Try Winston's Favorite
Urnex Product

"I use this product daily and in the most effective way. It has the biggest impact on my coffee of all the Urnex products."
Cafiza® Espresso Machine Cleaning Powder

Winston Thomas

Lead Barista, Head Trainer and Wholesale Rep, Origin Coffee Roasters
South Africa

What is your current occupation and employer?
I am the lead barista, head trainer and wholesale representative for Origin Coffee Roasters in Cape Town, South Africa.

When did you know you wanted to turn your passion for coffee into a career?
I had been interested in coffee for a year or two but it wasn't until I completed my barista course at Origin that I decided I wanted to pursue a full time career in coffee, after completing my studies in engineering.

Who is your coffee role model?
At the moment I am inspired my all of my colleagues at Origin, especially Michael MacDonald and Jorge Kimbangla. Past Barista champions of South Africa are all role models to me, especially Lovejoy Chirambasukwa. Internationally, I really look up to Colin Harmon. His journey from when he started in coffee to where he is now is very inspiring.

What’s the best piece of coffee-related advice you’ve received?
"Nobody is bigger than coffee." I can't remember who told this to me but it has stuck and also kept me grounded after my competition success.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Travelling and making new friends in coffee all over the world. Contributing to the development of systems and infrastructure in producing countries around Africa. And working bar shifts in my own boutique specialty cafe in Cape Town.

How many coffees did you taste before choosing one for the national competition in Italy?
Two. I was caught between two Colombian coffees - one natural and one washed. After tasting each of them for a few weeks, we cupped a Tanzanian Peaberry and I immediately knew that that was the coffee I would use for nationals.

List all the national and world coffee competitions have you competed in.
South African Nationals 2016 & 2017
World Aeropress Championships 2016

What is the reaction you receive when you tell someone outside the coffee community that you are a champion barista competitor?
‘There's competitions for coffee? Seriously?’ This is the typical response, followed by questions on my latte art abilities.

What is your favorite Urnex product?
Urnex Cafiza powder. I use this product daily and in the most effective way. It has the biggest impact on my coffee of all the Urnex products.

What is unique about coffee culture in Italy?
The coffee culture in South Africa is unique because of its infancy and its small size. The coffee professionals in South Africa are like a small family and together we try to educate the masses. In my opinion our culture is a hybrid of western third wave and traditional African culture because our diversity.

Try Winston's Favorite Urnex Product

"I use this product daily and in the most effective way. It has the biggest impact on my coffee of all the Urnex products."
Cafiza® Espresso Machine Cleaning Powder