First Light Coffee & Routed Roasters

Wednesday, 7 August, 2019

First Light Coffee Bar and Routed Roasters

8 St Croix St, Jeffreys Bay, 6330

This little spot is a gem. Tucked away just off the front line of Jbay's busy Da Gama Road, we find this passionate coffee crew.

We had the pleasure of meeting Ansophi Van De Merwe and Maxine and Heinrich Thiart at their freshly opened First Light Coffee Bar. Along with their other partners they have created an incredibly welcoming space that feels like you’re walking into the living room of an old friend. The cliché 'A home away from home' rings so true as soon as you walk through their doors. The main space in front of the coffee bar has comfy couches and a low coffee table, and there are tables for those wanting to sit and work. This is a place where people gather and it is clearly evident that the First Light team are part of a very tight knight community of people, with First Light as it’s HQ!

Give them a follow on Instagram to get more beautiful imagery from and of the team

Ansophi, who made the Finals of the SA Cup Tasters earlier this year has her palate on the pulse and ensures that delicious coffees are roasted and supplied to both the espresso machine out front at First Light and to a growing number of restaurants in the area under the Routed Roasters label. The roastery is always open and you can find Ansophi cupping delicious coffees most days. Routed Roasters came 3rd in this year's A Shot in the Dark competition. Of the 43 roasters that entered, only three were female, so we were more than a little happy when Ansophi's name was announced in 3rd position after the judges blind tasted the Top 10 coffees. Go Girl Roasters!

Visit these lovely people at their wonderful coffee bar when next in Jeffreys Bay!

Our recommendation: An espresso of whatever’s in the hopper, followed by the same espresso as a cortado. Complex, beautiful and comforting. 

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Culture: Exploring Whisky with Bruichladdich

Wednesday, 7 August, 2019

We were invited to the launch of Bruichladdich's 10yr Port Charlotte whisky at Lucky Shaker. I had never heard of this distillery (very uncultured of me!) and was happy to be introduced to their wares. Also thank you to Esquire for this helpful pronunciation video.

Caitlin Hill, Brand Ambassador to a host of delicious spirits that fall under the the Remy Cointreau stable, took us through the history of the distillery which has been around since 1881 on Islay. Islay is a tiny island in Scotland that is ALL about whisky, specifically famous for its peated whiskies.

The most interesting thing for me was to hear all the terminology around the production and taste of whisky and how many similarities there are to how we talk about coffee. The big push by this particularly distillery is the focus on the origin of all their ingredients to be locally produced and having complete transparency on that.

Whisky is a premium product in the way that I wish coffee was. Paying for coffee on a tiered system of excellence, skill and raw ingredients. An exclusive whisky costs a lot more and that is completely accepted. Love these tasting notes on the 10year we had the opportunity to taste:

TASTING NOTES

NOSE: The smoke is calmed by the marine, ozone character. Time has brought a balance and harmony, in the combination of oak, smoke and spirit. While the smoke is always discernible on the nose, it’s dry, earthy, peat-ash style allows the oak to come forward with waves of golden caramel, fudge, vanilla custard and hints of ginger, nutmeg and clove. There is citrus fruit, coaxed from the glass with a drop of water, gentle lemon meringue and clementine. Breathe deeply and the floral aromas of wild thyme, heather and sea pink bring you to the Atlantic coast. 

PALATE: On the palate, there is a noticeable delicacy and softness in texture and style. Again, the balance of flavour is superb as the smoke wraps loosely around the sweetness that’s drawn from deep within the oak. Coconut, vanilla custard and lemon honey combines with smoked oysters and sun baked salty sand. 

FINISH: The finish is sublime, smoky, but also the soft sweetness of fudge and malted barley, orange, mango and banoffee pie, hinting of the depth and quality of the oak. The many layers interchange on each sip. As the smoke comes and goes, so too do the notes of the spirit-ripe apple and apricot, beautifully intertwined with malt and oak sweetness and the typical Port Charlotte style dry smoke. 

CHARACTER: Aging for 10 years on the shores of Lochindaal has had a profound effect on this spirit. Like sunshine on a winter’s day, this Port Charlotte 10 brings clarity and lightens the mood, welcoming and brightening the future."

