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How does the Judging work? And can we vote?

Thursday, 9 July, 2020

We have been overwhelmed by the response to this year's Coffee Magazine Award nominations. It is so exciting to celebrate the hard work and dedication these businesses and people that have a daily impact on our lives through coffee.

Questions have been asked about how you, the loving fans of these amazing coffee establishments, can get involved and impact the winners.

When we began three years ago we made a commitment to grow this platform with the community. So the judging panel continues to grow as past winners put their voices forward to nominate their peers. This year we will also invite a few new judges to the panel to decide on the winners. 

But the public must be heard! So last year we created a Reader's Choice section for just this purpose. This means YOU can nominate your favourite coffee places and people. 

They don't have to come from the list of Nominees, they can from anywhere and they can be anyone. We want to know who makes your coffee experience special on the daily! Show your love for your local spot when they need it the most. We'll compile a short list from your nominations mid-August and then your votes will be of utmost importance to the cafes and baristas you have chosen. 

You can also win a fantastic hamper from our sponsors for getting involved!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us. We always love to hear from you.

Once again a huge thanks to our sponsors who have put their weight behind this and will be providing some amazing prizes for the winners. We normally don't do prizes and it's not to say this will be a trend, but in the times we're facing and without being able to celebrate at an event together, the sponsors have generously offered some products that will really help to support the businesses and people that will receive the prestige of these Awards.

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Coffee Magazine Awards 2020: The Nominees

Friday, 3 July, 2020

This is an opportunity to uplift people in a time when circumstances are really challenging. Let's provide the optimism and hope that is so needed right now. You may notice we have added a couple new categories in that spirit. Thank you to our growing panel of judges (made up of past winners) for taking the time to contribute to recognising excellence in the coffee industry. So many amazing coffee places and people out there, it's difficult to narrow it down, but here they are...

Congratulations to our 2020 Coffee Magazine Award Nominees


Dedication to Education

This award is handed out to the person or company who has dedicated their time and passion to coffee education above and beyond their job descriptions.

Previous recipients: Lani Snyman, David Bassett

Imile De Villiers, Ground Up Academy

Pete Howie, Seattle Coffee Company

Lovejoy Chirambasukwa, Craft Coffee

Shaun Aupiais, Red Band Barista Academy

Nicodemus Nabakwe, Sevenoaks Trading


Excellence in Coffee

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

Previous Recipients: Jono Robinson, Cuth Bland

Renato Correia, EspressoLab Microroasters

Warren Machanik, Quaffee

Jono Le Feuvre, Rosetta Roastery

Sarah Schach, WM Cahn

Charles Denison, Cultivar Coffee

Percy Chikwira, InFood Coffee

Abbey Berman, Seattle Coffee Co

Jorge Kimbangla, Origin Coffee Roasting


Best Cafe Design

The spaces created for coffee add equally to the experience of enjoying that coffee. We are looking for the most beautifully designed spaces in SA!

Previous recipients: Big Dog Cafe, Franschhoek, Pauline's CT

Holiday Coffee, Port Elizabeth

Against the Grain, Bokaap, CT

The Barn Owl, KZN Midlands

Bean There, 44 Stanley 

Legado Coffee, Stellenbosch


Best New Cafe presented by Red Espresso

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 of all though the criteria for this was based on the Café that opened in the last 12-24 months that has created something special where before there was nothing.

Previous recipients: Dear Maria (JHB), Holiday Coffee (PE)

Against the Grain, Bokaap, Cape Town

Gapp Cafe, George

Shoots and Leaves, Umhlanga, Durban

Bluebird Espresso Bar, Karkloof, KZN

Coffee Box, Pietermaritzburg


Best New Roastery

This category seeks to recognize Roasteries that have opened in the recent past and are gaining reputations as up and coming in the South African scene.

Previous recipients: Thirdspace (JHB) Bluebird Coffee Roasters (KZN)

Roast Wolff, Somerset West

Scuro Coffee Craft, Port Elizabeth

Favour & Grace, Vanderbjilpark

Faba Roastery, Bloemfontein

MiRoast, Port Elizabeth

Clay Pigeon Trading, Cape Town


Township Coffee Award

This new category recognizes individuals and businesses who are making great strides in creating new coffee culture within their communities. 

Siki's Koffee Kafe, Khayelitsha

Thumbuni Coffee, Mamelodi

Barista Cup, Cape Town

Mo's Bakery, Mamelodi

Department of Coffee, Khayelitsha


Best Alternative Brewing Experience

Aeropress, Chemex, Siphon or V60 pour-over to name a few! 

Previous recipients: EspressoLab Microroasters (Cape Town), Origin Coffee Roasters (Cape Town)

Coco Safar, Seapoint, Cape Town

Starbucks Reserve, Rosebank, JHB

Mastertons Coffee & Tea Specialists, Port Elizabeth

Espresso Lab Microroasters, Cape Town

Travel Designer - Cape Town


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.

Previous Recipients: Johnson Sehoro, Belinda Flynn

Christopher Abrahams, Ciro Beverage Solutions

Stevo Kühn, Urban Brew Coffee

Winston Thomas, Winston Douglas Coffee

Philisile Ndabe, Ciro Beverage Solutions

Khulekani Mpala, Wiesenhof

Wency Masawi, Tanaka Coffee


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.

Previous Recipient: Bean There Coffee Company (Winner 2018 & 2019)

Rosetta Roastery, Cape Town

Sevenoaks Trading, JHB & Cape Town

Vintage Coffee, Pretoria

Coffeeberry Cafe, Pietermaritzburg

Bean There Coffee Company, JHB and Cape Town

InFood, Jeffreys Bay

Lineage Coffee, Hillcrest


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.

Previous recipients: Truth Coffee, Thirdspace

The Barn Owl, KZN Midlands

Brik Cafe, JHB

Coco Safar, Cape Town

Thirdspace, JHB

Naked, JHB

Afroboer, Pretoria

Origin Coffee Roasting, Cape Town



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.

Previous recipient: Rosetta Roastery (2018 & 2019 winner)

Father Coffee

Rock n Roller Coffee Culture

Rosetta Roastery

Brothers Coffee

Bluebird Coffee Roastery

EspressoLab Microroastery

Truth Coffee


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. We have also updated this category so that the nominees are all individuals who work the bar daily, the people who make every day better and basically make our world go round.

Previous Recipients: Winston Thomas, Simnikiwe Mkhize

Sharon Muto, Rosetta Roastery

Narsh Mshwewe, Pauline's 

Kgune Dlamini, Lineage Coffee

Nombuso Ntisnani, Coffeeberry

Ndumiso Ndumeyane, Fabrica Cafe

Simnikiwe Mkhize, Rosetta Roastery

Ndumiso Qolintaba, Vineyard Hotel


Go check out our Reader's Choice Nominations page. Nominate your favourite coffee people and places and you can win too.

Thank you to our sponsors for helping to support the coffee industry through these Awards.

Alpro   BWT   Red Espresso   Moreflavour

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Reader's Choice Awards: Make your nominations!

Friday, 3 July, 2020

You can win an hamper from our Sponsors valued at R2500 for nominating your favourites in the categories below, but more importantly, the people you nominate will get a load of recognition and airtime which will be invaluable for their career and business.  Vote. Do it now! 

Reader's Choice 2020 Nominations

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!

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