Congratulations to World Champions crowned in Chicago

Thursday, 18 April, 2024

We have been suffering from severe FOMO while the Specialty Coffee Expo has been happening in Chicago, April 12-14. Two World Coffee Championships were held during those three days: World Cup Tasters and World Brewers Cup. And a special congrats to our own André Blignaut who placed 8th, the best a South African has EVER done across any of the disciplines! Read more about that below!

"The first World Coffee Championship of the season has concluded, after three days of fierce competition at the Specialty Coffee Expo in Chicago. We’ve seen some incredible performances and crowned two new world champions! A huge congratulations to all the competitors who participated; thank you to the WCC judges who worked tirelessly to evaluate performances, to the volunteers who make these events possible, and to our sponsors for their ongoing support."

Congratulations to the 2024 World Brewers Cup Champion – Martin Wölfl, Austria! You can read more about the coffee he used here.

  1. Martin Wölfl, Austria

  2. Wataru Iidaka, Japan

  3. Ryan Wibawa, Indonesia

  4. Tom Hutchins, Australia

  5. Charity Cheung, France

  6. Jackie Tran, Czech Republic

Congratulations to the 2024 World Cup Tasters Champion – Dionatan Almeida, Brazil. 34 competitors represented their Competitions Bodies on stage at this Championship.

  1. Dionatan Almeida, Brazil 

  2. Aurore Ceretta, Germany

  3. Han Jong Lee, New Zealand

  4. Jonathan Rangel, Guatemala

And now on a patriotic note! You may not ever have heard his name until very recently, but Andre Blignaut from Cape Town  - our recently crowned SCASA South African Cup Tasters Champion -  placed 8th in the WORLD in the World Cup Tasters Championship.

Andre, who has only been in coffee for a year, competed and won the SA title at Hostex earlier in March 2024.  He is an Independent coffee person, in other words, is not employed by a coffee business, and had very little time to secure a visa for USA, practise his cupping skills and pack a bag, before he was on the biggest stage in World Coffee - The World Championships, this year held in Chicago at SCA EXPO. 

Andre had a clear strategy in the first round of 34 competitors and pushed hard to ensure he was tasting fast and decisively, scoring a very impressive 7/8 correct cups in a fast enough time that saw him through to the Quarter Finals of 16 competitors.  There were only five competitors that scored 8/8 and 14 that scored 7/8 which meant that the fastest competitors qualified, of which Andre was one! 

On to the Quarters… and with only 8 spots up for grabs in the semis, Andre again flew out of the blocks and scored a brilliant 7/8 and was the FASTEST time of all of the 7/8s in the round. On to the SEMIS! Wow, we were on the edge of our seats!!!

Then it was down to 8 competitors and with only 4 spots available in the finals, Andre still scored an impressive 5/8 but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to see him make the Final 4 - however he is still the highest placed SA competitor at a WCE World Champs in any discipline of the modern format.  Well done André!  

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