Bruichladdich also has a connection to South Africa through one of the people that works there, a PE local, Graham Hayes, now their Stillman. You can read the full interview between him and Lucky Shaker owner Michael Stephenson that inspired the cocktail over here. It was DELICIOUS!

The ‘Stillhouse Sour’ photo by Caitlin Hill

Made by @mixwithmike from @luckyshaker with @bruichladdich#PortCharlotte 10YO whisky, tawny port, stout reduction, fresh lemon, fresh orange, citrus syrup & house made orange bitters - inspired by @graham.hayes71 - our beloved South African who works as a Stillman at the Bruichladdich Distillery .
 

Port Charlotte Brand - Bruichladdich from Denholm Associates on Vimeo.

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Conversations over Coffee: Stepping into Entrepreneurship

Wednesday, 7 August, 2019

In this new column we explore different topics with coffee as the catalyst. With new contributor, Lebo Matshego. 

Stepping into entrepreneurship? Get your head into the game

Venturing out into entrepreneurship is a bold and courageous move. Not only are you following your passion and letting go of the safety nets of a consistent and stable income with benefits, but you're also contributing to the economy in an impactful way by starting something that will help create jobs and provide innovative business solutions. 

Before you get into the nitty-gritty of running your business, you have to start with getting your mind right. Since our thoughts play an essential role in driving our perspectives and how we see ourselves, you need to be aware of the internal dialogue you have with yourself as you prepare for entrepreneurship. Self-awareness is pivotal as you embark on this journey, so consider these three points to get your head into the game.

1. Believe in yourself

This saying may sound cliche, but to venture out and survive as an entrepreneur, you have to believe that who you are is more than enough, and the product or service you have to offer is valuable and will have a positive impact.  

Life tends to throw curveballs that leave us disappointed, discouraged, or with the feeling that we're not good enough and don't have the ability or intelligence to do something impactful and significant. Naysayers are all around to spew more discouragement, and if you've experienced a toxic corporate environment, you can come out of there with very little confidence in yourself and your abilities. Insecurities and negative experiences have a way of seeping into every area of life, including your entrepreneurial pursuit. You'll have to deal with them head-on (therapy is beneficial) to start believing and seeing yourself in a more positive light.  

2. Know your passions, strengths and weaknesses

Being passionate about the area of business you want to go into is essential. If you're half-hearted or getting into a line of business because it's the trendiest thing at the moment, you won't get very far. It won't be authentic to you, and ultimately, you won't believe in it. Becoming more self-aware is getting to know your strengths and weaknesses; what makes you tick and what makes you run in the opposite direction. You'll be able to leverage your strengths and know when to get help when you need it. Off-course, if you genuinely love what you're doing, you'll persevere through the difficult times. 

3. Move out of your comfort zone 

As an entrepreneur, you'll need to get comfortable with putting yourself out there, not having a stable income for a while and long working hours. It takes courage and perseverance to find new clients, pitch your business and deal with rejections and no answers. It's hard work to be an all-rounder, focusing on sales, marketing, business development, and all other facets of the business. This new and unfamiliar territory can be daunting, and you'll need to learn to ask for help and advice when you need it. If networking freaks you out, you'll need to pluck up your courage to start conversations with business people that you know and meet new ones. Getting out of your comfort zone will push your limits, but the experience is an opportunity for growth. 

Editor's Note: Speaking from the experience of starting businesses in the coffee space, while self-belief plays a big part of the journey, my biggest lesson was trying to have the humility to know that you definitely will have many failures along the way and that's ok. My biggest piece of advice would be to go boldly and ask for what you want. Ask for the meeting with the company you think is way out of your league. Ask for the interview with a coffee celebrity that you think you won't be able to get. Ask to collaborate with people you respect, even if it scares you. Get up the courage to ask! - Melanie Winter

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The Godfathers of Italian Coffee

Wednesday, 7 August, 2019

Much of the world’s café history and market has been dominated by imported Italian coffee brands like Illy, Lavazza, Segafredo and Kimbo. Jazz Kuschke investigates why Italy holds such a strong place in coffee culture history and continues to retain prominence.

