Episode Nine: Celebrating Success with the Selati Barista Scholarship candidates!

Friday, 28 September, 2018

The Selati Barista Scholarship Initiative has given 12 people the opportunity to pursue a meaningful career in coffee. In this Episode, 9 of the 12 candidates travelled to Durban to celebrate the end of their studies and meet the team from Selati Sugar who made this all possible.

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Breezy Masters National Winner crowned!

Thursday, 27 September, 2018

The culmination of the Breezey Masters events from around the country was held at Truth Coffee Roasting in Cape Town on 22nd September 2018.

The competition in KZN and GP had been tight and we were on tenterhooks wondering if someone from Cape Town would be able to make it to the top of the leaderboard where the KZN winner Eugene Mkhize (Oyster Box Hotel) and the GP winner Kyria Sasa (Starbucks), were only separated by half a point!

The esteemed judges Winston Thomas (SA Barista Champion), Christopher Abrahams (SA Latte Art Champion) and Melanie Winter (Coffee Magazine Editor in Chief) scored the excited competitors in front of a roaring crowd and eventually as the points were tallied, the winner, not only of the Cape Town comp, but scoring enough to take the National title was Idricia Nakahosa!!!

Final Standings:

1st Idricia Nakahosa (Truth Coffee) - Western Cape

2nd Eugene Mkhize (Oyster Box Hotel) - KZN

3rd Kyria Sasa (Starbucks) - GP

Idris now prepares to represent South Africa in Sydney, Australia at the Global Breezey Masters competition with some of the best baristas in the World.

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Find the Best Coffee.

Monday, 30 July, 2018

The first winners of the Coffee Magazine Awards presented by Selati Sugar were announced on Saturday 28th July at a Civic Reception at uShaka Marine World Aquarium. Surrounded by beautiful creatures of the deep, we celebrated the South African Coffee Industry and all the wonderful people in it.

It was also a wonderful way to congratulate the Selati Barista Scholarship students on completing their studies. 

Huge thanks to Mr Eric Apelgren from the Intergovernmental Relations Department of the City for hosting the Civic Reception at uShaka and welcoming our international guests so beautifully.

This platform was a long time coming and deciding on this first set of nominees and winners was extremely challenging. We know we are limited by our own experience, but we knew we had to start somewhere. 

The first winners and nominees of the Coffee Magazine Awards are all extremely deserving and we look forward to the future of this platform as it evolves and changes and expands to include more people; perhaps a panel of judges! A Reader's Choice Award! A backdrop that isn't a shipwreck! You live and you learn!

We wish everyone could win, but that's not really how Awards work. As with any Awards there are always many opinions and we welcome them, but we started this thing to uplift the coffee industry and we're off to a good start.

A huge thank you to all the incredible sponsors of Creative Coffee Week, Selati Sugar (RCL Foods), FNB, City of Durban, Innovate Durban, Sanremo SA, Koldserve, Genio Roasters, MONIN (See full list here) as well as support from all the people in the industry who made it to Durban to attend.

Thank you to prize sponsors Watercare Africa (IX Water Filters) and Jonsson Workwear (R2000 Jonsson Depot vouchers) who sponsored particular categories!

So without further ado, please give it up for your CMA Winners 2018:

Dedication to Education Award
This award is handed out to the person or company who has dedicated their time to coffee education.

Lani Snyman pictured with Mike Honeywell (FNB)

WINNER: Lani Snyman – Ciro Beverage Solutions. UNISA Barista skills course, SCA and AST training in SA.

Carol Corlett -  Sevenoaks Trading - Green Bean training and Q Graders 2018 courses.
Johnson Sehoro and Lizaan Alberts – Ciro: Deaf Barista training programme 2017/18.
Shaun Aupiais – Red Band Barista Academy and ongoing training in E Cape.
Jaco De Witt – Roast Republic:  Barista Business Incubator Project
David Basset – Woza Coffee - Empowering unemployed people through coffee.

