Barista Champion Jose Vilandy’s TOP 3 Tips February 15 2019

As time draws closer to the 2019 SCASA National Coffee Competitions (21-24 February at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre), we called upon previous champions to share some of their wisdom and experience with this year’s coffee competitors. One of these previous winners is, Jose Vilandy, 2008’s National Barista Champion. This multitalented coffee expert is not only a skilled barista and coffee connoisseur, but also 
an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, record producer and performing artist. At the moment Jose does coffee consulting and barista training for hotels restaurants and coffee shops and is also an independent affiliate of Karatbars International, a gold saving investment business.
Having been in coffee for more than 10 years, we asked Jose which three tips he had for this year’s competing baristas.

Tip Number 1
"Focus on your goal and believe that you, but only you are the best."

Tip Number 2
"Be creative on you signature drink, speech and display, make it elegant and presentable."

Tip Number 3
"Focus on the coffee flavor not sugar and have fun like you just drank a quad shot of espresso."

Photo: Facebook

Water Test Results are in for the 2019 National Coffee Competitions February 13 2019

Ultimate Water’s test results are in for the National Coffee Competitions and it’s looking good for our 2019 competitors. Below is a breakdown of the World Barista Championship water specifications and how it compares to the National Coffee Competitions’ water test results.

Total Dissolved Solids
A total dissolved solid (TDS) is a measure of the combined total of organic and inorganic substances contained in a liquid. This includes anything present in water other than the pure H20 molecules. These solids are primarily minerals, salts and organic matter that can be a general indicator of water quality.

The palatability of drinking water has been rated by panels of tasters in relation to its TDS level as follows: excellent, less than 300mg/L; good, between 300 and 600mg/L; fair, between 600 and 900mg/L; poor, between 900 and 1200mg/L; and unacceptable, greater than 1200mg/L.

Ultimate Water’s TDS test result comes in at 87mg/L, which is ideal for baristas.

Total Hardness
The simple definition of water’s total hardness (TH) is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals, both calcium and magnesium. Compounds of calcium and magnesium, and cause hardness by a variety of other metals. General guidelines for classification of waters are: 0 to 60mg/L (milligrams per liter) as calcium carbonate is classified as soft; 61 to 120 mg/L as moderately hard; 121 to 180mg/L as hard; and more than 180mg/L as very hard.

Ultimate Water’s TH test result comes in at 70mg/L, which is ideal for baristas.

In chemistry, pH is a logarithmic scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. The pH of pure water is 7. In general, water with a pH lower than 7 is considered acidic, and with a pH greater than 7 is considered basic. The normal range for pH in surface water systems is 6.5 to 8.5, and the pH range for groundwater systems is between 6 to 8.5.

Ultimate Water’s pH test result comes in at 7.4, which is ideal for baristas.

Alkalinity is the capacity of water to neutralize acids. This capacity is caused by the water's content of carbonate, bicarbonate, hydroxide and occasionally borate, silicate and phosphate. The amount of Alkalinity that should be in water is 20-200mg/L for typical drinking water.

Ultimate Water’s alkalinity test result comes in at 106, which is ideal to acceptable for baristas.

Free Chlorine
Free chlorine, is the chlorine available to inactivate disease-causing organisms, and thus a measure to determine the potability of water. A free chlorine level of 0.5mg/L of free chlorine will be enough residual to maintain the quality of water.

Ultimate Water’s free chlorine test result comes in at <0.1, which is ideal for baristas.

Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality. Many drinking water utilities strive to achieve levels as low as 0.1 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU). The European standards for turbidity state that it must be no more than 4 NTU. The World Health Organization, establishes that the turbidity of drinking water should not be more than 5 NTU, and should ideally be below 1 NTU.

Ultimate Water’s turbidity test result comes in at 0.1, which is ideal for baristas.

Coffee in general has an acidic pH, but alkaline water can help ‘restore’ that and remove the bitterness. Basically water is neutral meaning it is of pH 7. However due to different molecules dissolved in water, it can also be slightly acidic or alkalic.

The signification of pH for coffee, extremely simplified [as by]

Bicarbonate is regulating the acidity in coffee. You want to have at least some alkalinity, which keeps the pH stabile to balance the flavour of the coffee. However too high alkalinity will prevent sensing the pleasant acidity even though it is there present coffee. The taste is dull, flat and earthy. Cupping portions are foaming. On the other hand with too low alkalinity, coffee tastes vinegary and sour.

