Name: Fanie Botes
What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: The Barista Competition
Competition History: I've competed at the Gauteng Regionals the last 2 years, 2017 and 2018.
Company representing: Thirdspace Coffee Company
Job in coffee industry: Barista Trainer
Why did you enter this competition? It's a unique opportunity to learn. As you prepare, you learn new things and develop as an individual.
What is your favourite coffee at the moment? There's a few really good coffees around right now, but the Campbell Rd blend has been phenomenal as of late. It has definitely been stealing the show. .
What has been the highlight of the journey so far? Definitely the journey to Nationals 2020. I've developed a better understanding of coffee and it's place in our industry.
Why do you think these competitions are important ? It forces baristas to push themselves and one another to be better. The industry only stands to benefit if the best baristas are consistently pushing the boundaries and trying new things.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee) I'm an avid martial artist. I'm a Muaythai coach, and I've competed in Muaythai and K1-kickboxing.
If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? I've always been fascinated by the flavour of Ethiopian coffees, so I'd love to visit a farm in South Ethiopia
Name: John Evans
What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Barista
Competition History: 3 x Regionals, and this will be my third Nationals.
Company representing: Asmara Coffee
Job in coffee industry: Operations Manager and Roaster
Why did you enter this competition? Working primarily as a roaster now, weeks can pass by without me even touching an espresso machine. The thing is, working as a barista really is my first love in the coffee industry, and so by competing, it brings me back to what I really love doing.
What is your favourite coffee at the moment? The one I’ll be competing with at Nationals. I’ll keep it a secret for now, but it’s a very exciting coffee!
What has been the highlight of the journey so far? Traveling to WBC in Boston last year with Harry Mole.
Why do you think these competitions are important? It sounds a little generic, but I think it really is about the community. For me, the highlight is getting to re-connect with my coffee friends from all over the country.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee) My day-to-day used to be analysing logistics data from cement trucks. That was before the lure of the coffee industry become too much to ignore.
If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? There are so many! But I’ve been extremely privileged to travel in Africa a bit already, so I’d love to see Central/South America – probably Colombia if I could choose.
Name: Mapaseka Mapela
What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Barista
Competition History: Regionals( central region)
Company representing: Wiesenhof Rostery
Job in coffee industry: Waitress
Why did you enter this competition? To learn, gain experience and because along the way i fall in love with coffee
What is your favourite coffee at the moment? Training, learning and sharing ideas with other people
What has been the highlight of the journey so far?Having to meet and share the experience with other barista's
Why do you think these competitions are important ?It combines the nation..Barista's learn and experience more about coffee
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee)I love make-up
If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why?Nicaragua, because my coffee is from there and i'do love to learn more about everything regarding coffee there.
Name: THANDIWE SHONHIWA
Coffee Company: WIESENHOF ABSA TOWERS
Competition Discipline: BARISTA COMPETITION
Previous Experience at Regionals and Nationals:REGIONALS PLACED 6TH
What are you most looking forward to competing at NATIONALS? AS A FEMALE I LOOK FORWARD TO SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT, WE RUN THE WORLD.
What are your interests outside of coffee?READING NOVELS
How do you see the coffee industry changing inthe future I SEE MORE PEOPLE GETTING INVOLVED. I BELIEVE COFFEE FARMERS, PRODUCERS, ROASTERS AND BARISTAS ARE INCREASING ALL OVER THE WORLD
What has been your favourite coffee moment so far?MEETING OTHER BARISTAS AND NEW PEOPLE
If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and WHY? COLOMBIA, THEY HAVE A VERY BIG COFFEE INDUSTRY AND ARE PRODUCING THE HIGH QAULITY COFFEE
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for NATIONALS? COACH KHULE KANI AND COACH WAYNE BROWN
Name: Bruce Manning
Coffee Company: Brustar coffee
Competition Discipline: Barista
Previous Experience at Regionals and Nationals? Ten years competing! KZN barista champ and runner up 2 years (National finalist in 5 years of competing). Cup Tasters finalist 3 years
What are you most looking forward to competing at Nationals? Finally winning it!!!
What are your interests outside of coffee? Writing irreverent comedy and watching edgy stand-up comedy. Reading Economics journals.
How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?
As much as the coffee industry wants to evolve, the cafe owners and their patrons understandably aren't likely to ... and if we subscribe to the 'customer is king' philosophy then we're going back to what they want in a cup of coffee. And that means darker roast profiles , but with better grades and origins, less Brasil and possibly with better quality robusta as a blend. As the coffee industry matures, the economic argument is that price and margins are constrained so we're likely to see both wholesale and retail coffee priced under R200/kg.. And that's how I'm positioned for the future if I want to stay economically relevant.
What has been your favourite coffee moment so far?
Panamanian geisha lactic fermentation I had at Nationals last year (and hope to have similar again this year)
If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why?
Antonio Beotegui of Finca Castanos is a farmer on the Canary Islands with the micro-climate most suited to growing premium coffees. He runs a farm, cafe and education centre and a few years ago introduced Geisha plants.