Best Cafe Design

The spaces created for coffee add equally to the experience of enjoying that coffee. These are the nominees for the best designed Cafe spaces in South Africa:

WINNER: Big Dog Café by Terbodore  - Franschoek

Naked Coffee – Sandton City
Deluxe Coffeeworks Roastery - Buitenkant Street
Industrial Coffee Works - Centurion
Truth Coffee - Buitenkant st
Father Coffee - Rosebank

Excellence in Coffee Award.

This Coffee Professional strives for and achieves excellence in their chosen area of the Coffee Production Chain. They are innovative, are recognized as a leadership figure in their field and are constantly inspiring others around them.

WINNER: Jonathan Robinson – Bean There

Donovan McLagan - Urban Espress
Ishan Natalie – Starbucks
David Donde – Truth Coffee
Cuth Bland – Bean There
Charlie Denison – Cultivar Coffee
Neil Maree – Genio Roasters

Best New Cafe
Café’s are meeting places, they are spaces of community, business meetings, collaborations and first dates. We see new Café’s opening every month and the standard is increasing year on year – from better equipment, higher quality beverages, better service, to choice of design and outfitting, to creative seating, flow and ambience. Great toilets and bathrooms, and a fitting menu. Most off all though the criteria for this was based on the Café that opened in the last 24 months that has created something special where before it there was nothing. The nominees are:

WINNER: Dear Maria – Bedfordview

Ground Coffee House – Hilton
Skyline Coffee - Durban
Flynn Coffee - Johannesburg
Pauline’s – Sea Point

Best New Roastery
This category seeks to recognize Roasteries that have opened in the last 3 years and are gaining reputations as up and coming in the South African scene

WINNER: Thirdspace - Fourways

Pause Coffee - Wilderness, E Cape
Alchemy Coffee – Welgemoed, WCape
Faba Roastery – Bloemfontein, Free State
Humble Roasting Co – Durban, KZN
Citizen Coffee Roastery – Wynberg, CT
Tulip Coffee – Hermanus, W Cape

Best Alternative Brewing Experience

Aeropress, Chemex, Siphon or V60 pour-over to name a few!  These are the nominees for the best alternative brewing experience in South Africa for 2018:

Winner: EspressoLab Microroastery– Cape Town

Travel Designer – Cape Town
Origin Coffee Roasting – Cape Town
Father Coffee - Rosebank
Vintage - Centurion

Barista Trainer of the Year

These nominees are the very best Barista Trainers in the land.   They teach and inspire, they train and they serve. They impart wisdom learned from thousands of hours behind the espresso machine and their subject matter is technique, science, aesthetic and service.

WINNER: Johnson Sehoro - for Ciro Beverage Solutions

Bilbo Steyn - Starbucks
Ishan Natalie - Starbucks
Khulekani Mpala - Wiesenhof Coffee
Shaun Aupiais - Famous Brands
Wency Masawi - Nino's

Coffee Personality of the Year 
These coffee professionals approach whatever they do with optimism, effervescence and inspiration. They fly the flag of the coffee community high and get involved in all areas, remaining wonderful throughout.

WINNER: Mike Chizeya - Micoffee

Angeline McLagan - Urban Espress
Chad Whitby - Colombo Coffee
Nicodemus Nabakwe - Sevenoaks Trading
Sihle Magubane - Sihle's Brew
Harry Mole - TriBeCa

Coffee Team of the Year 
The Coffee Team of the Year award recognizes that it is people that make a coffee company great – From the Owners who create a happy, respectful and creative ethos, to the staff who live the brand daily.  The successful team is one in which all the people in the space from the lowest to the highest uphold the same values and consistently serve with excellence and are rewarded well for doing so.

WINNER: Bean There Coffee Company

Rosetta Roastery
Starbucks SA
Truth Coffee
Tribe Coffee
Colombo Coffee & Tea

Cafe of the Year 
This award goes to the establishment that has consistently created an amazing cafe experience for its patrons, serves great coffee and food, with excellent service, has great ambience, design and most importantly, a loyal community of patrons.

