BARISTA Sibusiso Soko is a man with magic hands needed to make the best cup of coffee in town.
According to the Tea and Coffee Industry in South Africa 2018 report, Mzansi has more than 100 roasteries compared to fewer than 20 roasteries just a decade ago – a sign of the increase in the popularity of coffee and coffee shops.
For Sibusiso, brewing the best cup of coffee has been his passion since he was introduced to the trade in 2013.
“My former manager handpicked me for barista training. At first I did not understand what it meant but he was patient with me. He would give me about six litres of milk at a time and make me practise until I learnt the skills and got it right.”
These days, he makes coffee with a big smile for visitors at the MediaPark cafeteria in Auckland Park, Joburg.
“I fell in love with coffee during my apprenticeship. I know what a cup of coffee means to my customers.
“Coffee originated in Ethiopia, Africa and it’s the most enjoyed beverage in the world, whether hot or cold.”
“One of the best parts of the day is when customers come back during the day to thank me for coffee I made for them earlier.
“I try to understand my customers’ preferences before making them their favourite cup of coffee.
“Some people like it strong and some mild or weak. I can work out what they want by asking customers the right questions,” he said.
The family man who lives in Mzimhlophe, Orlando West, Soweto, said that being a barista comes with responsibilities.
“Over the years, I have worked hard and learnt a lot about my craft.
“I also created my own beverage I call “tea-ccino” which I make with any kind of tea.”
Sibusiso said he wants to explore his craft even further and test his skill at barista competitions.