Acidic water is bad for extraction but good for flavor. Also, corrosion will be a problem for coffee equipment. Basic water is good for extraction but bad for flavour. The lower the values for total hardness and alkalinity are, the less scale will be formed.

In the end it definitely pays off to check the brewing water quality to ensure you will result in having a more balanced cup of coffee.

SCASA's National Coffee Competitions will feature three disciplines: the Barista Championship, Cup Tasters Competition and the Latte Art Competition, running 21-24 February at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.

For more information email:

SCASA AGM Sunday 24 February 15:00, Ballito Lifestyle Centre February 12 2019

Inviting all members to attend the SCASA AGM for the cycle of 2016 – 2018 to be hosted during the National Coffee Competitions event on 24 February 2019, 15:00 at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre in KwaZulu-Natal. SCASA will be thanking you for the last cycle of sponsorship and your valuable contribution towards this association.

For more information please email


Latte Art Champion Alhenrico Thomas’s TOP 3 Tips  February 07 2019

As time draws closer to the 2019 SCASA National Coffee Competitions (21-24 February at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre), we called upon previous champions to share some of their wisdom and experience with this year’s coffee competitors. One of these champions is 36 year old Alhenrico Thomas, Regional and Coastal Barista Training Manager for Famous Brands Coffee Company in Cape Town. To date, Alhenrico has won the Western Cape Regional Latte Art Championship three times and the National Latte Art Championship twice, in 2016 and 2017. Having been in coffee for over nine years, we asked Alhenrico which three tips he had for this year’s competing latte artists.

Tip Number 1
"Just be yourself and make sure you give the judges a clean set."

Tip Number 2
"Don't doubt yourself nor your designs, ‘cause you don't see what the judges see."

Tip Number 3
"Always try by all means to be different, be unique and do your best."

"My goal for competing was never to be the best in South Africa, but to be the best in the world. This can only be achieved by us in South Africa, if we work together and think outside of the box and not hate each other after winning or losing.” Alhenrico said. He also believes that if there’s more support amongst fellow competitors, South Africa will be a force to be reckoned with at international competitions. "My experience and chats with the competitors at Worlds were amazing and sad at the same time. Competitors at Worlds get all the help and support from people in their countries."

Final Comments
“I want to encourage you to reach out to those competing with you and come up with ideas to make us do well at international competitions. Good luck to all of you and know just being at Nationals makes you a champ already."

Photos: The Coffee Magazine

SCASA National Coffee Competitions come to Ballito Lifestyle Centre 21-24 February 2019 February 06 2019

Durban is certainly the place to be when it comes to holding great events. Coffee lovers can rejoice too, as the Warmest place to be plays host to the SCASA National Coffee Competitions. This includes the Barista Championships, Cup Tasters Championships and Latte Art Championships – all of which will ultimately culminate in all 40 Regional Finalists competing Nationals for the opportunity to represent SA at the World Competitions. The action promises to get pulses racing and not just because of the high caffeine content!

The World Barista Championship is the world’s most prestigious barista competition, welcoming participants from over 50 countries who have won their regional and national- level competitions to represent their domestic coffee talent on the world stage.

This competition is all about performance, skill and passion for coffee, as well as being able to pour delicious coffee under pressure, with a total of seven highly skilled judges watching the barista’s every move as they produce 4 espressos, 4 milk beverages and 4 signature drinks, all in under 15 minutes!

There are only about 30 spots for Baristas in the National Finals, 6 from each of the 5 competitive Regions and with so much on the line, the competition will be fierce!

This year’s winners will represent South Africa at the World Coffee events to be held around April 20190 in Boston USA while Berlin will play host to our newly crowned Cup Tasters and Latte Art Champion later in the year.

The Barista Competition is not the only coffee event that will be taking place. People will be able to witness the Cup Tasters Event, which is a test of the senses.

There is also the popular Latte Art Championships, where the baristas impress judges with their milk pouring skills, producing flawless tulips, rosettas and hearts to name but a few delightful patterns.

The public will have the opportunity to meet some of the Country’s best coffee talent. If you’ve ever wondered about the world of Speciality Coffee, this is your chance to pick the brains of some of the best in the business from 21-24 February at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre.

Don’t miss out - SCASA- United Passion for Coffee.

