An Interview with Steampunk Coffee

Steampunk Coffee’s mantra is to make the best coffee, in an accessible and friendly manner. You can attend free workshops to learn how to get the most from home brewing, meet them for a smiley chat at Stockbridge Market in Edinburgh on a Sunday over a filter coffee, or pop into their shop for a hot drink with your dog after a cold morning walk.

It all started for Catherine — Steampunk’s founder — back in 2011 at that market in Edinburgh. Serving from a 1976 classic Volkswagen van. She started taking it to markets and festivals, whilst later roasting their own coffee in a garage with her business partner at the time. Fast forward to today and they still serve coffee from a Volkswagen on a Sunday, but come March 2017 they’ll have had a permanent home in a stunning refurbished warehouse come antique shop in North Berwick for three years.

It’s their home in North Berwick where they roast their beans now. They outgrew that garage pretty quickly. Their roasted beans aren’t just for their shop either, they send them all over the place. Including to your home if you pick up one of their subscriptions. The bean’s origins though are important to Steampunk. Catherine explained they make sure all their beans are traceable and ethically sourced.

You can tell from their coffeeshop where the name Steampunk comes from. It’s a metaphor for their ethos to reuse, recycle, and create a fusion between the old and new. Catherine assures me that there wasn’t any interior designer involved in their shop. In that case, I think she can add interior design to her list of talents.

In order to keep her business running smoothly, Catherine’s taken it upon herself to run her website using Shopify so she can be agile in her approach, she does all of her social media work, and even finds the time to setup tutorial videos on YouTube. Further hitting home the admirable accessible and sharing mantra.

In years to come, Catherine wants to continue building Steampunk into a well known and respected roaster in the UK and Europe. Further developing their website to make it easy to buy beans online. Steampunk will become a guest roaster in cafes here and in Europe further extending the reach of the brand.

Catherine has a passion for local business. All of their produce is sourced locally, be it the bread from Bostock around the corner, or their chocolate bars which are made right next door.

When asked what advice she’d give others looking to setup their own business, she said, “have your business aims and ethos clear in your head. Understand why you want to run that business — what’s important to you — and don’t be diverted.”

One thing is for sure about Steampunk — their passion about coffee is infectious.