News

Build Up to SCASA National 2020 Coffee Competitions 1-3 March January 10 2020

The 2020 National Coffee Competitions will take place at Hostex - Africa's Food, Drink and Hospitality Trade Expo, 1-3 March at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. 43 Competitors across three coffee competition disciplines (Barista Competition, Latte Art Competition and Cup Tasters Competition) have qualified for this year's Nationals.

JUDGES APPLICATION NOW OPEN
All interested judges apply here.
Judges training will be 29 February 2020 10:00-16:00 at Ciro Full Service Beverage Co. in Bryanston (30 Sloane Street, Bryantson). 

COMPLIMENTARY ENTRANCE TO HOSTEX
Complimentary entrance for all registered trade visitors to Hostex.
Register online here.

The following competitors have qualified for the 2020 National Coffee Competitions.

Barista Competition = BC | Latte Art Competition = LA | Cup Tasters Competition = CT

CENTRAL REGION COMPETITORS
Stevo Kühn (BC Winner) - Urban Brew Coffee
Tshepo Modiakgoda (LA Winner) - Royal Roastery
James Kilbourn (CT Winner) - Stereo Cafe
Thabo Kheleroa (BC) - Jaru Coffee
Mapaseka Mapela (BC) - Wiesenhof
Tulu Ernest Lephuting (LA) - Royal Roastery 
Maryke Schoonwinkel (CT) - Bruder Coffee Roastery

EASTERN CAPE REGION COMPETITORS
Hilary Gwaze (BC Winner) - Infood Coffee Roastery
Earl Higgins (LA Winner) - Brioche Food & Coffee
Kyle Grebe (CT Winner) - Coffee Boys
Raymond Roesstorff (BC) - Wiesenhof
Mpumelelo Adams (BC) - Mastertons Coffee & Tea
Raymond Dzinemarira (LA) - Infood Coffee Roastery
Chris Faragher (CT) - Coffee Boys / Holiday Coffee

GAUTENG REGION COMPETITORS
Trevor Fitz (BC Winner) - Beethoven Coffee Co.
Elizabeth Gumbo (LA Winner) - Seattle Coffee Co.

Karel Viviers (CT Winner) - Coocoocachoo
John Evans (BC) - Tribeca Coffee Company
Fanie Botes (BC) - Thirdspace Café & Roastery
Jesse Dodkins (BC) - Father Coffee
Samanatha Naidoo (BC) - Tribeca Coffee Company
Thandiwe Shonhiwe (BC) - Wiesenhof (ABSA Towers)
Sibusiso Ndzuzo (LA) - Tribeca Coffee Company
Thabang Maluleka (CT) - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.
Viwe Lugongolo (CT) - Father Coffee
Nicodemus Nabakwe (CT) - Sevenoaks Trading

KWAZULU-NATAL REGION COMPETITORS
Kgune Dlamini (BC Winner) - Lineage Coffee
Ndumiso Ngcobo (LA Winner) - The Talkhouse
Wency Masawi (CT Winner) - Tanaka Coffee / African Roots Coffee
Fikile Khuzwayo (BC) - Mr Price Foundation
Bruce Manning (BC) - Brustar
Jeff Stopforth (LA) - Beaver Creek Coffee
Themba Ndlovu (CT) - VDP Distributors

WESTERN CAPE REGION COMPETITORS
Winston Thomas (BC Winner) - Winston Douglas Coffee
Christopher Abrahams (LA Winner) - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.

Tess Schmidt (CT Winner) - Sevenoaks Trading
Neil Gouws (BC) - Origin Coffee
Justin Groep (BC) - Rosetta Roastery
Simnikiwe Mkhize (BC) - Rosetta Roastery
Ndumiso Qolintaba (BC) - The Vineyard Hotel
Innocent Chakanyuka (BC) - Truth Coffee Roasting
Bakhe Mapasa (LA) - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.
Leigh Wentzel (CT) - Rosetta Roastery

Stay tuned for more information on the National Competitions and our Competitors. 


SA National Coffee Competitions 2020 December 17 2019



SCASA's National Coffee Competitions is the pinnacle event of South Africa's specialty coffee scene. Competing disciplines will be the Cup Tasters competition, the Latte Art competition and the Barista competition, happening at Sandton's Convention Centre in Johannesburg, 1-3 March.


Read more about Hostex - Africa's Food, Drink and Hospitality Expo

#SABaristaChamps2020 #SCASA #UnitedPassionForCoffee

Meet Kgune Dlamini, the KwaZulu-Natal Region's Barista Champion for 2019 November 15 2019

After placing third at the KZN Coffee Competitions last year (2018) and sixth at Nationals this year (2019), Kgune Dlamini from Lineage Coffee was ready to step up and win his first barista competition.


(Kgune Dlamini from Lineage Coffee, the winner of the 2019 KZN Barista Competition, here with 2018 winner Dieter Liebenberg. Photo: The Coffee Magazine)


(Kgune Dlamini home at Lineage Coffee. Photo: Facebook)

Tell us a bit more about yourself? Who do you work for? How did you get into coffee? 
Well I am creative by design, a Performance Poet to be specific. When I am not writing a poem, I am writing a book. In fact as we speak I am working on my book titled 'Silence, a Love untold.'

This is infact all of Kgune Dlamini in one sentence. As 'Silence' is the tool with which I have come to pursue my love for people (Which is funny because I talk a lot).

However, this mantra has become the very foundation for my Coffee journey. Because I have come to believe and conclude that Coffee is People. And this epiphany came about in March of 2016. When our systems Manager asked the team at work, what we loved the most about our job. Without a second thought I replied: People, because Coffee is People.

And this marriage, of Coffee and People, began at Lineage Coffee with Craig Charity in 2015. I have only worked for Lineage Coffee and to be trained by the highest ranking Barista in South Africa to this date, has been nothing but an honour and a privilege and it is the very reason why, 3 years later into competing, I have won my first ever Barista Championships competition.


(Photo: The Coffee Magazine)

Tell us a bit more what this win means to you?
I think this win came at the right time. Had it come sooner, I probably would have assumed the position of "Better THAN". And my being here and or winning, is not to be better than anyone but to stand with everyone. I guess when you have taken your losses, from being disqualified, to making rookie mistakes like spilling an Espresso on stage, I guess to win simply means: To learn. This is my position and centre, really. I am here to learn, have fun and with Coffee as a medium, love as many people as I possibly can hahaha.



How long did you train? And what specific methods do you apply when approaching a competition?
Well this time around I felt somewhat rested, so my preparation began 4 weeks before the competition. But that rest soon went out the window as I realized, 'Champions are not built on hope, but hard work.' Having placed 6th at Nationals, the trap was almost too easy, "Rest, you have been in the deep end, you got this." And I am super thankful that I never fell into that trap of complacency. Because where I come from, you are as good as your last poem. And in this context, you are as good as the last coffee you make.

With this in mind, my preparation would begin 5am in the morning for 45 minutes, then again from 17:30 in the evening to 23:30. I did this for 4 weeks. However I wouldn't say this is the only formula. For advice I'd say, prepare in time, pace yourself, all in all enjoy and learn from the process.

What are your interests outside of coffee?
Well I am a Performance Poet, Writer and a Dancer. 



The KZN Region Coffee Competitions were such an exciting event this year, tell us more about your experience and how it felt like competing and your set?
This year was absolute fun, in fact my plan was quite simple, 'to have fun'. I made this my daily mantra. Because truly, if I wasn't going to reserve myself the right to have fun, I don't think I'd want to compete. That was the plan, to go there and have fun, and if you saw my set, I think I did exactly that. As for my Signature Drink, I wanted to explore species. For me it was an untouched terrain. So I did that, I made a spice infused cacao reduction. Added cloves, cinnamon and star anise and some coconut cream with some grapefruit. And guess what? The whole thing tasted like dark chocolate with Orange notes hahaha truly beautiful.


