Brew Lab

I’ve always been philosophical, and one of the main realisations that keep coming back to me is how the people we get to know benefit us, even if we don’t keep actively in touch.

You might recall the founder of Fun in a Cup; thanks to social networking via Michael, I spotted a special place in the making – a new addition to the Edinburgh café scene, something sounding professional and very coffee-centred. And so, when a friend suggested a catch-up I knew the next place to visit would the Brew Lab.

Inside the Brew Lab
Inside the Brew Lab

Tucked away in the vicinity of the National Museum of Scotland and the café-studded South Bridge/Nicholson Street, one is not likely to stumble over the Lab if not looking; otherwise, it’s impossible to miss, as customers flood in and out the door, and the glass walls expose the most interesting interior of the café. Bare-stripped stone walls and wooden tables mingle with modern décor elements. The food selection was not vast, but very appealing, whilst the cool periodical-table-like menu on the wall promised an exciting caffeine infused experience.

As we waited in the queue I feared there would not be a place for us to sit; the place looked packed. We ordered coffees, picked up our pastries and a number to put on a table, and ventured around the large, near-maze-like venue looking for a free spot. Luckily, there was someone leaving a bar-table with two free stools; although I spotted a few comfy looking arm-chairs with their own tables for a customer on their own. This place definitely looked singleton-friendly.

Mocha at the Brew Lab
Mocha at the Brew Lab

When our coffees were delivered, I worried that my expectations would come crashing down: the latte art on my mocha looked a bit wonky and I thought it might have been better if there was no design on it at all; there were also bits of chocolate floating on the surface… I didn’t let my heart falter, however, and eagerly went for it. My smile must have said it all, as I dwelled in the divine texture and the perfect balanced flavours of coffee and chocolate. This was a soy milk steamed to perfection, another confirmation that perfect soy mochas do exist.

Unfortunately, my friend was less impressed with her cappuccino, which she got me to try to aid her judgement. I shared her observation, that it tasted oddly acidic, like an African coffee, characteristically fruity and flowery. At first we couldn’t make up our minds whether that was a good thing – my friend looked rather intrigued; but half-way through she gave up and decided she could not drink more of it.

I was therefore faced with a dilemma: should I rate this great looking venue on my own coffee or on the overall experience – which included tasting the curious cappuccino? I have therefore decided not to give it a star rating, and instead, to seek some answers from the core. Watch this space for an interview with the Brew Lab scientists themselves; but until then, do not hesitate to make your own mind about it by visiting the café – and please, do share your views!

Soy mocha: £2.60

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