Barista Guild of South Africa - How can you participate? August 10 2017

The Barista Guild of South Africa was started with one goal in mind: to bring baristas together more often so that they can share their experiences and learn from each other. 

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And we had some very promising launches back in 2014. But like most volunteer run endeavours, it became difficult to maintain. 

The Barista Guild of America requires membership fees of R1000/year and this is how they have the resources to offer Barista Courses and run events regularly.

We're certainly not there yet, but we can kick things off again at minimal expense if just a few of you wonderful coffee fanatics put up your hands to host events. 

We will promote the events on our platforms, including through our media partner, The Coffee Magazine, to make sure the coffee community knows about it. We will try help you find sponsors or connect you with other willing volunteers in your regions or connect you with the SCASA Director or SCASA Member that can help make an event happen. 

We need your help to collaborate regardless of which coffee company you belong to. This Guild is supposed to be a brainstorming platform, a way to bring coffee people together, to support each other through the daily experiences of being in this coffee and service industry.


- Fun Latte Art Competition

- Cup Tasting event to expand your palates and taste different coffees

- Coffee Cocktail experimentation

Email and we will try to support any volunteers! Please mention Barista Guild of South Africa, so that Amanda knows where to direct your email!

Join the BGSA Facebook page where we will hopefully be posting some awesome events soon!

 Photo: The Coffee Magazine

The First Ever Deaf Barista Competition July 24 2017

SCASA successfully hosts the first ever Deaf Barista Competition: 

"I can honestly say that this is the best experience of my life. Better than winning Latte Art and Cup Tasters, better than any coffee experience I've had before."

Esther Maasdam, Dutch Latte Art and Cup Tasters Champ in different years and current WCE All Star, was overwhelmed by the passion and skill of the 6 deaf baristas who competed on stage at Coffee&Chocolate 13-16 July 2017

Have you ever wondered where your SCASA Membership fees go to? Part of the funds go to running the association, another part goes to running the barista competitions and the final part is ploughed into Barista Education and training. The latest initiative, was to hold the first ever Deaf barista competition, which was initiated by the Ciro team Lani Snyman, Lizaan Alberts and Johnson Sehoro - and carried through with support from the SCASA Board members and SCASA volunteers. 

For the full story click here:  

If you would like to Sponsor a Deaf person to train to become a barista - all you need to do is email - cost is once-off R2700. 

Wrap Up: World Coffee Events All Stars July 19 2017

The World Coffee Events (WCE) All Stars graced Johannesburg at the recent Coffee & Chocolate Expo held at Montecasino and they did not disappoint!  

The six All Stars, all previous Finalists of WCE events were Um Paul (South Korea), Francesco Sanapo (Italy) Esther Maasdam (Netherlands) Michalis and George (Greece) and Alejandro Mendez (El Salvador).  The dedicated All-Stars stage was adorned with 3 Victoria Arduino Black Eagles, Mahlkonig K30 and EK Grinders, all of the barista toys a coffee geek could want and the visitors to the show were able to enjoy some exceptional coffees brewed by the All Stars themselves.

The All Stars were put through a range of challenges such a mystery espresso competitions, Latte Art challenges and head-to-head Coffee Cocktail competitions.  

One of the simplest highlights was the early morning brew bar sessions where all 6 of the All-stars simply made coffee and chatted to people  - either pour-overs, espresso or milk based beverages - the All Stars were very accessible, obliging with autographs, discussions from visitors and very professional in their presentations. Some visitors even got to sample George’s Panamanian Geisha which he claimed was around $300 a pound green! (It was sublime! Peaches I tell you, peaches!)

Congratulations to the Coffee & Choc Team, the SCASA Team, Wayne Burrows and the Urban Grind Team for assisting and to all the Exhibitors and Suppliers that made this a success.

It was without doubt the most international Coffee event, SA has hosted and from the connections, friendships and networking that was established over many cups of coffee - very worthwhile.

Gauteng Regional Latte Art and Cup Tasters Champions! July 18 2017

What an amazing weekend! Our regional Latte Art and Cup Tasters competitors got to share the stage with the World Coffee Events All Stars and it definitely pushed them to perform at their absolute best! Well done to all who competed!

Congratulations to the new Gauteng Champions! Both winners and the runners up go through to Nationals 2018.