(Kgune with his two Specialty Awards for Best Signature & Espresso Drink, here with SCASA chairman, Bernard Muneri)

Did you ever expect to win two Specialty Awards?
Well that was the idea, to get at least two. I love Espressos, so I always expect to get that one hahaha. So when I don't, you best believe I look myself in the mirror and give myself that scolding look hahaha. So when I was done experimenting with the signature drink, I was almost certain that I would get the award. 


(Kgune far letf with fellow competitors, from left to right, David Kazembe, Fikile Khuzwayo, Jason Nkosi and Bruce Manning) 

What is great about coffee in KZN?
We are a huge family and a bunch of coffee enthusiasts and professionals who truly enjoy each other. I have not been to other provinces but for what I know here, we don't compete against each other, we sharpen each other for the sole purpose that, in the end Coffee wins. 

What is your favourite coffee at the moment, and why?
Guatemala Canalaj from Bluebird Roastery. Absolutely clean. In fact the word that I used to describe it when I first tasted was, crisp. A crispy clean coffee. Now that right there, is magic in a cup.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the KZN Region Coffee Competitions?
There is a legion of people, however in no specific order. Craig Charity and the entire Lineage Team at large. My family, leaving the house at 5am and only to return at midnight hasn't been easy, but my family's support has truly been my back bone. Also our Lineage Customers, Karl of Salt Rock Coffee Company. Toni of Back in Thyme. These guys have been absolutely, absolutely amazing in this whole journey.


(Photo: Facebook)

What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years? 
The next stop is Nationals next year (2020). And the idea hasn't changed. To go there and have fun and learn as much as I possibly can whilst I'm at  it. And in five years time? Well I have a very strong passion and heart for the deaf. So in five years time, I probably would be owning my own space. Where I would offer my heart, my coffee skill set and also my expertise in the arts, to partner with the deaf community and therefore empower the ‘Hearing to See’. To see as in, to see as I have always dreamt. The Hearing and the Deaf in one space, enjoying Coffee, Art and Love and People. Without the slightest reminder of language being a barrier. 

Sounds great Kgune, thanks for chatting to us and all the best with your preparations for Nationals in 2020.

Meet Wency Masawi, the KwaZulu-Natal Region's Cup Tasters Champion for 2019 November 13 2019

It's been three years since Wency Masawi has tasted victory. The 2019 and 2016 Cup Tasters Champion spills the beans on his coffee journey at the recent KZN Coffee Competitions.


(Wency Masawi the winner of the 2019 KZN Cup Tasters Competition. Themba Ndlovu was second. Photo: The Coffee Magazine)

Tell us a bit more about yourself? Who do you work for? How did you get into coffee? 
My professional coffee carrier started in 2010 when l met the coffee LEGEND Bernard Muneri soon after he came back from WBC Colombia in 2011, at a Ninos restaurant, he saw the talent and age then he invested his valuable time on me the rest is history, I am an entrepreneur and coffee professional who owns Tanaka Coffee Consulting Company as well as working hand in hand with Mark Platt of African Roots Coffee in Umhlanga in Durban, I am an AST (Speciality Coffee Association Accredited Trainer) certified who operates in Durban.



Tell us a bit more what this win means to you? 
This win I dedicated it to Tanaka Coffee and African Roots for the hard work which is being done behind the scenes by making sure that a Fair Trade practice is in place and giving back to the community as well as Value For Money to our customers.


( The Top 2 Cup Tasters Themba Ndlovu and Wency Masawi. Photo: The Coffee Magazine)

Did you train? And what specific methods do you apply approaching the competition?
I believe if you are a coffee professional it is suppose to be a habit not an act when you are dealing with speciality coffees, I train baristas and taste coffees day in day out for a living, I did not train and I take responsibilities as they come.

What are your interests outside of coffee? 
Soccer and hanging out with friends and family.

The KZN Region Coffee Competitions were such an exciting event this year, tell us more about your experience and how it felt like competing?
Traditionally KZN always brings their A game when it comes to these kind of events, without any surprises I was expecting a tough competition, I had former KZN Cup tasting champions competing against me, which was a norm in our region. It was quite tough but I came up victorious with a flying margin, 6 out of 8 coffees.


(The Top 4 Cup Tasters finalists F-L-T-R: Themba Ndlovu, Bruce Manning, Wency Masawi and Melanie Winter. Photo: The Coffee Magazine)

What is great about coffee in KZN? 
Coffee in KZN is a culture, we have a very close relationship amongst us coffee professionals and customers, our goal is to give our customers the most finest coffees we can source.



What is your favourite coffee at the moment, and why?
I have recently fell in love with coffee from Malawi (Livingstonia)… a mushroom farmer took a risk by planting coffee for a change, eventually it paid off, it is one of the best coffees Malawi has produced, I enjoy to drink it in drip filter with soft water.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the KZN Region Coffee Competitions?
I would like to give a word of appreciation to Jonnson Workwear for providing me with the awesome apparels, I was looking fabulous during the competition period I hope you saw the pics hahahaha, always feel comfortable in those, African Roots Coffee for a great work space and speciality coffees we get to source and brew, and The Coffee Mag for being the great voice of coffee in SA.

What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years?
Up next it is the National Competitions in March 2020, I see myself as the next coffee hero in the country helping the under privileged with the necessary coffee trainings at no cost with the help of sponsors.


SCASA KwaZulu-Natal Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Winners November 09 2019

Congratulations to all our KwaZulu-Natal Region Coffee Competitions winners!


All three competitors have qualified for the National Coffee Competitions in March 2020.

The Barista Specialty Awards went to (as determined in the semi-final round):
⭐️ Best Technical: Dieter Liebenberg (VDP Distributors)
⭐️ Best Milk Beverage: Jason Nkosi (Lineage Coffee)
⭐️ Best Signature & Espresso Drink: Kgune Dlamini (Lineage Coffee)


Kgune Dlamini the 2019 KZN Barista Champion

FINAL Barista Standings:

1. Kgune Dlamini (Lineage Coffee)
2. Fikile Khuzwayo (Mr Price Foundation)
3. Bruce Manning (Brustar)
4. Jason Nkosi (Lineage Coffee)
5. Nkosingiphile Hlophe (Tribeca Coffee Company)
6. David Kazembe (Kivu Projects Café)

The 2019 KZN CUP TASTERS Champion is Wency Masawi from Tanaka Coffee/African Roots Coffee. Themba Ndlovu from VDP Distributors was second.

Both competitors have qualified for the National Coffee Competitions in March 2020.


Wency Masawi the 2019 KZN Cup Tasters Champion




The 2019 KZN LATTE ART Champion is Ndumiso Ngcobo from The Talkhouse Cafe! Jeff Stopforth from Beaver Creek Coffee was second.

Both competitors have qualified for the National Coffee Competitions in March 2020.


Ndumiso Ngcobo the 2019 KZN Latte Art Champion

Thank you to all the judges and everyone else who made the KwaZulu-Natal Coffee Competitions happen, including all our sponsors and partners: DaVinci GourmetCiro Full Service Beverage Co., Vision Works SA, Bühler Group, Blue Diamond Almonds South AfricaScotsman Ice Systems AfricaMorricoVictoria ArduinoEquipment CafeMahlkönigUrnex BrandsUltimate WaterThe Coffee Magazine and The Pearls Mall. Thank you.

