Build Up to SCASA Nationals: Barista Competitor Winston Thomas

Friday, 17 March, 2017
Name: Winston Thomas
Region: Western Cape
Company: Origin Coffee Roasting
Winner Barista Champs Western Cape Regionals

Photo by Lee Henriques

What is it about coffee that gets you fired up?

The sensory and mental stimulation of coffee never gets old. Not to mention the fact that I get paid to work with coffee, which is something I would do for free!

What, to you, is the most exciting trend in coffee right now?
The accessibility of information and resources has got me pretty excited. I’ve seen so many people sharing their brewing insights and experience on social media within the past few weeks, some who work in coffee and others who don’t. It’s exciting to see the industry grow both locally and abroad.

How do you drink your coffee?
A cortado in the morning with sips of filter and espresso throughout the day.

What's the biggest challenge you face in the build up to Nationals?

Balancing my current work schedule with practise times and planning. Finding the energy to stay late after work to train and using off days for miscellaneous competition tasks. But this is what competing is about and overcoming the challenges is what makes competing really worth it.

Why do you want to win this thing?
I want to win this so that my hard work and sacrifices are not in vain. And winning creates a platform to learn and grow even more as a coffee professional. Although the purpose of competing is not to win. Rather to learn and grow and share ideas. Winning would just be the reward for all of this.

What's your best tip for people trying to make better coffee at home?
WATER. Use good filtered water. Many of our customers complain that the coffee they make at home does not taste close to what they have at our café. This is usually due to using tap water.

What and where is the best coffee you've tasted so far in 2017?
To be honest my competition coffee is probably the best I’ve tasted this year haha! I’m sure the list will grow in May though! But I’ve really been enjoying Espresso Labs Vitamin C. I’m not sure what coffee they use for the espresso but its combined with a raw honey and cold pressed ginger and lemon.

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