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Day in the Life: Fergus McCoss, owner of Hinba coffee roaster

This roaster and cafe owner on dividing his time between Oban and Glasgow

Published: July 8, 2022
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5am

Coffee before anything else - I have a Peruvian Americano to start the day. Then, I get ready to go to the gym. I always try to get it done first thing so there are no distractions. I am coming out of retirement from rugby next season, so I need to get ready. 

7am

My partner Ness and I take the time to have breakfast - good old porridge is the usual. We run the business together so this doubles as our early morning meeting. We write a to-do list to get our heads round everything we have to do for both cafes and the roastery, as it can be quite overwhelming.

9am

I could be doing anything, depending on what day of the week it is and whether I’m working in Oban or Glasgow. There has been loads to juggle since we opened our new Dumbarton Road café. I spend a lot more time in my car. Wherever I am, I do the job that needs doing, whether it’s being a barista, front of house or roaster. Through Covid, we built an amazing tight-knit team at our shops, so we enjoy spending time working together.

11am

It’s coffee time again, mid-morning I usually go for something milky. My go-to is a Guatemalan flat white, while Ness has a Brazil latte.

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1.30pm

Lunch. I love to tuck into some empanadas. They were a staple growing up in Argentina and my love for them was rekindled when we lived in Palma. Eating them became a ritual for us when we lived there, and it still is.

3pm

On a roast day, this is normally when we finish roasting. We then begin quality control, which involves tasting every batch to make sure it matches the profiles we are trying to achieve. Roasting is a science and art, unlocking flavours that are locked inside the beans. Next, we prep bags, pack and get orders ready to ship. We batch roast our orders once a week, which means we can really focus on a roast day, and only ship out the freshest coffee to our customers and wholesale clients.

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4pm

This is when we close the cafe, so we clean to make sure everything is ready for the next day. With all the care and attention that goes into roasting, we want to make sure we are always serving the highest quality coffee every single day.

6.30pm

Ness and I take the dogs for a walk at the end of the day, whether we are on the West Coast enjoying a windswept walk along the shore or exploring new parts of Glasgow.. We try not to talk about work too much, but we do like to review the day. Ness moved here from Germany four years ago, so it’s all still so fresh and exciting.

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9pm

We eat late - it’s a habit we picked up in Spain. We love to cook Asian-influenced food and enjoy a glass of wine. Then we watch Netflix before bed. We’re a bit late to the party but Breaking Bad is our current series.

11pm

We head to bed and I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

www.hinba.co.uk

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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