 


SCASA KwaZulu-Natal Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Schedule & Competitors November 06 2019

KwaZulu-Natal's 2019 Regional Coffee Competitions will comprise of three disciplines: The Cup Tasters Competition, the Latte Art Competition and the Barista Competition, running 7-9 November at The Pearls Mall in Umhlanga, Durban (6 - 8 Lagoon Drive, 4320 Umhlanga Rocks).

2019's competition will see 7 Cup Tasters, 18 Latte Artists and 8 Baristas!

Download the 2019 KZN Region Coffee Competition Schedule

CUP TASTERS COMPETITION
Bruce Manning
Iain Evans
Themba Ndlovu
Melanie Winter
Chad Aiden Whitby
William Steyn
Wency Masawi

LATTE ART COMPETITION
Thabo Boyce Nleya - Machine Washworx & Café
Philani Siyabonga Manukuza - Tribeca Coffee Company
Lihle Sphamandla Khoza - Blue Onion Foods
Khayelihle Ngcobo - Coffeebox
Ndu Mthalane - The Talkhouse
Nokwanda Bhele - Blue Onion Foods
Mdumiseni Bhengu - Tribeca Coffee Company
Thamsanqa Ndlovu - Coastal Coffee Roasters
Nokwanda Ndumo - African Roots Coffee
Nompumelelo Xaba - Blue Onion Foods
Jeff Stopforth - Beaver Creek Coffee
Sikhulile Promise Msane - Blue Onion Foods
Karabo Motla - Tsogo Sun
Ndu Ngcobo - The Talkhouse
Sihle Sikhakhane - Savior Café
Mbali Mpungose - Blue Onion Foods
Vincent Majola - African Roots Coffee
Nandipha Makhanya - Blue Onion Foods

Download the Latte Art competition criteria for 2019

BARISTA COMPETITION
Fikile Khuzwayo - Mr Price Foundation
Nkosingiphile Hlophe - Tribeca Coffee Company
David Kazembe - Kivu Projects Café
Thabo Boyce Nleya - Machine Washworx & Café
Kgune Dlamini - Lineage Coffee
Dieter Liebenberg - VDP Distributors
Jason Nkosi - Lineage Coffee
Bruce Manning - Brustar

The competitions will start on Thursday 7 November with the Cup Tasters competition at 10:00. Followed by the Latte Art competition at 11:00 until 18:00 on Day 1 and continuing on Day 2 (8 November) at 09:00 until 11:00. The Barista competition will start (on Friday 8 November) at 11:30 and will run until 17:00 with the finalists' announcement thereafter. Finals day, Saturday 9 November, will begin with the Latte Art final at 09:30, followed by the Cup Tasters final at 11:00. The Barista final will see six competitors, with the competition starting at 11:30.

Don't forget about the 'Almond Breeze Latte Art Smackdown', sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond South Africa, (SCASA's Bronze Competition Sponsor) featuring competitors, running on 7 November between 10:45 and 11:00, 8 November between 15:00 and 15:30 and on 9 November after 15:00, just before the winners' announcement. 

There is also a discussion scheduled on the 'Barista Wage Calculator' a collaboration between SCASA, CIRO Coffee Academy and The Coffee Magazine, just before the winners' announcement on Saturday 9 November. 

Thank you to all our sponsors for making this event become a reality and wishing all our KZN baristas the very best of luck with the competition.

Please Note: all schedules subject to change at short notice.
Any queries please email info@scasa.co.za


Meet Dr. Kyle Grebe, the Eastern Cape Region's Cup Tasters Champion for 2019 October 11 2019

From scrubs to brewing coffee. Meet Kyle Grebe, the coffee drinking doctor who recently won the Eastern Cape Region's Cup Tasters competition with his first attempt.



Tell us a bit more about yourself? Who do you work for? How did you get into coffee?
I’m originally from Cape Town, moved down to Port Elizabeth in 2016, tried to leave but the wind keeps blowing me back. I actually work for the government. I’m working as a surgeon in the PE hospital complex and currently training to become a Cardiothoracic surgeon.



As doctors we drink a lot of coffee and as an intern at Khayalitsha District Hospital, there was a sacred culture around coffee breaks, with Dr Sa'ad Lahri, the head of the emergency department teaching us about different brew methods. Seeing the difference, a good cup of coffee makes to team morale and motivation made me want to explore it more.

I started an Instagram page called @Beanstalking_PE to connect with the passionate people in the coffee industry, and those connections lead me here.



Tell us a bit more what this win means to you?
Over the past two years I’ve been watching the coffee community from the outside, wondering how I could become a part of it. Last year I went to watch the competition thinking I could meet a few people and learn a few things. Not knowing one year later I would enter Cup Tasters and actually win it! It still feels unreal!

Did you train? And what specific methods did you apply approaching the competition?
I spent a lot of time at Holiday Coffee, tasting different coffees with Chris and the team. A week before the competition I started watching YouTube videos of World Cup Tasters’ competitions and listening to interviews of previous winners for advice on techniques and strategy.





What are your interests outside of coffee?
Besides being a surgeon, I'm also into health and fitness, I train about four times a week, both cardio and weight training. I love the outdoors; hiking and swimming whenever I get a chance.

The Eastern Cape Region Coffee Competitions were such an exciting event this year, tell us more about your experience and how it felt like competing? Please tell us more about your set?
It really was an exciting event! Was great seeing the people I've come to know over the past year go out and give it their best! Also meeting new people at the event. It was stressful competing in my first competition, but once I started I was able to focus on the cups in front of me drown out the doubt and actually have fun with it.

What is great about coffee in the Eastern Cape?
There is something special about the Eastern Cape coffee community, I think it's the authenticity that comes from small, family owned businesses, that is welcoming and makes you feel like you are part of the family, even as a customer. We're all Coffee Companions...😉

What is your favourite coffee at the moment, and why?
The Rosetta San Francisco Natural, it's a Honduras Catuai, natural processed! It has a dynamic complex flavour with strong blueberry and chocolate notes. Each cup is a unique experience, but always amazing! And when pairing it with Nutella.... Wow!



Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the Eastern Cape Region Coffee Competitions?
I would like to thank Shaun Aupiais for convincing me to enter, and sharing his passion for coffee, Chris Faragher of Holiday Coffee for having faith in me and always pushing me out of my coffee comfort zone. I would also like to make a shout out to my girlfriend Stacey Middleton for all her patience and support, waiting hours while I decide which new brewing equipment and coffee gadgets I want to buy.

What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years?
My eyes are definitely on Nationals, I will be going in prepared, I will be doing a palate development course, tasting coffees from all regions, and practicing as much as I can. In five years’ time I hope to have combined my two passions Surgery and Coffee, using both fields to create a network that will facilitate at risk teens to reach their full potential.
Thank you Dr. Grebe and all the best for the future.

Photos: Shaun Aupiais and Facebook

Meet Earl Higgins, the Eastern Cape Region's Latte Art Champion for 2019 October 10 2019

Earl Higgins from Brioche Food & Coffee put in a magical performance to claim victory in the Latte Art discipline at 2019's Eastern Cape Coffee Competitions. Meet the man who got the final nod from the judges.

 
Tell us a bit more about yourself? Where are you from? Where do you work? How did you get into coffee?
I’m Earl Higgins and I live in Walmer, in the Eastern Cape. I work for Brioche Food & Coffee. I was spotted and invited to work for Brioche Food & Coffee by the owner Ilse Stinnette Cole, I was serving her as a waiter and she offered me work and so my life began as a barista.

What a great win for you last week. Tell us a bit more what this win means to you?
I now have achieved a good coffee network. Both my understanding and career in the coffee industry has grown. I’m also now confident that I can train others and hopefully come up with my own blends.



Was this your first time competing? How did approach this competition and how long in advance to you start training?
This was not my first time competing? I’ve competed at a Latte Art Throwdown at Como Caffé, so entering SCASA’s Latte Art competition came with a little bit less nerves.



