South Africa Barista Championship

[Sarah Robinson of Bean There contributed the following piece about the 2011 South Africa Barista Championship]

South Africa’s representative for the World Barista Championship in Bogota, Colombia was determined in Johannesburg from 13 to 15 March 2011. The country’s top 18 baristas from three regions, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Gauteng, met at South Africa’s premier hospitality show, Hostex, to battle it out with tampers, portafilters, coffee, and charisma.

Freeman Mhlanga, a barista for Bean There, placed 8th in the South Africa Barista Championship.

For the first time, South Africa has three of its own WBC certified judges who had recently returned from the certification program in Italy. A team of skilled and enthusiastic sensory and technical judges joined them from a variety of areas in the coffee industry.

Barista championships started in South Africa in 2006 and each year the competition standard is raised by baristas and judges. And this year was no disappointment. Hosting the championship at a trade show attended by thousands also elevated the public’s awareness of and appreciation for carefully prepared coffee.

After three days of intense and exciting competition, the final results were as follows:

1) Travis Scott

2) Ishan Natalie

3) Wayne Burrows

4) Ally Strachan

5) Samantha Moodley

6) Mickael Bou Rijelley

Barista Champion of South Africa, Travis Scott, at far left.

Congratulations and good luck to South Africa’s new barista champion, Travis Scott!

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