HOSTEX 2020: Why should you come?

Tuesday, 18 February, 2020

If you're in the coffee industry or you're thinking about getting into it, HOSTEX is a great place to start. From 1-3 March 2020 at the Sandton Convention Centre, you don't want to miss out on all it has to offer. Also, if you register online, you gain free entry. A wealth of knowledge awaits! See you there!

Our publisher, Iain Evans, is one of the HOSTEX Ambassadors and he breaks it down from a coffee culture perspective.

Hostex Ambassador - Iain Evans_v1 from Orange Orbit Productions on Vimeo.

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Build Up to Nationals 2020: Barista Profiles Four

Monday, 17 February, 2020

Name: Samantha Naidoo

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Barista Competition

Competition History:  2011, 2012, 2013 and 2019

Company representing: TriBeCa

Job in coffee industry:  National Beverage Academy Head

Why did you enter this competition? To motivate and inspire the barista's I work with.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment? Rwanda Natural from the Bugoyi region

What has been the highlight of the journey so far? Connecting with the farmer that has produced the coffee I'm using.

Why do you think these competitions are important ?

It is immensely important to keep 'progressing' in the industry. Not only for us as barista's competing but for the future generation of barista's to come. To inspire, motivate and educate consumers and barista's on the future of coffee.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee)

I am ambidextrous!

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why?

Nicaragua - To see how Rajuanse Estate is taking coffee into the future. To see the love and passion that goes into the work done not just in coffee but the community.


Name: Simnikiwe Mkhize

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Barista Competition

Competition History: 2017: KZN Regionlas 1st place

2018: WC Regionals 1st Place

2019: WC regionals 4th Place

2017/18: SA Nationals - I am not sure where I placed (if people ask, I say 7th :) )

Company representing: Rosetta Roastery

Job in coffee industry: Barista/ Woodstock cafe Manager

Why did you enter this competition? I entered because its a good way to push myself and challenge myself. It made become more knowledgeable about topics and new discoveries that happening coffee on a regular/ daily basis. And also because the environment is competitive- as much as it supposed to be fun, I enjoy the intensity that my peers exhibit which pushes me to be better (best).

What is your favourite coffee at the moment? ohhhhh, heat seat question. The Nicaragua that was recently launched as alt brew if with milk, Cortado.

What has been the highlight of the journey so far? (internal chuckle) uhm, from the top of the top of my head, winning regionals the first time in KZN. It was a high and surprise I have never expected, mostly because I was a 'no body'- so I thought. But that gave me a personal boost to never stop challenging myself. And most recently, being a cover girl (OMG, that was insane).

Why do you think these competitions are important? I think competitions are important because in a way they give an indication of where South Africa is in coffee consumption and production - as in roasting styles, experimentation with coffee beverages and understanding the origins and coffees we sell to the consumer. Also, its shows the level our baristas are, service and sensory and thinking wise.  

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee) well  you know i have dolls from my childhood, but more recently I have started knitting, and than I stopped, but I started again, I will have a beanie by winter. 

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? Ethiopia, aside from being known as the "birthplace" of coffee, when i first started learning about coffee Ernest (my sensei) would talk so passionately about Ethiopian coffee that i want be that land myself. Later, I realised that he spoke like that all the regions, but that is my first memory of it all.


Name: Leigh Wentzel

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Cup Taster's competition

Competition History: First time competing, Western Cape runner up 2019

Company representing: Rosetta Roastery

Job in coffee industry: Roastery Manager and Roaster

Why did you enter this competition? Main reason was to challenge my palate and put myself out there. It's also a great way to build our coffee community.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment? Favourite coffee at the moment depends on my mood, weather and time of the day.

What has been the highlight of the journey so far? Highlight so far has been getting the opportunity to compete at Nationals.

Why do you think these competitions are important? How these competitions bring everyone together with the same passion being shared. Every year we grow and learn from one another but ultimately its about having fun.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee)  Interesting fact...not that interesting but I am left handed.

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why?Costa Rica just because of their micro mill revolution that has changed their coffee and economy for the better. Its also a great holiday destination. 