Q-Grader Training Course: Postponed to 4-9 March 2019 February 04 2019

Due to the success of the first ever Q-Grader course held in South Africa, another course has been scheduled with the wonderful Mbula Musua in early 2019, March 4-9 2019 in Johannesburg.

If you would like to register for the course which costs R32 000/student, please contact Mbula at or contact for more info. Thank you to Sevenoaks Trading for taking the initiative to make this course accessible.

If you need to retake some parts of the course to qualify this is also an option at R3 600. 

Become part of the growing group of South African Coffee Professionals qualifying in this invaluable field! SA's two newest graduates were Dirk Maritz (Famous Brands) and Mike MacDonald (Origin Coffee Roasting).



Build Up to Nationals: Barista Profiles Three January 30 2019

Name: David Kazembe


Region: KZN


Experience at Nationals: First time at Nationals

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals? It will be my first time to compete at the nationals I will be happy to compete with others champs.

Am so proud to be participating and grateful for all people in coffee industry who supporting me and all friends barista who always encourage me, see you there, am very excited!

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? Most of the customers really like my coffee and some of them asked me to enter SCASA competition and I entered. Fortunately I made to national this time. 

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? My best moment in the coffee is the when am in the bar and meet new people from different industries and share histories.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? I could go to Costa Rica and see the best farmer and ask them about the red honey process, and see the procedure.

Name: Andile Zulu

Coffee Company: Terbodore Coffee 

Region: KZN

Discipline: Cup Tasters

What are you most looking forward to at nationals?

The opportunity to learn from some of the most knowledgeable and talented coffee industry professionals so that I can evolve into a better competitor.

Why do you compete in competitions? To build a name and reputation for myself within the South African coffee community, and to be exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking.

What has been your best moment so far working with coffee? Definitely placing 2nd in the regional cup tasters championship in 2018.

If you could travel anywhere in the world to experience coffee where would it be? Probably South America. I love the flavour profiles and the scale on which they produce coffee.

What is a fun, non-coffee related fact about yourself? When I'm not making coffee,  I'll probably be asleep. I  like to be well rested!

Name: John Evans

Coffee Company: Asmara Coffee

Region: Gauteng

Discipline: Barista Champs

Previous Experience at Nationals: This will be my second time at Nationals.

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals? Last year at Nationals, I was humbled by the camaraderie between competitors. It was a real reminder to me about why we do this – it’s not really about us, but about specialty coffee in South Africa. So I am looking forward to more of that.

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? Competing pushes me to be a better barista and roaster, and helps to develop me as not only a coffee professional, but as a human being. 

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? Having the opportunity to travel to Tanzania to help build a cow shed for a widowed lady coffee farmer named Scholastica Temba.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? Probably to Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been very fortunate in my coffee career to spend time in Ethiopia and Tanzania, as well as being able to attend the New York Coffee Festival. I’ve heard that Melbourne is considered the “coffee capital” of the world, so to be able to see their coffee scene, and to engage with the people involved in it would really be incredible.

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself. My wife and I just bought our first house!


Name: Ishan Natalie

Coffee Company: Starbucks Coffee Company South Africa

Region: Gauteng

Discipline: Barista Champs

Previous Experience at Nationals: I've competed at 7 Nationals.

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals?

Engaging, sharing and learning from our awesome coffee community.

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? I have always considered it the best platform to push your limits towards learning and growth. It forces you to think out if the box and to explore a little deeper into the coffee supply chain and how to make coffee better. It’s also an amazing platform to introduce change for a better coffee tomorrow.

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? Placing 18th at WBC 2015. I realised how much I had grown and what I am capable of achieving by putting in the time and work.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? Ethiopia for the heritage of coffee, Central America to understand the difference between farmers and practices in Africa vs those farmers; Asia, Australia and Scandanavia to explore the exciting speciality coffee scene in their markets.

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself. I come alive playing Masterchef in my kitchen. I love community, and to be able to be creative and feed people beautiful and delicious food makes me happy and feel alive.


Christopher Abrahams and Nigel Kamhanda

Name: Nigel Kamhanda

Coffee Company: InFood Coffee Roastery

Region: Eastern Cape

Discipline: Latte Art

Previous Experience at Nationals: 2nd place 2018

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals?  Learning from other coffee professionals 

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? Mostly because it takes me out of my comfort zone. 

