On Friday 20th July 2018, a room packed to capacity with hearing and Deaf people and coffee-fans alike, gathered at the Coffee & Chocolate Show at Monte Casino. We all sat in awe, watching a Sign Language interpreter flawlessly communicate with the 11 slightly nervous Barista’s who were there to compete and display their Barista skills to us, all watching intently.
Hearing Works was a proud and incredibly privileged sponsor for the Ciro Deaf Barista Competition 2018. This being only the 2nd time this competition was held, there were 11 Ciro Coffee Academy trained competitors this year, growing immensely from last year’s 6!
The winner was Mpho Mothlapi from PwC South Africa, Barista at the Reuben’s Coffee Bar. The runner up and defending Champ, Ciro's own, Mduduzi Lukhuleni and 3rd place was Sindiswa Mtolo from Investec.
Other partners included Unisa - The University of South Africa, Employ and Empower Deaf cc, Coffee & Chocolate Show, The Coffee Magazine and BRITA South Africa.
Judges included the very enthusiastic Esther Maasdam - Coffee Connoisseur, 2013 World Latte Art Champion who has become very fond of this special competition, as well as Annemarie Tiemes who helped score keep and sponsored the SCA training for these baristas, and Wayne Burrows who helped train and motivate the competitors.
And of course, to the 11 competitors: WELL DONE! Your passion and commitment were wonderful to experience. We cannot wait to see how you develop your skills over the next year. See you at the next Deaf Barista championships in 2019!
Written By: Tally Sherban (Audiologist/Owner – Hearing Works)