Name: Raymond Roesstorff

Coffee Company: Wiesenhof Coffee Holdings

Region: Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth

Competition Discipline: Barista

Previous Experience at Regionals and Nationals? 2018/2019 Regional Champion, 2019/2020 Regional runner up. First time national competitor 2019 

What are you most looking forward to competing at Nationals? The experience, the knowledge and most of all to showcase my skills, commitment and growth in this trade and proudly represent the Wiesenhof Brand

What are your interests outside of coffee? I have quite a few hobbies outside of coffee. I really enjoy tinkering with computers as I’m a Certified Microsoft System Engineer and a PC and Network technician. I play a lot cue sport and recently started playing outdoor cricket again. I really enjoy the comradery of team sports. 

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future? In South Africa, I see the change daily. The consumer is getting more educated on coffee and more willing to pay for better coffees and coffee experiences. Us, as coffee professionals and suppliers, we need to keep up with these trends and adapt accordingly.   

What has been your favourite coffee moment so far? Not one specific moment, but a collection of moments. Coffee has uplifted so many lives and I’m very proud to have been part of some of those moments. This industry has endless opportunities and I relish the endless learning opportunities coffee has to offer

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? I remember this question came up last year and I didn’t really have an answer, this year it is quite easy. I would like to go the farm where my competition coffee is being produced. This is one of my short-term goals and I plan on making this a reality in the near future.


Name: Kyle Grebe

Coffee Company: The Coffee Boys

Region: Eastern Cape

Competition Discipline: Cup Tasters

Previous Experience at Regionals and Nationals? The 2019 Eastern Cape regionals was my first time competing

What are you most looking forward to competing at Nationals? I’m really looking forward to competing on the national stage, feeling the atmosphere and the pressure, and also seeing legends like Winston Thomas and Kgune Dlamini compete in the Barista competition.

What are your interests outside of coffee? I’m a surgeon by profession so the human body really interests me, I also enjoy being in nature, hiking, camping, swimming

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future? I see specialty coffee becoming more accessible to everyone in the future, breaking through socioeconomic boundaries. With companies like Woza Coffee and The Red Band Academy creating opportunities for disadvantaged people to enter the coffee community and giving them a platform to spread the love of coffee back to their communities. I believe that the coffee industry has the power to not only educate and empower people, but also create and build wealth for the African continent.

What has been your favourite coffee moment so far? My favourite moment so far has definitely winning the Eastern Cape Cup Tasters Competition. I’m still very new to the coffee community, but I plan to make many more memories.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? I would love to travel around Africa, visiting farms in all the major coffee producing countries. I want to follow the process from bean to cup, and experience authentic coffee brewing process. I definitely want to go to Ethiopia.


Name: Chris Faragher

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Cup Tasters

Competition History: Runner up in the Eastern Cape Regional Cup tasters Competition 2019, Certified WBC Judge since 2018. Multiple head and Sensory judging since 2012.

Company representing: Coffee Boys/ Holiday Coffee Co. 

Job in coffee industry: SCA Trainer, WBC Judge and Cafe Owner. 

Why did you enter this competition? I wanted to further stretch my capacity in the sensory side of Coffee Competitions. 

What is your favorite. coffee at the moment

Guatemala Finca La Hermosa.

Pacamara Natural. 

From the Acatinoga Regon. 

Notes: A Super Boozy coffee with a really distinct heavy fizz. Medium Acitiy. 

What has been the highlight of the journey so far? 

In Competition; There isn't a particular moment, but I absolutely love the ability to connect with so many coffee people at these competition times in years past. There really is an incredible relatiinship that we all share through this beautiful bean! 

In the industry, Being certified as an SCA trainer and WBC judge in recent years. Also opening my dream Cafe and Brand, Holiday Coffee Co. We get to share with all people, coffee lovers and others, the awesome potential of the coffee community and culture in SA! 

Why do you think these competitions are important 

To start, I have seen so many peoples livelyhoods changed for the better as they excel in these competitions. The oppertunites that open up to these competitors in the industry through employment is great. 

