World Coffee Day – Uncommon café Borough: Meet Tom

Happy International Coffee Day! We all know coffee isn’t just a caffeine-kick. It’s a drink for when you want to catch-up with your friends at your favourite local boutique café, to warm you up on a winter day or to drink iced during a heatwave. It’s a drink that brings us together, no matter where in the world you are. It’s a shared love language, so it’s only right that we have a day dedicated to it.

There are a few coffee days throughout the year. There’s one on September 29th and one on October 1st – the perfect mark to start-up the Autumn Season. Our philosophy at Uncommon is that it’s coffee day, everyday.

One of the great benefits of having a membership at Uncommon is that we understand coffee culture better than most. Each Uncommon work space houses its own café, offering incredibly high-quality coffee by Assembly Coffee, alongside healthy snacks and drinks. 

Here is our interview with Tom, who is the Barista at Uncommon Borough.

Tell us a little bit about your background F&B background, and how your journey led up to Uncommon

I have been working in specialty coffee for five years now, most recently I was working for Redemption Roasters and the CoffeeWorks Project. 

What is your favourite part about the Uncommon café and your role?

I really enjoy the feel of the space and making connections with clients, being able to anticipate and fulfil their needs. 

What is the most popular coffee order at Borough?

In the three weeks I have been working at Borough it seems I’m mostly serving lattes and flat whites, and oat milk seems to be particularly popular here. 

What is your favourite drink to make? Any tips you can share on making the perfect cup?

I think my favourite drink to make, since due to their popularity I have had lots of practice making them, is a flat white. I also enjoy preparing pour overs, but they have become increasingly rare in the London coffee scene. If preparing coffee at home, I would advise only using freshly ground beans (so having a grinder which gives you the perfect fine versus coarse grind for the brewing method), only using filtered water, and sticking to the correct coffee to water ratio – so 2ml of water to 1 gram of coffee for espresso (a standard recipe typically being 18 grams of coffee with a yield of 36 grams of espresso, usually with an extraction time in the range of 25-35 seconds, adjusting according to flavour), and when preparing filter coffee sticking to 16ml of water to 1 gram of coffee (so this means having a digital scale is also essential). 

Do you know any interesting/unusual facts about coffee you’d like to share with us?

It is rumoured that the term Americano comes from the Second World War, as American troops based in Italy would dilute their espressos with hot water to give them a drink similar to the filter coffee they were used to back home. 

And how do you like to take your coffee?

I usually drink flat whites or filter coffee, but will try an espresso if somewhere is serving a particularly unique origin of coffee. 

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