Delicately lacing the air with its renowned aroma, it slowly ebbs its way around a room penetrating your nostrils as if it has some sort of spell over you. You hold it in your hands, the warming sensation comforting and reassuring. As you look down, the steam rises from its hot dark and enticing fluid, a molten pleasure that longs to be explored by your mouth. As your lips open, the bitter intensity envelopes your taste buds, you close your eyes as you take your first sip. Like sinking into a warm duvet it’s somehow immediately soothing. You continue to indulge in it’s addictive enjoyment and wonder how something so simple can have such and impact, and then you are ready for your day! That’s right, I am talking about coffee.
According to the British Coffee Association; coffee is the most popular drink worldwide, with two billion cups drunk every single day, fifty five million of those in the UK alone. Edinburgh has seen a dramatic increase in coffee shops, especially within the artisan and speciality sector and being a coffee lover myself I am always excited to see how fast the scene is growing.
Burr & Co, owned by Principal Hotel on Edinburgh’s prestigious George Street, has always been one of my favourite places to meet friends for a great quality coffee in beautiful surroundings. When visiting Burr & Co, it always seems to conjure up some nostalgic feeling within me, reminding me of my travels to Paris. It has a cosy yet sophisticated atmosphere, reminiscent of the brasseries you find in Paris, where everyone is huddled together enjoying their chats and coffee, so much so they do not notice what is going on around them.
Being one of my favourite coffee shops in Edinburgh, when they invited me along to a tasting session, I jumped at the chance. Only this time they took it to another level and revealed a new partnership with Cafe Courvoisier, the distinct and sophisticated Cognac.
The evening started with one of my favourite drinks, an espresso martini. Usually when i have one of these it is blended with vodka and can sometimes come across quite flat, however paired with this luxurious cognac, it seemed to take the drink to a new level.
It paired with the coffee so well as if the match was truly made in heaven. Sophisticated notes of toasted almonds, peach and vanilla delicately waved through the strong bitterness of the smooth delicious coffee.
We were then given an insight into the unique history of this beautiful cognac, its flavours, how and where it is produced. This was all made more interesting by the visible passion that exuded from one of Courvoisier’s ambassadors; Rebecca Asseline. Closing our eyes and filling our nostrils with the scents from each of the samples of Cognac in front of us, Rebecca took us on a fragrance journey. Slowly explaining each of the notes that were present allowing us to truly appreciate the complexity of the drink before we mixed it with a paired coffee.
Burr & Co’s manager; Natalie Hunter, then explained about the blends of coffee that they expertly paired with the cognac. She spoke about the flavours that they bring and the unique qualities which make them perfect to combine with this warming drink. Burr & Co used their George Street blend coffee, roasted and made especially for them by Caravan Coffee Roasters (voted best coffee by Observer Food Monthly) which evidently proved to be an excellent choice.
We were also introduced to a surprisingly tasty decaffeinated blend which most of the us actually enjoyed. I say as such because unlike some decaffeinated coffees that can taste lifeless and watered down, it had a very smooth taste with a dark and intense body to it, definitely one to try if you visit Burr & Co and are watching your caffeine intake.
Well done Burr & Co and Cafe Courvoisier for such an informative and interesting evening. If you are in Edinburgh and want to experience a coffee shop with great customer service, beautiful coffee and of course their new cognac and coffee creations, then I definitely recommend Burr & Co.