I've been following the progress of artisan coffee enthusiasts Brew Lab on twitter for the last year or so and was temporarily miffed upon hearing that I would stuffing my face with pastries in Paris during the weekend that they opened in Edinburgh. Two weeks later I have made my inaugural visit and can tell you the wait was well worth it.
These guys are doing something different and different is good.
Located on South College Street Brew Lab appears to be an instant success with the university types. When I visited the place was buzzing with conversation, people catching up over lunch, students clicking away on laptops, and the ever present staff delivering orders to tables. It was busy, but it felt good. Exposed brickwork, old features (like an awesome wrought iron litter bin), reclaimed wooden furniture and a floor from an old gym exude a hip, fresh, and social atmosphere.
I was so happy when I read that Brew Lab wasn't just going to be celebrating amazing coffee, but also the best of Edinburgh with sandwiches made with breads from Le Petit Francais, soups and salads from Union of Genius and cakes from lovecrumbs...celebrating Edinburgh's local producers.
The coffee is single origin and drinks are created through a process I can only describe as alchemy.