Day One Wrap at Nationals 2019

Thursday, 21 February, 2019

The SCASA National Coffee Competitions kicked off yesterday at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre on the KZN North Coast, with the Latte Art Semi Finals, Cup Tasters Semi Finals being completed and the first two baristas in the Barista Category semi final round completing their sets.

Chris Abrahams (Ciro) with his lucky gold jug!

Rodney Swartz (Champs Musical Coffee) impressing the judges.

In the Latte Art category, it was two Western Cape Baristas that progressed to the Finals, with Rodney Swartz (Champs Musical Coffee) and reigning SA Champ, Chris Abrahams (Ciro) pouring some very intricate patterns - 2 Latte free pour designs and one Macchiato free pour each to progress ahead of a tough field that included last years runner up Nigel Kamhanda from Infood Coffee Society in JBay.

In the Cup Tasters rounds, the coffees proved very tough indeed with low scores all round, and in the end it was reigning SA Champ, Don McLagan (Urban Espress) and fellow Eastern Cape cup taster Maxine Thiart (Routed Roasters, JBay) along with Durban’s Chad Whitby (Colombo Coffee & Tea) and rising star from Gauteng, Thabang  Maluleka (Ciro) who progressed to Sunday’s finals.

Thabang Maluleka (Ciro) and Chad Whitby (Colombo Coffee & Tea)

Donovan McLagan (Urban Espress) and Maxine Thiart (Routed Roasters)

There were just two baristas, Tshepo Modiakgoda (Jaru, Free State) and Hillary Gwaze (Infood, JBay) who took the stage in the Barista category before the close of play.

Today’s action sees some big names of the 13 Baristas in today’s semi-finals including John Evans and Harry Mole (both TriBeCa), last year’s runner up Neil Gouws (Origin) and 3 time SA Champ, Ishan Natalie (Starbucks).

Saturday sees another 9 Baristas present their Semi-Finals sets, and names to watch in this group include Gauteng Champ, Trevor Fitz (Independent), 8 time Nationals finalist Bruce Manning ( TriBeCa) and three Regional champs in Simnikiwe Mkize (Rosetta - W Cape), Khulekhani Mpala (Weissenhof - Gauteng) and Dieter Liebenberg (VDP - KZN)

Follow the live-stream action on Facebook Live here.

Simnikiwe Mkize ( Roasetta Roastery) and Ndumiso Ncgobo (TalkHouise cafe)

Winston Thomas and Luke Van De Merwe.

Hillary Gwaze and Percy Chikwira (Infood Coffee Society), Wency Masawi (Tanaka Coffee) and Romeo Chimunya (Tribe Coffee)

Simeon Snyman (Stereo Cafe)

Hillary Gwaze (Infood Coffee Society)

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