Welcome to the latest edition of our series, Common People, where we introduce you to the incredible people that make up the Common family. This time, we sat down for a coffee with our Roastery Manager Michael.
What’s your go-to coffee order and what does this reveal about your personality?
Oh, a tough question. It depends on the café and setting. For me, I prefer sitting in a café and soaking in the atmosphere. A flat white with full-fat milk, and not too hot!
What role does coffee play in your life and why does it matter to you?
I’ve worked in coffee for almost 10 years now, so it has been a significant part of my life and almost my entire career. Besides the caffeine hit in the morning, the whole concept of café culture and how we enjoy coffee is what matters. Nothing beats standing at a bustling espresso bar in Italy, a cappuccino in one hand, pastry in the other. And yes, I do dunk my croissant in my coffee…
Which is your favourite Common roast and why?
Before I joined Common, we used their Sweet Roast in the café. Since trying it for the first time, it’s always been one of my favourites. Perfect with milk and easy-drinking as a filter. It’s a great coffee for everyone and a good gateway into the world of funky and interesting coffees out there.
How does coffee fit into your idea of connection?
Coffee has a huge impact on connecting with people, especially from a barista's side. You might be lucky enough to be a ‘regular’ at your local café and know what it's like to walk into your favorite coffee shop, where everyone knows your name and coffee order – a small taste of being a celebrity. Some of the best conversations I’ve had were with customers who popped in for their daily coffee. Maybe they needed to rant about their life, ask a question, or share a funny story. A cup of coffee is a perfect tool for this.
Can you share a memorable moment when you connected with someone over a cup of coffee?
The one that stands out for me the most is probably my first ‘good’ cup of coffee. It was a café in Edinburgh; I was visiting for the day and missed my bus home. So, I popped into the nearest coffee shop I could find. The barista asked what I would like, and for some reason, I asked for something different. She said, “Oh, we have this coffee from Germany if you’d like to try it.” Not knowing much about how coffee was produced, I assumed it was grown in Germany. She said it tastes like marmalade. To my delight, it was very accurate, exactly like marmalade on toast. The following week I couldn’t stop thinking about it. A few days later, I asked my local coffee shop for a job because I knew I wanted to get involved with this wonderfully exciting beverage. Flavour and food have always really excited me, so knowing you can experience this from a cup of coffee was how it all started. The coffee was a Natural Brazil, roasted by The Barn, served as a flat white from Fortitude, at their café on York Place.