A Shot in the Dark 2020: The Coffee is on its Way!

Friday, 20 March, 2020

Here's some good news!

This week (and what a week it's been!) we packed and sent out all of the competition coffee sponsored by Sevenoaks Trading and a bunch of goodies to our 50 "A Shot in the Dark" Roasting competitors. 

Thankfully, one of the aspects of Coffee Magazine's A Shot in the Dark sponsored by Genio Roasters is that Roasters stay in their own roasteries and use their own equipment to roast the coffee - so self isolation is kind of a pre-requisite!  Take that Corona Virus!

It's been a challenging time, with everyone in the coffee community being effected, and there are many serious downsides this has caused our Industry. But we are optimistic that both the coffee community and South Africa at large will face this thing together and we will overcome it.

With the current State of Disaster in mind, we have taken every health precaution is assembling the ASITD packs - using all the necessary protocols and including a special COVID-19 insert for competitors to follow. We, along with our Event Partners have even ensured that the courier bags that competitors receive are pre-labelled to minimise third party handling and possible transmission of anything virus-related.

We wish all competitors the best of luck, and we are thrilled to be able to push ahead with A Shot in the dark, safely and responsibly.

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Coffee (and food in general) does not transmit COVID-19

Friday, 20 March, 2020

Understanding transmission of the virus is obviously key to helping slow it down. Research from the European Food Safety Authority has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and we welcome their current standpoint, which is that coffee (ie the raw/roasted product) does not transmit the virus. Please see their press release below.

We are sharing this information direct from Communicaffe

ROME, Italy – The European Food Safety Authority – EFSA is closely monitoring the situation regarding the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that is affecting a large number of countries across the globe. There is currently no evidence that food – including coffee – is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus.

EFSA’s chief scientist, Marta Hugas, said: “Experiences from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), show that transmission through food consumption did not occur. At the moment, there is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus is any different in this respect.”

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has said that while animals in China were the likely source of the initial infection, the virus is spreading from person to person – mainly respiratory droplets that people sneezecough, or exhale.

More information on coronavirus and food can be found in this FAQ by the BfR, Germany’s risk assessment body.

Scientists and authorities across the world are monitoring the spread of the virus and there have not been any reports of transmission through food. For this reason, EFSA is not currently involved in the response to the COVID-19 outbreaks. However, they are monitoring the scientific literature for new and relevant information.

Regarding food safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued precautionary recommendations including advice on following good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as washing handscooking meat thoroughly and avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods. More information can be found on the WHO website.

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How you can stay safe and still keep supporting your local coffee business

Monday, 16 March, 2020

Right, so we're officially in a National State of Disaster, but as Douglas Adams wisely wrote, the best thing we can do is not to panic. Take all the necessary steps of course, but "Don't Panic." Panic helps no one and kindness and calm will go a long way in a time where there is a lot of uncertainty.

For the measures being taken by the South African government, you can read President Cyril Ramaphosa's speech in full here.

One of the areas of uncertainty is how long small businesses can sustain a period of social distancing.

As South Africans we generally deal with adversity with a strong will and a great sense of humour, so let's maintain those qualities throughout this strange time. 

Cafes are communities and can be supportive (and EXTRA hygienic) safe spaces in this time. Most cafes are limiting seating and ramping up sanitisation protocols, but will remain open.  Some new things are being carried out in the global community when it comes to cafes and roasteries. Our SA cafes are also being responsible, please try be a responsible patron, but most important, please still be patrons (even if via online portals)! 

Follow our Instagram stories to see what coffee businesses are doing out there and who you can support.

Some of the out of the ordinary things you may be asked to do:

- Use a paper takeaway cup instead of ceramic or reusables cups/flasks. The virus can apparently remain on surfaces for quite some time, so this is just an extra measure that will mean people in hospitality won't need to handle used cups that carry traces of our saliva.

- Some cafes may encourage you to get your goods to go instead of sitting in the cafe.

- Cafes may ask you to use Contactless Payment instead of cash, so Zapper, Snapscan, Yoco Tap etc are preferable to transferring cash.

- A lot of places of delivering coffee beans to your door, take advantage of it and keep getting your favourite coffee for home and the office. Check in with your local caffeine slinger.

From the address please do the below in general:

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitisers for at least 20 seconds;
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow; and
  • avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Guidelines for hospitality industry:

The rules include strict limits on bars and shebeens. Any establishment that sells alcohol for on-premises consumption must close at 6PM, except on Sundays, when closing time is 1PM. The same closing times apply to liquor stores. Those establishments may also host only 50 people at a time, half the maximum number allowed at other gatherings. Even then, there may be no more than one person per square meter of floor space, which is defined as "adequate space". - From Business Insider

And from our side, please check your sources! Please be wary of sharing sensationalist or unresearched posts on COVID-19. Fake news is very detrimental.

This link to Business Insider is constantly updated with verified factual news.