And secondly, it has an incredible ability to bring our industry together. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee)

Errrrr.. Um.. I can make the distinct sound of a dolphin with my mouth. Iv tried communicating with them in the past with very little results... Haha.

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why?

Réunion Island. Volcanic Soil, Rolling hills, The home of Bourbon Coffees, Good Surf and French food! Nuff said! Selfish I know.. but hey, why not?! 

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Fabrica Latte Art Smackdown

Tuesday, 18 February, 2020

Coffee is community! And fun competitions like this Latte Art Smackdown hosted by Fabrica Coffee in Umhlanga continue to strengthen coffee as a culture and a lifestyle. Let's support these great initiatives!

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Build up to Nationals 2020: Barista Profiles Three

Tuesday, 11 February, 2020

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 

Region: GAUTENG 

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 

Region: KZN
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.  

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Build up to Nationals 2020: Barista Profiles Two

Thursday, 6 February, 2020

Name: Tess Schmidt

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals:  Cup Tasters

Competition History:   Participated once before and won the WC Cup Tasters 

Company representing:   Sevenoaks Trading (Pty) Ltd

Job in coffee industry:   Administration and Operations Facilitator

Why did you enter this competition?   I challenged my colleague Mike McDonald to enter and he was reluctant so I agreed to participate if he did.  It is a wonderful way to connect with coffee professionals and felt it was good marketing for Sevenoaks.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment?   Gosh that is a difficult one – I don’t have just one at the moment.

What has been the highlight of the journey so far?   Every day is a learning experience for me so the highlight is to learn more and more each day.

Why do you think these competitions are important ?   It’s a celebration of coffee.  A chance for the coffee family to get together and have fun, challenge each other and discuss all things coffee.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee) 

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why?  I would say Rwanda.  People rave about how beautiful it is and how friendly everyone is, not to mention the coffee quality.


Name:  Christopher Abrahams

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Latte Art

Competition History: I’ve been competing since 2015. This year will be the 4th time I get the opportunity to compete at nationals.

Company representing: Ciro Full Service Beverage Company

Job in coffee industry: Senior Trainer

Why did you enter this competition?  I am a latte art addict! I really enjoy pouring latte art and working on pouring using new techniques. I’d love to represent South Africa abroad again and show the world unique designs.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment?  My favourite coffee at the moment is a washed Yirgacheffe from the Gedeo zone in Ethiopia. It’s been around for a while but I love how complexed the characteristics are and how uniquely good the coffee tastes through different soluble yields and extraction percentages, that are closely aligned to the SCA brewing standard.

What has been the highlight of the journey so far? The highlight of the coffee journey for me, was having the opportunity to compete in the WLAC 2019 in Germany.

Why do you think these competitions are important? I think these competitions are important, because they provide a platform for coffee professionals to present their skills to South African and even to the world. It is a great place to identify talent within South Africa. It also keeps us competitive and keeps us aware of what is happening in the coffee industry. It’s also a great place to learn from other coffee professionals and a place where you can be inspired by other baristas. Overall, I believe that the main objective of the coffee competition is to improve the standard of coffee within South Africa, by allowing baristas to compete and produce the best standard of coffee possible. This definitely seems to be working, looking back, there’s been a drastic improvement in the quality if coffee served in South Africa, as well as a huge change in awareness around coffee.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee) I‘m quite laid back type of guy and strangely enough, I also have a slight tendency to have a bit of OCD. I also enjoy playing PS4 …especially Fifa J

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? It would definitely be Ethiopia! As I love Ethiopian coffees also because I feel that it would be special to visit the country which is the birth place of coffee.


Name:  Neil Gouws

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Barista Championships 

Competition History: I have competed in 3 regionals and this will be my third nationals. Regionals 2017 (3rd) regionals 2018 (2nd) regionals 2019 (2nd) Nationals 2018 (2nd) Nationals 2019 (3rd) 

Company representing: Origin Coffee Roasting 

Job in coffee industry:  I wear a few hats, I am a lead barista, head trainer and wholesale relationship manager. 

