Day one (21 February 2019) of SCASA’s National Coffee Competitions taking place at KwaZulu-Natal’s Ballito Lifestyle Centre delivered the top four Cup Tasters finalists, Thabang Maluleka (Ciro Beverage Solutions), Chad Whitby (Colombo Coffee & Tea), Maxine Thiart (Routed Roasters) and current champion Donovan McLagan (Urban Espress Coffee Company). It also saw the top two latte art finalists, Rodney Swartz (Champs Musical Coffee Shop Productions) and current champion Christopher Abrahams (Ciro Beverage Solutions) secure their place in the finals this coming Sunday (24 February). The Barista Championships also kicked off on Thursday with two barista sets with the majority of this segment of the competition happening Friday (22 February) and Saturday (23 February).
Donovan McLagan (Urban Espress)
Maxine Thiart (Routed Roasters)
Thabang Maluleka (Ciro) and Chad Whitby (Colombo Coffee & Tea)
Chris Abrahams (Ciro)
Rodney Swartz (Champs Musical Coffee)
Hillary Gwaze (Infood Coffee Society)
Ndumiso Ncgobo (The Talkhouse Cafe)
Winston Thomas and Thabo Kheleroa (JARU Coffee)
Across Friday and Saturday, 22 baristas will compete for a spot in the final, some familiar names include: last year’s runner up Neil Gouws (Origin), three time National champion, Ishan Natalie (Starbucks), Gauteng Champ, Trevor Fitz (Independent), eight time Nationals finalist Bruce Manning (TriBeCa) and three Regional champions in Simnikiwe Mkize (Rosetta - Western Cape), Khulekhani Mpala (Weissenhof - Gauteng) and Dieter Liebenberg (VDP - KZN).
All barista sets will be LIVE streamed via the SCASA Facebook Page. Click HERE to download the latest National Coffee Competitions schedule.
SCASA's Nationals will be taking place 21-24 February 2019 at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.
Photos: The Coffee Magazine/Melanie Winter