They stand behind a bar, hands busy twirling knobs, grabbing glassware or working taps. All while calmly asking you about your day. Interactions with them are often quick, but meaningful. For many of us, seeing our barista or bartender can often be the most worthwhile meeting of the day. 

Drinks wouldn’t be what they are without the people who create and serve them. So, as part of the Tipple Town issue, we put the call out on Facebook to find the Region’s best barista and bar tender. As voted by our followers, congratulations to long term locals Britt Milton and Shae Felix.

BEST BARISTA  |  Britt Milton

There is no room for error when you are standing between a customer and their morning cup of coffee – it has to be right, and it has to be good. It is clearly something Britt Milton at Indulge Cafe has got down to a fine art.

“I love the challenge of being a barista. When it is so busy in here it really pushes you to be better,” Britt said.

“To make a really good cup of coffee, you have to pay attention to everything that is going on, because every little part of it matters. It is more than just putting together good coffee and hot milk.”

While she definitely prefers a milkshake more often than not, when it comes to coffee, Britt likes simplicity.

“I love a good, old-fashioned latte. Just plain coffee, but make it strong,” she said.

BEST BARTENDER  |   Shae Felix

Hospitality was not the career Shae Felix expected to have.

“I’ve always had a passion for drinks and loved creating things at home. I walked past Bert’s every day on my way to work as a travel agent, and one day I just decided to walk in and ask for a job,” Shae said.

Shae, who now works at the Spotted Dog Tavern, said she loves the variety that comes with being a bartender.

“You can change the menu and introduce a whole new range of cocktails, and that is really exciting,” she said.

“I really love when people ask me what they should drink. I love sitting down with customers and determining what to create for them. I love coming up with really awkward flavours that you don’t think would work together, but they just do.”

When it comes to mixing her own drink, Shae likes the classics.

“I love a dirty gin martini. It is such a complex drink, but so simple to make,” she said.