Why did you enter this competition? I love challenging myself, barista competitions are tough but I have grown through competing and I have seen many other competitors grow as well.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment? It must be sharing a coffee with two industry giants Lem Butler and Maxwell Collona-Dashwood. That moment inspired me and gave me fresh perspective.

What has been the highlight of the journey so far? Personal highlight is Nationals 2019. I didn't get the result I wanted but I was ecstatic with the way my set went and I really connected with coffee friends that year.

Why do you think these competitions are important ? My regionals set was about just this topic. I love the challenge they present, they make coffee professionals better. Competitions encourage experimentation and innovation in our industry. The South African coffee community comes together around competitions allowing us to share our passion.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee) I love cooking, when competition prep gets a bit stressful you'll find me in the kitchen.

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? Ethiopia, who wouldn't want to go there. It's the birthplace of coffee and seeing wild coffee would be amazing. Plus the coffee is fantastic.


Name: Mpumelelo Adams

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Barista

Competition History: First time competing

Company representing: Mastertons Coffee & Tea Specialists

Job in coffee industry: Head Barista

Why did you enter this competition?  During preparation, the competition forces the barista to perfect his techniques and learn about many coffees while choosing “the one”.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment?  Kenya Masai

What has been the highlight of the journey so far? Qualifying for National while competing for the first time.

Why do you think these competitions are important? This competition promotes excellence in coffee. It is where Baristas can showcase their skills, gain education and is a great networking opportunity for coffee professionals.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee)

I love reading and listening to music.

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? I would like to visit Kenya. It has a unique coffee. Personally I think its distinct from other African Coffees


Name:  Wency Masawi

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Cuptasters

Competition History: 2016 & 2019 KZN Champion, 2017 National first Runner up ,2013 to 2017 KZN top 6 finalist barista Championship, 2017 top 6 national finalist

Company representing: Tanaka Coffee / African Roots 

Job in coffee industry: Barista Trainer (SCA) Accredited, All rounder

Why did you enter this competition? Keep up with the industry,push boundaries, learn and be a role model to other incoming coffee addicts

What is your favourite coffee at the moment? Natural Burundi Bugonza lot 11433...

What has been the highlight of the journey so far?      Coming out victorious after experiencing some low points and challenges throughout the coffee journey....Never Give Up...Passion Above Everything 

Why do you think these competitions are important ? It pushes coffee professionals to push boundaries and move away from their comfort zones , encourages New comers and also In recent years i have noticed that customers are even going extra mile to follow their favourite baristas and watch them competing around the country with best from other provinces, how is that for our industry?

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee)    Mistakes are just an apprentice to achievement..I break a lot to fix a few😂 maybe a a lot in the near future.

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? Burundi, I enjoy the versatile nature of its cupping possibilities


Name: Thabo Kheleroa

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Barista

Competition History: I won Free State regional championships in 2018, and came second in the regionals in 2019 behind my friend Stevo Kuhn. In 2019 I competed in the nationals for the first time and failed to qualify for the top 6. This year I hope to improve and learn more. 

Company representing: JARU COFFEE

Job in coffee industry: Managing Barista at Jaru Coffee 

Why did you enter this competition? To learn, improve and gain exposure to the industry from other great baristas. 

What is your favourite coffee at the moment? I'm a fan of African single origins. I'm currently enjoying the Kenya Bold Bean. 

What has been the highlight of the journey so far? Winning the 2018 Free State Barista Championships. 

Why do you think these competitions are important? In community we grow and improve. I think the culture at the competitions is competitive in a healthy and supportive way. We're all happy to share ideas and learn from each other. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee): I can fix just about anything with my hands. 

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? Definitely Brazil for 3 reasons: They are the biggest coffee producers in the world, 2: The colourful culture and 3: SOCCER. 


Name: Ndumiso Qolintaba 

Qualified for nationals: Barista competition 

Competition history : Regionals 2019.

Company name: Vineyard hotel 

Job in Coffee industry: full time barista 

Why did I enter the competition? Because I am on a journey to learn and grow as a coffee professional its necessary for me to enter the competition to see how other professionals do.

My favourite coffee at the moment?  Is Nyabirabi from Burundi. 