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? Being the 2nd latte artist in South Africa in 2018

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and Why? Tanzania, because I wanna hike kilimanjaro mountain one day and most probably visit some coffee plantations 

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself.

I was once thin lol😊


Name: Christopher Abrahams

Coffee Company: Ciro Beverage Solutions

Region: Western Cape

Discipline: Latte Art

Previous Experience at Nationals:

National Latte Art  Competitor: 2017 – 2018

National Barista Competitor: 2017

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals? I’m really looking forward to competing in KZN, as I’ve never done so yet. It’s also going to be a great opportunity to meet new competitors and an amazing chance to see all the talent that exist in the South African coffee industry. 

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? I enjoy competing, as it is a great opportunity to test your skills, as a barista, under pressure. It is also an amazing opportunity to have the privilege of expressing your passion for coffee through your performance on stage. It is also a goal of mine to inspire those who work within the coffee industry.

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? My best moment in coffee, was last year in Brazil. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity of representing South Africa at the World Latte Art Championship. It was an amazing experience, as I got the opportunity of meeting latte artists that have inspired me over the years. It was a great opportunity to learn from them all. I learnt that the only way to success is through hard work and dedication. I realised that coffee meant more to them than I thought. It’s a way of life. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? I’d love to travel to China one day. The Chinese culture fascinates me and it has always been a dream of mine to experience the country one day.

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself.  I’m quite a reserved individual and I can be a bit of a perfectionist at times. I enjoy travelling and love meeting new people. I’m soft-hearted and find it easy to do what I can to help those in need.




Build Up to Nationals: Barista Profiles Two January 22 2019





Region: KZN

Discipline: Latte Art

Previous Experience at Nationals: None



What has been your best moment in coffee so far? WINNING THE KZN LATTE ART CHAMPIONSHIP 

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? I WOULD LIKE TO TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA BECAUSE MY ROLE MODEL IS THERE, HIS NAME IS CELEB CHA, I WISH TO MEET HIM AND LEARN FROM HIM.

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself. I LOVE PLAYING SOCCER, AND CONSIDER MYSELF A VERY GOOD PLAYER.



Name: Gerald Pietersen

Coffee Company: Agape Coffee Shop

Region: Eastern Cape

Discipline: Barista Champs

Previous Experience at Nationals: This is the first time that Sibahle and I are participating.

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals? One of the things I am looking forward to is being connected to greatness at this level, and being immersed in the knowledge and expertise of like-minded people.

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? For us it was an interesting journey, seeing that the coffee shop is only one year old in March (23rd March 2019), and I wanted to evaluate if we are on the same level in terms of our competence, coffee knowledge and personality. And now it’s Nationals :)

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? Personally, getting to know coffee on another level and realizing the association that is made with coffee and meeting new people in the process.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why?  Probably Ethiopia. One of my first filter bags, received from a friend. I love the energy and creativity in Africa as well as the passion for Coffee.

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself. 

This is difficult, especially when you think you are a fun person…I love art, especially scrapbooking (as much as I don’t do it much anymore) AND I can speak a little French :)



Name: Trevor Fitz

Coffee Company: Beethoven Coffee Co.

Region: Gauteng

Discipline: Barista Champs

Previous Experience at Nationals: I competed in the 2018 nationals and placed 5th

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals?Trying new things and stretching myself to do better than I did before

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions?

I compete to challenge my thinking and my abilities. I always feel like competitions stretch me to be better as a barista and they force me to think outside the box, to do things that are out of the ordinary 

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? Winning the 2017 Gauteng barista championships is definitely 1st place. A close second would be starting my own roasting company. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? East Africa! I have always been interested and inspired by the processing and farming stages of coffee, and would love to see it all happening first hand and be a part of it.

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself. 

I have always loved cooking and baking, which is probably where my passion for experimenting with flavours first emerged.


Name: Raymond Roesstorff

Coffee Company: Wiesenhof Coffee Holdings

Region: Eastern Cape

Discipline: Barista Champs

Previous Experience at Nationals: None, first time

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals? Definitely the experience and having the country's top coffee people in one room.

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? To express my skill, passion and love for the coffee world.

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? Winning the 2018 EC Barista championships and making the connections and friendships that has led me to this point

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Ethiopia, anywhere I can to go pick and process my own coffee

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself. I studied IT but life had other plans for me! I play a lot of pool in my off time.