WINNER: Truth – Cape Town

Starlings - Newlands
Krust Café – George
Pablo Eggs-go-bar – Melville
Coffeeberry – PMB
Urban Espress – PE
Jason’s - Greenpoint

Roastery of the Year
The nominees in this category are the Roasteries in South Africa that have forged the path for speciality coffee in SA. They continue to push the boundaries of coffee roasting by sourcing the best coffees, investing in the latest technology, by collaborating, sharing and engaging with the global roasting community, by educating, informing and inspiring their customers – wholesale and retail and finally, by putting the highest quality coffee into the market that can make South Africa stand amongst the best coffee roasters in the world.

WINNER: Rosetta Roastery

Rock & Roller
EspressoLab Microroasters
Bean There
Father Coffee
Origin Coffee Roasting

Barista of the Year 
Barista of the year is not limited to competitive coffee competitions but is the barista all-rounder. He/she is the barista who epitomizes what it means to understand, to respect and to serve amazing coffee experiences. They are masters of extraction, technique and technical understanding, but most of all they cherish that it’s not just about the coffee served, but in the serving.

WINNER: Winston Thomas - Independent

Nigel Kamhanda – Infood Coffee Society Jbay
Simnikiwe Mhkize - Rosetta
Ken Machenge - Tribe Coffee
Innocent Chakanyuka – Truth Coffee
Lydia Oyier - EspressoLab

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Big Dog Cafe: Winner of Best Cafe Design

Thursday, 27 September, 2018

We recently crowned Big Dog Cafe in Franschhoek our first recipient of the Best Cafe Design Award and when in the Western Cape had the opportunity to pay them a visit and see what goes on behind that beautiful facade.

It was a rather glorious day on Heritage Day Weekend and as Alrishka Macaskill said when she took a moment from darting around her full cafe, "It's been winter, so we've been on a bit of a go-slow, but this definitely feels like the beginning of Season!"

Located at the beginning of the Franschhoek strip, the blue Great Dane emblem of Terbodore Coffee welcomed us off the road along with the smell of roasting coffee. 

The cafe is truly beautiful with colourful, quirky touches. But here the beauty is much more than skin deep. You can tell that this a happy team. Service was excellent, coffee tasty and food was sublime (Big Dog Ramen!!!!). I realise this is a weird thing to mention, but the chairs are so comfortable! As well as ever so good looking. Never underestimate the power of a well designed chair! I could've sat there all day in my leather chair with my lovely cortado.

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Episode Eight: Behind the Espresso Machine!

Thursday, 20 September, 2018

The Selati Barista Scholarship Initiative has given 12 people the opportunity to pursue a meaningful career in coffee. In this episode we focus on the Eastern Cape candidate's internship in Port Elizabeth at MiCoffee finally getting to serve customers and gain valuable work experience.

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Thursday, 20 September, 2018

We are so excited to see such an amazing initiative from this team of businesses. Tip the Farmer is a collaboration between Bean There Coffee Company, Motherland Coffee Co, Élan RDC (From Democratic Republic of Congo) and Olam Coffee that aims to create a platform where you can tip the farmers behind your cup of coffee directly. It's a very interesting approach. It focuses specifically on two co-operatives, one in Burundi and one in Democratic Republic of Congo. The monetary goal has 40 days to be reached so that these farmers receive the 'tips' from you the consumer. If they reach the goal, the rewards for these co-ops will be incredible, let's help them get there!

Bean There is making it even easier to get involved and show your love by offering free coffees on National Coffee Day (This Saturday, 29 September) between 9am-12pm and encouraging you to rather donate the money you would've spent on a coffee directly to the farmers. 

From their website:

"Tip the Farmer creates an opportunity for coffee lovers everywhere to directly tip the farmers who produce the exceptional coffee we enjoy. From farmer to barista to customer its people that make coffee great and your appreciation can help to grow farmers and change communities.

We help coffee-farming families, cooperatives, and community-based organizations identify challenges, resources, and strategies to build long-term solutions to increase production and quality of the coffee they grow and ultimately to improving their communities as a whole. We don’t assume we know what the farmers need, instead, we help communities identify locally appropriate solutions and strategies – and support them in making these a reality."

Tip the Farmer was created to provide a necessary financial boost. Money raised will go directly to Virunga Coffee in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Musema Cooperative in Burundi. Virunga Coffee is planning to increase 185 farmers’ revenue by 16% - funding better education, agronomy and household improvements. In Musema, tips will cover the services of an agronomist for a year, which can lead to the doubling of farmers’ income in the long term.

