Meet Wency Masawi, the KwaZulu-Natal Region’s Cup Tasters Champion for 2019

11 Nov 2019 | Coffee Competitions, Competitions, KwaZulu-Natal, News, Regionals

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.