Winston Douglas Thomas considers himself a coffee professional with an all-around skill set. Working as a barista, trainer and consultant, Winston won the SA Barista Championships in 2017, 2018, 2020 and was the South African AeroPress championship in 2016. Having explored the coffee scene in New York, London, South Korea, Amsterdam and Auckland, Winston sees Cape Town as the hub of the South African coffee industry. While other cities are certainly catching up, he feels that in the Mother City we exist at the same pace as the rest of the world. Always inspired, always with people passing through or better still, starting something new. It keeps him on his toes, eager to learn and achieve more.
Becoming three times South African Barista Champion changed Winston’s life and he went on to represent South Africa at the World Barista Championship. The competition aims to not only find the best coffee and barista, but also an ambassador for speciality coffee. The exposure to that level of passion for his industry was a pivotal point in his career. Winston does a lot of travelling to host Barista competitions and share ideas, working with other enthusiasts and training them in the hope that they will get better placements while competing in future competitions, especially within Africa. An African competitor has never won the World Championship, and it’s the continent’s goal – and Winston’s.
During your time with Winston, you will learn how to brew a speciality coffee using alternative brewing methods to demonstrate how the preparation style affects the flavour. This while learning about his life, his passion and his aspiration. ‘I’m in this for life’ he says. ‘I set out to change the world and I’ll be using coffee to do it.’