent Portobello Bookshop, this is clearly an area of Portobello that is seeing more and more footfall.
Tanifiki’s team of young baristas give the place an energetic and welcoming character. Typical of the independent coffee scene more generally, the place has a mildly industrial aesthetic but with a warm and comfortable feel. The place is wonderfully spacious, with a mezzanine area at the back. The soft back chairs are ideal for those wanting to slowly savour their coffees and conversation; or their literary purchases from the bookshop next door.
The place is dog friendly. There was a good humoured notice for dog owners asking them to be ‘mindful of other customers’ and, if the dogs are ‘a bit wet, smelly, or sandy from the beach’, they should try and clean up before entering. In return, Tanifiki. promise ‘water, good vibes, and great aromas’.
These aromas are provided by what is oozing from the coffee machines and by the Air Motion roaster sitting near the front of the café. This means that their Rwandan coffee beans are roasted on site, providing great freshness. At present, they are generally using the house roast in their espresso-based drinks but intend to increase their range in the near future. They plan to offer four carefully selected coffees from various parts of Africa- and give customers a range of flavours and coffee types.
We tasted their house roast and decaf and were impressed by the ultra smooth honey-like character of both. The coffees were made with skill and precision but without pretension. The staff were clearly enthusiastic and passionate about the coffee they were roasting and serving. Tanifiki also serve baking and savoury food, as well as hosting art and and other cultural events.
Late on a sunny Saturday, the place was buzzing. Excited chatting and chilled reading were both in evidence. Opened in 2021, the place has clearly already established itself in the area. Tanifiki typifies the way in which specialty coffee is becoming much more mainstream and raising the general standard of coffee available. Pre or post beach walk, Tanifiki is strongly recommended.
Tanifiki. 44 Portobello High Street, Portobello, Edinburgh, EH15 1DA