Eat your fruits and veggies, drink lots of water, help those who have less access to resources and look after each other (even if from little social distance). We wish everyone the best in this time and urge you to above all, be kind. We'll get through this together! If someone in your community is concerned about getting it or spreading it, respect their decision to self-isolate.

Also, we're not so sure about the elbow thing as a greeting, but The Shaka? Now that we can get behind ;)

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New Kid on the Block: Boston Brew Coffee

Thursday, 12 March, 2020

187 Montpelier Rd, Morningside, Durban, 4001

Nestled on a leafy street in Morningside, Durban a new coffee spot has sprouted. Boston Brew is a lovely new cafe.

The coffee is roasted by Manna Coffee and extracted beautifully on a La Marzocco Linea. They paid great attention to detail and everything is very well thought out. The outdoor seating with a lovely cool breeze blowing through was a treat and we indulged in a classic smashed avo which was very tasty!

They also happen to be a Monster Spot, which is part of an awesome coffee ordering app, Coffee Monster, that can save you time and get you some great deals.

Good luck to this new addition to the Durban coffee scene!

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A Shot in the Dark 2020: The Contenders

Wednesday, 11 March, 2020

So you wanna be a contender? Well these roasters certainly do! It's going to be an exciting competition with 48 roasters throwing their name in to the ring for the 2020 Title!

In this year's A Shot in the Dark sponsored by Genio Roasters, we've got a lot of returning heavy hitters and some fresh new names. We have few internal competitions brewing too; Manna and Toro are pitting their roasters against each other to see who comes out tops! We love it! Using this competition as a training and growth experiment is exactly what we want to see. Our preliminary round coffee is a cracker from Sevenoaks Trading! We are almost finished packing this delicious coffee to send our to these roasters.

Ansophi v/d Merwe

Routed Roasters

Gerhardt Jansen van Rensburg

Trinity Premium Coffee Co

Gean Burrell

Flatmountain Coffee

Percy Chikwa

Infood Coffee Roastery

Alexx Godrich 

Hoedspruit Coffee Purveyors

Rory Lambson

The Black Sheep Coffee Company

Alyssa Blom

No Sugar Required

Noel Roy Marshall

The Flying Dragon

Gerard van Nikkelen Kuyper

Faba Roastery

Warren Dell

Roast Master Coffee Roastery

Gert Maritz

Coffee Bay Coffee

Henk van Zyl

Gansbaai Coffee Co

Riaan de Jager

Kaalvoet Koffie

Simone Roberts

Diggers Gold Coffee Roasters

Calvin Botes

Merkava Coffee Roastery

Brilliant Ndlovu

Bean There Coffee Company

Ben Ferreira

Brothers Coffee

Willem Coetzee & Kobus Erasmus

Thirdwave Coffee

Jaco Ferreira

Roasted Coffee Roastery

Andre Vermeulen

Bottomless Blessings Coffee Roastery

Shahen Naidoo

Coffee Notes

Pieter Schoonwinkel

Bruder Coffee Roastery

Sebastian Johannes Smith

Smith Coffee Company

Adriaan Botha

Bloemfontein Coffee Roasting Co

Dwain Riccardo

Scuro Coffee Crafts

Stephanie Brayshaw

AM Brew Coffee World cc

Riaan Venter

Juliebean Coffee 

Greg Bailey 

Manna Roastery

Craig Smith

Manna Roastery

Willie Fitzgerald

Cabin Coffee

Pieter le Roux

Bayhound Coffee Works


Ettienne Broodryk


Janus Bardenhorst

Amy Gardiner

Humble Coffee

Jonathan Sher 

The Roastery

Sinovuyo Solontsi


Shakil Mahomed

Primo Coffee Roasters

Werner Gous

Favour & Grace

Elsa Buys

Barrier of Spears

Sipho Luningo

Camissa Coffee Co

Albert Schroeder

Roast Wolff

Ivan Ruscic

Home Roaster

Chris Pefanis

Highland Coffee Roastery

Jono Le Feuvre

Rosetta Roastery

Leon Mathurine

Coastal Coffee

Chad Goddard

Father Coffee

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Gallery: Highlights from 2020 Coffee Champs!

Friday, 6 March, 2020

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Scotsman SA Roadshow featuring Michalis Dimitrikopolous

Friday, 6 March, 2020

It's been a heck of a week! 3 cities in 3 days starting with Hostex in Joburg , then Durban and finally Cape Town, but all who managed to catch the Scotsman SA Roadshow with Michalis will agree that there is much to be learned about ice, iced-coffee, coffee cocktails and all things cold-coffee.

Michalis is the 2016 Coffee in Good Spirits World Champion from 2016 and placed second at WBC last year. The man knows his way around a bar and can serve up a mean variety of good coffee cocktails! 

So what did we learn from the Champ? Well, firstly that in South Africa we clearly don't have the cold coffee culture that exists abroad and it was incredibly exciting to be shown the possibilities by someone like Michalis who demonstrated so many cold-coffee options in his Masterclass.

