SA’s best barista is brewing up a storm at a popular coffee shop in Cape Town.
Winston Thomas, 26 is the lead Barista and Head of the Barista Academy at Origin Coffee Roasters.
The coffee addict from Strand now has the title of SA National Barista Champion and will travel to Seoul, South Korea to compete in the World Barista Championships.
It was his second time entering the competition and Thomas admits it’s quite nerve wracking having to prepare the 12 coffees for the four judges.
“It’s obviously a lot of pressure when you’re busy preparing the coffees and they’re all watching you,” says Thomas.
His winning theme for his set was “The consumer” and he says it’s important especially to get some local flavour into your coffee.
“So I used a Tanzanian coffee and it was one that I had tasted and really enjoyed so I wanted to use it in the national championships,” he says.
Thomas says on the African continent there are great coffee bean options and we need to showcase that.
“Of course there are lots of machines and additives out there you can use but the focus for me is always on the quality of the coffee,” he says.
For the National Barista Championship, baristas have 15 minutes to create three different coffees for the four judges which includes making an espresso, a milk based drink and a signature coffee (that has an espresso base).