In July 2018, The Coffee Magazine and it’s Partners will host the first ever Creative Coffee Week as well as the Coffee Magazine Awards presented by Selati Sugar at a Gala Dinner in Durban. How did this come about? Who is involved? And what can people expect?
From 24-28th July, Durban will be a hub of coffee activity. What follows is a bit of detail around the Events and the people that are involved and a taste of what you can look forward to!
Maxwell is well known is global coffee circles through his profile as a competitive Barista, a renowned coffee author of 2 books, an accomplished public speaker and owner of Colona Coffee – a very innovative company that does everything from specialty coffee capsules to creating Peak Water and funding it through Kickstarter. For South Africans, Maxwell is also a friend and ally as it was he who trained and assisted our very own, Winston Thomas at the WBC in Seoul last year.
“I am thrilled to be involved in the Inaugural Creative Coffee Week in Durban, Coffee events are integral to bringing the coffee community together and helping it flourish. Creative Coffee Week will be a truly unique approach.”
I can't really believe I haven't been to South Africa before to be honest. I have met and worked with numerous amazing people form the South Africa coffee scene. I have heard many stories and vivid descriptions of the country through these friends and acquaintances. I can't wait to visit.
I have high expectations for the natural beauty of the country! I am sure I wont be disappointed. I am lucky to be able to visit many cultures and places through coffee and I like soaking up and getting to know a place. The global coffee community means that you always feel at home. I generally let the people I visit tell me what to do, where to go and what to focus on."
Lem is also a very popular Global coffee figure. He is the 2015 US Barista Champion and placed in the top 6 WBC in Seattle in 2016. Lem is part of Black & White Roasters alonwith 2017 US Champ Kyle Rammage. We last bumped into Lem at the Coffee Masters in London where was the MC of the event, he is also an accomplished DJ and coffee writer.
“I’ve always wanted to visit South Africa since I was a teenager and now my opportunity is here and I’m a touch anxious. In order to gain a firsthand perspective on a culture new to me, I try to immerse myself in that culture mainly food, music and beverage; South Africa will be no different.”
“Over the last couple years I have been meeting more and more coffee professionals from South Africa. I am intrigued by the growing coffee scene and can’t wait to see and taste my way through South African Specialty Coffee. “
“I am honored to be invited across the world to participate in an historical coffee event; the inaugural Creative Coffee Week. I look forward to learning from South African coffee professionals. It is the sharing of information which positively drives our international coffee community forward.”
Teija is no stranger to South Africa, having spent the last few years as the WBC International Judge at the SA Nationals and also with a personal connection to Grahamstown, where her children attend school. Teija is based in Lusaka and run’s Marika’s Coffee and last year was the Head Judge in the Finals of the WBC.
“We currently have only one certified judge in whole of Africa, so we really have tried to push the WCEP certification to happen here in South Africa for a while already. Being certified gives the judge a chance to take part in World Barista Championships judges calibration and passing that chance to judge in World Barista Championships. Judging in World Champs is an amazing experience in anyone’s judging career, you get to taste all the amazing coffee’s from around the world and see the performances from the top barista’s.
I am very much looking forward to catching up with South African coffee people. It’s also exiting to be part of WCEP program and get to run the certification exams in Africa, my first exams were in 2009 in Kenya, and this is first time we are getting certification back to Africa since then.
Creative Coffee Week is a great idea! It brings different International standard training sessions together and gives South African coffee professionals a chance to certify on SCA programs as well as CQI Q graders program too in the same month. Hat’s off to anyone who manages to do all of them, it’s rather intensive!!
Ben Weiner bought a coffee farm called Finca Idealista in Nicaragua in 2007 with the misguided assumption that the farm would generate income selling on the local market, income he planned to use to conduct rural development projects in Nicaraguan communities.
Finca Idealista joined a cooperative that used certifications as part of its business model. They sold the coffee to both the coop and local exporters, unfortunately at a loss compared to the production costs.
Immediately, members of the coop approached Ben explaining that this system did not allow them enough income to feed their families. As a response, he created Gold Mountain Coffee Growers to connect both his own farm and other small farms directly with coffee roasters. They unfortunately could only include those farmers willing to take the steps necessary to produce high-cupping specialty coffee because that was the only way to fetch prices that would increase standards of living. And so Gold Mountain Coffee Growers was born.
“To tell the truth, I know very little about the coffee scene in South Africa, but I’m learning. My only connection to South Africa was organizing donations of textbooks from the US to send to economically-challenged communities here when I was in high-school. The books were used in schools and mobile libraries. Back then I didn’t even drink coffee (can you imagine?!).”
“From what Grant (of the Specialty Coffee Exchange of South Africa) has been telling me, there’s a coffee renaissance beginning in South Africa, as is happening in a bunch of countries throughout the world. I’m particularly excited about how the South African specialty coffee scene can have a positive social, economic, and environmental impact on rural communities in Nicaragua with whom we work—the communities of our farm and partner producers” says Ben.
“We just finished the World of Coffee Amsterdam coffee event, at which we met lots of roasters from all over the world, so I’m looking forward to making new friends in South Africa with specialty coffee as the conduit, and of course a positive outcome will be the positive social/economic/environmental impact we will have through high-cupping Nicaraguan specialty coffees.
"It’s exciting that The Coffee Magazine, the Specialty Coffee Exchange of South Africa and others are coming together to harness the enthusiasm of the South African specialty coffee scene to bring people together and accomplish more through specialty coffee. A roasting competition is a wonderful way to increase the quality of coffee roasting through the exchange of roasting techniques between roasters in South Africa. More of these types of competitions are needed throughout the world."
Steve Slark is Chairman of the UK Beverage Association and the MD of European Watercare. He recently visited South Africa and met with Coffee technicians and Café Owners during his time here.
“The coffee industry in S.A seemed familiar compared to that of the UK and Ireland at point of sale and clearly demonstrated the qualities, innovation and skills that will cement its place in the wider South African consumer culture
Water is the vital ingredient in Coffee and should be understood and respected as such. I hope to promote knowledge of the various filters (or water treatment devices) available to fit the application and not make the application fit the filter.
Recycling and plastic waste are hot topics and I really look forward to demonstrating how you can reduce your operational costs whilst offering unrivalled reductions in waste. Everyone is green until you have to pay for it right!"