Free State

Meet Tshepo Modiakgotla, the Central Region's Latte Art Champion for 2019 September 16 2019

This year was Tshepo Modiakgotla's second time competing at the Central Region Coffee Competitions at Coffee Extravaganza in Bloemfontein.

We connected with the Bloemfontein Latte Art champion to discuss his coffee journey and the competition that took place earlier in June.

Tell us a bit about yourself? Where do you currently work and how did you get into coffee?
I’d like to portrait myself as a CREATIVE, I love being in my space and create. Besides being behind the bar and managing the shop, I usually sit with my laptop and graphic design. I love music, and would like to sing one day. I’m the middle child from a family of five, I have two siblings. I studied B. Agric. Agricultural management at the University of Free State.

I work at Royal Coffee House, I work both as a Barista and Shop Assistant Manager there. Well, I started working as Barista in December 2015. I was a 1st year student by then, when I saw a job post on social media from one of the local coffee roasters.

What are your interests outside of coffee?
I’ve always been interested in creative arts. As a child I loved playing with my mom’s bible and I’d draw on it. As I got older, graphic designing became my passion. In 2018, I took a leap of faith and started Media93 Graphics and Printing, a graphic design and printing business which has been running effectively with clients from all over South Africa. We assist small and medium corporates with our tailored-made branding and marketing solutions.

The Central Region Coffee Competitions was such an exciting event this year, tell us more about your experience and how it felt like competing? Please tell us more about your LA set?
This year was my second time competing at the central regions. The previous year I came second and got the opportunity to go and compete at the Nationals. Personally, I feel like this year’s competitions was a huge step-up from last year. We were given a big platform to showcase both our creative skills and passion for coffee. This year’s set was inspired by what I do on a daily basis, EXCITEMENT! I wanted to just have fun and enjoy myself on stage.

What is great about coffee in the greater Bloemfontein and Free State area
What has been very interesting for me to see throughout the past 4 years, was how people have actually grown to appreciate coffee. During the time I started, there were just a few specialty coffee shops around. But today, the number has immensely doubled. I have faith and hope that the culture will grow even greater in the coming years.

What is your favourite coffee, and why?
Wow this a tough one! Well, I guess it really depends on the mood. I love exploring my taste balances on a V60 and Chemex. My favourite coffee would have to be Tanzania Ngorongoro roasted by Royal Roastery.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the Central Region Coffee Competitions?
Well, I have a list of people I want to appreciate. I want to appreciate my Former Barista Trainer Thabo Kheleroa (Jaru Coffee), Janco Holtzhausen (Owner at Jaru Coffee) who paved the way for me in the industry. I want to thank my church for the support. My friends and family for all your prayers and well thoughts.

Finally I want to thank my current employer and Business Coach, Ruan Immelman and his wife, who tirelessly put everything together and went all the way that we win. A big shout out to Ernest Lephuting also from Royal Coffee House who competed for the first time and managed to be placed 2nd. I also want to thank the rest of the Royal team for all the support and making sure that everything concerning my set was a huge success.

What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years?
The next step now is the Nationals. The training has already begun and the focus is just to polish where we went wrong. I see myself venturing in the coffee business and collaborating with the biggest players in the graphic design industry. I believe coffee is a good business and it is a good catalyst for every business venture.
Thanks Tshepo, good luck with the journey ahead. 

Photos: Royal Coffee House & Supplied 

Meet Stevo Kühn, the Central Region's Barista Champion for 2019 September 16 2019

After coming second in 2018, Urban Brew Coffee'sStevo Kühn, put in the extra time to win 2019's Central Region Barista Competition at Coffee Extravaganza in Bloemfontein earlier in June.

We connected with Stevo about his coffee journey, the coffee scene in Bloemfontein and the road ahead.   

Stevo Kühn with SCASA chairman, Bernard Muneri

Congratulations on the win Stevo. Tell us a bit about yourself? Where do you currently work and how did you get into coffee?
Thanks. I am the husband to a beautiful wife and father to a three year old daughter (the other sibling is still growing J). I am also the owner of Urban Brew Coffee. We run a coffee bar within corporate spaces and then I do a bunch of barista training. I used to teach at a primary school and during that time was intrigued by the process and flavour of coffee and so the rabbit hole was opened up. In 2016 I got the opportunity to step into coffee professionally and didn’t think twice.

What are your interests outside of coffee?
People! I am moved by relationships. I think this is why coffee is so awesome for me. Also, I love playing the bass guitar and spending time with my family.

The Central Region Coffee Competitions was such an exciting event this year, tell us more about your experience and how it felt like competing? 
I feel the standard of competition this year was better than last year. That is very exciting! It’s great seeing other baristas progress into the competition scene. My set was focused on improving my score from Nationals earlier in February. I really just wanted to build on that. The theme for my set was “community” and linked this with my first specialty coffee experience and the farm, Finca El Martillo in Santa Ana, El Salvador, that is owned by the Salaverria family. Besides this I also wanted to challenge myself with a washed coffee. The last two sets I competed with naturals, so I really wanted to try something else.