Visit Bean There for a free coffee on Saturday 29 September between 9am to 12 noon and consider high fiving a farmer – in cash at the till, via SnapScan or online at www.tipthefarmer.org.za. If you can’t make it in to a store, track the coffee-fuelled adventures of the giant Bean There Coffee cup as it roams popular spots in both cities, handing out vouchers to the coffee lovers it encounters.

“Ultimately, from the farmer to the roaster, the barista and the customers – it’s the people who make coffee great. For appreciators of African coffee culture, it’s in our interest to grow the people who grow our coffee, ensuring that quality continues to soar in the region,” says founder of Bean There, Jonathan Robinson. Bean There has partnered with Motherland, ELAN RDC and Olam Coffee to design, fund, and promote Tip the Farmer.

Bean There has roasteries at 44 Stanley and 111 Smit Street (Johannesburg) and 58 Wale Street (Cape Town). 

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Pre-Order: Limited Edition Speciality Coffee Box

Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

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The Ongoing Battle for Disease-resistant Coffee

Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Science Community: Disease-Resistance in Coffee an Ongoing Battle

Portland, Ore. (September 19, 2018)—The plant disease known as coffee leaf rust has

wreaked havoc on coffee production, particularly in Latin America, since an epidemic of

the disease hit in 2012. Since then, the global coffee industry has united to help farmers

fight coffee leaf rust through the development of improved coffee varieties such as F1

hybrids, most of which are resistant to rust and other plant diseases. Today, at the biannual

ASIC Portland scientific conference, nonprofit coffee-research organization

World Coffee Research delivered a message to the global coffee industry: While fighting

coffee leaf rust through genetic resistance via F1 hybrids is an effective tactic, it won’t

be enough to protect farmers from significant crop losses due to pests and diseases.

In today’s ASIC presentation, World Coffee Research Scientific Director Dr. Christophe

Montagnon explained that some coffee varieties’ rust resistance has been scientifically

proven to break down, with the latest example being the Lempira variety from Honduras’

IHCAFE. Dr. Montagnon told attendees that researchers believe it is only a matter of

time before rust resistance in most of the existing resistant varieties is going to

break down, perhaps in as soon as five to 10 years in many countries.

While this development does not foretell the end of coffee production—coffee farmers

have been living with coffee leaf rust for many years—it brings to light key elements

guiding coffee’s future. For one, farmers need to focus on plant health—no matter the

variety of their coffee—as a major component of defense against rust. Secondly, those

traveling between origin countries must develop a heightened sensitivity and awareness

for appropriate phytosanitary practices to prevent spreading fungi and other diseases

from farm to farm or region to region. Thirdly, the coffee industry needs to prioritize

ongoing research and development. New sources of rust resistance can be found

and must be discovered to foster sustainable coffee production. Coffee’s scientific

community, led by World Coffee Research in collaboration with coffee-producing

countries, and with the support of the broader coffee industry, must seek to produce

new solutions, new technology, and new ways of combating plant disease.

The fight against rust

For three years following the coffee leaf rust outbreak in 2012, the disease caused

destruction in Central and South America: Many farms lost 50 to 80 percent of their

production, and the epidemic forced 1.7 million people out of work and drove human

migration. Once the rust outbreak hit, farmers who could afford to plant rust-resistant

varieties did so, renovating areas of their farms with the new varieties. Combating

diseases like rust is one action modern farmers must take to protect against the

intensifying effects of climate change, which are evidenced in rising temperatures,

unpredictable weather patterns, and higher rates of plant disease.

Unfortunately for some farmers who planted new varieties, no disease resistance is

forever, as pathogens adapt and continue to attack coffee trees. In 2017, Honduras’

national coffee institute IHCAFE announced that Lempira, one of the varieties it had

bred, was no longer resistant to coffee leaf rust. Additionally, since 2013 the Center for

Research on Coffee Rust (CIFC) in Portugal has observed varieties losing their rust

resistance in different countries such as Brazil and India.