Words by Jazz Kuschke


The world has Italy to thank for the espresso shot and to some extent, cafe culture. For many who cannot start the day without an espresso based beverage at their favourite local, this a debt that can never be fully repaid. The major Italian coffee brands are still visible all over the world and they don’t look to be going anywhere any time soon. Restaurants and hotels display their marketing as a badge of honour, internationally renowned names that hold real weight with customers. “We feel the consumer always knows when they see the sign, that they are getting the best quality.” says Michelangelo Kellaris, local Illy Sales Manager.

The coffees served in cafes the world over are Italian inventions. “The Italian (and greater European) market is all about ‘traditional’ drinks being served,” says Carlo Garbini, “Espresso, americanos and, to an extent, cappuccinos,” he explains. “Firm, strong and intense flavours developed from decades of perfecting roasting techniques from different origins and blending these together.” Carlo is the owner of Importalia which imports and services Italian espresso equipment in the hospitality industry. While South Africa has swiftly developed a strong cafe culture over the last decade, the history of coffee in Italy stems back to the late 17th century.

A (very) brief and incomplete history of coffee in Italy 

Not all agree on quite how coffee was first brought to Europe. Some say it arrived with the Turks during the Siege of Vienna from where it spread as wide as London.

However most historians say coffee was first brought to Europe (or at least became popular) through Italy by Arab traders from Egypt in the sixteenth century. Documented history outlines that the traders brought it to what is modern Venice, from where local merchants sold this ‘exciting new beverage’ to wealthy clients.

This was largely coffee of Ethiopian origin, but it is also documented that the Arab traders took Ethiopian seeds back to their own countries and cultivated it there. Indeed there is evidence of coffee-drinking appearing in Yemen in southern Arabia in the middle of the 15th century. It was also in Arabia that coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed in a similar way to how it is now prepared.

But Italy is certainly the country that gained the mantle as the home of espresso and coffee culture.

You might be surprised to learn this almost didn’t happen. Things got a bit murky in Catholic Italy and coffee was very nearly outlawed for religious reasons. Thankfully Pope Clement VIII tasted the beverage and deemed it good. We couldn’t agree more.  

The first café opened in Venice later that century (around the 1680s) and was named for the beverage it served. This was the birth of Italian café culture and, reads the annals, these places soon became synonymous with atmosphere and sophistication. This is the romanticised version no doubt but then that is perhaps the essence of the Italian way. One only has to look at the way the major brands are marketed today to see this love of life and elegance is still at the heart of what Italian coffee stands for.

Fast forward some 300 years and we can today thank Italy for the espresso shot. By the 19th century, the coffee and cafés business was booming across Europe, but the process of producing a cup of actual coffee was a slow one. At around the same time, various inventors started working on ways to speed up this process. Steam was the mechanism of the age, so it was to that which they went first.  While there must’ve been countless prototypes produced, it was one Angelo Moriondo of Turin who was granted the first patent. This was 1884. Moriondo is a name lost in the history of coffee however, because for whatever reason his machines never found market prominence. 

Luigi Bezzerra however, produced a machine that did. He is credited with ‘inventing the the single-shot espresso (in the early 1900s), as his machine had several improvements on Moriondo’s and produced the shot-to-cup. His idea was to force pressurised water through coffee powder to produce a small, concentrated shot ‘expressly’ fast.  Welcome espresso. 

As with the speed of the shot, the history sped up from there and, according to Alfredo Panzini’s Italian dictionary the term ‘espresso’ first officially entered the Italian lexicon around 1920 with a couple other contenders in the espresso machine stakes who claim to be the first to put patents on the equipment and evolving technology.

Why the world loves Italian 

“Italian coffee has a taste profile that appeals to the whole world,” says Carlo, explaining that in mass-market terms, Italian blended and roasted coffees are the most popular. He is quick to point out the importance of local roasters however and how crucial they are for the local market but believes that part of the reason why Italian brands remain popular is their consistency. This is echoed by all the major brands, they all trade on the promise and delivery of consistency. “With a brand that offers a 120 year history in the coffee industry, it is easy to trust in the experience of their master roasters and blenders to ensure delivery of a consistently high quality coffee”, says Nadine Jardim of Lavazza, South Africa.