My highlight of the journey so far?  Competing at the regionals for the first time.

Why I think these competitions are important?  Because they create a platforms for baristas to showcase the talent and knowledge also to have their voice heard.

Interesting fact about me? I have love for people in general. 

Traveling to a coffee producing country?  Burundi. I have been reading the interesting facts about them.  

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Build up to Nationals 2020: Barista Profiles One

Wednesday, 29 January, 2020

In little over a month's time the best of the best coffee professionals from around South Africa will gather in Johannesburg at HOSTEX to battle it out for top honours in SCASA's National Coffee Competitions in three categories: Cup Tasters, Latte Art and Barista Championships (Don't know what these are? Here are the basics).

Over the next month we will be introducing you to the legends that have progressed to this level and who have their sights set on international glory and a ticket to either Warsaw, Poland or Melbourne, Australia.


Name: James Kilbourn

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Cup Tasters

Competition History: Took part in both 2018 and 2019 Central Region Cup Tasters - won 2019. Competition Judge for Western Cape Barista & Latte Art Championships 2016, Central Region Barista & Latte Art Championships 2018 & 2019.

Company representing: Stereo Cafe

Job in coffee industry: Coffee Roaster / Barista

Why did you enter this competition? To test and  improve my skills as a coffee roaster and cupping skills

What is your favourite coffee at the moment? Malawi Misuku Highlands Gesha 

What has been the highlight of the journey so far? Opening my own roastery and cafe.

Why do you think these competitions are important ? It’s an important part of learning your trade and being able to benchmark your knowledge and skill against other coffee professionals. It’s also a great opportunity to network with people in the industry.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee). I worked in the radio broadcasting industry for over 20 years (including my varsity days) before the coffee bug bit me.

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? I’d love to visit the forests of Ethiopia - the birthplace of Arabica coffee and where the coffee grows wild. It would be wonderful to see how different the wild trees are to the cultivated crops that we see on coffee farms and to see how coffee is harvested, processed, roasted and brewed by the local community the way it has been for centuries.


Name:  Winston Thomas

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Barista

Competition History

Regionals = 2nd place 2016, 1st place 2017, 2018 & 2020

Nationals = 8th place 2016 , 1st place 2017 & 2018

Company representing: Winston Douglas Coffee

Job in coffee industry: Business owner and barista trainer

Why did you enter this competition

I took a break in 2019 to focus on family and my business, in order to have a bit more stability. I wanted to come back in 2020 only if I had something to say or some kind of contribution to make. The initial contribution has changed but I do believe I have some value to add so here I am :)

What is your favourite coffee at the moment

I haven’t been as active tasting coffee at different cafes and roasteries as I used to and I no longer work in a cafe where I can taste coffees on a daily basis. I’ve tasted a few special coffees via samples I received for comp but I am going to be biased and say my competition coffee. Mainly because there is a lot more to it than the sensory aspect. I’m working directly with a farmer so I’ve got full transparency. But more about that when I get to stage!

What has been the highlight of the journey so far?

More recently I really enjoyed seeing Ndumiso Qolintaba grow and make it to the top 6 in the Western Cape Barista Regionals and qualify for Nationals. I’ve known him for a long time and to see him achieve one of his life long goals was amazing. On top of that by pure chance the owner of the washing station (I speak under correction, it might have been the owner of the farm but I’m not too sure) who happened to be in Cape Town during the time of comp showed up during his finals performance after hearing that a barista was using his coffee.

Why do you think these competitions are important ?

There are so many things with mentioning. In short they are barista development in technical, sensory and presentation, networking opportunities, developing community in the industry, career development for baristas etc etc etc.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee)

I’m getting married 2 weeks after comp! And it has overshadowed my excitement for competition haha. But I’ll still put in my best and if all goes well we might do a second honeymoon in Melbourne :)

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why?

There are two! At the moment I would really like to go back to Rwanda and visit farms. I have been there before but did not get a chance to visit any farms. But if Nationals goes according to plan that might be come a reality :) I would also like to visit some friends who own a cafe and roastery in a surf town in the Philippines - El Union. I know they would also take me to a couple of farms. You should contact them for an article! (hint hint).