Discipline: LATTE ART

Previous Experience at Nationals: NONE

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals? BEING MYSELF,MEETING NEW BARISTAS FROM DIFFERENT REGIONS...


What has been your best moment in coffee so far? COMPETING FOR THE FIRST TIME AT REGIONALS...😀☕️AND DOING WHAT I LOVE...

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? ANYWHERE WHERE THERE'S GOOD COFFEE NI E PEOPLE...AND OF COURSE BETTER COFFEE GADGETS...


Build Up to Nationals 2019: Barista Profiles One January 16 2019

This competition season we have a lot of competitors that will be participating for the first time on the National Stage. This is already a huge achievement. For our first round of interviews we chat to some of these first timers...


Name: Kgune Dlamini

Coffee Company: Lineage Coffee

Region: KZN

Discipline: Barista Champs

Previous Experience at Nationals: Actually none :)

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals? The experience and all the lessons attached to it. :)

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? Because in order to relearn, one needs to unlearn. I am here, learning. :)

What has been your best moment in coffee so far?

The people. Coffee can be repetitive at times, but the human experience of those coffees never is. Coffee, is people!

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? Anywhere in the world. As long as there is coffee and people. The mantra is to serve love, through this medium of coffee.

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself. I am a Performance Poet.


Name: Stevo Kühn 

Coffee Company: Urban Brew Coffee

Region: Central Region (Bloemfontein)

Discipline: Barista Comp

Previous Experience at Nationals: None

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals? I look forward to meeting more people as well as connecting with existing friends. More than this I look forward to learning more from the legends out there.

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? This pushes me in a learning environment and pushes me to stay relevant when training other baristas.

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? I think being able to train people and seeing them find employment in coffee definitely puts things in perspective. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why?  Where to start...for café culture Australia and Germany. Would also love to visit a coffee farm in Africa.

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself.  I used to play bass in theatre gigs as well as a 12 piece jazz band. Now I just play for creative outlet.



Name: Dieter Liebenberg

Coffee Company: VDP Distributors

Region: KwaZulu Natal

Discipline: Barista Champs

Previous Experience at Nationals: N/A

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals? Competing with the best and taking in the great experience.

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? To challenge myself as well as to learn, grow and meet new people in the industry.

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? Competing for the 1st time and winning KZN champs and learning along the way.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? Boston to compete at World Champs!

Tell us a fun, non-coffee related fact about yourself. I'm a sports fanatic so I'm in the process of creating a 5-a side with my 3rd boy on the way :)



Name: Chad Whitby

Coffee Company: Colombo Coffee and Tea

Region: KZN

Discipline: Cup Tasters

Previous Experience at Nationals: None

What are you most looking forward to at Nationals? Connecting with competitors from other regions and sharing ideas. 

Why do you compete in the SCASA competitions? It’s an awesome platform for coffee professionals to engage in healthy competition and for industry leaders to share ideas. 

What has been your best moment in coffee so far? Being nominated for Coffee Personality at last years Coffee Magazine awards. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world for coffee, where would you go and why? Definitely Ethiopia. It’s the birthplace of coffee and is home to the first coffee I fell in love with.

Tell us a fun non-coffee related fact about yourself.  I play 3 music instruments and DJ


Download the Nationals Schedule Here December 28 2018

You can download the full schedule here. 

*If you are a barista that qualified at your Regionals but you do not see your name here, please can you email to find out why.


Western Cape Regional Champions 2018 December 13 2018

Well done to the Western Cape Coffee Competition Competitors and winners! Thank you to all our amazing sponsors ho make these competitions possible!

Top 6 Barista Championships WC 2018:
WINNER: Simnikiwe Mkize - Rosetta Roastery
2. Neil Gouws - Origin Coffee Roasters
3. Charles Pass - Langdon Coffee Merchants
4. Ophen Machenje - Tribe Coffee Roasting
5. Kudakwashe Gezi - Ground Central Coffee Roastery
6. Makuve Politus - Bootlegger Coffee Company

Cup Tasters:
1. Jerome Hendricks - Global Coffee
2. Dominic Currie - Global Coffee

Latte Art: 
1. Chris Abrahams - Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.
2. Rodney Swarts - Champs Musical Coffee Shop Productions

Central Region Latte Art & Cup Tasters Round Up! November 01 2018

Written by Shaun Aupiais

Central Regional Latte Art Competition held in Bloemfontein was an absolute blast. We started off our weekend with a latte art and cup tasters orientation on the Friday evening followed by a Barista competition workshop for our Top 3 from Central Region that will be at nationals next year. This event was hosted by James at Stereo Cafe.

