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Tuesday, 09 July 2019 06:00

Two Cappuccinos Please


2019.36.Two Cappuchinos Please.Main Blog Image


In my life before joining the sisters I was a barista – well I never officially trained as one, but in the café that I worked during high school and university I spent many shifts making cappuccinos, flat whites, mochas, hot chocolates, long blacks and more. Believe it or not, my job making coffees has many great life lessons not just for sisters but for anyone, whether or not you are an avid coffee drinker.

So even though I do not actually like to drink coffee, here are the things that I love about it.

  • Skim milk is easier to froth than full-cream milk

I am no scientist and can’t explain why, but the fact is that skim milk is much easier to froth. It fills with air and becomes light and fluffy much more easily than full-cream milk. Perhaps this is an encouragement to live a simple life, that the less we have, the easier it is to be light and free.

  • It is possible to have fun folding hundreds of serviettes in half

What has this got to do with coffee – well, in the café I worked this was our task whenever there were no coffees to make. We would often try to make this a bit more interesting by turning it into a race to see who could fold their pack of 250 serviettes first. It is a reminder, I think, that even the most mundane things in life can be enjoyable if we have the right attitude.

  • You never quite know who you are going to meet

We had our regulars, like an old man who came in almost daily for bacon and eggs and a long black. But perhaps one of my more exciting memories was the day I met and served Joyce Jacobs, also known as Esme Watson from A Country Practice, an 80’s Aussie TV show that I loved. She was really sweet and polite. Funnily enough, after many years I still remember what she ordered (a flat white and an asparagus sandwich on brown bread if you are interested). Perhaps I remember these customers in particular because in some way they made an impact on me, probably without even knowing it. As I reflect now, I realise that we can never quite know who we will make an impact on ourselves.

  • Coffee has a unique way of bringing people together

The café would often be quite loud, filled with the happy banter of friends catching up. Some were surrounded by shopping bags and had spontaneously decided to stop for a coffee, whereas for others meeting for coffee was a more intentional plan. Whatever the case though, coffee has a way of giving people space to stop and relax and simply be with each other. It is a reminder to make the most of every moment we have with friends, acquaintances and even strangers who we encounter in our day-to-day life.

So next time you grab a coffee, don’t forget there may just be some new life lesson you discover.

Mel Edwards