It may have been blowing a gale on the streets of Auld Reekie last night but Edinburgh yelpers braved the elements to brew up a storm in a coffee cup at their first Elite Event: Yelp's Brewed Awakening @ Artisan Roast! And what better way to keep warm than by savouring their own hand-made flat whites, modelling for Artisan's in-house artist Si, and feasting on the finest fare from Thyme, accompanied by delectable wines and ales from Villeneuve Wines?
Michael and Lukasz, Artisan's "uber-baristas", were the perfect hosts for the evening. For some like Chris M who previously "couldn't tell a macchiato from a flat white or a cappucino from a cinqucento, having the opportunity to learn the theory behind something he previously thought so cursory was incredible. He'd never appreciated how much goes into making the perfect coffee."
It was nothing short of a miracle that Michael and Lukasz managed to turn a 4-hour introduction to coffee crafting into a 30-minute caffeinated whirlwind, giving all 20 yelpers the chance to grind and brew their own espresso (tasting the three stages of a single shot) and heating the milk to velvety-smooth perfection for the latte art.
Artisan's passion, panache and pizzazz for exceptional coffee had the whole room buzzing. Milk was over-zealously sprayed, rogue cappuccinos were created, the phrase ‘coffee porn’ was used on more than one occasion and some delightful, if at times questionable, latte art was created. “My only concern” reflects Hilary H, “is that I now know TOO MUCH about good coffee, and won't be able to appreciate anything sub-par in the future.”
Several shots of espresso later, those yelpers were hungry. How often do a roomful of hungry yelpers not finish their food? Until last night, I’d wager never! A true testament to the lavish feast that Thyme provided in the shape of delicious wraps, rolls and plentiful platters of meats and cheeses: crayfish, rocket and cherry tomato wraps; chicken, avocado, and pesto rolls; falafel and roasted peppers; brie and apple; chili, tuna and cheddar to name but a few.
And with huge hunks of cheese, layers of meats, olives, fruit, relishes, fresh-baked breads and Scottish oatcakes its safe to say that Thyme outdid themselves in keeping these yelpers not only incredibly well-fed but waxing lyrical about those sarnies for hours after!
As if that wasn’t enough titillation for the tastebuds, Beth from Villeneuve Wines popped in to introduce the delightfully fresh Spanish white and fruity Spanish red she’d hand-picked to compliment the menu from Thyme. Throw in a selection of ten different fine ales and beers to sample – from fruity cherry, spicy ginger, to darker stouts – there wasn’t a yelper without a delicious drink in hand throughout the eve.
Amidst the grinding, sipping, munching, mmm-ing and ahh-ing, Simon penned each yelper's portrait Artisan style. The pictures speak for themselves, but with heads springing out of coffee cups and “Yelp Hearts Artisan” scribed alongside its safe to say Si managed to capture the essence of the night true to Artisan form!
The good times rolled late into the evening and it was well after 10pm before the last yelper left the building. “With the coffee, the food, the drinks and the company, it would have been a major feat for this evening to be anything but stellar. What's the word for something which is better than stellar?” asked Emily V later. “That was last night, something better than stellar.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
A huge thank you to everyone who made the first Edinburgh Elite Event such a better-than-stellar evening: Michael and Lukasz, Pauline, Beth, Si, Robin for the photies, Kay L and Chris M for helping out, and to all those yelpers that came along – you can’t have a party without the peeps. The elements can throw what they want at Edinburgh yelpers, that snow and hail had nothing on them!
Yelp Edinburgh Community Manager