Build up to SCASA Nationals 2017

Tuesday, 4 April, 2017
Name: Angeline McLagan
Company: Urban Espress Coffee Co
Region: Eastern Cape
Winner Eastern Cape Regionals



What is it about coffee that gets you fired up?
Absolutely everything about it …Where it was discovered , How it was discovered (It’s humble beginnings )
How it’s grown with great care , sourced , roasted and more importantly how it has gripped the hearts of those who have grown to love it and not managed to go through a single day without consuming this exquisite liquid gold since first enjoying it.

The glorious aroma of the coffee blossom , The fragrance of the bean after being de pulped, the heavenly smell of a bean roasting , the enticing smell of freshly ground coffee. The list goes on.

What also gets me fired up is that we as baristas get to bring out the very best characteristics of this beautiful and rare commodity. Relish in it, serve it to our customers and have them come on board and share in this beautiful addiction alongside us.

I love that it creates jobs for so many people and that coffee not only unites people from across the world , but from across the table and lastly the emotion that an awesome cup of coffee evokes in me and its overwhelming ability to comfort and brighten even the most frustrating of moments.

What, to you, is the most exciting trend in coffee right now?
I don’t have one particular trend that I am drawn to in our coffee industry . However , what I have witnessed over the past few years is seeing how our coffee drinkers are hungry for more knowledge on what it is that they are drinking. Its origin , How its grown and processed , the subtle flavors they can enjoy via different roasting and brewing methods. Many of them are no longer satisfied with average coffee. I also love the fact that the Coffee Farmers and their farms are being show cased far more J The unsung heroes!


How do you drink your coffee?
As I have been a barista Trainer for quite a few years , I find that I have become quite Espresso fatigued ( if there is such a thing ) I absolutely love enjoying a freshly ground and brewed coffee in its simplest form through either our clever dripper , Hario pour over and our Chemex. If I’m at one of our Cafes I enjoy a double ristretto served as a short Americano – Black . With a slice of lemon .

What's the biggest challenge you face in the build up to Nationals?

Finding adequate time to practice amidst the chaos of being a Wife , Mom , Café Owner and Barista Trainer :)

Why do you want to win this thing?
It would be an honour and a privilege to represent our beautiful Country and be an ambassador for our SA Coffee Industry. Although I am not the feminist type it would be pretty darn awesome being the first Lady National Barista Champion – Doing it for the girls. The thought of competing alongside other National Barista Champions on The world Coffee stage makes me giddy and super excited! What an incredible opportunity! Winning a Competition of this magnitude gains a Coffee Professional an enormous amount of credibility and can open many exciting doors internationally in our industry . I still have so much to learn :)

What's your best tip for people trying to make better coffee at home?
The beautiful thing is that you needn’t have a fancy espresso machine . A plunger is even a brilliant way of brewing your own coffee at home . Just ensure you have Filtered Water, sufficient coffee to water ratio. EG 15 to one ratio. The correct Grind size. In this case , a coarse grind. Your little scale is essential here, for weighing your grounds and your water. Ensure you brewing time is correct as well. No less than 4 minutes. The temperature of your water is important as well. Just off the boil. To ensure you don’t burn your coffee. It’s also helpful to heat your plunger and your cups with boiling water J So that your coffee is not to cold.

What and where is the best coffee you've tasted so far in 2017?
My husband Donovan Brought An exquisite West Jarva Garut Coffee roasted by Patrick O-Malley himself. It Was nothing short of incredible.(Chemex method)
 
 

Name: Kuda Gezi
Company: TriBeCa Coffee
Region: Western Cape
3rd Western Cape Regionals



What is it about coffee that gets you fired up?
The fact that I'm the most wanted guy at work to give people the all day fix 'Coffee'.It also makes my job as a Barista so important.

What, to you, is the most exciting trend in coffee right now?
To me it is the appreciation of my coffee that i serve to my Customer's almost every day.Cause they always Hash tag, Instagram or send on Twitter when they are having my coffee.haha!Works of social media hey!

How do you drink your coffee?
I take a Piccolo latte in the morning and some Pour Over as the day goes by.

What's the biggest challenge you face in the build up to Nationals?
Trying to get some time from busy schedules at work and getting time off to look for a place to train.lol sometimes i do it as i'm working with my Judges 'Customers' hahaha but still i'm overcoming all those challenges hey.