What are your interests outside of coffee?
I’m a family man, so when I’m not pouring Latte Art, I’m at home with my wife and kids.

The Eastern Cape Region Coffee Competitions were such an exciting event this year, tell us more about your experience overall and how it felt like competing?
Coming into this competition I already knew what I was up against. My approach was to be as perfect as possible. Practice makes perfect.



What is great about coffee in the Eastern Cape?
Is that Brioche Food & Coffee serves the best coffee in the Eastern Cape.



What is your favourite coffee at the moment, and why?
At the moment I would have to go with the Italian Tribeca brand, their medium dark roasted coffee for my espresso. It’s a nice bean to work with.



What is your favourite LA design at the moment and anything new you would like to attempt?
My favourite Latte Art pour at the moment would have to be a detailed swan. As for something new, I’m attempting to pour a 20 layer inverted tulip.
Thank you Earl, all the best with your preparations for Nationals.

Photos: Supplied

Meet Hilary Gwaze, the Eastern Cape Region's Barista Champion for 2019 October 09 2019

Meet Hilary Gwaze from Zimbabwe now residing in Jeffreys Bay. Hilary placed second in 2018 but came back strong this year to win the Eastern Cape's Barista Competition.



Tell us a bit more about yourself? Who you work for and how you got into coffee?
l'm a Zimbabwean residing in Jeffreys Bay close to Port Elizabeth and have been working at Infood Coffee Roastery since 2013. l got involved in coffee through a dear brother of mine as a means of putting food on my table, little did l know that it was going to become a passion and my life...



Tell us a bit more what this win means to you?
This win means everything to me, because as a barista trainer l have a lot of people who look up to me as their role model, so this win has inspired a lot of young people to have a different perceptive on coffee, that you can actually make a career and a profession out of this.

The Eastern Cape Region Coffee Competitions were such an exciting event this year, tell us more about your experience and how it felt like competing? Please tell us more about your set? Beverages/Signature Drink.
It was a great experience no matter how many times you compete it's always a nervous experience standing in front of judges. l used an 'Ethiopian Guji Anasora Grade 1 Natural'. Wow l can confidently say that it's one of the best coffees l ever had and it really shines through in the milk, but you have to be careful because not all milk will complement this coffee. l used a farm fresh milk and it really brought out the best in this coffee. My signature drink was my favourite course because the complexity of this coffee gives you so many options to play around with. l discovered that as this coffee cools down it begins to change and have a dominant berry flavour, so l wanted to highlight that berry flavour, that's why l left my coffee to cool down to add my reduction which consisted of blueberries, strawberries, orange and sugar which l mixed with my coffee and it brought out flavours of chocolate, berries and orange with a lavender finish.



How long did you train? And what specific methods do you apply when approaching a competition?
I don't recall exactly how long I trained, but at our roastery where l work we have about more than 10 specialty coffees and more than 20 high commodity coffees which l sell about everyday, and when l'm selling these coffees l always explain about the origin, altitude, processing method, roast profile and taste profiles which is very similar to the barista competitions, so my approach to coffee competitions are the same as my approach to our costumers who walks through our doors everyday asking me different questions which always challenges me to grow and do more research.

Did you ever expect to win two specialty awards?
Not at all l just gave my best and the hard work of my team and l paid off.



What is great about coffee in the Eastern Cape?
l really love the coffee community we have here in the Eastern Cape because there is unity and everyone is willing to help and learn. My set involved a lot of people that showed how great coffee is in the Eastern Cape.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment, and why?
The 'Ethiopian Guji Anasora Grade 1 Natural' because it's very complex and versatile, you can enjoy it as anything, but my favourite is when you introduce milk to it as a cappuccino or cortado. 

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the Eastern Cape Region Coffee Competitions?
l would love to thank my colleagues who helped me, and a special thanks to Jayne Davies the owner of Infood for supporting me and sponsoring me with everything l needed for the competition.

What are your interests outside of coffee?
I like playing and watching soccer, by the way l used to be a professional soccer player.



What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years? 
I think making top six at nationals will be great because it will inspire a lot of young people like me, that it's possible and it will be a good example as l have a lot of people who look up to me as their leader and role model. l think in five years l see myself making a lot of impact by training young people who are less privileged and who don't have hope anymore. By giving them skill and impart knowledge in them so that they can also start their career in coffee.
Thanks Hilary, and all the best for the future!

Photos: Supplied, Facebook and Shaun Aupiais

SCASA Eastern Cape Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Winners October 08 2019

Congratulations to all our Eastern Cape Region Coffee Competitions winners.


Hillary Gwaze from Infood Coffee Roastery was the winner of the Barista Competition with last year's winner, Raymond Roesstorff from Wiesenhof Coffee second.



The Barista Specialty Awards went to:
⭐️ Best Milk Beverage and Signature Drink: Hillary Gwaze - Infood Coffee Roastery (right)
⭐️ Best Espresso: Raymond Roesstorff - Wiesenhof Franchise (left)
⭐️ Best Technical: Mpumelelo Adams - Mastertons Coffee & Tea Specialists (middle). Mpumelelo also came third overall in the competition.
All three baristas have qualified for the National Coffee Competitions at Hostex in March 2020 in Johannesburg.

Kyle Grebe from Coffee Boys came first in the Cup Tasters Competition with Chris Faragher from Coffee Boys / Holiday Coffee second. Both Kyle and Chris, have qualified for the National Coffee Competitions at Hostex in March 2020 in Johannesburg.

Earl Higgins from Coffee Boys won the Cup Tasters Competition with Raymond Dzinemarira from Infood Coffee Roastery (in picture above) came second. Both have qualified for the National Coffee Competitions at Hostex in March 2020 in Johannesburg.

Thank you to all the judges and everyone else who made the Eastern Cape Coffee Competitions happen, including all our sponsors and partners: DaVinci GourmetCiro Full Service Beverage Co., Vision Works SA, Bühler Group, Blue Diamond Almonds South AfricaScotsman Ice Systems AfricaMorricoVictoria ArduinoEquipment CafeMahlkönigUrnex BrandsUltimate WaterThe Coffee MagazineRed Band AcademyFather's House ChurchCoffee Boys Barista SolutionsMastertons Coffee & Tea SpecialistsUrban Espress Coffee Co.Vovo Telo PE and Woodlands Dairy. Also not forgetting Shaun Aupiais and Chris Burke for all their hard work. Thank you.

Photos: Shaun Aupiais


SCASA Eastern Cape Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Schedule & Competitors October 04 2019


The Eastern Cape's 2019 Regional Coffee Competitions will comprise of three disciplines: The Cup Tasters Competition, the Latte Art Competition and the Barista Competition, running 4-5 October at Father's House Church
 in Port Elizabeth (30 Paterson Road).

2019's competition will see 6 Cup Tasters, 5 Latte Artists and 7 Baristas!

Download the 2019 Eastern Cape Region Coffee Competitions Schedule

CUP TASTERS COMPETITION
Maxine Thiart - Routed Roasters
Raymond Roesstorff - Wiesenhof
Heinrich Thiart - Routed Roasters
Kyle Grebe - Coffee Boys
Charmaine Strauss - Routed Roasters
Chris Faragher - Coffee Boys(Holiday Coffee)

LATTE ART COMPETITION
Shane Januarie - Infood Coffee Roastery
Zanoxolo Yali - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.
Bongiwe Booi Jacobs - Urban Espress Coffee Company
Raymond Dzinemarira - Infood Coffee Roastery
Earl Higgins - Coffee Boys

BARISTA COMPETITION
Raymond Roesstorff - Wiesenhof
Hillary Gwaze - Infood Coffee Roastery
Nyasha Chiwaridzo - Urban Espress Coffee Company
Kenneth Mupanganyemba - Infood Coffee Roastery
Bongiwe Booi Jacobs - Urban Espress Coffee Company
Mpumelelo Adams - Mastertons Coffee & Tea
Nonkululo Budaza - Urban Espress Coffee Company

The competitions will start on Friday evening 4 October with the Cup Tasters and Latte Art competitions at 18:00 until 20:30. The Barista competition will start on Saturday 5 October at 09:00 and will run until 14:30 with the winners' announcement thereafter at more or less 16:00. Please note there will be no finals round.

