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The Hunt for the Best Pumpkin Spice Latte

With the weather getting colder, leaves turning orange, and days getting shorter, the changing of the seasons officially justifies an excuse for the first pumpkin spice latte (PSL) of the year. This sweet drink is the perfect way to get your caffeine fix, but where in Edinburgh are you able to get one? 

Obviously, there are the chains, Starbucks being the main PSL distributor. But, with the current financial climate, the desire to support local independent businesses has never been greater. Therefore, this guide will help you find the best coffee to keep you warm this autumn, whilst supporting Edinburgh based businesses.

The Pantry:

On your way to the farmers market in Stockbridge, this café is the perfect stop to fuel up for the rest of your day. Offering dirty chai lattes and gingerbread spiced coffees, it’s perfect for a hungover Sunday brunch. The coffees are so creamy and delicious, I even claimed it was the best dirty chai I had ever had. They also boast a wide array of choices when it comes to brunch; waffles, French toast, or even a full breakfast, meaning everyone will enjoy it here. However, get in there quick, as tables will fill up, and you will not want to miss out. 

Bambi’s Café:

Another honourable mention is this little cart located in George Square. I have never seen so much specialty coffees on offer before. Ranging from Biscoff to sticky toffee pudding, it is sure to give you that sugary caffeine kick needed to power you through all your work as you pick one up before heading into the library. If you are not a coffee fan, pick up one of their hot chocolates, and you will not be disappointed. As this is only take-away, remember to bring your own cup for 20p off, also helping to reduce waste.

Coffee Lounge:

A lovely place to study or catch up with friends, the Coffee Lounge has just released their new pumpkin spiced toffee latte. It’s a friendly café with lots of cakes and pastries on offer, perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth. Located on Nicholson Street, it is one of the only cafes in Edinburgh I have been able to find a genuine pumpkin spiced latte, and it did not disappoint. Whilst it may not be my everyday coffee, it certainly was a treat.

Union Brew Lab:

Grab a book and a chunky knit sweater in one of those comfy armchairs in the window, and cosy up with Union Brew Lab’s chai latte. This warming spiced drink is my go to when it comes to coffee. Why not try a cinnamon bun on the side for an overload of that autumnal spiced flavour? This cute, Instagram worthy café is not one to miss. 

Other worthy visits:

When in Tollcross, you must pick up a spiced latte from vegan cafe Black Rabbit. With a huge offering of different plant-based milks, it will be your new go to vegan cafe. Perfect for those with allergies or those just trying to avoid dairy. 

The Kilted Doughnut is the most homely café I have visited in Edinburgh. The friendly staff and attentive service was exceptional. As well as the spiced coffee, the selection of fresh doughnuts makes this a worthy mention. The crème brulee doughnut was a big winner. 

Black Medicine is also one to visit. Cosy up in this rustic café, warming up from the cold Scottish weather with a hot chai. The exposed brick aesthetic makes this perfect for those darker autumn days ahead of us.

Image credits: provided to The Student by Eleanor Beaven, used with permission.