Durban barista, Khethukuthula ‘Teddy’ Nzama has flown the South African flag high after being crowned the best barista in the world.
The twenty-seven-year-old from KwaMashu, north of Durban has recently been crowned the best barista across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
We caught up with Nzama at Starbucks on Florida Road where he works and had a chat with him about his love for coffee, being crowned the best barista in the world, and the growth in the coffee culture in SA.
Nzama said his love for coffee started in 2012, and that he has been working with Starbucks for two years now.
Asked how he feels being crowned the best barista in the world, Nzama said he feels overwhelmed, surprised, and amazing. That he is happy if people from SA and other countries are happy. Nzama went on to mention that although he won, there were a few challenges that he faced in the competition.
“I experienced a few challenges while I was preparing myself. One of them was that the proportion that we use here in SA is different internationally, so trying to master that, and the way they do things was tough for me, and to try and learn all the coffees, because when you are in a competition you have to know all the coffees because you have to pick them while you are blindfolded,” he said.
Speaking about the growth in the coffee industry in SA, Nzama said the coffee industry this side is growing so fast and it is huge. He said we even have local coffee farmers and everywhere we go there are coffee shops, therefore both local and international brands are all doing so well.
Nzama concluded that the coffee industry is a big thing and that most people do not understand what coffee is about, that you just have to get time, learn, and understand it.