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I love coffee. Good coffee, bad coffee, I’m not too fussy. I just love the stuff.

Actually, I am fussy. I probably just completely lied to you because I haven’t had a caffeine hit in the last ten minutes.

There’s not many things that are worse than arriving at a cafe and being served a coffee that tastes like a particularly foul combination of tar, semen and cigarette ash. But sadly, that is what you sometimes get.

The best coffee? The first one of the day, absolutely. That is the one coffee that I’m honestly not ever too fussed about. It just needs to be coffee. The second one is where quality actually matters.

So imagine how freaking thrilled I was when I found out that a mate of mine, who owns a cafe, was going to teach me and a friend how to do milk? There’s more to it than you’d think. The sound, the smell, the avoidance of rice flavour – this stuff matters. We spent a full day at the coffee machine, frothing and spitting and spilling. Then we tried using milk.

Spirals and cyclones and angel kisses. Crazy. Crazy! But it works!

Or it could have just been that I was being taught by the MASTER.

My mate – Sharryn – had opened this cafe a year or so ago. She already had a brilliant reputation for making amazing coffee, and she could even do those fancy pictures in the froth (milk art, I’m told).

Anyway, it just so happens that her cafe is located in Salt Ash, which is kind of near me. It’s in Port Stephens. Yesterday, the area was hit by some pretty savage bush fires. So Sharryn did what Sharryn does best: took care of people.

ImageThe people who live in Salt Ash had started as her customers but had quickly become friends. So, leaving her safe and snug home, Sharryn opened her cafe so that the emergency service workers, evacuated people, and people who couldn’t get home would have somewhere safe to get food and drink.

She swung open her doors and welcomed them.

Salt Ash Cafe stayed open all night. Sharryn even stayed so that she could make sure her early morning regulars could still get their coffees.

And today, Sharryn is receiving bucketloads of praise. Which she totally and utterly deserves.

If you are local to Port Stephens or Newcastle, let me encourage to head down and visit Sharryn at the Salt Ash Cafe. She’s a total champion.

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