Starting out with just a VW van at Stockbridge market and a coffee roaster in the garage, Steampunk Coffee has grown into a Scottish heavyweight of flavour. Based in North Berwick, Steampunk is passionate about sharing great coffee with others. Owned by Catherine Franks, the roastery is open to the public and is home to a delicious café. Visitors are welcome to pop in for a coffee and a cake or a spot of lunch and are encouraged to see the roasting of the beans.
There are few greater joys than spending time with friends with a great coffee in your hand, and there are few better places to do just that than Steampunk. According to many Scottish coffee enthusiasts (myself included), they offer some of the best coffee in Scotland. Catherine spoke to us about how that made her feel.
“That is very flattering, especially as there are so many super coffee roasters out there. It’s great to see new small roasters setting up all over the country. Hopefully, we will soon be like the US or Australia with great micro roasteries on every corner!”
Of course, the roasters are just a small part of the picture. The growers and pickers of the coffee cherries, the people who process and screen the beans and the companies that source the coffees all play a part. Without one, the other couldn’t do their job and roasteries like Steampunk wouldn’t be able to produce such delicious coffee.
Catherine has dedicated herself to forging close links both growers and roasters on either side of the equation. The great flavour doesn’t just appear, great care goes into making them the very best they can possibly be.
“Great coffee is only possible by continually striving to improve at each one of these stages. We are so happy to work with green bean sourcing companies such as Nordic Approach who take a real ethical and quality driven approach to sourcing their coffees. We buy the very best beans we can find and then roast them with great care to honour all the hard work that has gone before us.”
Customer feedback is always welcome at Steampunk, and Catherine encourages visitors to find out how they can develop and improve. Getting the best from the beans is no mean feat. From recording roast profiles to cupping notes, sampling roasts to varying brew methods, the team strives to give customers maximum flavour in every sip…and we can assure you, they do just that!
Correct us if we are wrong, but is there anything that complements a delicious cup of coffee like an indulgent slice of cake? Using recipes passed down by generation to generation and others that have been developed in-house, the team bakes daily. There is no other way to describe their brownies and granola than utterly spectacular. Catherine, herself admits that some customers may have a love for them verging an addiction, and we can certainly include ourselves on that list.
Supporting local producers is central to the ethos of Steampunk. Bread is brought in by Ross Baxter of Bostock, a talented local baker while Ailey Mae’s supplies the raw chocolate. With vegetables and eggs sourced from Knowes Farm, Steampunk customers can feel confident in the knowledge that they know where their food comes from.
“Building great relationships with high-quality businesses has been a core part of what we do since day one. When we have Ailey Mae’s Raw Chocolate, NB Gin, Cuddybridge Apple juice, The Chocolate Tree, The Big Blu (pizza) all on our doorstep why not work with them?”
Steampunk are keen to continue to develop, and by hosting various events and striking up local partnerships, they are doing just that.
“The Big Blu, an awesome Dunbar-based Citroen van (fitted with a wood fired pizza oven), comes down to our cobbled terrace every Friday night. We stay open till 7 and while he makes fabulous pizzas we serve coffees and cakes to go alongside. Another great night is hosted by The Mad March Hare which runs a pop-up restaurant once a month. They set up an Argentinian barbecue out front and serve a feast of locally sourced and home produced goodies in amazing style!”
Who’s it for?: Coffee Connoisseurs.
The specifics: Low key, laid back and welcoming, Steampunk is the perfect combination of style, value for money and quality.
At first Glance: Great space, perfect for a snack, coffee or lunch post North Berwick walk.
Bill of Fare: Homemade cakes, local produce and coffee roasted on site.
The Frontrunners: An Espresso and a Granola Bar…we have known people to travel there to sample the fresh baking from all over Scotland.
The Feeling: You might just never want to leave. The perfect place to spend a Saturday morning.
The Team: Welcoming staff, always happy to answer questions and helpful without being overbearing. The extended Steampunk team includes local bakers, butchers, farms, choholate producers and many more.
Doubtful: We have nothing negative to say about Steampunk. We wish it was closer, but it gives us a great reason to get in the car and spend days off in North Berwick.
The Bottom Line: Reasonable prices. Cards accepted.
Find them: 49A Kirk Ports, North Berwick, East Lothian EH39 4HL