What is great about coffee in the greater Bloemfontein and Free State area?
People are very hungry for more and they are becoming aware of the differences between origins. This is a small step, but something to build on for us professionals. As a trainer, I also see large chain stores investing into their coffee to really stay relevant. I find this exciting! If everyone grows, we are directly and indirectly pushing those around us to grow too.

What is your favourite coffee, and why?
Uh, tough one... Different coffees for different things. Loved the Amber, washed carbonic macerated Kenyan roasted by Father.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the Central Region Coffee Competitions?
My wife, Elri, for affording me the time to push into this. I spend quite some time out of Bloemfontein and she is a HUGE support. My family for always going above and beyond for what I need during this time. My Urban Brew team - Thato & Charlene, for running sites when I train, polishing cups, checking lists and so much more. Father Coffee for their amazing support in roasting this coffee and sharing ideas over coffee and the industry. Ultimate Water for sponsoring me water filtration to ensure that I have the perfect water to train with. Morrico for equipment support. Doxa Deo BFN for their support with venues to train with. Also, SCASA and the judges who came to BFN to make this event happen. This is huge for us in Bloemfontein.

What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years? 
Train, train, train! I’m doing my AST certification soon and really look forward to uplift people with it.
Thanks Stevo, good luck with the journey ahead.

Photos: Bernard Muneri & Evert Kleynhans/Rooistoel

SCASA Central Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Winners June 02 2019

Congratulations to all our Central Region Coffee Competitions winners.

Stevo Kühn
 - Urban Brew Coffee (Barista Winner)

James Kilbourn - Stereo Café (Cup Tasters Winner)

Tshepo Calvin Modiakgotla - Royal Roastery (Latte Art Winner)

Barista Competition 
2nd Thabo Kheleroa - JARU Coffee
3rd Mapaseka Mapela - Wiesenhof Franchise

Cup Tasters Competition
Maryke Schoonwinkel - Brüder Coffee Roastery

Latte Art Competition
Tulo Ernest Lephuthing - Royal Roastery

Many thanks to all the competitors who entered, our esteemed judges, Coffee Extravaganza for hosting us and our trusted sponsors.

SCASA Central Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Schedule & Competitors May 29 2019

Herewith the 2019 Central Region Coffee Competitions schedule and competitors.

Announcement of all category winners will be done on Saturday 1 June after Barista competition.
Baristas will compete in above sequence and times.
Top 2 Cup Tasters will proceed to Nationals.
Top 2 Latte Artists will proceed to Nationals.
Top 3 Baristas will proceed to Nationals.
ALL Categories to run one round ONLY, NO FINALS round, please treat as FINALS.
Practice times are one hour before competition time in the order above, or when machines are available, coordinate at venue.
Schedules subject to change at short notice.

(Thursday 30 May at Bloemfontein Coffee Roasting Company between 17:00-20:00. Thank you to the Bloemfontein Coffee Roasting Co. for facilitating)
Roland Pienaar - Royal Roastery
James Kilbourn - Stereo Cafe
Adriaan Botha - 
Bloemfontein Coffee Roasting Company

(Friday 31 May at Coffee Extravaganza, Windmill Casino between 17:00-19:00)
Tsela Ramofolo - Brüder Coffee Roasting
Harvey Tanda - JARU Coffee
Tshepo Modiakgotla - Royal Roastery
Tulo Ernest Lephuthing - Royal Roastery

(Saturday 1 June at Coffee ExtravaganzaWindmill Casino between 09:00-17:00)
Garith Prior - Pause Coffee Roastery
Joel Makhele - Seattle Coffee Co
Thabo Kheleroa - JARU Coffee
Tsela Ramofolo - Brüder Coffee Roasting
Mapaseko Mapela - Wiesenhof
Tshepo Modiakgotla - Royal Roastery
Stevo Kühn - Urban Brew Coffee

SCASA Central Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - ENTRIES OPEN March 12 2019

ENTRIES NOW OPEN for SCASA's 2019 Central Region Coffee Competitions taking place 31 May - 1 June at Coffee Extravaganza, Windmill Casino, Bloemfontein.

Download the Coffee Competition Entry Form HERE

Judges who would like to apply can do so HERE

Learn more about at 2019's Coffee Extravaganza HERE

Free State Barista Champs Results August 21 2018

Well done to all the competitors of the first Barista Championship in the Free State! The idea was to get this region going so they started with a shortened format with less judges, having to complete the espresso course and the milk based course in 10 minutes. The Top 3 will proceed to Nationals. See full results below.

1. Thabo Kheleroa - Jaru Coffee

2. Stevo Kuhn - Urban Brew

3. Lizé Taljaard - Royal Roastery

Thank you to all our headline sponsor DaVinci Gourmet and the Supplier Sponsors as well as all Judges who volunteered their time. Thank you also to the Venue Host, Coffee Extravaganza at Windmill Casino. A great time was had by all and SCASA looks forward to the growth of this region.


The victorious Top 3!