The First Ever Deaf Barista Competition!

Thursday, 20 July, 2017

The first ever Deaf Barista Competition!  Deaf Baristas from Left to Right: Thabo, Mduduzi, Rachel, Thandiwe, Kendal (translator), Esther Maasdam (WCE All Star), Harold, Samukelo, Johnson (Ciro Deaf Barista trainer), Umpaul (WCE All Star)

"I can honestly say that this is the best experience of my life. Better than winning Latte Art and Cup Tasters, better than any coffee experience I've had before."

Esther Maasdam, Dutch Latte Art and Cup Tasters Champ in different years and current WCE All Star, was overwhelmed by the passion and skill of the 6 deaf baristas who competed on stage at Coffee&Chocolate this past weekend. 

She was not alone, the entire crowd and the whole team who made the competition possible were also emotional and ecstatic at the bravery of these wonderful baristas. 

The winner, Mduduzi who works at the Spar Bean Tree in Melville, is leading the way educating his team in sign language with his enthusiasm and charm and it showed on stage.

"It was so hard to judge, because I just wanted all of you to win!!"

Lani Snyman of Ciro Beverage Solutions has brought together an amazing group of people and companies to make this happen and better still has secured sponsorship from UNISA for a further 40 baristas 

If you or your company wants to sponsor a deaf person to do the UNISA "Introduction to Coffee" short course through eDEAF, the cost is R2700 per person, and there are 15 more Sponsiorships needed - go here to read more
or just email

Esther hugs the winner, Mduduzi.

Mduduzi runs through his set with the judges.

Rachel smiles for the judges...

...before putting down an excellent set!

Samukelo, only 21, was incredibly nervous but did very well considering the pressure!

Thabo, gives the thumbs up. 

Harold watches the sign language interpretation of WCE All Star Esther, as she congratulates the baristas

Thandiwe signs her name and introduces herself to the judges.

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