Durban – The Inaugural Creative Coffee Week has turned Durban into a percolating hub of coffee activity as South Africa’s leading coffee professionals converge at the promenade and Point waterfront from July 26 to 28. Organised by Coffee Magazine – in partnership with eThekwini Municipality and headline sponsors, FNB, Selati and Innovate Durban – this energised event is set to drive local commerce, create employment among the youth and share global insights into the coffee industry.
Iain Evans, event organiser, said the drive behind Creative Coffee Week was to celebrate the blossoming coffee culture emerging across the city.
“For a few years now, we at Coffee Magazine have watched coffee industry mature and create its own identity. We have also been fortunate enough to be involved in the competitive coffee competitions, both locally and overseas, which have allowed us to connect with many in the industry. We decided it’s time to celebrate the culture and the fantastic people that make up the industry, while looking at ways to carve the South African niche in the global coffee arena,” Evans said.
An impressive 250 of South Africa’s leading coffee professionals, among them roasters, green bean importers, baristas, and coffee owners, will be attending the various workshops and training sessions held throughout the week. These informative sessions will be hosted by nine international guests who are excited to share their expert insights.
The hosts include competitive barista and owner of Colona Coffee, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood; Lemuel Butler, five-time US Barista Champion; Teija Lublinkoff, WBC International Judge at the SA Nationals; Steve Slark, Chairman of the European Beverage Association and the MD of European Watercare; and Ben Weiner, owner of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers.
Commenting on his involvement in the inaugural Creative Coffee Week, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood said he was thrilled to be involved.
“Coffee events are integral to bringing the coffee community together and helping it flourish. Creative Coffee Week will be a truly unique approach,” he said.
In addition to organising the event, Selati and Coffee Magazine have been working with various stakeholders in the education and coffee sectors to give nine young people from townships in South Africa, and three deaf people, a chance to change their lives through coffee. These baristas were selected from South African townships and identified as bursary recipients for the Selati Barista Education Programme. This was established as a way to upskill youngsters from disadvantaged communities and provide them with a career that can take them worldwide.
The Creative Coffee Week culminates in the Coffee Magazine Awards Gala Dinner taking place at uShaka Marine World on Saturday, 28 July. This event will celebrate excellence and innovation in the coffee industry, as well as acting as a graduation ceremony for 13 students of the Selati Barista Education Programme.
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