This barista has a second shot at being a world champ coffee maker.
Winston Thomas, from Strand, has just been crowned South Africa’s number one barista for the second year in a row.
And now he is a man on a mission to produce the best coffee in the world as he gears up to represent the country at the World Barista Championships in Amsterdam next month.
Winston has won the South African Aeropress Championship in 2016, Western Cape Barista Championship for 2017 and 2018, and the South African Barista Championship in 2017 and the 2018.
The 27-year-old is a qualified civil engineer, but has set his sights on coffee making after graduating in 2014.
“I developed an interest in coffee after reading a letter in my local newspaper of a woman complaining that we had no good coffee in Strand/Somerset West,” he explains.
“This sparked my interest in coffee and during my third year of study I completed a barista course at Origin Coffee Roasting. This changed my whole perspective on coffee and I decided to work in coffee full time since August 2014.
Last year he finished in 41st place out of 58 baristas at the world champs.
“I became so passionate about this competition, I resigned from Origin to put more focus into this,” says Winston.
“I am very happy the hard work and sacrifice has paid off and I now have another shot at being world champ.”
However, the costs of flights, accommodation and the beans for the competition are very high.
“Sponsors have come forward, but there is more assistance needed,” says Winston.
“Day to day living is high in Amsterdam so I need to raise about R50 000 to be able to attend.
“My ultimate goal in my pursuit of success in these competitions is to bridge a gap between coffee-producing countries specifically in Africa and those who drink it.”
To help get Winston to Amsterdam, email him on email@example.com.
By Venecia Valentine
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