Espresso Lab is a specialty coffee house serving a wide variety of gourmet coffee. Herbal tea, black tea, and fresh juices are also on offer. The café offers a variety of pre-packed sandwiches, salads, and sweet items: cookies, cakes, éclairs and cheesecakes. We visited Espresso Lab’s newest branch at The Waterway early on a Saturday morning.
Signature drink/dessert: Filtered coffee made using different methods and their in-house cheesecake selection.
Coffee sampled: When we arrived, a welcome scent of coffee travelled through the air. The place slowly started filling up, and a good vibe started buzzing. We sat down with Roastmaster, James Connie, a real coffee connoisseur and their in-house specialist on the art of coffee roasting. We engaged in conversation about the third wave of coffee – people who are looking for a more artisanal coffee beverage, unique, freshly roasted and crafted, and learned more about the concept of the place.
Espresso Lab grinds and serves coffee beans from a variety of countries. Latin America is represented by Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Coast Rica, whereas the African beans come mainly from Kenya and Tanzania.
There is so much to learn about coffee: The quality of coffee is based depending on the bean type, grade and roast. At Espresso Lab there are many ways to order and enjoy your coffee. Brewing methods like the French Press, Aeropress, or Hareo V60 and cold brew. The options allow you to adjust everything from the sweetness to the acidity of your coffee and we went for brewing methods that allowed us the most flavor from the selected beans.
We started off with a single shot of Colombian Espresso – a short cup full of density, texture and aroma. These are the highest quality beans in the market with a strong and rich fragrance and low acidity.
Our second option was a filtered Kenyan bean brewed in the Hareo V60 method, which is one of the most widely spread brewing methods in specialty coffee shops. We watched while our coffee was being prepared. The Espresso Lab’s unique experience of weighing the beans and the water for the right balance and best result seemed more like a scientific procedure: coffee made to precision. The Kenyan Hareo V60 had an earthy flavor due to its medium-roast beans.
We finished off our coffee tasting morning with a Santos Brazilian bean prepared on the Aeropress. Our Santos was much lighter than the previous two cups of coffee with a more mellow taste, partly due to its light to mid-roast. For us it tasted like home. We enjoyed our last cup of coffee accompanied by a thick slice of raspberry lemon cheesecake. The sweetness of the cheesecake cut down the acidity of the coffee.
Décor: Espresso Lab is entirely set up in the open air, offering a relaxing and inviting spot for a cup of coffee with some work or business meeting. Red brick walls decorated with graffiti contrast with the black marble counter. Red and black colors are predominant and the wooden stairs are topped with cushions to serve as an extra seating area.
Clientele mix: During weekdays, white collar workers and business types grab and go, with more families, group of friends, and their frequent clients over the weekend.
Price range: Moderate to splurge.
Opening hours: 24/7
Address: The Waterway – Mohammed Nagib Axis, New Cairo
Facebook and Instagram: @espressolabEG