With guest head judge Nina Rimpl of Switzerland, the local talent lifted their game and produced some beauties in the final round.

Latte Art:
Winner - Sibusiso Makhubo, nino's south africa
Runner Up - Mbongiseni Nkomo, Time Out Cafe

It was a tough round of Cup Tasters, with 4/8 being the winning number! Debbie King took top honours, beating out the rest of the finalists who all scored 3/8. Very tight indeed!

Cup Tasters:
Winner - Debbie King, AfricaBlack Coffee Roastery & Espresso Bar
Runner Up - Thabang Maluleku, Ciro Full Service Coffee Co.

Thank you to all our sponsors who make these competitions possible: Nuova Simonelli South Africa, Koldserve Food Service Equipment/ Equipment Cafe, Ultimate Water, Vision Works SA, MONIN/ LiquidConcepts, The Coffee Magazine, Rock & Roller Coffee Culture, Fairfield Dairy


SCASA Events Schedule for Coffee&Chocolate Expo!!! July 11 2017

The weekend of Coffee&Chocolate has arrived! We are so excited! Have you got your tickets yet?!

There is so much happening from so many of our SCASA members that you do not want to miss out!!

Some of the highlights are the World Coffee Events All Stars, the Gauteng Regional Latte Art and Cup Tasters and the first ever Deaf Barista Competition.

There will be previous and current South African Barista Champs on hand for demos and questions. It will be a hive of coffee activity! So much to learn, share, taste and discover!

Find all schedules and times below:

All Stars Schedule:


GP Regionals Schedule:

Friday 14th July: 18h00 - 21h00, Latte Art Round One 
Saturday 15th July: 18h00 - 21h00, Latte Art Round One
Sunday 16th July: 15h00 - 18h00, Cup Tasters Round One, Latte Art Finals, Cup Tasters Finals, followed by Prizegiving!

Deaf Barista Competition:


If you have any questions please email, we look forward to seeing you there!

World Champs Round Up: Catch up with Simphiwe 'Bobby' Adams June 28 2017



I don't know where to start. It was a great journey and i was so excited, emotional and nervous all at the same time, ha ha ha. It was a great feeling; everyone there spoke the universal language of "COFFEE"


I'm so disappointed and angry with myself but it was a lesson. I was not at my best and I made wrong decisions that cost me, some of the reasons were because of the long flight and i was very overwhelmed and lonely. It is so important to have a supporter,colleague or manager with you if possible to help keep focused and calm the nerves.


Try arrive a few days before the competition,to get used to the change in environment and culture and familiarise yourself with the city and avenue. Having someone to support you is extremely important.This to me was my biggest downfall. Thankfully I did know GEORGE KARATZAS and ALHENRICO THOMAS from SA, they together with the WEGA team at the expo supported, also my Family,Friends and colleagues at Sumatran coffee for their messages of support. I can't wait to qualify for next World Cup Tasters, hopefully there will be enough time for us to raise funds to take a supporter along.


Competing at International level helps us to grow and improve our coffee culture back home. There more we learn from other professionals in the industry, the more ideas, knowledge and experiences we bring back to our communities. There is so much happening in the coffee industry, new coffee and equipment out there, I mean amazing stuff.


Palate development helps a lot and cupping at least twice a week. Eat lots of fruit and different food, cupping/tasting coffee from different roasters around the world if at all possible, using beans mainly CENTRAL AMERICA, medium to dark roast, which increases the difficulty, avoid spicy food during the competition days.

SCASA Members - Sponsor a deaf barista and change a life! June 27 2017

Do you want to really change a person's life using coffee?  SCASA, in association with UNISA, EDeaf ( and Ciro have created an opportunity for SCASA members to Sponsor a Deaf person to join a training programme that will see them become a fully fledged barista.  The cost of the SCASA Member's Sponsorship is only R2700 per person, and this stipend will go directly to assisting the candidate's transport and monthly costs as Unisa is sponsoring the NQF Level 5 certificate "Short Course in Barista Skills" under the Unisa Department of Consumer Sciences.

This is an amazing opportunity and UNISA has created sponsored space for 30 deaf baristas to be trained for the duration of one month. EDEAF is facilitating this training on behalf of SCASA and the UNISA Sound Video and Photography directorate is developing a multi modal  training  DVD, so the empowerment process has legs beyond the training itself.  SCASA Members, Ciro have already committed to one sponsorship and Coffee Magazine to two sponsorships! All SCASA Members are urged to participate. There are 27 more sponsorships available!