There was everything the cold drip extractions, to cold-brew bases for coffee cocktails. There were coffee infusion lessons and home-made syrup and vinegar formulas.

It is clear that the South African coffee scene does not yet really know what Afternoon and Evening Cafe looks like, which is ironic because of the hot climate we live in, and also our affinity to enjoy a drink in the evenings after a long day. Most significant though, this is a great business niche that is yet to be tapped!

Listening to Michalis throughout this trip, and in the discussions with the many folks who attended the Roadshow Masterclasses, there is a HUGE opportunity here. We will be posting some of the Champs recipes soon in an upcoming series, but for now - enjoy the images and a HUGE thanks to Scotsman for bringing Michalis out to SA for this incredible experience! 

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Meet the new 2020 SA Barista Champion, SA Latte Art Champion and SA Cup Tasters Champions - all the news and views from Hostex!

Tuesday, 3 March, 2020

It was high drama as always at the SCASA National Coffee Competitions held at Hostex this week, as 3 new SA Champions were crowned in the Barista, Latte Art and Cup Tasters categories.

Winston Thomas (Winston Douglas Coffee) returned to competition this year after taking a year break, and he came back into a very fierce fight for the title, which in the end he managed to clinch from Stevo Kuhn (Urban Brew) by the narrowest of margins. As the winner’s hand was lifted, relief flooded through the Champ and tears welled-up in the eyes – it’s an emotional time for the young man, after having gone Independent as well as with his wedding date being a little over two weeks away. John Evans (TriBeCa Coffee) came 3rd with a presentation that could easily have won him the title, as did Neil Gouws (Origin Coffee) who came 4th and continues to grow and mature into a formidable competitive barista. In 5th Place was Samantha Naidoo, the only female in the Top 6 who was outstanding all week and just looked like she was having such a blast on stage and finally, the veteran, Bruce Manning who has competed for 10 years in this format and been in the Nationals Top 6 multiple times. 

The Latte Art competition also had its share of drama when 3 baristas were named for the Finals round instead of two. It was Ndumiso Ncgobo (Fabrica Coffee) and Jeff Stopforth (Beaver Creek) who faced the two times SA Champ, Chris Abrahams (Ciro) in the finals. The 2019 Champ had a bit of an off day, which opened up the door for the South Coast youngster to power through and clinch the title in a very cool and composed manner. Well done Jeff Stopforth of Beaver Creek!

The Cup Tasters story though is perhaps the highlight of this year’s Nationals. Wency Masawi (Tanaka Coffee / African Roots Coffee) was up against very tough opponents in Q-grader Nicodemus Nabakwe (Sevenoaks Trading), reigning SA Champ Thabang Maluleka (Ciro) and Maryke Schoonwinkel (Brüder Coffee). Wency has competed at every competition for the last 8 years, making Nationals in all three disciplines and has been a Regional Champ twice…yet has never won a National Title in any discipline. This year however, his perseverance and dedication paid off as he edged out the competition to claim his win and a ticket to World Cup Tasters Championships in Warsaw, Poland in June later this year.

The volunteers and Sponsors who allow the competition to run are to be highly commended. A trio of worthy Champions will represent us on the World Stage. A huge thanks must go to Hostex, SCASA members, the Volunteers, Judges, Sponsors and competitors for such a great Nationals. Let’s get behind the Champions as they prepare for Worlds 2020!

Full Results from SCASA website:

Winston Thomas - Winston Douglas Coffee
Runner Up: Stevo Kühn - Urban Brew Coffee

Wency Masawi - African Roots Coffee / Tanaka Coffee
Runner Up: Nicodemus Nabakwe - Sevenoaks Trading

Jeff Stopforth - Beaver Creek Coffee
Runner Up: Christopher Abrahams - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.

â­Âï¸Â Best Signature Drink & Milk Based Beverage: Winston Thomas - Winston Douglas Coffee
â­Âï¸Â Best Espresso and Technical: Stevo Kühn - Urban Brew Coffee
â­Âï¸Â Best Overall Impression: Fikile Khuzwayo - MRP Foundation

1. Winston Thomas - Winston Douglas Coffee
2. Stevo Kühn - Urban Brew Coffee
3. John Evans - TriBeCa Coffee
4. Neil Gouws - Origin Coffee Roasting
5. Samantha Naidoo - TriBeCa Coffee
6. Bruce Manning - Brustar Coffee

1. Jeff Stopforth - Beaver Creek Coffee
2. Christopher Abrahams - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.
3. Ndumiso Ngcobo - Fabrica Coffee

1. Wency Masawi - Tanaka Coffee / African Roots Coffee
2. Thabang Maluleka - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.
3. Nicodemus Nabakwe - Sevenoaks Trading
4. Maryke Schoonwinkel - Bruder Coffee Roastery

SCASA would like to thank all its sponsors, partners, members, the administrative staff, judges, baristas and volunteers who made this event such an unforgettable success. Thank you for investing into the future of our industry and for igniting a united passion for coffee.  

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