Don't forget about the 'Almond Breeze Latte Art Smackdown', sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond South Africa, (SCASA's Bronze Competition Sponsor) featuring competitors, running on 5 October at 15:30 just before the winners' announcement. 

Thank you again to all our sponsors and wishing all baristas the very best of luck with the competition.


SCASA KwaZulu-Natal Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - ENTRIES OPEN September 18 2019

ENTRIES NOW OPEN for SCASA's 2019 KwaZulu-Natal Region Coffee Competitions taking place at the Pearls of Umhlanga Mall, in Umhlanga Rocks, Durban, 7-9 November.

Download the Coffee Competition Entry Form HERE

Judges who would like to apply can do so HERE
Judges training will be before the competition all details TBC.

 


More from Winston Thomas, the Western Cape Region's Barista Champion for 2019 September 13 2019

Winston Thomas back into competition in 2019 after taking a year off. The two time National Champion (2017 & 2018) had quite the busy year, after winning the 2019 African Fine Coffee Association's (AFCA) Barista Championship earlier in the year and now the Western Cape Regionals, walking away with not only the title, but also four out of five Barista Specialty Awards.


(Photo: Justin Groep)



What a great win for you in the Western Cape Regionals (on 6 September 2019). Tell us a bit more what this win means to you?

This win means a lot especially considering taking a year off. There’s still a lot of work to do for Nationals but it feels great being back in the swing of things and coming off with a win is the cherry on top.



How long did you train? And what specific methods do you apply when approaching a competition?
The preparation started two to three months before competition, which was mainly choosing a coffee and finalising a concept. This was a challenge because I already had a concept I wanted to use if I qualified for Nationals. So I had to put that aside and focus on something simple for regionals first. I’ve done a few tastings and finalised my signature drink about two weeks before the competition and I started running sets a week before the competition. Due to illness I only managed to fit in five full sets.



The Western Cape Region Coffee Competitions were such an exciting event this year, tell us more about your experience and how it felt like competing again, your set, your beverages and signature drink?
This was a very strong year in the Western Cape. It reminds me of my first year competing in 2016! I enjoyed the camaraderie backstage but also the crowd support. It seemed like there was a lot of supporters interested in watching the competition which was a first to see in the Western Cape (for me at least) which made competing and the time on stage a lot more enjoyable. There is also a strong crop of young competitors that competed for the first time, which is a good sign for future competitions.

My set revolved around customer perception and how the barista can influence this in a positive and meaningful way by using excellence, consistency and familiarity. I served a Natural Processed Kenyan Coffee roasted by Father Coffee and sourced by Project Origin. The espresso was amazing and represented excellence. So was the milk and it represented consistency. I used a specific milk from Zarmi Foods based in Benoni. Lastly my signature drink represented familiarity and to do this I created a coffee cola soda using a homemade cola recipe.



Did you ever expect to win four specialty awards?
I did not expect to win four but my goal was to win as many as possible. I think that is the goal for every competitor, to create a set that is able to win all five awards. I was very strategic about the set and took a few intentional risks and fortunately it paid off for the most part by winning the title and 4/5 specialty awards.

Best Espresso Beverage: Neil Gouws - Origin Coffee Roasters
Best Technical, Milk Beverage, Signature Drink and Best Overall Impression: Winston Thomas - Winston Douglas Coffee



Two wins in one year, AFCA and now Western Cape Regionals, how did the two competitions differ?
For the AFCA competition I focused on finding a good coffee and serving it well. There wasn’t as much focus on a specific concept for my set or an interesting signature drink, because I was also running the barista bootcamp for all of the competitors. So the biggest difference was my preparation and focus on performance. Although at regionals my goal was to serve the coffee well, I also wanted to give a message and provoke thought with the judges whereas at AFCA I had a much simpler goal to serve good coffee and inspire the judges.

We see you entered yourself under Winston Douglas Coffee, what’s your plans with the company/label?
This is still under wraps for now :) I am in the process of finalising admin and conceptualization. I am hoping to launch by the end of this year or early next year.



What is great about coffee in the Western Cape?
The WC is pretty small, especially central Cape Town so visiting stores is very easy - roughly within a 10km radius. So accessibility is great.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment, and why?
This Kenyan Thageini from Father Coffee is my favourite at the moment. Getting to explore this coffee in the build up to competition has made me appreciate it even more. And it is very versatile in brewing methods.

So many questions have been asked by us on coffee over the years, but what are your interests outside of coffee?
I enjoy the outdoors so hiking and surfing (although I haven’t been in the water for a while!) or just general time in nature. Family time has also become very important to me so I often go to visit family in Strand / Gordon’s Bay outside the city.



Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the Western Cape Region Coffee Competitions?
There are so many people to thank! Individual thanks goes to Khan Chang (the Coach), Nicole Jacobs (the Girlfriend) and Keaton Nicol (the Right Hand Man). In addition to that we have Father Coffee, Rock & Roller, Rosetta Roastery and Zarmi Foods. Thank you all!

Secondly is getting an African into finals of WBC - whether this is me or if I am assisting someone it is a very important goal I would like to achieve. After coaching Ndumiso Qolintaba I realised that, with my experience at WBC and the time I’ve spent with coffee pros from all over the world, I might be a better coach than I am a competitor! But I would like another shot at WBC before I say that for sure :)

What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years?
I will continue freelancing and training and of course get back to my Nationals prep. But my two main focuses are providing more growth opportunities for baristas in the industry through education and opportunities that have come my way.
Thank you Winston. All the best for the rest of the year and Nationals in 2020.


Meet Tess Schmidt, the Western Cape Region's Cup Tasters Champion for 2019 September 11 2019

Newly crowned cup tasting champion, Tess Schmidt, from Sevenoaks Trading shares her coffee story with us. Tess met Leigh Wentzel from Rosetta Roastery in the Western Cape region's Cup Tasters final, after beating Sharon Muto (also from Rosetta Roastery) in first round.


Tess Schmidt is the 2019 Western Cape Region Cup Tasters Champion (Photo: Justin Groep).

Tell us a bit about yourself? Where do you currently work and how did you get into coffee?

About 20 years ago I was introduced to coffee. I was asked to assist in setting up a coffee company. It was just myself and the owner. My knowledge of coffee was embarrassingly insignificant. It grew as the company grew and I was exposed to various aspects of coffee. I didn’t find coffee, coffee found me. I think someone else said that once, but it’s the truth.

I am currently employed by Sevenoaks Trading. I have been working for Carol Corlett since January this year. Our head office is in Gauteng and we sell green beans to roasters all over South Africa.


Tess Schmidt (L) and Leigh Wentzel (R) with SCASA chairman, Bernard Muneri. 

Tess met Leigh Wentzel from Rosetta Roastery in the Western Cape region's Cup Tasters final.

The Western Cape Region Coffee Competitions were such an exciting event this year, tell us more about your experience and how it felt like competing? 
The venue was wonderful. It was such a pleasure to participate. There were some wonderful coffee personalities there and I felt very humbled by these wonderful coffee aficionados. 

