August 07, 2017

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Meet the team: Rob

Name: Rob Menzies

Role at Machina: Wholesale/warehouse/sales guy

At Machina, you will normally find me... In our warehouse, constantly on the phone while rummaging around pallets of cups and saucers.

To me, coffee is... A constant learning experience.

What is your go-to coffee? I’m definitely a filter coffee guy, I like light, bright and fruity coffees. Manual pour over can be a bit frustrating but amazing when you get it right.

What kit do you use to make coffee at home? I use Chemex, V60 and a Feldgrind.

Best coffee experience ever: Visiting a coffee farm in Boquete in Panama was pretty cool. Saw some Geisha plants - it was interesting to see what techniques they use to maintain the crop but also how many farmers had diversified and were growing coffee in addition to other crops.

Worst coffee experience ever: I had a filter coffee from a guesthouse on a small island off Nicaragua. It genuinely tasted like it had been brewed using sea water.

What's the biggest cafe no-no in your opinion? I think the biggest cafe no-no is when staff feel they need to adopt a certain attitude to work in speciality coffee. The industry is always talking about ‘engaging’ with customers but lots of places I visit have staff who come across as cold. Also; coffee sacks on the wall.

How did you end up working in coffee? I started as a barista for Starbucks before I went to uni. I worked in cafes for while but then got interested in the business side of things so joined a company importing roasted coffee from the US. After a few years, I could see the speciality scene growing in Edinburgh so applied for a job with Machina. Still haven’t been sacked...

Out of 10 how much of a coffee geek are you? If there’s a coffee machine in the background of a film/tv show, I’ll try and name the make and model. 6.5/10.

Top coffee tip: Taste everything you can.

Most underrated hot beverage in your humble opinion: Bovril.

What do you like to do when you're not drinking coffee? Eating good food and drinking nice beer.

What albums are in your current rotation? Any late-80’s indie pop - I’ve got a soft spot for jangly guitars. At the moment I’m listening to Future Islands and revisiting lots of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.

Guiltiest pleasure: Mid-90’s dance pop. ‘U Sure Do’ by Strike is particularly poignant.


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