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)