Teddy Nzama - South Africa scoops the title in international Barista competition!

Teddy Nzama from South Africa has just been named as 2019’s best barista from over 30,000 global Starbucks employees!


London, United Kingdom – After an intense three days of competition, 30 finalists – each of them already National Champions in their home markets – battled through coffee skills tests and demonstrated their deep passion for coffee.

Only one could take home the grand prize, and that prize was taken by Kwazulu-Natal resident Teddy Nzama! Teddy from the Starbucks in Florida Road was recently crowned as a national champion just a few weeks ago.

On the 13th of November 2019 baristas from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) met in London, the headquarters of Starbucks to compete in the biggest multi-country championship the company has ever hosted!

The Starbucks Barista Championship was born in EMEA, and 2019 sees the most countries competing, ever! It’s a record year for the most nationalities in one Starbucks Barista Championship – from Saudi Arabia to Spain, Sweden and South Africa – these are just four out of the 30 nations competing.

“Each barista is already a champion, having been crowned as National Champion of their home country. The search has taken nearly nine months and involved approximately 15,000 Starbucks baristas who entered this year’s competition.”

Over the intense three days, each Barista Champion shared their knowledge of Starbucks ethically sourced coffee along with showcasing their coffee craft. The competition was whittled down by almost 50% on Thursday before heading into Friday, where the final 16 battled it out in the nail-biting latte art throw-down. The latte art throw-down was invented in Seattle, the birthplace of Starbucks, and sees competitors go head-to-head – only the best latte art, created with perfectly steamed milk, makes it through.

The latte art throw-down determined the final four, then a panel of experts decided the overall champion and named 2019’s best barista from over 30,000 Starbucks employees in EMEA as Teddy Nzama from South Africa.

“As the winner, Teddy will be invited on the trip of a lifetime to visit the Milan Roastery and to join fellow partners (employees) for an annual trip to coffee farms in Rwanda where he’ll see first-hand how coffee is grown and processed and will meet farmers who produce some of Starbucks coffee.”

Congratulations Teddy… proudly South African, and PROUD of South Africa!

Sources: Starbucks 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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