Name: Fikile (Aka Fiks) Khuzwayo

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Barista Competition

Competition History: 2nd place in Kzn Regional 2019

Company representing: MrP Foundation

Job in coffee industry: Barista

Why did you enter this competition? To challenge myself and give myself more exposure in the coffee field

What is your favourite coffee at the moment? Double Americano

What has been the highlight of the journey so far?  Attending coffee Competition has Given me more confidence to this field and realising the Bright future that comes with this Journey

Why do you think these competitions are important ?  That is where I see myself capabilities and pushing my abilities to the maximum. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee) Mentoring. Young people to guard and assist them in life couching by using my experience to help another person and love cooking and baking too.

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why?  Rwanda! Travelling to Rwanda getting more understanding and most of all meeting the woman who play such a Big Role in the Coffee Farm. #3Africansisters. It will be honour to Learn from them #WomanInCoffee.


Name: Thabang Maluleka 

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Cup Tasters

Competition History: 2017 Gauteng Cup tasters 1st runner up, 2018 Gauteng Cup tasters Champion, 2019 National Cup tasters Champion, 2019 Gauteng Cup tasters 1st runner up.

Company representing: Ciro Full Service Co.

Job in coffee industry:  Quality Assurance Technician

Why did you enter this competition? I’ve always wanted to become something like an expert on coffee, this competition helps me gage how close I am to my coffee goals, I’ve also found that I meet a lot of people that have vast coffee knowledge I’m able to absorb and stay relevant in this forever changing industry.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment? I try not to have a specific favorite as I’ve found that it makes me biased when tasting the coffees I love agains other coffees, but if I really really had to chose I’d say most of the Ethiopian coffees.

What has been the highlight of the journey so far?  Representing South Africa on a global platform in Berlin,Germany 2019

Why do you think these competitions are important ? I think they are important for keeping the coffee culture in our country alive, this in turn brings a lot of coffee education and opens a lot of opportunities for all of us farmers, producers, coffee professionals as well as consumers. In my little time participating in this competitions I’ve seen a lot of social development drives that also pushes one to want to do more and lend a helping hand where possible.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee)

I host music events to try and promote township and rural area DJs &so they could have a chance in the entertainment industry.

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? Ethiopia- I love Ethiopian coffees and it’s where the coffee was discovered, so why not start at the beginning of it all!


Name: Trevor Fitz

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals: Barista Championships

Competition History: My previous achievements include winning the Gauteng champions twice, and finishing 2nd in the South African Nationals

Company representing: Beethoven Coffee Co

Job in coffee industry: I am a director and shareholder of Beethoven Coffee Co. I am also the head roaster, it's my job to make sure everything tastes good.

Why did you enter this competition? My Main aim is to get to the World Championships. I would really like a stab at it, I like the bigger crowds and the larger stage. I come from a training background so we the idea of the big stage really excites me. I guess that's why I entered this cycle.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment? Ethiopian Kochere. I just love the diverse flavours it is capable of producing.

What has been the highlight of the journey so far? I would say winning Gauteng for the second time. I was in Kenya for a corporate work trip up until prep day of the competition. I landed at the airport and drove straight to the venue to do my machine practice time at about 19:00. The next day I was on stage. I really didn't think I could win it in that situation, I felt under prepared and was looking simply to place for Nationals. But to come away with victory really showed me that I do have what it takes, and that Nationals is indeed a realistic goal for me. So that's what I'm aiming for now!

Why do you think these competitions are important? I think they are important because they force roasters and baristas to pay close attention to their coffee. The roast profile, the extractions, and even the farming and processing of the coffee. It's great information and learning to tack back into the industry. It can really help advance the quality and education of Coffee in SA.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee)

???

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why? Guatemala. I love the rich history that they have, stemming back all the way to the Mayan civilization. It has also been one of my favourite coffee origins for as long as I can remember, and the farmlands look super picturesque. Would love to experience that. 


