Ask the Roaster - Steve from Machina Coffee Roasters
How was the Roastery founded, what was the inspiration?
Machina was started by Steve Glencross - ex-DJ and record label A&R man. After 20 years in music, he wanted a new challenge and coffee fitted the bill – creative, but less travel and marginally less hectic. He runs the business with Michael McCracken, a long-time coffee industry professional with a background in training and engineering.
Machina started out as a premium equipment business in 2013 distributing Rocket Espresso Machines, Eureka Grinders and Inker POR, with the long-term goal of becoming a speciality coffee roastery. Instead of taking on various offers of investment, we opted to grow organically and raise the funds ourselves, meaning we retained the long-term vision of the company, without influence from money people – were very glad we made this choice. The business then moved into roasting in 2017 and have gone on to become one of the leading roasteries in Scotland, with their coffee finding its way into some of the best speciality coffee houses across Europe.
Machina is defined by two key things. Firstly, the roastery’s goal is to bridge the gap between what is deemed speciality and the rest of the coffee drinking planet – less barriers to understanding what should be enjoyed by everyone. Secondly, is to make the process of choosing and buying equipment an enjoyable and easy process and not make people feel confused or unsupported.
What's your favourite part about working at the Roastery?
The Machina roastery is a very busy, but low-key place – which we love. The staff all have a common theme, which is hardworking and laid back, with a professional level of sarcasm at play. Work hard play hard philosophy at it’s best.
What's your proudest accomplishment?
We’re not too down with Sprudgies or anything. That’s not really our thing. Stuff we are proud of is more staff related, and in particular, during 2020 (lockdown), our core team showed the kind of steely determination that pretty much defines Machina as an organisation. We felt COVID very close to home in the very first month of it all starting (March 2020) and it hit us to the core. The support and determination of our team was nothing short of amazing and showed a sign of solidarity that we were very proud of.
What's your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?
Other than our very own original Tollcross Café, which brought a little bit of joy to an otherwise run-down area, I personally love Intelligentsia (Venice, US) and Bear Pond (Shimokitizawa, JP).
What three words best describe your Roastery?
Honest - Sarcastic - Hardworking.
Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?
That’s easy. A Greyhound, with a fleece winter coat. We used to have one called Fred. He was very lovable but was a very crap racer due to his squinty eye. You can look him up on the Dublin greyhound database - he only ever came last or 2nd last. What he lacked in speed, he replaced in affection.