SA’s barista champ: Coffee beans to try during lockdown

CAPE TOWN –While many South Africans have turned to Netflix, virtual exercise programmes or learning a new skill to pass the time during the lockdown, Winston Thomas, an independent barista experimented with local coffee beans.

Thomas is South Africa’s 2020 barista champion and has also earned this top prize in 2017 and 2018.

In making the perfect cup of coffee at home, Thomas recommends measuring your coffee to maintain a consistent cup with every brew, using colder than average milk and using the correct amounts of water.


Here are some locally available beans to try out during lockdown:


From Cape Town with Love – Blend

A coffee shop situated in Long Street, From Cape Town with Love sells a blend roasted by Uncle Bear Coffee company.

Thomas used a plunger to extract flavours ranging from light milk chocolate, biscotti and vanilla.


Father Coffee – Norma Iris Macerated Natural

Based in Johannesburg, Father Coffee comes highly recommended as one of the best speciality coffee stores.

Thomas says their Norma Iris Macerated Natural bean is versatile and is suited for all brewing methods.

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Origin Coffee – Kenya Ruchu Washed

Origin in Cape Town is well known in the Mother City and Thomas spent some time trying out their Kenya Ruchu Washed beans.

“I tried a few brewing methods during lockdown but achieved the best results in my V60 (pour-over coffee). Generally, I brew with a high strength – more coffee and less water – but I tried scaling down the amount of coffee I used per brew, partly to ensure that my coffee stock lasted throughout lockdown,” he said.


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