Photo by @meyer&reneproductions

Name: Stevo Kühn

What competition are you qualified for at Nationals:

Barista competition

Competition History

Central region

2018 - 2nd

2019 - 1st

Nationals 2019 - 7th

Company representing: Urban Brew Coffee

Job in coffee industry: Barista trainer 

Why did you enter this competition

To push myself to learn & to network with other coffee legends.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment

Recently tried a experimental processed Panama Gesha. It was pretty exceptional.

What has been the highlight of the journey so far?

I had the opportunity to train baristas in Bahrain. Working with 7 different nationalities taught me that coffee is truly universal!

Why do you think these competitions are important ?

Competition forces us as professionals to move the boundaries of innovation & excellence.  It also fosters a coffee community.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself (that has nothing to do with coffee)

Uhm, I used to be in a band that did short tours with Prime Circle & Dan Patlansky, haha!

If you could travel to any coffee producing country in the world, where would it be and why?

I suppose anyone would love to visit Ethiopia. For me- any African country would be amazing!

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Bringing the world of coffee to Tshwane!

Tuesday, 3 December, 2019

Local Pretoria coffee shop, CupoCafe has undertaken to bring coffee from farm to cup to the city! If you're looking to learn more about the process of getting the coffee you drink every day in your cup, then go visit the Le Roux family this December!

"This December we are caffeinating our CHRISTMAS

Come on over for a full farm to cup coffee experience right here at CUPOCAFE.

With and exhibition explaining the process of coffee farming from coffee trees to the drying bay and roasting process of coffee.

This is an interactive experience for young and old.
Want to learn more about coffee and how it is made?
- then this is for you

Learn to make a cappuccino like our baristas behind the bar
or learn how to brew in the comfort of your own home with home brewing methods of all kinds.

Step into OUR WORLD OF COFFEE with plenty of Christmas gift ideas to choose from."

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!


Who wants to go to Melbourne for WBC 2020?

Thursday, 28 November, 2019

In 2018, Coffee Magazine took a trip to Australia and one of our key experiences was the Melbourne International Coffee Expo aka MICE.  Now, for those of you who haven't heard of MICE, it is known throughout the Asia Pacific as the largest and most exciting dedicated coffee event. Established back in 2012, it has become a must-attend event for everyone in the coffee community. 

As a result of our visit and this magazine's steady growth trajectory both across Africa and the world, we are extremely honoured to be have been asked to be an official media partner to MICE and we can vouch from our experience, that from a coffee lovers point of view, Melbourne is one of the most progressive coffee cities in the world, so if you've ever wanted to visit down under and experience a city that takes it's coffee extremely seriously, then this is the perfect reason to visit. 

Regularly attracting over 11,000 attendees, MICE connects café owners, roasters, equipment manufacturers, service suppliers and more to facilitate real business opportunities. The expo provides a wealth of networking opportunities alongside Melbourne Coffee Week.

In 2020, MICE will host the World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup, showcasing Melbourne and our coffee talent to the world.  So who wants to go?

All you need to know can be found at https://internationalcoffeeexpo.com/

Plus, if you buy your ticket now,  you will enter into the running to win some amazing Christmas gifts on offer from some very generous MICE exhibitors. 

The giveaway will take place from 2 – 8 December and will involve products from exhibitors such as Undercover Roasters, Casa Espresso, Veneziano Coffee Roasters, Barista Technology, Pablo & Rusty’s Coffee RoastersChai Spice, Almond Breeze, Vitasoy, Jetblack Espresso, Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters, Five Senses Coffee, The Alternative Dairy Co., and Industry Beans.  

To be eligible for the draw, you must be a MICE ticket holder. Once you have purchased a MICE ticket, you will need to like / follow MICE on FacebookInstagramor Twitter as the daily prize draws will be conducted via these platforms. 

During the campaign week photos of the prizes up for grabs will be shared across MICE socials. The final step to win a prize simply involves commenting on a given prize photo using the hashtags "#MICE2020 and #XMAS". This can be done on either Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Prize photos will be posted every day of the campaign week, with winners being announced on the same day.

Get your MICE tickets now to enter the running for some amazing prizes!

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!