“South Africans travelling more and more abroad have widened their coffee experience and taste profiles and are therefore continuously requesting more flavour and consistency from our market,” Carlo says. “Single coffee origins are never the same. The batches therefore require skilled roasters to take the time to consistently monitor, tweak and change the profiles to insure the overall blend remains the same,” he adds pointing out how highly regarded international roasters are, almost like distillers in famous rum and whisky houses.

Large imported coffee suppliers tend to go through more stringent quality controls due to the fact that world wide distribution is a large part of the business. “Large brands have the buying power that smaller roasteries do not and this makes it difficult for them to be consistent in their quality and taste profiles. In Segafredo's case, the company has their own plantations all over the world with their largest and most prominent in Brazil.” says Roberto Reffo of Adriatic, the company that imports Segafredo. “We are also continuously investing in developing the skills of our client's baristas through constant and regular training. It is our support, customer service and other added benefits that accompany the quality and brand guarantee that allows us to be successful.”

That comes at a price. The imported brands come with a higher price point per kilogram than local roasters. This often includes marketing assets like branded cups, but there is a much more practical explanation on hand when asked about this price difference.

“There is the American trend of high grammage per cup. A traditional Italian espresso uses 7g per shot. You wouldn’t mess with a baking recipe and add more sugar, or add more eggs, the result wouldn’t balance. But because of the style of roasting with some micro-roasters they use closer to 12g for a single, making that difference of being double the price not really true anymore.” explains Michelangelo. The style of roasting and the style of espresso that the Italians are aiming for isn’t asking to be compared to the current speciality scene.

With Great Power comes Great Responsibility

Working on such a large global scale, the companies have to be invested in sustainability and trading ethically. illycaffè has been named one of the world's most ethical companies by The Ethisphere Institute for the 6th consecutive year and is DNV certified providing a full sustainability chain from the farmer right through to the restauranteer selling you the cup. Lavazza has its Tierra brand and project developed in association with the Rainforest Alliance NGO launched back in 2002. This brand has the aim of improving social and environmental conditions of several international coffee-growing communities. Segafredo owns and operates its own plantations worldwide, which allows for control in the way that the coffee is produced and how the farmers are treated. They provide housing, medical facilities, and schooling for the coffee farmers as well as their families. Kimbo supports Project Waterfall which helps bring clean drinking water and sanitation to coffee growing communities around the world. With such large footprints, these Italian coffee giants need to do business as responsibly as possible especially in today’s climate of informed consumers.

It appears that Italian coffee is here to stay. Restaurants and hotels with many other things to worry about on a daily basis need one thing from their coffee, that it remains consistent.


The Dons

Lavazza 

Pronunced  ‘laˈvattsa’ the company was founded in Turin in 1895 by Luigi Lavazza, it was initially run from a small grocery store at Via San Tommaso. The business is still in the same family and is today run by the third and fourth generations of the Lavazza family. It is said that Luigi was an entrepreneur at heart and knew that to be successful he had to find out what his customers wanted. So he worked to discover the different origins and characteristics of the coffee plant, and studied the art of blending to meet the tastes of his customers by creating the blends. The Lavazza coffee we drink today is the result of that: blending coffees from different parts of the world. As a global brand icon, Lavazza is a premium coffee offering within our market but quality is an intrinsic factor in every part of its production and delivery. These services and benefits are all made possible through the local Lavazza distributor, Ciro Full Service Beverage Co, who is well-versed within the coffee industry.

Segafredo

Italian coffee merchant, Massimo Zanetti – a descendant from a family with more than two generations in the coffee trade business – launched the first Segafredo Café in 1988 in Paris. In that vein he is seen as something of an "Ambassador of the Italian Coffee Culture” with the idea that the Italia lifestyle is reflected in Segafredo cafés. Adriatic, the local distributor of the brand, is a family business founded in 1970 by Renzo Reffo. Later on Maurizio and Roberto Reffo joined the family business and moulded the company into the finest importers and distributors of Italian foods, wines, coffee and catering equipment in South Africa.

