Kings and Queens of Coffee Crowned at 2016 Illovo Café Society Awards


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.


 Café Society Awards, Illovo, Coffee
Nontando Sokhela, Lauren Cole, Darrell de Wet and Nkosi Bhengu.


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.










Café Society Awards, Illovo, Coffee
Darren Maule, Vanessa Marawa and Dante Mashile.


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.


Café Society Awards, Illovo, Coffee
Darrell 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:

Café Society Awards, Illovo, Coffee
2nd Place – Daily Grind (Hibiscus Mall, Margate)

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)


Café Society Awards, Illovo, Coffee
1st Place – Terbodore Coffee Roasters (Midlands)


Best Coffee – Pietermaritzburg and Midlands:

1st Place – Terbodore Coffee Roasters(Midlands)

2nd Place – Sagewood Cafe (Pietermaritzburg)

3rd Place – Olde Duck Cafe (Underberg)


Café Society Awards, Illovo, Coffee
1st Place – Lineage Coffee (Builders Way, Hillcrest)

Best Coffee – Durban:

1st Place – Lineage Coffee (Builders Way, Hillcrest)

2nd Place – Antique Café (Churchill Road, Morningside)

3rd Place – Bean Green (Glenwood, Durban)



Café Society Awards, Illovo, Coffee
2nd Place – Wonderland Coffee at Linc Church (Salt Rock)

Best Coffee – North Coast:

1st Place – Counter Culture (Ballito)

2nd Place – Wonderland coffee at Linc church (Salt Rock)

3rd Place – Piccadeli Cafe (Ballito)


Café Society Awards, Illovo, Coffee
Kgune Dlamini


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;



Featured Image:  Thobeka Ngema and Londiwe Ngumede


About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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