It has been a very busy year in South Africa’s competitive specialty coffee scene, with five local coffee competitions already completed. Not forgetting the two internationals, which saw South Africa’s current best barista, Harry Mole, and the country’s current best cup taster, Thabang Maluleka and latte artist, Christopher Abrahams, compete at the World Coffee Championships in Boston and Berlin respectively.
Competition season started with Nationals in Ballito at the beginning of the year, before kick starting the regional competitions, which saw Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, host the best baristas from their province to crown the next set of top competitors who’ll be representing at 2020’s National Coffee Competitions at Food & Hospitality (HOSTEX) in Johannesburg, 1-3 March.
The focus now however again turns to KwaZulu-Natal, for SCASA’s last regional coffee competition of 2019, set to come alive at The Pearls Mall in Umhlanga, 7-9 November. Baristas will have the opportunity to compete in three disciplines, the Cup Tasters, Latte Art and Barista competitions.
The Cup Tasters competition demonstrates speed, pure senses and accuracy in distinguishing the taste differences in specialty coffees. Cuppers need to discriminate between different coffees in choosing the odd one from a triangle of three cups in a row of eight.
The Latte Art competition highlights artistic expression that challenges the barista in an on-demand performance. Baristas need to create two identical free-pour lattes and two identical designer lattes, which allow etching and decoration, all under the watchful eyes of a set of judges.
The Barista competition is all about performance, skill and passion for coffee, as well as being able to pour delicious coffee under pressure, with a panel of skilled judges watching the barista’s every move as they produce four espressos, four milk beverages and four signature drinks, all in under 15 minutes.
Specialty Coffee Association of Southern Africa’s chairman, Bernard Muneri, is excited about the direction specialty coffee is heading and has urged for more local baristas to get involved: “The coffee industry is always evolving and that excites us. SCASA is all about coming together, sharing and celebrating specialty coffee. Through our barista competitions every year, we have seen baristas taking part and thereafter open their own café or roastery. Nothing makes me more happier than seeing baristas develop into entrepreneurs in their own way and for more to enter as competitors to up skill their knowledge.”
Entries for KZN’s regional coffee competitions are still open and can be downloaded from SCASA’s website at www.scasa.co.za.
The event will be free and open to the public who will have the opportunity to meet some of the region’s best coffee talent and to learn more about the world of specialty coffee.
The Speciality Coffee Association of Southern Africa (SCASA) is the only recognized non-profit organization in South Africa representing the coffee industry from seed to cup. SCASA’s members take up the responsibility to offer great products and exciting events to the public, uplifting the coffee industry of South Africa. SCASA proudly holds the regional license of the World Barista Competition (WBC) and in this respect oversees and manages the Regional and National Coffee Competitions, while arranging for the National South African Barista, Latte Art and Cup Tasters champions, to attend the annual World Barista Championships and proudly represent our country. Our members enjoy access to a large network of professional coffee producers, roasters, retailers and equipment manufacturers. Members are offered unlimited access to the SCASA website, plus essential professional tools, training seminars, market research and more.SCASA is registered as a Section 21, Non-profit company, with the Registrar of Companies.SCASA is motivated to ignite a ‘United Passion For Coffee’ for all coffee lovers.
Photo Credit: The Coffee Magazine