The photo for this article was provided by the interviewee.
The Drip is one of a few police box cafes in Edinburgh, an idea which has intrigued me since I first found out about police box cafes. The Drip has locations in Morningside and Tollcross and serves espresso-based drinks to-go. I wanted to learn a bit more about the business so I reached out to The Drip on Instagram, who kindly responded to a few of my questions. Our chat is below. I hope you enjoy!
Can you tell me a bit about The Drip? When did you get started?
We started our coffee journey in cafe/delis around 5 or 6 years ago making standard coffee before mastering the art of espresso extraction, dialling in and of course, latte art, later in our careers.
We started our business as The Drip in January of 2020 before the fiest lockdown hit after working for a short time with the previous owners of the Police Boxes at The Counter, who previously worked from these boxes selling speciality coffee too. We produce espresso based coffees from a Sanremo Zoe machine.
Our blend is roasted locally by Mr Eion in Stockbridge. We have a 50/50 blend of Papua New Guinea and Brasil Daterra beans which Mr Eion has imported and roasts himself before making our bespoke blend. We chose these beans as they compliment each other and give the tasting notes of each bean a hearty companion.
What is your mission at The Drip?
Our business focuses on delivering exquisite beverages for reasonable prices, while offering a few tasty sweet treats on the side which we always ensure are produced locally and by indie suppliers. Our current supplier is babyfacedbaker who has hit Edinburgh by storm in recent months and is a delight to have on board.
Our mission with The Drip is to be local while supporting local. There is no greater feeling in the world than small companies coming together and battling through all being a business owner throws at you. We see fab things for the future of The Drip.
What do you think are the most important parts of takeaway coffee service? How do you incorporate these points into your service at The Drip?
The most important part of a take away coffee service for us is making it quick, people who are taking away are generally on the move, they’re busy and they just want a good quick coffee to carry with them. We incorporate this by making sure our grinder is dialled in meaning we know our coffee is pouring at the right speed, meanwhile giving our customers a chat while they wait to fill that two or tjree minute gap while making their beverage.
How do you fit all of the equipment you need to brew coffee into your police box? How do you receive a supply of electricity?
Our equipment is small,. Our Sanremo Zoe Mini is the small version of the standard Zoe machine and a standard size grinder fits perfectly beside it. Funnily enough, it is true what they say about these things [police boxes] being bigger on the inside! We have a “pantry” on the top where we keep our stock - cups, lids, Oatly etc.
Our electricity is plugged into the mains just like all the other buildings surrounding, same with the water! No need to worry about it but when there’s a power cut our power will go out.
What does your customer base look like? Do you have a lot of regulars? Are people who come to you interested in speciality coffee? Or do you get a mix?
Our customer base is mainly regulars, people that know where to get a coffee that they enjoy and the service they love. We have built a rapport with a huge amount of people in both sites and we keep that up by continuing good service, good coffee and a safe space for any and all kinds of chat. A lot of our customers are interested in speciality coffee while others just like a “fancy” barista-made brew here and there.
To what extent has social media played a role in helping you build a community at The Drip?
Social media has helped us a lot in the sense that, during lockdown, all we had was our following and we had to find a way to grow that. We did that by offering a delivery service of our brew at home bags and news of that spread fast, since then we have supported local and got our name out there. We are known to the people of Edinburgh far and wide and not just to those who follow us or visit us for their daily caffeine hit.
How many customers do you typically serve in a day? Are there times during the day that are especially busy?
We typically serve between 65 - 100 people a day depending on weather conditions, whether or not schools are off etc.
You can find out more about The Drip on their Instagram page @thedripedinburgh.