It was the words “rare teas” on the board outside Leo’s Beanery that attracted me to this basement café. They don’t have a very big selection of loose leaf teas (Eteaket is setting the standard here) but there is enough variety to cater for all tastes. The staff seem to genuinely care that you find a tea that you enjoy: both times I’ve been they have talked me through tea menu and offered recommendations.
On our most recent visit I tried the oolong tea while Lucy took rooibos. Personally I think rooibos tastes like disinfectant but Lucy said the Leo’s Beanery blend was “light and refreshing.” The oolong was all right but I prefered the fragrant jasmine silver needle tea I had on my first visit.
All the cakes looked scrummy but since we had to save space for dinner we decided to share a slice of Victoria sponge. It was delicious. So good, in fact, that I noticed Lucy started eating from my side of the plate. (She says it was so that we would both get equal amounts of cream and jam.)
The tea cups matched the saucers but the pattern on my crockery was different from Lucy’s so we decided to let it slide. Lucy liked the tables, which are solid hardwood and made from recycled pews. The atmosphere was quite chilled with soft music playing in the background. The cafe wasn’t all that busy for a Saturday afternoon so we were able to relax and chat for a while without feeling rushed. We even got our teapots topped up with hot water to enjoy another couple of cups of disinfectanty rooibos and oolong.
Leo’s Beanery, 23a Howe Street, Edinburgh EH3 6TF