93 West Nile St
|Open every day|
Coffee: HasBean & guests
Also: Pastries, sandwiches, beans, sweets
|Coolness: Italian styling meets world-class guest coffees|
Laboratorio Espresso (5♥) is a slick, clean-lined, high-ceilinged coffee shop at the base of a modern city-centre building and does fantastic coffee.
They've balanced their passions for coffee, contemporary architecture and Italy as perfectly as they do their brews. That said, it is really all about the coffee which is superb. 'The Lab's' bespoke house blend is from HasBean, which sits comfortably alongside ever-changing guest beans from all over Europe.
They were one of the first in Scotland to take a high-precision approach to brewing: exacting care taken to weighing, dialling in, timing and extraction that we've now come to expect more generally from high end specialty coffee shops. Stopping in here you can expect to see as many as four high calibre single origins from all over the coffee-growing world.
Speaking of which, one of the best treats on offer here are the ever-changing guest beans. The owners travel regularly to discover and try new coffees with the express purpose of bringing them back to their grateful customers. They buy in bulk so they can offer people something they've not tried before, and always offer their new-found coffees in retail bags for home-brewers. They ideally want visitors and locals alike to keep coming back to try new things. During the warmer months they also have their own cold brew available.
On the architecture front, this is a unique shop that has more seats outside than inside and almost seems taller than it is wide. Recognised by the industry when it was opened, the interior ceiling and walls above head-height are lined with hundreds of thin pieces of reclaimed timber, floating above the concrete, brick and glass shop floor area.
Much of the food on offer is thoroughly Italian, provided by local, family-run Eusebi Deli. You'll find sandwiches, cannoli, cakes, biscotti, chocolates and other Italian treats.