Geeking out about coffee at Union Brew Lab Boutique

By Tracy Griffen Jump up if you love coffee. Southsider's Brew Lab have been percolating only the finest for nearly eight years. Now, with Union Roasters by their side, they may well be unstoppable. There are a plethora of cafes in Edinburgh, but only a handful serving excellent coffee. Union Brew Lab is one of them and has now opened an in-cafe coffee boutique. It's a self-contained shop of gourmet coffee beans (you can buy beans loose), coffee making equipment (Brew Lab owners Dave and Tom first introduced me to the Aeropress back in 2012), reusable cups, and even some coffee-themed, coffee-table books; a coffee lovers' utopia. Their downstairs Training Lab is an impressive setup, where you can try an espresso or latte art masterclass or even line up some private barista training. Perhaps a Christmas gift idea for the caffeine fiend in your life? You can order a masterclass gift box from their website at Situated right next to the University of Edinburgh, it's often packed with students being studious, focussed concentration with not-too-loud background music. The cafe itself has a nice buzz, with wooden bench seating and a daily selection of baguettes, soups and salads, plus a regular brunch menu. Being ethical and green are essential values to Union Brew Lab, and they will be trialling a reusable cup scheme in the not-too-distant future (think Indian tiffin tins). They always know what's on the horizon in the world of coffee. Union Brew Lab look at coffee in the same way that a sommelier looks at wine. It's the detail that counts. Union Brew Lab - 6-8 South College St, Edinburgh EH8 9AA - 0131 662 8963 Opening hours 8 am-7.30 pm seven days Tracy Griffen

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