How can you get involved?

*   email if you would like to Sponsor a deaf barista.

*   There will be a celebration of this program on the 4th of July in JHB at Ciro, to meet successful deaf baristas who has already worked in the industry for 2 to 3 years. UNISA and Edeaf representatives will be present to meet and to find out more information.

*   There will be a Deaf Barista competition at CoffeeChoc EXPO with an interpreter - In order to make it as similar in spirit to a regionals/nationals set, the deaf Baristas will prepare a set of cappuccinos in 10 minutes and be judged by George Bertolis, Alessandro Morricco and Lani Snyman with Iain Evans to MC . Come and support!


Partners: Unisa, Ciro, EDeaf, SCASA, CoffeeChoc, Coffee Magazine. Deaf Barista Program and competition celebration On 4th July. Rsvp at SCASA.


Watch the South African Champions compete at the World of Coffee!!! June 12 2017

Our Latte Art and Cup Tasters Champions are in Hungary this week competing at the World of Coffee!

You can support them LIVE by tuning in to the World Coffee Events website which is the only place the action will be streamed:

World Cup Tasters Championship

Simphiwe 'Bobby' Adams: 13 June 10.40am

Simphiwe is up against some tough competitiors, but the way this competition works is that every score goes on to the main leader board. The people with the most number of cups right in the shortest amount of time go through to the next round, so Bobby doesn't have to worry about the people around him, just the coffee in the cups! He, his colleagues at Sumatran Coffee and Shaun Aupiais have been training tirelessly to prepare for Budapest. He scored an amazing 8 out of 8 correct in his Final Round at Nationals at the beginning of May, we're confident he can repeat it!

World Latte Art Championship

Alhenrico Thomas: 13 June, last competitor of the day (no time given thus far)

This is Alhenrico's second time at World's so now that he knows what to expect we know he is going to do us proud. What an amazing achievement to go to Worlds in two consecutive years. He learnt so much on his first trip and he will certainly take all that experience to the stage with him. His company Famous Brands have supported him in a big way to get to this point. Well done to the Famous Brands team.


If you would like to see the full schedules please visit the World Coffee Events website, there will be loads of coffee entertainment all day!

Call for Entry: Eastern Cape Regionals 22-25 June 2017 June 08 2017

The Friendly City is one of the most passionate regions when it comes to love for coffee and it's growing every year. The current Cup Tasters Champion, Simphiwe Adams, calls Eastern Cape home.

It's happening at the Homemakers Expo and it's only 3 weeks away!

SCASA needs you to participate!

Are you an aspiring barista wanting to learn more about the industry and about your own capabilities? Have you entered yet? You can do so here.


Winners in the Western Cape! June 05 2017

The first six places for Nationals 2018 have been decided! A very well run competition at the Good Food & Wine Show Cape Town sees an excellent Top 6 advance to the National Stage.

Winston Thomas, our current SA Champion, couldn't stay away as he is determined to make it back to Worlds next year! And he defended his Regional title successfully, with very strong competition from other fantastic baristas!

Winner - Winston Thomas, Origin Coffee Roasters

2nd - Dayle Visser, Tribe Coffee Roasting
3rd - Neil Gouws, Origin
4th - Christopher Abrahams, Ciro Full Service Coffee Co.
5th - Kuda Gezi, TriBeCa Coffee
6th - Lehan Venter, Truth Coffee Roasting

From the semi-final round:
Best signature - Winston Thomas
Best technical - Winston Thomas
Best milk based - Neil Gouws
Best espresso - Justin Groep, Rosetta Roastery

Want to showcase your brand on the SCASA stage? May 23 2017

It's so easy - all SCASA members can apply (slots will be given on a first come first served basis) for a 30 min slot on the SCASA competition stage at the Western Cape Regionals next week. 

Please email Jamie and Dyl ( to secure your spot.

There is also the opportunity to become part of the Coffee Village for a discounted rate if you are a SCASA member. So many great ways to get your coffee business to the consumers! 