The Latte art kicked off bright and early at Royal Roastery with 6 competitors putting their latte art skills to the test. The passion for coffee in bloemfontein is palpable and the tone was set by the baristas having fun and with a great turn out of supporters the event was a massive success.  

Latte Art - Finalists

1. Simeon Snyman - Stereo Cafe

2. Tshepho Modiakgotla - Jaru Coffee

We then moved over to Bloemfontein Coffee roasting Co. for the Cup Tasters competition. There was a great turn out at this event too and the customers and supporters seemed to have enjoyed the vibe set by the simplicity yet intencity of this tasting competition. The palates were on form and the competition was very tight.

Cup Tasters - Finalists

1. Lourens Mellet - Royal Roastery

2. Adrian Nel - Home Bru Coffee

Chris and I traveled from Port Elizabeth to Judge and Run these 2 competitions. It was such a pleasure to do so with such an amazing team on the ground sorting out what needed to be done for all of this to come together. Thanks must go to James from Stereo Cafe, Ruan, Lourens and their amazing team at Royal Roastery,

Adrian & Inge from Bloemfontein Coffee Roasting Co. and Stevo from Urban Brew. These teams gave of their time and finances to ensure that every step of this weekend was a complete success. 

Also a massive thank you to Royal Roastery for the sponsorship of the Milk and coffee for the Latte art and to Jayne & Percy from Infood Coffee Society - Jeffreys Bay for the sponsorship of the Cup Tasters coffee.

The passion, consistency, quality and perseverance towards coffee excellence is what makes Bloemfontein's coffee culture something to keep an eye one.

Watch out National Competitors, these guys mean business!

KZN Coffee Competitions 2018 October 08 2018

KZN Regional Barista Championships

When: 2, 3, 4 November 2018

Where: The Market, Lifestyle Centre, Ballito

Format: Latte Art, Cup Tasters, Barista Championships

Download the Entry Form here and send to


South African Baristas going to Sydney! September 25 2018

Recently two South African baristas have earned trips to represent South Africa in Sydney, Australia in November this year!

Congratulations to Romeo Chimunya of Tribe Coffee Roasting who won the SA AeroPress Championships held by MoreFlavour at EspressoLab and Idricia Nakahosa of Truth Coffee who won the SA Breezey Masters competitions held by Blue Diamond Almonds SA.

Both these talented baristas will be heading to Sydney in just a couple weeks time to compete in their respective competitions.

We love the fact that more and more coffee events are happening around the country, growing our community and love for coffee. Well done to these wonderful baristas for making it all the way in their respective events!


WCEP Judges Training Results! September 17 2018

The results are in! Congratulations to the following people who are now certified World Coffee Events judges for World Barista Champs and World Latte Art Champs:

- George Bertolis (Coffeequip) - Sensory/Visual
- Chris Faragher (Ciro Beverage Solutions) - Sensory/Visual
- Tim Krynauw (Ciro) - Technical

Thank you to Annemarie Tiemes and Teija Lublinkhof for bringing this training to SA.

We are extremely proud of everyone who participated in this training, raising the bar for our coffee competitions! The pass rate for this course is between 0-20% normally, so for three of our participants to pass is EXCELLENT.




Invitation: Cafe Show 2018, Seoul South Korea September 03 2018

Cafe Show is an incredible coffee expo in Seoul. Last year Winston Thomas attended the World Barista Championships there and the members that went along with him were all blown away by the sheer size and the incredible attendance. Definitely worth a visit. This year they launch a business-to-business networking service to connect you to businesses relevant to you. Please see below invitation from Cafe Show project Manager, Ashley Park:

Warm greetings from Korea!

My name is Ashley Park and I am a project manager of Seoul Int'l Cafe Show. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and our event, the 17th Seoul Int'l Cafe Show. 

I am writing this to inform you about our show invitation and VIP hosted buyer program. It is great honor to notify that Asia's No. 1 Coffee Event, the 17th Seoul Int'l Cafe Show 2018 (Cafe Show Seoul 2018) will take place from Nov. 8 ~ 11, 2018 in Coex, Seoul, South Korea.

