You just need to take a quick look at the Edinburgh spots to realise that the city loves our coffee almost as much as our beer (check the other Edinburgh coffee articles). But in a city where you can’t swing a cat without hitting a coffee shop my default option is still always Brew Lab.
One of the original ‘hipster’ Edinburgh coffee shops, Brew Lab specialises in single-origin coffees that rotate, two for each day. Not cheap, but it’s worth it for the quality of the coffee. Each coffee has distinctive flavours and the staff is more than willing to talk you through where the beans are sourced or discuss tasting notes.
There’s a wide range of other items on offer too, including locally-sourced cakes, soups, sandwiches, salads, teas and hot chocolates. There are also gluten-free options on offer. My favourite though is the millionaire shortbread truffles from Pinnies and Poppyseeds, an interesting – and yummy – take on traditional Scottish baking.
Located near the main University of Edinburgh campus, Brew Lab seems to be a magnet for students and hipsters. Although just behind the National Museum it’s apparently avoided the touristy crowd that flocks to other nearby coffee shops. Maybe it helps that JK Rowling hasn’t yet written a book here (check the Spoon article)
The atmosphere is very relaxing and, coupled with the free Wi-Fi, excellent coffee and friendly staff, this is a great place to break a day exploring the city or spend a few hours reading or writing.