Please email Daniel Bloch to find out more:

Call to enter! May 23 2017

There are some big events coming up in the next couple of months. Baristas and coffee professionals, are you ready?! And more importantly, have you entered???

It's so easy, here is the form to fill in, then send it directly to Amanda at

Western Cape Regional Barista Competition 

Date: 2-4th June 2017

Venue: Good Food & Wine Show at CTICC.

Format: Barista Competition - WBC 2017 format : 15 mins  to prepare 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos and 4 signature beverages. (Full rules are available on the WBC website)

Entry: Fill in the entry form and mail to SCASA secretary, Amanda on



World of Coffee: 

Latte Art and Cup Tasters World Championships, Budapest, 13th - 16th June 2017

South Africa will be sending two Coffee Professionals to the World Champs! Alhenrico Thomas (Famous Brands) will be representing SA in the Latte Art World Champs and Simpiwe Adams (Sumatra Coffee) will be represnting SA in the Cup tasters World Champs.

We wish them all the best and know they will represent SA proudly! 

Latte Art Finals:  Chris Abrahams (Ciro) on the left hugs the Champ, Alhenrico Thomas (Famous Brands) after the winners were announced at Nationals!


Shaun Aupias (Famous Brands) crosses Cupping Spoons with the Champion, Simpiwe Adams (Sumatra Coffee) at the recent National Finals. Simpiwe went on to win with a maximum 8/8 score!


Eastern Cape Regional Coffee Competitions:

Venue: Homemakers EXPO at Boardwalk.

Format: Barista Competition, Latte Art competition and  Cup Tasters competitions. 

(Full rules are available on the WBC website)

Entry: Fill in the entry form and mail to SCASA secretary, Amanda on

The Eastern Cape Coffee Family comes together every year to celebrate and compete for the titles! Have you booked your entry? 



Official Barista Champs National Standings 2017 May 16 2017

Well done to all the competitors who undertook this gruelling discipline! You are all winners and we are proud of each of you. Thank you for participating in this prestigious competition, we hope to see you all next year!

Finals Round Top 6 (9 May 2017)


Winston Thomas



Harry Mole



Khulekani Mpala



Bruce Manning



Alicia Bulter



Wency Masawi



Semi-finals Results Ranking from 7th-20th (7th & 8th May)


Travis Scott



Pardon Sibanda



Phumlani Sibeko



Chad Whitby



Zakhele Sibanda



Tim Krynauw



Nomthandazo Sibeko



Megan Muller



Angeline McLagan



Lolly Daweti



Kuda Gezi



Fiks Khuzwayo



Noluthando Mavela



Phakamisani Zono



Three new SCASA Champions travelling to World Champ Events this year May 16 2017

Wow! We are still recovering from an amazing three days spent with the amazing people in South Africa's coffee industry for the SCASA National Coffee Competitions.

There were so many incredible moments and in the end we have three new South African Champions.

National Barista Champion: Winston Thomas, Western Cape, Origin Coffee Roasters

National Latte Art Champion: Alhenrico Thomas, Western Cape, Famous Brands

National Cup Tasters Champion: Simphiwe Adams, Eastern Cape, Sumatran Coffee

You can watch all the finalists' sets on our Facebook page. The Coffee Magazine, our official Media Partner sponsored the live streaming so that people across the country could watch!

Now preparations begin for Budapest and Seoul!

World of Coffee in Budapest is literally around the corner, so Alhenrico and Simphiwe will be applying for visas and booking flights! World Coffee Events are running multiple competitions at this expo and we are proud to have two representatives!

 We can't wait to see how our Champs do on the World Stage!

 Thank you so much to all the sponsors of the Championships and to all the supporters who came through to make it the best Nationals yet! Let's get behind our Champions and take them to the top! 

SCAE Introduction to Coffee Course running at Nationals: Discounted Rate for SCASA Members May 02 2017

Book your spot now, there are only limited spaces available! Email

There are 4 sessions planned and at only R1000/person (SCASA member price) it is a steal!

Sunday 7th & Monday 8th:

Session 1: 09h30 – 12h30

Session 2: 13h30 – 16h30

This is an incredible opportunity for everyone in the coffee industry. The Introduction to Coffee course runs over 3 hours, you get 10 points and a certificate towards your Diploma. 

