Machina was founded when, Managing Director, Steve Glencross, decided to move on from the music industry and follow a new path...
Coffee fitted the bill perfectly. Less travel, but still bringing people together through a collective experience and still focusing on a creative passion that he could share with everyone.
A New Wave for Coffee
Around 2004 the Edinburgh coffee scene had just started to enter the 'third wave', but it was definitely in its humble beginnings of hipster-dom, which was not really what he had in mind for Machina. When he left the city to work in the South and travel, he already had plans to return with his version of a coffee business.
Steve then spent the best part of two years researching coffee scenes around the world, from Wellington & Auckland, LA, Portland & NYC through to Tokyo, London and more (to the ongoing annoyance of his wife). What he found was that coffee culture wasn't all rustic and hip, in fact it was developing a new style driven by aesthetics and knowledge.
Places like Intelligentsia
in LA, Gimme Coffee in Brooklyn, Customs
in Wellington and Bear Pond
in Shimokitazawa were inspirations behind what ended up influencing how Machina was created. They helped fuel the ideas of fusing coffee retail, Scandi design, multi roaster offerings and reducing barriers to understanding all key to the model.
Great service was not something the UK was famed for, and coffee had a somewhat snooty reputation, two things Steve was determined to challenge with Machina. The kind of experience Steve experienced in places like Intelligentsia in LA, demonstrated how good a customer service experience could and should be. This was one of the main things that was shouting out to be done in the UK.
A Lifelong Passion
Michael, a man who had been engrossed in coffee since he left school was looking for a new avenue to channel his skills and passion.
With numerous barista jobs and a training school for Scottish barista's under his belt, he was ready for a new project to work on. He was fascinated with equipment and loved taking things apart and putting them back together again (Steve does not), so the opportunity to come on board with Machina and start developing a premium equipment business was clearly too much for him to resist.
Together they found there was a rising demand for two things: 1) Coffee equipment offered from people who actually knew what they were taking about, and 2) less attitude and a more grounded approach to service.
From there, the project grew legs and resulted in what you see today. A café, a roastery, a service area, a quality control lab, distribution of the best brands in the industry and lots of Inker cups (that's lots of cups).
Machina has been part chore, part joy. But the outcome is one we hope you all enjoy. We hope you find the coffee (and kit) you're looking for and find the process fun, not a headache, as that has always been our goal.
Making great coffee accessible to all.