Modern Standard Coffee - Cafe
Lynsey Harley

Lynsey Harley

Founder & CEO

Modern Standard Coffee to open first café in Edinburgh

Modern Standard Coffee, which is the fastest growing specialty roaster in the UK, is to open its first café in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield in the last week of November. 

The Scottish brand, which has been supplying coffee to the likes of Ole and Steen, Amazon’s UK headquarters, Five Guys and Locke Aparthotels as well as Sainsbury’s since 2015, is the brainchild of founder Lynsey Harley. Lynsey is one of the leading women in the UK coffee industry today, having been involved in the country’s booming specialty coffee industry since its inception, gaining some of its top accolades along the way*.

Lynsey founded Modern Standard Coffee with a vision to make great coffee for everyone and it is this ethos which is driving the launch of her first café, which will open at 49 Barclay Place overlooking Bruntsfield Links. The café will serve coffee sourced directly from farmer partners in origin countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala. These coffees are ethically sourced speciality coffees; this is the highest-grade coffee in the world selected for its flavour, complexity, and aroma. The coffees are then roasted, ground and brewed to an exceptional standard. These qualities set it apart from most commercial coffee which is bought and roasted in bulk with less attention given to detail. 

The café will serve its award-winning Momentum Espresso as the house coffee, as well as rotating single origins from Bolivia, Colombia, Kenya, Ethiopia or Guatemala where Lynsey travels to source her beans from. There will be decaf available and Lynsey is also planning to introduce a naturally low caffeine option, something that is relatively new to the UK coffee shop scene, but more popular in Europe. Fresh pastries and cakes from Wild Hearth Bakery and Bakery 101 will be served daily.

The original architect of the building at Barclay Place was Thomas Purves Marwick (1854 – 26 June 1927) a Scot specialising in the Free Renaissance and Neo-Baroque styles whose work is particularly important to the architectural character of the Bruntsfield and Marchmont areas of the city. Lynsey, who project managed the renovation, was keen to ensure a sympathetic approach to the re-design. Having spent time in Denmark and being the coffee roaster to bakery chain, Ole & Steen Lynsey was inspired by its design aesthetics when planning the interior for the café and hired Copenhagen based architect and interior designer Mia Borch Münster from Münster Copenhagen. Lynsey says: 

“Adding some Danish design to Scottish architecture will make for a wonderful combination of old and new. I think we’ve lucked out hiring Mia. Our customers can expect a comfortable light filled space to relax and enjoy a bit of hygge. Opening with pandemic restrictions in place means that the café has been carefully designed to account for the welfare, safety and comfort of our guests.”

Lynsey added:

“It’s been a long-held dream of mine to return to Edinburgh, where I went to university and where I had my first job in a big brand coffee shop, and open my own café. When I left the city there was little or no coffee scene and then the industry just exploded. Ever since that first job my passion has been for coffee. I have been lucky enough to travel the world discovering and buying great coffee so I am very excited to be able to bring, what I think is, the very best coffee in the world to my old home-town. With our roastery based in Glenrothes, the beans don’t have too far to travel either.”

Modern Standard Coffee, 49 Barclay Place, Edinburgh

Open seven days.

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