Barista skills put to the test

CoffeeMM founder and CEO Mhlengi Ngcobo invites the public to come out and support their very first Barista Battle hosted next month. PICTURE: LIZELLE LOTTER PHOTOGRAPHY

Locally based CoffeeMM company in Stellenbosch, will next month be hosting their own and very first, CoffeeMM Academy Barista Battle Competition.

Founder and CEO, Mhlengi Ngcobo, says the idea behind this competition is to provide a platform for baristas to showcase their skills and compete with other skilled contestants, all in front of a live audience.

“This year we launched CoffeeMM Academy, a space where we teach people basic business finance, coffee processing, entrepreneurship and basic hospitality and so far we have trained about 300 high school pupils in entrepreneurship, marketing and sales.

“The reason why we wanted to do a barista battle is for it to be a leg of our training academy that creates an awareness around our brand that we actually do coffee processing and barista courses so the whole aim is to give different people, whether barista or coffee roasters, an experience for them to come through and experience different types of roasting profiles and different types of coffees.

“We feel that a lot of people in the coffee industry, especially baristas, the work they do is often underrated so they need to have a space where they can actually showcase their skills and that is what we are aiming to do with this competition.”

The competition entries were closed on Friday November 23. With contestants entered, there is now ample opportunity for local brands and companies to join in on hosting this competition by either sponsoring the event, or sponsoring the prizes up for grabs.

CoffeMM is giving away as one of the prizes, a coffee roastery and barista course at their training academy for free, which normally cost R10 000.

“We once again with this competition want to create hope for the unemployed, especially in presenting them with the access to coffee roasting skills, which is a rare skill to obtain mainly because training courses are so expensive and not many people are exposed to it.”

He invites the public to come out and support this event. Tickets will be sold on the CoffeeMM website and available at the door on the day of the event.

The day will feature motivational speakers, music, a DJ and other entertainment in addition to the highlight of the day, the baristas battling it out on stage for the winning title.

Out of all the entries received, he explains only ten will be selected to compete in the competition hosted on Friday December 15, at 11am at CoffeeMM premises (at the CoCreate Hub) located at 7 Victoria Street, Stellenbosch.

“If you’re interested in sponsoring this exciting event and putting your brand in the spotlight, please contact us as we’d love to partner with you,” Mr Ngcobo invites the local business industry. Besides sponsorship, brands can also exhibit their products at the event.

Companies interested in partnering with CoffeeMM or sponsoring prizes for the event can contact them at

Tickets to the event can be bought online at