Illy
Illycaffè (branded as illy) was founded by Francesco Illy in 1933. It was later taken over by his son Ernesto Illy and today, Andrea Illy (as Chairman) is the third generation of family at the head of this brand. Illy produces one blend in three roast variations (normal, dark roast, and decaffeinated). The company also markets single-origin arabica beans from six different countries: Ethiopia, Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and India. In South Africa, the Illy brand is also a family affair, run by Chris Kellaris, his son Michelangelo, Doxoula Lentzakis & Mano Paxinos like one big happy Greek family.

Kimbo

In Naples, espresso bars provide the heartbeat of this incredible lively and exciting city. Here, over fifty years ago, one family developed a passionate coffee roasting business to meet the local demand. This thriving business grew and continues today. Through seeking the finest green coffees from around the world, they blend, roast and package fine espresso coffee that makes Kimbo a leader in the Italian market. Carlo Garbini is the local distributor through his business Importalia.

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Interview: A Taste of Africa with Lee Kasumba

Thursday, 25 July, 2019

Radio and TV presenter and writer, Lee Kasumba, is a Cuban-born Ugandan that calls the whole of Africa home. From starting out on radio while studying a full-time BA Dramatics Arts degree, Lee’s career path has taken her all over Africa.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

“My path has been slightly different to say the least. While at YFM, I got the honour of being the editor of the award winning YMAG. I was the longest standing editor, the youngest, and the only female editor. Other career highlights include being the head of Channel O Africa - where my focus areas were West, East and Central African music markets. Here I ended up doing work on projects within Nollywood too and just overall was able to work within African Music, Pop Culture and the Film Industry. 

Fast forward to today, I do correspondence work with the Primedia Group (702/Cape Talk). There is my podcast Africa State of Mind which is currently the pride of my life. To get to interview such incredible people that inspire me and others, and are at the forefront of leading Africa across sectors is so humbling. I also got to do Africa Connected with Standard Bank, which was something I have always wanted to do. So that was awesome - again traveling the continent and telling African stories – that is truly my heart. 

I also have a production company that produces content for international companies like E! Entertainment and for Mnet West Africa too. I guess I see myself as a proponent for African Culture!”

In 2018, you travelled across Africa to explore the continent’s opportunities and potential for growth?

“That was for Standard Africa Connected 2.0 with 702 and Cape Talk. It was an awesome assignment to be on. The idea was to go to different countries within the continent and see how business is done in those countries/markets. We got to see how tech and innovation was impacting young people in the continent. We came across some great green projects too, which was awesome to see. 

Then of course, you can't talk Africa and doing business in Africa without understanding or getting a taste of the cultural nuances too. The purpose was to share these stories, highlight opportunities, and showcase African solutions to African challenges. And of course, to hopefully pique the interest of South Africans to go see what the rest of the continent has to offer.”

What is your favourite thing about travelling through Africa?

“My favourite part about travelling the continent of Africa is that everywhere feels like home. I also am always impressed by how much changes; literally the changes within a few months to a year if you repeat countries is so impressive. As fast as the changes are – the people the culture and the spirit remains the same. The best of both worlds.”

Are you a coffee drinker? What’s your coffee of choice?

“I am more than an avid coffee drinker to put it mildly. My coffee of choice, which I of course don't get to drink much of, is Ethiopian Coffee with Tena Adam. Something about the fresh mix of coffee and the plant; I have never tasted anything like it honestly. It’s like Ethiopia's best kept secret and it’s how they used to drink it. It’s not done as frequently in Ethiopia anymore, but that has got to be my favourite preferred cup of coffee. Yum!”

As part of your travels, you visited Côte d’Ivoire. What was your impression of the country?