The sets were very challenging this year and it was very clear that the level of competition is improving. We have to prepare our palates to compete with the world’s best. The organisers clearly understood this and challenged us. I sincerely hope that this level of competition will continue to match up to the world event. Although very nervous, I enjoyed the sets and the different taste profiles. You have to zone out completely and the sets this year almost forced one to do so.

What are your interests outside of coffee?
I love to garden, cook and entertain friends and family.

What is great about coffee in the Western Cape?
Due to my work I get the opportunity to meet our customers at their roastery. It is truly exciting to see all walks of life; part time roasters, full time roasters, all complete caffeine addicts. All these people have one thing in common. They LOVE coffee and want to educate consumers to appreciate and love it too. There is much to learn and slowly but surely roasters in the Western Cape pull together to create this vibrant community. It is exciting to see this growth and people are empowered. Not only are jobs being created by this education, but the passion for coffee is ignited and then there is no turning back.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment, and why?
This is a difficult one. We are very blessed to have so many wonderful coffees in our warehouse. Mike MacDonald our Q Grader in Cape Town made up a lovely blend of Costa Rica Don Claudio and Tanzania Mondul that I really enjoyed.


Tess advanced to the final round after beating Sharon Muto (also from Rosetta Roastery) in first round.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to 
prepare for the Western Cape Region Coffee Competitions?
Honestly, I did not prepare much for the competition. I keep my palate fresh and clean on the day for the competition but I do want to thank my boss Carol and our Sevenoaks team. If you ever need a group of people motivating you and believing in you, then boy they are it. It is wonderful to work for such a supportive group of people. I get to taste a lot of different coffees due to my job and I really think that this has helped develop my palate.



What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years?
I would like to win Nationals and go on to the world event. At Sevenoaks there are so many opportunities to develop your talent, so in the next five years I could do anything in coffee. I enjoy meeting people and would like to continue supporting and sourcing more customers. I have not been to a coffee plantation as yet and would like to see a plantation for myself. Stick my hands in the soil and just be stupidly giddy about the fact that I am at the source of this wonderful commodity.
Thank you Tess for taking some time to share your journey with us.


SCASA Western Cape Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Winners September 09 2019

Congratulations to all our Western Cape Region Coffee Competitions winners.


The 2019 Western Cape Barista Champion is Winston Thomas from Winston Douglas Coffee (Photo: 
Justin Groep).


The 2019 Western Cape Cup Tasters Champion is Tess Schmidt from Sevenoaks Trading Pty Ltd (Photo: Justin Groep).


The 2019 Western Cape Latte Art Champion is Christopher Abrahams from Ciro Full Service Beverage Co. (Photo: Justin Groep).








The Western Cape Region Barista winner, Winston Thomas - Winston Douglas Coffee.


The Western Cape Region Cup Tasters winner, Tess Schmidt from Sevenoaks Trading Pty Ltd.


The Western Cape Region Latte Art winner, 
Christopher Abrahams from Ciro Full Service Beverage Co. (left) with runner up, Bakhe Mapasa (also from Ciro) (right). Both have qualified for the National Coffee Competitions at Hostex in March 2020 in Johannesburg.

RUNNERS UP
Barista Competition
All six baristas have qualified for the National Coffee Competitions at Hostex in March 2020 in Johannesburg, congratulations.


The Western Cape Region's Top 3 (from L-to-R): Neil Gouws, Winston Thomas and Justin Groep.


Winston Thomas' hand raised as the winner at the 2019 Western Cape's Coffee Competitions.

2nd Neil Gouws - Origin Coffee Roasters
3rd Justin Groep - Rosetta Roastery
4th Simplicity Mkhize - Rosetta Roastery
5th Ndumiso Qolintaba - Vineyard Hotel
6th Innocent Chakanyuka - Truth Coffee Roasting











The Barista Specialty Awards (as determined in the first round) went to:
⭐️ Best Espresso Beverage: Neil Gouws - Origin Coffee Roasters
⭐️ Best Technical, Milk Beverage, Signature Drink and Best Overall Impression: Winston Thomas - Winston Douglas Coffee





RUNNER UP
Cup Tasters Competition
Both cup tasters have qualified for the National Coffee Competitions at Hostex in March 2020 in Johannesburg, congratulations.

Leigh Wentzel from Rosetta Roastery came second in the cup tasters competition.


SCASA Western Cape Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Finalists Announced September 05 2019

Congratulations to all the Western Cape Regionals' finalists competing Friday 6 September at GOODSpaces in Woodstock.



LATTE ART COMPETITION
09:30 Christopher Abrahams - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.
10:00 Bakhe Mapasa - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.



CUP TASTERS COMPETION

11:00 Leigh Wentzel - Rosetta Roastery vs. Tess Schmidt - Sevenoaks Trading Pty Ltd



BARISTA COMPETITION
11:30 Winston Thomas - Winston Douglas Coffee
12:15 Ndumiso Qolintaba - Vineyard Hotel
13:00 Justin Groep - Rosetta Roastery
13:45 Innocent Chakanyuka - Truth Coffee Roasting
14:30 Simplicity Mkhize - Rosetta Roastery
15:15 Neil Gouws - Origin Coffee Roasters


BOOK NOW for a SCA Certified Coffee Roasting Course in October September 03 2019

DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND!
SCASA Bronze Sponsor, Bühler in association with Donovan McLagan (SCASA National Cup Tasters champion) from Cabal Coffee Roastery and Camissa Coffee Co., will be presenting another Specialty Coffee Association Certified Roasting Course 3-5 October in Cape Town. 

The course 30 September and 1 & 2 October have been SOLD OUT!

Booking is essential as limited seats are available.

Contact Martin Greyvenstein at 063 445 5999 for more information to secure your place.

More information on the roasting course.

Who will benefit from this Coffee Roasting Course presented by Bühler?Anyone from beginners with no experience to seasoned coffee roasters.

What will be the key things addressed in this course?
Entrants will learn about roasting processes, including roasting cycles, roast levels, identifying defects, the physical changes that beans undergo during the transfer of heat into beans.

What are people's biggest misconceptions when it comes to roasting coffee?
That it's easy to do and takes very little skill to master (it is not easy and does take skills to master).

How does 
Bühler and in particular the Roastmaster20 make it easy for people to roast?

  • Fully variable burner
  • Flexible multi-step roasting profile for great flavor generation, up to 10 steps.
  • Easy recipe management
  • Monitoring features (Actual product temperature, Set final product temperature, Roasting time, Roasting air temperature, Rate of rise)
  • Option to connect to 3rd party (Cropster and Artisan)
  • Monitor and operate the roaster from your laptop / tablet


More details about the course leader?
Donovan McLagan (SCASA National Cup Tasters champion), AST (Authorised SCA Trainer) of the CSP (Coffee Skills Program). Administered by SCA (Speciality Coffee Association).


SCASA Western Cape Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Schedule & Competitors September 02 2019



The Western Cape's 2019 Regional Coffee Competitions will comprise of three disciplines: The Cup Tasters Competition, the Latte Art Competition and the Barista Competition, running 4-6 September at GOODSpaces in Woodstock, Cape Town (The Ironworks Building, 242 Sir Lowry Road).

2019's competition will see 6 Cup Tasters, 10 Latte Artists and 13 Baristas!