In summary, 583 exhibitors participated last year, using 37,824 sqm and 146,805 people visited from 77 countries. This year we are launching 'Cafe Show Mocha Port' which is one-to-one business matching and networking service for buyers and exhibitors. Find out more about that here.

It would be greatly appreciated if you could recruit your association members and potential key local buyers in your network to our show. 

I have enclosed the invitation and VIP Hosted Buyer Program herewith for your kind reference. 

Please RSVP to by 12 September, 2018. If you need more information or further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact the Organizing Committee. 


*Buyers could register online now via our website. Click this link and it will direct you to our buyer registration.  

Urgent: News from SCASA and Voting for New SCASA Board August 28 2018

Dear SCASA Members 

We are delighted to have had an explosion in the coffee industry this last few months in South Africa. SCASA Hosted an inspirational educational month with a Q Graders course kicking off this month in July and we are delighted to have Dirk Maritz and Micheal Mac Donald qualified as Q Graders. Well done and thank you to Seven Oaks and Utake offering this course and Mbula Musau for facilitating the qualification.  Thereafter the SCA AST Qualification was offered at Ciro Coffee Academy Gauteng with Annemarie Tiemes from SCA facilitating the course and 10 candidates were certified with this qualification. This week was finished by the WCE All Stars creating a great vibe at the Coffee and Chocolate Show in JHB.

The last course, the World Competitions Educational Program, was offered at Ciro Coffee Academy KZN and facilitated by Annemarie Tiemes and Teija Lublinkhof. Both these facilitators provided 5 days of intense training and examinations for the World Barista and Latte Art Championships. The results are not yet available.

Another day at the end of this week, was spent on the Coffee in Good Spirits Competition, training the judges on the detail of the rules and regulations and how to execute this event. Annemarie also demonstrated the Ibrik brewing method which can also be added to the list of newly inspired possible competitions in the future. This last week of WCEP training was organised in conjunction with the Creative Coffee Week in Durban, hosted by Coffee Magazine which was also a fantastic success and great initiative for coffee in South Africa.

Thank you to all parties involved to make this such a coffee inspired month.

 The SCASA BOD would like to issue the voting ballot for the next cycle which will be for a period of 2 years. Please find the nominations and volunteers for the new Board of Directors here. Kindly cast 6 votes and return the ballot to by the 7th September. The new SCASA BOD will be contacted and signed up, however the official event will be hosted during the nationals in February 2019.

Kind regards

Lani Snyman

Chair: SCASA and on behalf of BOD


Please read the requirements of the BoD carefully before nominating who you think should take up this mantle.  Please note, you are only able to vote if you are a paid-up SCASA member, thank you.

Free State Coffee Competition 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.

Thank you to all our headline sponsor DaVinci Gourmet and the Supplier Sponsors as well as all Judges who volunteered their time.


Bloemfontein Coffee Competitions! August 13 2018

The Free State have been aiming at getting this started for a while, so we are super excited that this community has come together to finally having it this weekend at the Windmill Casino as part of the Coffee Extravaganza.


Here's what's going down:

• Shortened version (10 min set that focuses on the espresso and milk beverages)

• Standard WBC rules apply

• 2 Sensory judges, 1 Tech judge


SCASA is awesome to help us with experienced judges - George Bertolis, Alessandro (Morrico is also sponsoring the official machine).

Besides these judges we also have the following locals part of the panel:

Rhona Wessels (FS Ciro office)

Kobus le Roux - independent

Shupi Ngkadima


We are heavily supported by the following companies:

George Karatzas- Equipment Cafe

Ultimate Water

Morrico Imports

Windmill Casino


Besides these people and companies this would not have been possible without the drive and dedication from:

Marie-Louise Smith - organiser of the Coffee Extravaganza

James Kilbourn - Owner of Stereo Café


For more info on the Bloemfontein Coffee Extravaganza, please contact Marie-Louise:

Bring on Brazil for our South African Champions! August 08 2018


Our South African National Cup Tasters and Latte Art Champ, Donovan McLagan and Christopher Abrahams, will both be heading to International Coffee Week in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in November. They are both charging ahead with preparations.

We are hoping that they will place well this year, but more importantly that they come back fired up and excited to share the knowledge they have gained on the World stage with their fellow coffee professionals at home.


