Champion Baristas and Fabulous Blends

As a global brand instantly recognised by millions of discerning coffee lovers worldwide, it’s easy to forget we started this incredible journey as a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in Seattle some fifty-one years ago.

We’re returning to those beautiful basics this winter in South Africa. We’re investing some serious time and careful attention in developing our brilliant partners through our annual Barista Championships, and we’re profiling one of our most adventurous coffees – the Odyssey Blend.

As for our brilliant baristas, not only do they work hard to serve up the best hand-crafted beverages for our guests, but they also add their unique blend of personality, passion, brand knowledge, energy and endless enthusiasm to help make the Starbucks South Africa experience so special for everyone they welcome in store.

As we progress through the District and National legs of the Barista Championships, we’ll also be raising the profiles of our contestants on our social media platforms.

Growing our partners and driving excellence

Local fans of their favourite aspiring barista can follow their progress as they work through the competition with regular updates and comments from our esteemed judges — including Teddy, our very own home-grown International Barista Champion, 2019.

Special guests and members of the public will also be invited to attend the tests and various demonstrations of artistry, knowledge and passion, live in store on the days the competition takes place, such as:

Taste Test Tuesdays — where each champion contestant is given a secret blend and invited to perform a live coffee tasting, including an evaluation, description and identification of the precise blend live in store and online every week.

Throwdown Thursdays — a latte art showdown between our champion contenders, plays itself outlive and on social media for followers to vote for.

Work It Wednesdays — we invite our Gold Members to a masterclass evening where they enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of their favourite coffee being showcased and paired with different food options by that region’s Barista Champion.

Sustaining the adventure

Our certified CAFÉ practices designed to assist farmers sustainably growing their coffee crops and boost the longevity of their farms means we get to work with the best coffee farmers from all over the world. It’s the very spirit of innovating sustainability that inspires the Odyssey Blend.

Chosen for the innovative and responsible way it is grown, this year’s offering is a blend of beans from northern Peru, Rwanda (the first country to join the sustainable coffee challenge) and West java. This distinctive, high-quality blend charts a bold path into the possibilities of preserving biodiversity, reducing carbon footprint and conserving water as a template to help secure and sustain the future of the world’s coffee farmers.

To get a taste of this exciting future, visit any local Starbucks store between July and August and ask the talented barista to brew your favourite beverage. Or join any one of our professional coffee tastings. Hosted by our Black Apron Coffee Masters, we share and celebrate the many milestones we have set — and already achieved — on our journey to becoming a net carbon zero global coffee company.

The journey and the adventure continue as we continue to work hard to delight our guests, improve our product and preserve our planet.

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