Download the 2019 Western Cape Region Coffee Competition Schedule 

CUP TASTERS COMPETITION
Michael MacDonald - Sevenoaks Trading
Leigh Wentzel - Rosetta Roastery
Zameer Brey - Independent
Tim Porter - Rosetta Roastery
Tess Schmidt - Sevenoaks Trading
Sharon Muto - Rosetta Roastery

LATTE ART COMPETITION
Bakhe Mapasa - Ciro Full Services Beverage Co.
Glodi Kiombe - Folk Café
Rodney Swartz - Champs Musical Coffee Shop Productions
Cliff Namawa - Coco Safar Sea Point
Christopher Abrahams - Ciro Full Services Beverage Co.
Khantisa Ntlonti - Coco Safar Sea Point
Anda Nelani - Manja's Coffee Shop
Philani Feni - Equipment Café
Mostert Cephas Bungli - Coco Safar Sea Point
TBA - Folk Café

Download the Latte Art competition criteria for 2019

BARISTA COMPETITION
Neil Gouws - Origin Coffee Roastery
Simnikiwe Mkhize - Rosetta Roastery
Tinovonga Masawi - Coco Safar Sea Point
Imraan Parker - Ciro Full Services Beverage Co.
Benry Swanepoel - Cape Coffee Beans
Innocent Chakanyuka - Truth Coffee Roasting
Waqaar Sanglay - Origin Coffee Roastery
Ndumiso Qolintaba - The Vineyard Hotel
Winston Thomas - Winston Douglas Coffee
Olwethu Silo - Origin Coffee Roastery
Kudakwashe Gezi - The Coffee Roasting Co.
Sean Ellis - Origin Coffee Roastery
Justin Groep - Rosetta Roastery

The competitions will start on Wednesday 4 September with the Cup Tasters competition at 12:30 until 14:00. Followed by the Latte Art competition at 13:45 until 18:30. The Barista competition will start on Thursday 5 September at 08:15 and will run until 18:15 with the finalists' announcement thereafter at more or less 19:00. Finals day, Friday 6 September will begin with the Latte Art final at 09:30, followed by the Cup Tasters final at 11:00. The Barista final will see six competitors, with the competition starting at 11:30.

Don't forget about the 'Almond Breeze Latte Art Smackdown', sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond South Africa, (SCASA's Bronze Competition Sponsor) featuring competitors, running on 4 September between 13:30 and 14:00, 5 September between 15:30 and 16:15 and on 6 September after 15:30, just before the winners' announcement. 

There is also a discussion scheduled on the 'Barista Wage Calculator' a collaboration between SCASA, CIRO Coffee Academy and The Coffee Magazine, just before the winners' announcement on Friday 6 September. 

Wishing all baristas the very best of luck with the competition.

Please Note: all schedules subject to change at short notice.
Any queries please email info@scasa.co.za


Women in Coffee: Simnikiwe Mkhize August 20 2019


(Simnikiwe with her beloved V60. Photo: Misha Lee)

Celebrating Simnikiwe Mkhize this Women’s Month! A decorated barista from KwaZulu-Natal originally, now living in Cape Town, has become a beacon for many aspiring female coffee professionals. Her dedication and strive should be an inspiration for all. Simnikiwe is currently preparing to compete at the upcoming Western Cape Coffee Competitions (4-6 September 2019) in Woodstock. We connected to learn more about this woman in coffee.


(Simnikiwe on the left and colleague Sharon Muto on the right. Photo: The Traveling Barista)

Thanks for taking the time Simnikiwe. Where do you currently work and what do you do for them?

I currently work for Rosetta Roastery in Cape Town, and I am the cafe manager and barista for the Woodstock location.
Exciting.

How did you end up in the coffee industry?

I was head hunted from a cinema job, but initially started as a kitchen hand for a small coffee shop in Umhlanga (Durban) and the barista there trained me to make coffee for those times, days when he will not be at the shop. We traded skills so the customer wouldn't suffer in anybody’s absence. I suppose that's how the fire started.
Great story.



You’ve been in the industry for a while. Tell us a bit about your 'Coffee Achievements'?

2015 KZN Coffee Society: Barista Personality of the Year
2017 KZN Regionals: SCASA Barista Competition Winner
2018 WC Regionals: SCASA Barista Competition Winner
2019 Coffee Magazine Awards: Barista of the Year
Wow. A regional champion in two regions, that’s special.

Your favourite coffee at the moment and why?
It’s a tie between two completely different coffees. I’ll mention one because the other I have decided to use at the WC Regional SCASA Barista Competition coming up in September. The one I will mention, actually surprised me because I have always avoided certain coffee characteristics, it’s from the Frinsa Estate in the West Java region of Indonesia. It has a full body and very obvious herbal and spicy notes, and that combination finished with brown sugar sweetness just struck me.
We’re curious to learn more about the other one at the Western Cape Regionals.



In your opinion, what would like to see happen more in the industry?
As coffee professionals or as baristas we need to stop viewing ourselves only as button pushers, we need to redefine our roles and contribute to the customer education and experience.
Fully agree. Thanks for sharing.

What’s your advice or motivation to current and/or aspiring female coffee professionals out there?
Don't be discouraged.There are those customers who have the perception that a female will not make a satisfactory cup of coffee. You know yourself, make it anyway and aim for more than just being basic or average, leverage all the opportunities that may come your way.
Thank you Simnikiwe, wishing all the very best with your coffee journey.



Don’t miss Simnikiwe competing at the Western Cape Region’s Coffee Competitions, 4-6 September at GOODSpaces in Woodstock. Entries are still open, but close 31 August, if you would like to join Simnikiwe on the competition stage. Click here for more entry details for competitors and judges.

Photos: SCASA / Misha Lee / The Traveling Barista


Meet Karel Viviers, the Gauteng Region's Cup Tasters Champion for 2019 August 01 2019

Karel Viviers from Coocoocachoo competed in his very first SCASA competition and struck gold when he won the Cup Tasting discipline at the recent Gauteng Region Coffee Competitions.



We connected with Karel on his coffee journey and how it felt like competing.



Tell us a bit about yourself? Where do you currently work and how did you get into coffee?
I've been obsessed with specialty coffee for a good 15 years now. There more I discovered about coffee the more I wanted to know and luckily in coffee the learning never stops. My background is in strategic marketing and earlier this year I finally scratched my entrepreneurial itch and converted my passion for artisanal food and specialty coffee and creativity into a business. I opened a small coffee shop in Blairgowrie, Johannesburg which also has an e-commerce element to it.



What are your interests outside of coffee?
I don't know what "interests outside of coffee" means? Ha-ha. I'm very passionate about creative, authentic food and beverages (coffee, beer, wine, if it tastes good and is made well I must have it). I love art, design, music, outdoor adventure, aviation and since I'm a dad of two young boys I don't get to do any of those things, but it doesn't matter because they are just the best and fill me with love.



The Gauteng Region Coffee Competitions was such an exciting event this year, tell us more about your experience and how it felt like competing?
It was my first time competing in any form of SCASA competition and was an interesting and cool experience. Who knew you could be nervous to drink some coffee?! Cup taster competitions are notoriously challenging, and I found that be true, the nuances in the various cups are so small that by the halfway mark your tasting accuracy starts slowing down and then the time element starts kicking in and your nervous anyway and I'm rambling because that's how you feel even though you only take a few minutes to do everything! I look forward to competing again in the future.
Rambling's allowed. It was quite the intense set.

What is great about coffee in the greater Gauteng area?
There is a marked increase in the variety of specialty coffee available. Not only the amount of small roasteries popping up and delivering really good roast profiles, but also the amount of establishments that pay more attention to their coffee offering and that in turn is driven by a heightened awareness and demand from customers. In short, the growth across the sectors of the industry in Gauteng is great!

What is your favourite coffee at the moment, and why?
Since we serve Father Coffee's Heirloom Blend at our shop I'm spoiled to drink that every day and honestly their selection of single origins aren't only unique and numerous, but I have yet to come across one that isn't amazing, love their work. I have just finished a special treat, a single origin geisha from Bluebird Roastery called Liliana, a flavour rollercoaster all the way through and across brew methods. I'll be honest though, there are so many amazing coffees in SA, do you have a month so I can tell you about all of them and why I love them?
Ha-ha, sounds fascinating, it's a date.



Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the Gauteng Region Coffee Competitions?
My barista Sipho Phomodi [pictured in the centre above], he's one of my baristas and asked me ages ago to enter him into the competition. So I decided to join him, so I'm glad we got to take part together. I would also like to thank the one barista from Dulce Cafe who lent me his tasting spoon for the semi-finals, I left mine at home like a professional and he graciously allowed me to use his (a big deal for the tasting purists!), I owe him a free coffee!
That's such a nice gesture, please send us a photo when you share that coffee.



What’s next for Karel Viviers and where do you see yourself in five years?
My coffee shop is still new, so my immediate focus is to grow our business. In the medium term I want to expand our footprint with more spots and more involvement in coffee events. In five years' time I'm hoping to have built our brand into a recognisable, distinct identity with broad reach and to do that by developing others, creating jobs, sharing knowledge, gaining knowledge and truly growing the industry beyond my business alone. Easy right?
All the best Karel and thanks for taking the time.

Photos: SCASA & Coocoocachoo


Meet Trevor Fitz, the Gauteng Region's Barista Champion for 2019 July 31 2019

Trevor Fitz from Beethoven Coffee Company won the Gauteng Region Barista Competition on Sunday (28 July) with a powerful and confident performance. This is the second time Trevor has won big at the Gauteng regional competition, after winning it for the first time in 2017. He placed third in 2018. Trevor was also runner up at Nationals earlier this year. 



We connected with Trevor about his coffee journey, the coffee scene in Gauteng and the road ahead.



Tell us a bit about yourself? Where do you currently work and how did you get into coffee?
I currently work full time in corporate. But I have recently started a roastery with a couple friends. The company is called Beethoven Coffee Co. and we do specialty grade coffee only. We have roasted for a few competitors in the competition this year, and pride ourselves in quality and bespoke coffee offerings.

I got into coffee as a youngster, and actually entered the industry through the competition space.



What are your interests outside of coffee?
Honestly, anything to do with good flavours is a passion for me. I love cooking and baking, this has helped me a ton with prepping for competitions as well. But food and drinks are a big part of a lot of my life, even the times spent with family and friends.



The Gauteng 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 set?
I always love competition season, it’s a great time to mix with some of the best in the business, spend time with friends who have similar passions, and learn more about coffee and what’s happening out there, there’s always more to learn.

My set was quite basic this year, I didn’t want to complicate it with too much, so I stuck to the basics and backed myself to execute. The focus was on experience. Far too often coffee professionals thinks a great coffee is all you need. I wanted to show that even the common coffees, if made well, with dedication and precision, are great in their own way. But instead, we often let our thoughts of what a coffee should be like, take away from simply enjoying the experience of that coffee.



What is great about coffee in the greater Gauteng area?
What I love about it, is the diversity, there are a lot of options in Gauteng, so you can always try something new.

What is your favourite coffee at the moment, and why?
I would say our washed Yirgacheffe, I just love how it’s so basic, but keeps surprising me with its amazing complex flavours.



Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the Gauteng Region Coffee Competitions?
Of course. Branden-Roy, my business partner, for his help picking up my slack while preparing. Claire, who helped me profile, and assisted with script order.
Fanie and Chris, who watched many a horrid set and let me use their Black Eagle.
My sister for helping with all the gear I needed.



What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years? 
World Champion of course. 😉
But honestly, getting to the finals of Worlds is a real goal of mine!

Photos: SCASA & Beethoven Coffee Co


SCASA Gauteng Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Winners July 29 2019



Congratulations to all our Gauteng Region Coffee Competitions winners.








Gauteng Region Barista winner, Trevor Fitz from Beethoven Coffee Co.


Gauteng Region Cup Tasters winner, Karel Viviers from Coocoocachoo.




Gauteng Region Latte Art winner, Elizabeth Gumbo from Seattle Coffee Co.

RUNNERS UP
Barista Competition
2nd 
John Gareth Evans from TriBeCa Coffee
3rd Fanie Botes from thirdspace
4th Jesse Dodkins from Father Coffee
5th Samantha Naidoo from TriBeCa Coffee
6th Thandiwe Shonhiwa from Wiesenhof ABSA Towers Wiesenhof Franchise  

All six baristas have qualified for the 2020 National Coffee Competitions, congratulations!











The Barista Specialty Awards (as determined in the First Round) went to...
⭐️ Best Technical Score: Samantha Naidoo (TriBeCa Coffee)
⭐️ Best Milk Beverage: John Evans (TriBeCa Coffee)
⭐️ Best Signature Beverage and Espresso: Fanie Botes (thirdspace)
⭐️ Best Overall Impression: Trevor Fitz (Beethoven Coffee Co)











RUNNERS UP
Cup Tasters Competition
2nd Thabang Klainbaas Maluleka from Ciro Full Service Beverage Co. 
3rd Viwe Lugongolo from Father Coffee 
4th Nicodemus Nabakwe from Sevenoaks Trading Pty Ltd.

All four have qualified for the 2020 National Coffee Competitions, congratulations.





RUNNER UP
Latte Art Competition
Sibusiso Ndzuzo from TriBeCa Coffee 

Both Elizabeth Gumbo and Sibusiso Ndzuzo have qualified for the 2020 National Coffee Competitions, congratulations.





SCASA Gauteng Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Finalists Announced July 27 2019

CONGRATULATIONS to our Gauteng Region Barista, Latte Art and Cup Tasters FINALISTS going through to the last round on Sunday 28 July at Coffee & Chocolate at Ticketpro Dome.


LATTE ART COMPETITION
10:30 Elizabeth Gumbo - Seattle Coffee Co
10:50 Sibusiso Ndzuzo - TriBeCa Coffee


CUP TASTERS COMPETITION

Table 1 | 11:30
Viwe Lugongolo - Father Coffee
Thabang Maluleka - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.

Table 2 | 11:30
Nicodemus Nabakwe - Sevenoaks Trading Pty Ltd
Karel Viviers - Coocoocachoo


BARISTA COMPETITION
12:00 Fanie Botes - Third Space Trading
12:45 Thandiwe Shonhiwa - Wiesenhof ABSA Towers
13:30 Jesse Dodkins - Father Coffee
14:00 Trevor Fitz - Beethoven Coffee Co
14:45 Samantha Naidoo - TriBeCa Coffee Company
15:30 John Evans - TriBeCa Coffee Company


SCASA Gauteng Region Coffee Competitions 2019 - Orientation & Practice Sessions July 23 2019


IMPORTANT INFORMATION: BARISTA ORIENTATION THURSDAY 25 JULY FROM 11:00.

We are ecstatic to let you know that this year’s entries for the Gauteng Regional Coffee Champs is a new record set for any region! Congratulations.

Download the 2019 Gauteng Regional Coffee Competition Orientation and Practice Schedule

Such big numbers come with challenges in terms of logistics and backstage management which has left us no choice but to split the practice times into two slots per person. This is specific to competitors in the Barista Championship category only.

The first slot will be a 30min machine practice session on Thursday, followed by a 15-minute grinder calibration on the day you are competing. Please note this will be the only time you will be allocated to work on the provided machines and grinders.

Please ensure that you plan your travels adequately to ensure you are on site well before your allocated time-slots. Unfortunately, time-slots will not be able to be changed or adjusted due to the time constraints we have, as we are trying to be fair to everyone competing and the same rules apply across the board, with no exceptions.

Please ensure you are on site for the Orientation session at 11am Thursday 25th July. The practice sessions will commence at 12. You need to have all your own barista kit, cloths and ingredients for the practice session.

Thank you and see you there!

Download the 2019 Gauteng Regional Coffee Competition Schedule