Interview: SA Cup Tasters Champion, Donovan McLagan

Wednesday, 31 October, 2018

Donovan McLagan is heading to Brazil next week to represent South Africa. We caught up with him as he's about to jet off!

So Don, you’ve won the SCASA Cup Tasters competition FOUR times now. Wow, that’s amazing! Do you think that beginning to roast your own coffee has helped develop your palate even more?

The short answer is yes, but I do think one still needs to cup as much as possible especially speciality grade coffee as there is so much more going on in the cup.

Photo by @toosocialsa for Urban Espress

How has your training program differed this time around?

I have kept to the same program now for the last 2 years and find it works really well for me. In short I run sets and get a team mate to take notes on my non verbal queues especially on the cups I get wrong.

You’ve also been soaking up all the knowledge you can through the SCA courses, tell us about your experiences and how they’ve benefited you and your business. 

It’s been a really validating experience and the demand has been bigger than expected. Next year is going to be a busy year.

What are your expectations for Brazil? (And are you planning to surf :) 

I would really love to make finals as missing it by 11 seconds in 2012 still haunts me a bit. I will be going to Rio and I’ll see if I can get a surf in. 

Tell us about Urban Espress and the changes your business has gone through over the last year.

Urban Espress Cafe has been around since August 2012 and the last year has been a really tough one as we had to close one of our locations due to a landlord not renewing our lease. That been said keep an eye on social media going into next year. We have some plans.

Photo by @toosocialsa for Urban Espress

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