Why do you want to win this thing?
I really want to win this so that i as a Barista can grow and create a brand.In other words also to share my knowledge and experience to all coffee lovers.

What's your best tip for people trying to make better coffee at home?
Know your ratio of coffee g/ml of water , also know the importance of grind settings.Those are just simple basics for home Barista's.

What and where is the best coffee you've tasted so far in 2017?
Wow I had an opportunity of having the most expensive coffee in the world 'Kopi Luwak' here at Woolies Waterstone .One of my regular Customer brought a small bag for me.I made it in Espresso and Cappuccino , absolutely delicious hey!




Name: Bruce Manning
Region: KZN
Company: TriBeCa Coffee
Winner KZN Barista Champs



What is it about coffee that gets you fired up?
It’s never really the coffee itself – it’s the intention of the cafe owner / barista; my question is always ‘how important is coffee culture to you?’ – if i get the indication that they really embrace it and are curious, I’m all fired up to teach and demonstrate!

What, to you, is the most exciting trend in coffee right now?
We’re seeing more people learning about ‘varietal’ and why or how it may correlate with desirable characteristics that they may prefer in chemex/pour-over/ aeropress.

How do you drink your coffee?

I like mouth-feel and ‘body’, so finer-ground, medium roast Columbian-varietal, French press, unfiltered borehole water, kettle at 89c, brewed for 4 minutes. Served black and drunk only after cooling a bit in my cup.

What's the biggest challenge you face in the build up to Nationals?
Well, firstly to get a visa in time to fly to meet a microlot / microclimate farmer in the Canary Islands within 2 weeks; the next to ensure his bean performs as both a ‘perfect’ espresso yet satisfying sweet milk-based drink (and if not, to go with 2 different beans, and then juggle the whole process)

Why do you want to win this thing?

Previously i just wanted to participate and learn more, and winning wasn’t important - but the shift in standards and rules now clearly demonstrate that the winner/ finalists are recognised as profoundly skilled and specialised in the coffee industry.

What's your best tip for people trying to make better coffee at home?
It’s a ‘cooking’ process - think of coffee beans as the same protein structure as (fresh) eggs - moderate first contact with the heat and being vigilant and involved during the ‘cooking’ process will always improve the desired outcome.

What and where is the best coffee you've tasted so far in 2017?

I had never been to the ‘Boeremark’ – a market in Pretoria with only original and crafted wares that opens at 5am and ends by 8am! And there were already thousands of people there from sunrise!. A passionate coffee-loving stallholder was serving a medium roast Guatemala El Morito, and with sweet textured fresh cows’ milk – winner!!



Name: Winston Thomas
Region: Western Cape
Company: Origin Coffee Roasting
Winner Barista Champs Western Cape Regionals


Photo by Lee Henriques


What is it about coffee that gets you fired up?

The sensory and mental stimulation of coffee never gets old. Not to mention the fact that I get paid to work with coffee, which is something I would do for free!

What, to you, is the most exciting trend in coffee right now?
The accessibility of information and resources has got me pretty excited. I’ve seen so many people sharing their brewing insights and experience on social media within the past few weeks, some who work in coffee and others who don’t. It’s exciting to see the industry grow both locally and abroad.

How do you drink your coffee?
A cortado in the morning with sips of filter and espresso throughout the day.

What's the biggest challenge you face in the build up to Nationals?

Balancing my current work schedule with practise times and planning. Finding the energy to stay late after work to train and using off days for miscellaneous competition tasks. But this is what competing is about and overcoming the challenges is what makes competing really worth it.

Why do you want to win this thing?
I want to win this so that my hard work and sacrifices are not in vain. And winning creates a platform to learn and grow even more as a coffee professional. Although the purpose of competing is not to win. Rather to learn and grow and share ideas. Winning would just be the reward for all of this.

What's your best tip for people trying to make better coffee at home?
WATER. Use good filtered water. Many of our customers complain that the coffee they make at home does not taste close to what they have at our café. This is usually due to using tap water.