"Introduction to Coffee is an ideal module for anyone who is new to the coffee industry or just has an interest in this wonderful drink. It maps coffee’s journey from its origins in Ethiopia to the major commodity it is today; enjoyed by millions of people around the world. From farming the cherries through drying, roasting, brewing and finally drinking, this module looks at the processes coffee goes through. This half day course also includes a 'coffee cupping' which allows you to taste the various flavours coffee has to offer."

Invaluable for people starting in the industry, anyone who is interested in coffee and for all the members of your staff if you are the owner of a coffee establishment.


Countdown to SCASA Nationals: Meet the Baristas April 19 2017

Our media partners the Coffee Magazine have been doing interviews with some of the Top 24 Baristas in the Build Up to the 2017 SCASA Nationals. These are some of the most talented baristas in the business and we are so very excited for Nationals at Hostex 2017 in Joburg in just 18 days time! There is everything at stake as the Barista Champs, Latte Artists and Cup Tasters prepare to compete for their tickets to the World Coffee Events competitions in Seoul and Budapest!

Don't miss out! Get down to Gallagher Convention Centre 7-9 May to watch them at Hostex 2017.

"Why do you want to win this thing?
It would be an honour and a privilege to represent our beautiful Country and be an ambassador for our SA Coffee Industry. Although I am not the feminist type it would be pretty darn awesome being the first Lady National Barista Champion – Doing it for the girls." Angeline McLagan, Winner Eastern Cape Regional


"What, to you, is the most exciting trend in coffee right now?
The accessibility of information and resources has got me pretty excited. I’ve seen so many people sharing their brewing insights and experience on social media within the past few weeks, some who work in coffee and others who don’t. It’s exciting to see the industry grow both locally and abroad."  Winston Thomas, Winner Western Cape Regional


"What is it about coffee that gets you fired up?
The realisation that coffee is more than just a beverage. It's a way of life. In one simple morning hour coffee touches all spectra of society and gets it ticking."   Khulekani Mpala, Winner Gauteng Regional


"Why do you want to win this thing?
Previously I just wanted to participate and learn more, and winning wasn’t important - but the shift in standards and rules now clearly demonstrate that the winner/ finalists are recognised as profoundly skilled and specialised in the coffee industry."


You can read the full interviews here: 

SCASA announces Competition Sponsors for 2017 April 10 2017

The Speciality Coffee Association of Southern Africa is proud to announce the following sponsors for the 2017/2018 Regional and National Coffee Competitions.


Gold Sponsor: 

Almond Breeze Barista Blend

Silver Sponsors: 


Vision Works

Supplier Sponsors: 

Official Espresso Machine Supplier: Morrico Import/Exports - Victoria Arduino and Nuova Simonelli.

Official Grinder Supplier:  Koldserve - Mahlkonig

Official Water Filtration Supplier: Ultimate Water

Official Cleaning Product Supplier: Koldserve - Urnex

Venue Partners:

Hostex - Food & Hospitality Africa

Good Food & Wine Show

Coffee & Chocolate Expo

Homemakers Expo Port Elizabeth

Media Partner:

Coffee Magazine


If you would still like to become a Sponsor of these competitions with opportunities at 8 venues in 2017, please contact Iain Evans at 082 397 2792 or email

Be part of the Coffee Village at HOSTEX 2017 March 24 2017

SCASA is hosting the National Barista Championships at HOSTEX, Gallagher estate from 7-9 May 2017. We are also creating a SCASA “Coffee Village” for all our members, and have negotiated a ridiculously good rate for any Coffee Company who is a SCASA Member to take a stand. Be part of the Coffee Community, interact with SA’s Top Coffee Professionals, get a ringside seat for the Nationals, and most importantly, showcase YOUR coffee company to the Industry Leaders!

To book a stand or for more info email:  Nick Sarnadas on or call 083 5193599


Call for Judges: Nationals Judges Training 4-5 May 2017 March 24 2017

Judges, judges!!!

SCASA wants to raise the level of judges at the 2017 Nationals to be held at Hostex and to do this have organised Teija Lublinkhof (a sensory judge in last year's World Barista Championship Final Round) to come give a FREE two day, in depth judges training session. Her knowledge is invaluable as she has tasted all Top 6 competitors coffees and knows exactly what the South African Coffee Champions should be aiming for!

