Protea Hospitality Group Baristas Compete to Offer SA’s Best Coffee Experience

February 2013: Scores of Protea Hospitality Group baristas are competing this month in a competition to find Protea Hotels top barista – not as simple an exercise as one might think.

The perfect cup of coffee doesn’t just happen, explains Protea Hospitality Group Operations Director William Ford. A lot of skill and knowledge goes into producing a flavourful espresso, cappuccino or latte that includes setting machines to the perfect temperature, texturising milk to create a visually and taste-perfected cup of coffee.

Baristas at Protea Hotels and African Pride Hotels from the 9 provinces around South Africa have undergone intensive training at the Ciro Coffee Academy in recent months and now get to showcase their additional knowledge and skill in three regional competitions.  

The national winner will be the barista who scores the highest in the regional competitions.

The nine regional finalists also will be entered into the Speciality Coffee Association of Southern Africa regional competitions this year and will hopefully knock the socks off the competition, says Ford, who envisages at least a few regional winners making it through to the SCASA national finals.

Protea Hospitality Group Director of Sales, Marketing and Revenue, Danny Bryer, says South Africa has a strong coffee culture and consumers are a more discerning and knowledgeable about coffee as a result of the coffee offering in both the retail and home environment.

“If you break it down to the fundamentals we’re in the business of beds, pillows, coffee and breakfast, so getting it wrong is not an option.

“We’re investing in ongoing training for our baristas to ensure that they’re at the top of their profession and that our offering is the best in South African hospitality. This is our minimum brand standard requirement for our hotels,” says Bryer.

“The baristas are all keen to enter the competition and I look forward to tasting the best coffee in South Africa.”

The regional competitions will take place at the following venues:

1.       African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel, February 22-23.

2.       Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge February 23.

3.       African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, February 22-23.




For more information contact

Samantha Bartlett

Senior Account Director Irvine Bartlett


(+27) 21 424-5594


083 3177 062


About Protea Hotels


Protea Hotels is Africa’s largest and leading hotel group and has a footprint of more than 120 properties throughout South Africa and seven other African countries, including Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia and Kenya amongst others. Each hotel is uniquely different in character and the collection ranges from urban accommodation to country retreats, all in the 3 and 4-star markets. Protea Hotels is the winner of 2 World Travel Awards for Best Hotel Group in Africa, winner of 3 Sunday Times Markinor Top Hotel Brand Awards and the winner of 2 Coolest Hotel Group awards in the Sunday Times Generation Next surveys.

The hotel group became a wholly owned South African company again in April 2009 after a consortium comprising Protea Hotels management, its BEE shareholders and Investec Private Equity bought back the 74 percent stake the hotel group sold to Australian-based Stella Hospitality Group three years ago.


Follow us on twitter@ProteaHotels

For more information, please visit