For the last 30 years, rust resistance has relied on the resistant genes coming from

Timor Hybrid, a natural cross between Arabica and Robusta coffee. According to the

scientific community, the Timor Hybrid’s resistance is breaking down. “Rust resistance

coming from different sources of introgression—the transferring of genes from one

species to another after hybridization and backcrossing—is being broken step by step,”

said Dr. Montagnon of World Coffee Research. He explained that the introgressed

varieties known as Catimors and Sarchimors that resisted rust for 30 years are no

longer resisting. “The research community shall proceed to develop new varieties with

new sources of resistance but also build up comprehensive rust-control strategies that

go beyond genetics alone,” Dr. Montagnon said.

World Coffee Research’s approach

A crucial part of rust-control strategies going forward, according to World Coffee

Research and others in the scientific community, is the promotion of plant health in

coffee production, which has been overlooked in the past. Just as humans are more

likely to be healthy if they exercise well and eat good food, coffee is better equipped to

defend against rust when it is in good health. Factors contributing to plant health include

good maintenance, soil conservation, adequate plant nutrition, and adequate shading. A

recent study from World Coffee Research and CIRAD recently showed that good

fertilization can be as effective as spraying fungicide in protecting a genetically

susceptible coffee to rust. Furthermore, it is acknowledged that one of the main reasons

for the 2012 rust crisis in Central America was farmers’ reduced maintenance of their

trees, itself due to low prices of coffee.

A plant’s health, or inherent vigor, is also dependent on the plant’s genetics and

maintenance. F1 hybrids are inherently vigorous due to “hybrid vigor” and are hence

benefiting from their plant health to defend against rust, even if they don’t bear the rust resistance genes.

Beyond promoting plant health, World Coffee Research is committed to the necessary

R&D work to develop new solutions. These initiatives include:

- Continuing to search for new sources of resistance that could be used in breeding.

This includes researching other species such as Robusta to see if there are “resistance

traits” that could be brought to Arabica through smart breeding.

- Creating F1 hybrid varieties that are more tolerant to stress and have been shown to

fare better against rust. New F1 hybrid varieties are currently in development and

should be ready to be released to farmers by 2025.

- Learning more about coffee leaf rust, including working with renowned expert Mary

Catherine Aime at Purdue University to explore the rust genome and genetic diversity,

decipher its mutation ability, and potentially find solutions to mitigate it.

- Studying coffee profitability through World Coffee Research’s Global Coffee Monitoring

Program to research ways to reduce cost of production for farmers while maintaining

plant health and vigor so that coffee is more profitable for them.

- Exploring new solutions such as biocontrol, making use of micro-organisms that either

attack rust infections or protect the coffee plant against infection. World Coffee

Research has promising results to be validated.

- Warning against the practice of moving plant material (such as seeds) around

countries or continents, which spreads coffee leaf rust and other diseases.

Phytosanitary regulations are made to ensure safe movements of plant materials; if the

spread of diseases can be slowed by even a few years, it will give scientists the ability

to meet the challenge with improved varieties, agronomic practices, and treatments.

Collaboration needed

While World Coffee Research is the global coffee industry’s leading research and

development organization, the organization on its own cannot solve the complex

problem of plant disease. World Coffee Research works hand in hand with over 25

coffee-producing countries and advanced research institutes; these partnerships ensure

that research reaches farmers’ fields rather than remaining in the lab.

“The situation is urgent. Coffee producers deserve the same tools and information that

modern, profitable farmers have in the rest of the world. With further collaboration from

companies throughout the coffee industry, World Coffee Research will develop and

deliver coffee R&D solutions—from rust resistance to breeding and beyond—to farmers

around the world,” says Tim Schilling, WCR’s founder and CEO. “There is a role for

each and every coffee company. This work is too big for any one company to achieve,

but together we will help farmers maintain and improve their livelihoods.”

For more information about World Coffee Research and its programs, please visit


Twitter: @WCoffeeResearch

World Coffee Research is a 501 (c)(5) nonprofit collaborative research and

development program of the global coffee industry to grow, protect, and enhance

supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce

it. The program is funded and driven by the global coffee industry, guided by producers,

and executed by coffee scientists around the world. worldcoffeeresearch.org

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