As the exclusive coffee supplier to Stretta Cafe, Lineage Coffee is home to far more than just incredible brews – it’s headed up by the 2013 South African Barista Champion Craig Charity. He competed in the 2014 World Barista Championships and is placed 15th in the world.
Craig lets us in on why Lineage Coffee has quickly garnered a great reputation: “I don’t think that we do anything that is vastly different from some of the other guys out there. I have tried to instill a love for coffee and a respect for all those who have gone before us into all of my staff. We try our best to focus on each cup we make because we are the final piece of a puzzle that is way bigger than us.
“All our roasting is profile-logged onto a cloud-based roasting programme called Cropster. Once we find a roast profile that we like, we replicate it. All our coffee is made on La Marzocco espresso machines that, in my opinion, is some of the best equipment around.”
2015 South African Barista Championships
Even though Craig has won the title before, he is competing again in 2015. He tells us, “I said that I wouldn’t compete again, but I am a sucker for punishment. I’m not going to lie – competing once you have won before is very daunting. There is stiff competition this year!”
Advice for baristas
When it comes to inspiring enthusiastic baristas, Craig’s advice centres on hard work: “It may sound harsh, but expecting to become great at something with no financial or time investment is pretty insane. If your experience of coffee is gained only at work, it will only ever be work to you. But if you spend evenings researching coffee and spend money you probably don’t have on buying an Aeropress or a hand grinder, you will get somewhere.”
The best cup of coffee
So what does make a cup of coffee the very best? For Craig, it’s when the beans in “a cup of coffee have been picked well, processed right, roasted with experience and made with love, and to make someone realise that this cup is so much more than just a pick-me-up beverage.”
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Words: Cath Jenkin
Images: Andrew McGibbon