What and where is the best coffee you've tasted so far in 2017?
To be honest my competition coffee is probably the best I’ve tasted this year haha! I’m sure the list will grow in May though! But I’ve really been enjoying Espresso Labs Vitamin C. I’m not sure what coffee they use for the espresso but its combined with a raw honey and cold pressed ginger and lemon.

Name: Khulekani Mpala
Region: Gauteng
Company: TriBeCa Coffee
Winner of Gauteng Regional Barista Champs


SCASA Nationals is being held at Hostex 2017 at the Gallagher Convention Centre.

 
 

What is it about coffee that gets you fired up?
The realisation that coffee is more than just a beverage. It's a way of life. In one simple morning hour coffee touches all spectra of society and gets it ticking.

What, to you, is the most exciting trend in coffee right now?
The use of different tools like the OCD and scales to get the best out of a coffee.

How do you drink your coffee?
I enjoy chemex, black.

What's the biggest challenge you face in the build up to Nationals?

TIME......... It seems to have stood still!!! Let's get on with it!!!

Why do you want to win this thing?
I am motivated by the vision I have of going to the World Championships and showing the world that as South African baristas, we are world class. (And I don't want to win. I NEED to win!!!)

What's your best tip for people trying to make better coffee at home?
Make sure your coffee is ground to suit your brewing method. If you don't have a grinder at home, tell your supplier what equipment you use so that they grind it to that size. That's where a lot of people miss it.

What and where is the best coffee you've tasted so far in 2017?
Piccolo latte at Woolworths Cafe Sandton. Sounds biased because I train them ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!


Name: Fiks Khuzwayo
Region: KwaZulu Natal
Company: Mr Price Foundation
5th in Regional Barista Championships

Fiks is a first time competitor! So to get to Nationals is a huge achievement in itself. She has an amazing support crew from the Mr Price Foundation and she has a huge personality and an even bigger smile, we can't wait to see how her story unfolds.

The National Barista Championships will be hosted by Hostex 2017 from 7-9 May at Gallagher Estate.

 
Photo by Pierre Tostee

What is it about coffee that gets you fired up?

Everything about it gets me excited! It has been such a journey to this point and I feel like it is just the beginning for me.

What, to you, is the most exciting trend in coffee right now?

I think it is peoples appreciation for speciality coffee and its journey from bean to cup.

How do you drink your coffee?
I like a latte

What's the biggest challenge you face in the build up to Nationals?
For me, it’s definitely learning more about roasting and flavour profiles

Why do you want to win this thing?
Because I believe that this is the beginning of my journey. The coffee industry has opened me up to so much and I am hungry for more.

What's your best tip for people trying to make better coffee at home?
Know the story of your beans and invest in a good grinder

What and where is the best coffee you've tasted so far in 2017?
I would have to say my own, hahaha…. I haven’t actually been out anywhere yet for any coffee.



Name: Harry Mole
Region: Gauteng
Company: TriBeCa Coffee
2nd at GP Regionals Barista Champs
Winner at GP Regionals Cup Tasters





What is it about coffee that gets you fired up?


There's a saying by Katsu Tanaka, owner of Bear Pond in Japan. "Espresso is like the universe..." This saying is so relevant to my coffee journey as coffee is so part of my universe, the baristas I train and the happy customers we serve.

What, to you, is the most exciting trend in coffee right now?

Processing! The effect farmers have on flavour profiles is astonishing... I'm always happy to taste a coffee that has been processed differently to what we are used to.

How do you drink your coffee?

I start my day with a V60 and a new sample roasted coffee that reaches our shores. However I'm a sucker for a double shot Americano black.

What's the biggest challenge you face in the build up to Nationals?


Preparation of set materials and of course choosing the right coffee; as well as finding time during busy schedules to practice, but it's well worth it.

Why do you want to win this thing?

I would love to make coffee on the international stage and represent South Africa! Motivate my baristas to dream big as well as show my predecessors that I've taken their teachings with me.

What's your best tip for people trying to make better coffee at home?

Invest in a grinder and scale, play with your grind sizes and extraction ratios. A V60 is a fantastic playground to start your journey and can take your brewing game outdoors.

What and where is the best coffee you've tasted so far in 2017?

I had an amazing cortado at Exclusive Books at Clearwater Mall, served by Aaron. The Colombian varietal that Legado roasted was absolutely delicious!

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