“Cote D'Ivoire was truly a pleasant surprise, for many reasons. Firstly, I think they have one of the most efficient airports that I have been too. The airport is a foyer to a country. It’s also extremely orderly, so even then traffic jams somehow feel like all is in order. It’s a melting pot – I loved bumping into people from all around the world. It has a charm to it – in a way that I haven’t experienced; so yes, you find a French or Parisian influence, but it’s with a very heavy and gorgeous African texture. The urban landscapes, textured with some historical buildings that tell the story of Cote D'Ivoire. I feel like it’s a country that everyone needs to visit – you won’t be disappointed.”

You’ve mentioned expecting to have amazing coffee everywhere you went in Côte d’Ivoire, but this wasn’t the case?

“This wasn't the case because there weren’t all that many coffee shops. I also didn't see a lot of Ivorian coffee for sale in the stores or even in the hotels. Unfortunately, there was a lot of instant coffee! Also, when I did finally get to taste Ivorian coffee, it had a really bitter taste to it. I also found that most of the beans were sent out the country and then brought back in once processed and packaged. So, the cost factor probably plays a huge role in this too. I feel as though it hasn’t been tapped into enough yet and there is a huge gap/opportunity for the Ivorians.”

If Côte d’Ivoire is known for its coffee, why don’t Côte d'Ivoire people have a culture for drinking good coffee?

“No, there definitely isn't a huge coffee culture. My producer on ground who loves coffee too got her coffee from Rwanda. So that says a lot. But the people just don’t seem to enjoy coffee; from my experience, coffee just didn’t seem to be part of the local palette. I think I was expecting it to be like Ethiopia where people love their coffee regardless of age, class and so forth. This wasn't the case in Cote D'Ivoire.”

Did you get a chance to visit one of Abidjan’s specialist coffee shops?

“Yes. I visited Couleur Cafe which was open and is owned by a 25-year old young lady, Fabiienne Dervain. The ambience was great and also the clientele was very hip; almost felt like what you would get at say a Starbucks in LA or NYC – that sort of clientele. I was extremely impressed all round.”

What could someone expect to pay for a good coffee in Abidjan?

“I had a cappuccino and it set me back like R52 or more if I remember correctly. And it wasn’t a huge cup; it was pretty small!”

Do you think the specialist coffee culture will grow and become more popular in Côte d’Ivoire?

“Yes I think it can, I just feel we need to remember that as a nation, Cote D'Ivoire only really started to stablise in 2012 – so the way that they have grown is incredible. I think also from my conversation with Fabiienne that as more Ivorians move back home, this culture will grow too. I do think once coffee is produced in Cote D'Ivoire from start to finish and it starts to have a stronger impact on the economy, that will change too.”

During your travels, did any country's coffee culture stand out as particularly unique?

“Definitely Ethiopia. I think just the art of having people prepare it in their homes is so yummy. And the various ways that it can be taken and the different types of coffees. I am probably under-selling, but Ethiopia without a doubt!”

Which country in Africa would you recommend for people to visit?

“I honestly can't answer this – I love everywhere in the continent. I would just say if the opportunity comes up, take it – you won't be sorry.”

Any last thoughts about your travels through Africa?

“Just that everything, every part of Africa, is some kind of wonderful. Take the plunge!

Follow Lee Kasumba on Instagram to keep up with her travels, stories and podcast!

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Coffee with a Cop: Coffee bridges the gap between policemen and the community

Friday, 2 August, 2019

All images: The Alberton Record

Building relationships. One cup at a time.” That’s the tagline of the Coffee with a Cop community engagement initiative which launched in California in 2011, and has since expanded around the world, proving the unifying power of coffee. Having found its way to South Africa, the third meeting of community members and police officers recently took place in Alberton in Gauteng. 

Organised by Eddiewren McClary and chairperson of the Gauteng Provincial Community Policing Board, Thokozani Jacob Masilela, Coffee with a Cop is working to bridge the gap between the police and the community they serve, breaking down barriers and building trust in the process. The events give police officers and the public the opportunity to get to know each other, ask questions, and discuss issues that matter to them over a cup of coffee in an informal, relaxed setting.

Building relationships 

Not many citizens can claim to have spent time with the officers in their community. In fact, most of us only encounter police officers when there’s an emergency or crisis. Coffee with a Cop opens the door for more meaningful interactions, where both parties can talk about their community concerns and how to help each other. 

