On Tuesday, 25th of October 2016, KwaZulu-Natal’s top coffee cafe owners and baristas gathered at the 2016 Illovo Café Society Awards at the Bellevue Café in Kloof. The event that has been proudly sponsored by Illovo Sugar SA for the past 16 years, the awards are a collaboration between Illovo and the Sunday Tribune, who started the Café Society in 1999. The awards have grown in stature and acclaim, and the Café Society stamp of approval have helped grow many independent coffee shops throughout KZN. It has also seen the likes of former winners go on to represent South Africa on a number of international coffee stages.
Last year an additional category was added to the Illovo Café Society Awards that separated the North Coast and Central Durban category into two, and this year another welcome change has been implemented as far as the make up of the judging panel. This year’s panel now includes some of KZN’s very own stars with a taste for excellence, such as Darren Maule, Logie Naidoo, Vanessa Marawa and Sorisha Naidoo, who make up the 28 strong coffee critics judging the competition. Each and every judge undergoes a training workshop with top baristas before judging commences to ensure they understand precisely and all use the same criteria needed to judge a great cup of coffee.
The awards evening was abuzz with excitement as the ever-hopeful finalists waited with baited breath to hear if they would claim top spot in one of the four awarded area categories (the South Coast, Pietermaritzburg and Midlands, Central Durban and the North Coast). Marketing Manager for Illovo Sugar SA, Darrell de Wet was delighted with the turnout and results of the awards. “It has been such a privilege to be part of the growth of the KZN coffee industry through our ongoing support of these awards. It has become an important platform for these participants from all over KZN to showcase their talents and passion for coffee. These individuals have worked extremely hard to win the recognition that comes with this award and should be really proud of their efforts. Illovo Sugar SA is passionate about supporting the communities we operate in, which is why we are a proud sponsor of the Café Society Awards in KZN,” said de Wet.
The winners of the categories that were announced for the evening included Tea @ Baytree in South Coast Mall, Shelly Beach; Terbodore Coffee Roasters in the Midlands, Counter Culture in Ballito and Lineage Coffee in Hilcrest, Durban. All the other finalists and the top 100 Coffee Shops around KZN that are making waves in the coffee and hospitality industry are published in a special insert on the 30th of October 2016 in the Sunday Tribune Newspaper.
The full results for the 2016 Café Society Awards are as follows:
Best Coffee – South Coast:
1st Place – Tea @ Baytree (South coast mall, Shelly Beach)
2nd Place – Daily Grind (Hibiscus Mall, Margate)
3rd Place – Beaver Creek Coffee Estate (Port Edward)
Best Coffee – Pietermaritzburg and Midlands:
1st Place – Terbodore Coffee Roasters(Midlands)
2nd Place – Sagewood Cafe (Pietermaritzburg)
3rd Place – Olde Duck Cafe (Underberg)
Best Coffee – Durban:
1st Place – Lineage Coffee (Builders Way, Hillcrest)
2nd Place – Antique Café (Churchill Road, Morningside)
3rd Place – Bean Green (Glenwood, Durban)
Best Coffee – North Coast:
1st Place – Counter Culture (Ballito)
2nd Place – Wonderland coffee at Linc church (Salt Rock)
3rd Place – Piccadeli Cafe (Ballito)
Barista Personality Awards:
Durban Winner and Overall Winner – Kgune Dlamini (Lineage Coffee)
North Winner – Precious Ngcobo (Piccadeli Café)
South Winner – Princess Ntini (Tee @ Baytree)
Inland Winner – Sinjini Wicks (Terbodore Coffee Roasters)
Have a look at some of the tweets from the event;
— Buhle Mbonambi (@Buhlebonga) October 25, 2016
— Run On Coffee (@NicolaLMeyer) October 25, 2016
Featured Image: Thobeka Ngema and Londiwe Ngumede