The 2018 World Brewers Cup (WBrC) and World Cup Tasters Championship (WCTC) are moving to Belo Horizonte, Brazil, joining the World Latte Art Championship and World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship at International Coffee Week (ICW), the 7th-9th of November.

National coffee champions from over 40 countries will attend ICW to compete in the four world championships. The World Brewers Cup is the premier event for manual coffee brewing; the World Cup Taster Championship pits coffee cuppers (tasters) against each other in lightning fast rounds; the World Latte Art Championship celebrates artistry with espresso and milk; and the World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship recognizes the combination of coffee and alcohol. Get tickets to see them live for yourself at the ICW website, or tune in during the event for live video streams of each championship at the WCE website brazil.worldcoffeeevents.orgwhere you will also be able to find more schedules, news, and competitor profiles as they become available.

The 2018 World Coffee Roasting Championship will also be moving to a new location, given the recent announcement from the Specialty Coffee Association, with details to be shared as soon as they are finalized—more details can be found in the release here.

The World Coffee Championships bring together a community of passionate coffee people from across the globe, gathering to compete as equals and show the world what the heights of coffee professionalism can be. It is exciting to be able to bring this community to Brazil with International Coffee Week.


World Coffee Events (WCE) is an event management organization registered in Dublin, Ireland that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Specialty Coffee Association.

WCE is the premier producer of events for the coffee community worldwide. Our mission is to develop events that engage the specialty coffee community and promote coffee excellence. The current portfolio involves competition events such as the World Barista Championship, the World Cup Tasters Championship, the World Latte Art Championship, the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, the Cezve/Ibrik Championship, and the World Brewers Cup, as well as show features such as the Espresso Bar and the Brew Bar.

International Coffee Week (ICW)

The International Coffee Week (ICW) is the largest coffee expo in Brazil. Taking place on 7th- 9th of November, 2018, the sixth edition of the event will again allow thousands of coffee producers to present the best of their harvest to buyers, roasters and international traders in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais State. During the event, several coffee producing regions are promoted through various cupping sessions and it is possible to taste the finalist coffees from the quality contest that gathers the best beans from the new crop.

ICW is an enterprise of the FAEMG System, Café Editora, Sebrae and the Government of the Minas Gerais State, through the efforts of the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Seapa) and Codemig. ICW gathers all international and domestic coffee supply chain in favor of social and economic sustainable growth of Brazilian products. The event involves the presence of coffee growers, roasters, coffee graders, exporters and buyers, suppliers, baristas, entrepreneurs and coffee lovers. Throughout 3 days, there are 25 simultaneous events focused on the following areas: Market & Consumption, Knowledge & Innovation and Business & Entrepreneurship. This year, ICW hosts the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, World Latte Art Championship, World Brewers Cup and World Cup Tasters Championship organized by WCE – World Coffee Events, and the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association as hosting National Body.

Winston Thomas at the World Barista Championship 2018 June 07 2018

Hot off the heels of the World Barista Championship in Seoul November 2017, in what can only be described as the blink of an eye, Winston Thomas is off to represent South Africa for a second time at World of Coffee Amsterdam.

We are so excited to support him as he hopes to better his debut performance on the World Stage. He is FIRST in the entire competition, so he will be getting the judging panel off to a wonderful start. 

Livestreaming will be happening on the World Barista Championship website. 

Q-Grader Course available in SA July 9 - 14 July June 06 2018

We are very excited to announce that a Q-Grading experience will be happening at the beginning of July. This is the first time that this kind of training will be available in the country. Thank you to Mbula Musau, Utake Coffee, Coffee Quality Institute, Sevenoaks Trading and the team at SCASA for making this happen!

If you are interested in attending please fill in the Google Form that can be found here. If you have any questions please email


Do you want to become a Q Grader? May 25 2018

Mbula Musua, qualified Coffee Quality Institute trainer, will be in South Africa in July and is trying to find out if there is any interest from South Africans to participate in a Q Grading course.

Please let us know if you are interested, that way we can try to put some costing together and make this happen! Email to show your interest.

You can find the amazing Mbula's credentials here.


Please read up on the Frequently Asked Questions on the CQI website for more info:

AST courses available in South Africa May 10 2018

Do you want to learn how to train coffee professionals to the SCA standard measure? 

SCASA is partnering with SCA to make this available in South Africa on 18&19 July this year in Johannesburg.

SCASA Costs: R1000. Download Registration Form here.

SCA Costs: Contact directly for more info.