Date: 4&5th May

Venue: Ciro Beverage Solutions, Johannesburg

It is preferable that you have judged at a Regional level at least once before. If you are interested in taking part in this great opportunity, please contact info@scasa

This will be great experience for the WCEP training later on in the year.

Updated SCASA Competition Schedule: 2 Important Changes! March 16 2017

There have been two important updates to the SCASA competition schedule for 2017.

1. The Gauteng Regional Barista Championships have moved to the Good Food and Wine Show in Johannesburg from 28-30th July

2. The KwaZulu Natal Regionals have moved from April to August at the Coffee&Chocolate Expo!


WCE announces new rules for World Barista Champs 2017 March 14 2017

Exciting changes coming to the World Barista Championship stage in November this year in Seoul. As South Africa gears up for it's National competition in May this year at Hostex 2017 at the Gallagher Convention Centre, the winner will have these changes to look forward to.
The Coffee Magazine asked Wayne Oberholzer, SA's current Barista Champion what he thinks of the new rules:

"So what do I feel about the rule changes? Excited. Actually pumped to compete.

The table setup I think will allow us to really bring a further integration of the "chefs table" experience. We could find Baristas almost shielding the judges from the coffee making process and engage them more into the experience and joy of the coffee or finding the Flavour. Changing heights will really help someone like myself to get more comfortable at the station. A bonus.

Machines temperature control is something we have always advocated for, the ability to really get the most out of the coffee and compensate for altitude and travel changes. As well as water... wow. Think of the signature drinks!!

Top 15 with a wild card. This really enforces the whole team approach that they are going for, which is amazing to see.

I think the dropping of technical in the Semi-finals and Finals rounds is a problem however. We have seen it play such a big part of deciding the top 3 in our local competitions... but hey, sensory is the name of the game right?

All in all I love it. I need to dive more into it. But I think it's the sort of shift we have been wanting and waiting for."
Note to Barista Competitors heading to Joburg in May: National competitions will be run with standard layout and temperature rules so this will not effect the competition in May

Calling all Latte Artists! SCASA sponsors Almond Breeze and The Coffee Magazine have a competition you don't want to miss! March 08 2017

We know you've got the skills out there, now is the time to let them shine! SCASA Gold Sponsor Almond Breeze and The Coffee Magazine have joined forces to bring you some amazing latte art battles and some amazing cash prizes!
Baristas can win R750 a week for submitting their latte art videos and getting people to vote for them. Cafe owners, this is the time to pull your coffee communities together! Coffee drinkers, this is your time to back your favourite barista! 
This competition is about celebrating baristas, a great product to pair with coffee and most of all, FUN!
You can enter HERE.

WCE All Stars coming to Johannesburg! February 17 2017

This is huge news for the South African coffee community! A chance to meet coffee professionals that have competed at the highest level and learn from their experience. Well done to SCASA Sponsor Coffee & Chocolate Expo for securing this internationally acclaimed event!
Press Release from World Coffee Events

All-Stars from the World Coffee Championships are headed to Johannesburg 13-16 July, 2017 for three days of interactive events, creative drink challenges, pop quizzes, hands-on demonstrations, meet-and-greets, and more at the Coffee & Chocolate Expo.

For the first time, the globally popular All-Stars program will be bringing some of the best competitive coffee makers to South Africa. Learn what it takes to compete on the world stage with 2016 World Latte Art Champion, Umpaul; 2016 World Coffee In Good Spirits Champion, Michalis Dimitrakopolous; 2015 World Coffee in Good Spirits Champion, George Koustampardis; 2013 WLAC Finalist, Esther Maasdam; and a World Barista Championship All-Star to be announced soon!

WCE is the premier producer of events for the global speciality coffee community, including the World Barista Championship, World Latte Art Championship, Re:co Symposium, All-Stars, and Re:verb.

All-Stars is now in its fourth year of spreading coffee excellence globally. This dynamic program features exciting stage time and head-to-head performances, along with informal bar time, and opportunities to connect directly with the All-Stars and learn more about their coffee experiences and insights.

Call for Membership renewal and call for Sponsors for the SCASA Coffee Competitions! February 14 2017


2017 is shaping up to be the most exciting year in coffee!

so….. Have you renewed your SCASA membership for 2017 yet? To do so click here.

To find out more about Sponsorship opportunites, click here.