It’s also a chance to see the police in a different perspective. As Masilela says, the police are also human beings; they come from these communities, they have families, and ultimately, “every relationship starts with a conversation.

Improving trust is a long-term process, and these events are helping to bring the police and the public closer. Coffee with a Cop gives people the chance to chat to police one-on-one about local concerns, crime prevention measures, and even learn more about police work in the community. 

Connecting with the community

At the end of the day, it’s all about connection, using the simple idea of coffee and conversation to bring the police and the public together in a social setting. Hopefully this initiative takes off across South Africa – we need more community engagement initiatives that connect people, and what better way to do it than with a cup of coffee?

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A beautiful day at the Deaf Barista Championship 2019

Tuesday, 30 July, 2019

This is one of the best events of our coffee calendar.

To take these incredible baristas out from behind their espresso machines and into the limelight of the Coffee & Chocolate Expo can be incredibly daunting, but everyone took it in their stride and gave wonderful performances. The competition began three years ago as a platform to raise awareness of the Deaf Barista Training program championed by Ciro, eDeaf and UNISA. It was a way to showcase their skills and help get the baristas placed in permanent jobs so that the project was sustainable moving forward. We are very pleased to announce that of the eight competitors that took part this year, all have permanent employment and support from their employers. This is a fantastic vote of confidence in the success of this project and we hope to see it continue long into the future.

The 2019 Champion was Mduduzi Lukhuleni (Old Mutual), who won the inaugural competition in 2017. He placed 3rd last year and was determined to come back strong. He blew the judges away with his charm, professionalism and delicious beverages.

Barron Fourie-Williams (Tsebo Beverage Solutions working at Yum Head Office), who placed second, was just a joy to watch. Careful and deliberate in her performance, her smile melted every heart as she placed her wonderful drinks in front of the judges.

Karabo Motla (Tsogo Sun Monte Casino) placed third. So much spunk and confidence and we can see the competition bug has hit him hard! Watch out Mdu, Karabo is hot on your heels!

The work that goes into this competition is a team effort, but it was all co-ordinated and driven by Lizaan Alberts of Ciro Coffee Academy. What a woman! 

Lizaan Alberts, signing 'Thank you!' to her team!

As Iain Evans said at the prizegiving, there is no reason that at some point in the future, a deaf barista could make it to the National Barista Championship stage, as sign language is an official language and interpreters are allowed at these competitions. And maybe even one day, they will make it to Worlds! We would be proud to have any of these individuals represent South Africa on the World Stage.

Thank you to all the sponsors of this competition: Ciro Coffee Academy, eDeaf, UNISA, Hearing Works, Coffee Magazine, Coffee & Chocolate Expo, Genio Roasters.

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WINNERS: SCASA GP Regionals 2019

Monday, 29 July, 2019

CONGRATULATIONS to the Speciality Coffee Association of Southern Africa Gauteng Regional Winners. All finalists have qualified for the 2020 National Coffee Competitions, congratulations! Well done to all competitors and sponsors and the amazing volunteers. Amazing weekend at Coffee & Chocolate!

Barista WINNER: Trevor Fitz - Beethoven Coffee Co
Runner up: John Gareth Evans - TriBeCa Coffee
3rd: Fanie Botes from thirdspace
4th: Jesse Andersen-Dodkins - Father Coffee
5th: Samantha Naidoo - TriBeCa Coffee 
6th: Thandiwe Shonhiwa - Wiesenhof ABSA Towers Wiesenhof Franchise.

Cup Tasters Winner: Karel Viviers from Coocoocachoo Runner up: Thabang Klainbaas Maluleka - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co. 
3rd: Viwe Lugongolo - Father Coffee 
4th: Nicodemus Nabakwe from Sevenoaks Trading (Pty) Ltd

Latte Art Winner: Elizabeth Gumbo- Seattle Coffee Co Runner Up: Sibusiso Ndzuzo - TriBeCa Coffee.

All photos the Coffee Magazine unless otherwise stated.

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