Fauna Coffee on Queensferry Street is an excellent new arrival on the scene.
They opened at the start of April 2022, just in time to take advantage of the loosening up of Covid restrictions and an increasing number of visitors to the city.
The Covid lockdowns and restrictions were particularly difficult for specialty coffee places in the city centre. Williams and Johnson (Waverley Market) and Castello (Castle Street) were among the victims as trade shifted to the suburbs. Areas such as Bruntsfield, Marchmont and Stockbridge actually became busier than normal during this period.
Based on the quality of their coffee, Fauna deserves to succeed. Our coffees (cortardos) were exceptionally well made, with a rich and lingering flavour. 20 minutes afterwards we still had the taste in our mouths. They were using Redemption Roasters’ ‘The Yard’ blend (a mix of beans from Peru, Colombia and Rwanda) in their espresso drinks. This, as advertised, is a bright and juicy coffee with notes of red apple, apricot and caramel. The plan is to add more variety to their espresso by using other Redemption blends.
Compared to nearby Cairngorm on its very visible corner site (at the end of Melville Street), it’s easy to miss Fauna. Given its proximity to Princes Street, it should become popular with tourists over time. It should also attract fans of specialty coffee. The café itself is long and thin, with an uncluttered feel. Previously a hairdresser, the minimalist decor creates a cool and calming atmosphere. The retro style olive green seats are a nice touch. The seats towards the rear will be ideal during the mid-summer months when you might want to avoid the crowded streets.
A key aspect of specialty coffee is a deep concern with the lives and financial situation of those involved in its production. Fauna connects this to its partnership with Redemption Roasters, based at HMP Mount in Hertfordshire. The company is also involved in training offenders in the skills of the coffee industry, giving them greater employment possibilities. Redemption also runs barista training academies in nine prisons across the UK.
Fauna also serve a range of teas, sandwiches and soups as well as tempting baking, including Turkish/ Greek influenced baking. They also sell a selection of Redemption’s excellent beans, including an excellent La Serrania decaf from Colombia which has deep fruit notes.
Though, in the heart of tourist and commercial Edinburgh, Fauna is far superior to most of the coffee places nearby. Discerning coffee enthusiasts should definitely check it out and sample the expertly crafted brews.
Fauna’s arrival hopefully heralds the start of a revival for specialty coffee in the centre of Edinburgh.