Project Description

Thabang Maluleka
South Africa
Ciro Full Service Beverage Co.

Please tell us a little about yourself: 

I’m a food technologist at the prime of what I believe to be a challenging, exciting, and adventurous career path. I am a goal driven individual, who strongly believes in building a strong brand within the space of young professionals. I believe I have commendable interpersonal skills which assists me in building and maintaining strong alliances. I enjoy identifying opportunities for efficiency and improvement and providing leadership needed to develop and implement solutions.
I have the ability to work and adapt successfully in a fast paced environment using cutting edge technologies. I believe my short term period of formal employment has highlighted my abilities as a resourceful team player working with integrity and professionalism to earn respect, inspire cooperation, and exceed projected expectations. I am passionate about quality and the implementation and adherence of quality standards, this coupled with my belief in challenging the status quo to promote continuous improvement and uphold product integrity makes the right person for the job.

I am very passionate about coffee and the potential of coffee to change lives. If I could I’d taste coffee all day while listening to my favorite music.

How did you get started in coffee?:

I am a food technologist who landed a job in a coffee factory. My passion grew when I started researching the supply chain of coffee—I viewed the beverage differently when I saw videos of people who farm coffee and how we can better people’s lives through coffee. I basically saw an opportunity to acquire information and skills that are very rare to get for someone who comes from a township.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

Regional Cup Tasters Runner Up – 2017
Gauteng Province Cup Tasting champion – 2018
South African Cup Tasting Champion – 2019

What are you excited to do in Berlin?:

I would really love to walk into any room where Albert Einstein has been. I am very interested to learn the culture of the Germans, from food they eat to how they live on a daily basis. Most importantly, I want to taste as many coffees as I can while in Berlin.

What is your favourite coffee to cup?:

I love the taste and flavor of most African coffees, if I had to chose I’d go for Ethiopian.

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

I love music and agriculture. If I am not tasting coffee, I’m probably doing something related to agriculture or music production.

Where do you see yourself in five years?:

I would really love to be a coffee specialist. I plan to take every opportunity given to me to pursue my dream of becoming an expert in coffee profiling as well as roasting. I would like to take all the knowledge that I am acquiring back to rural areas and townships, to better the lives of disadvantaged youths who did not get the privilege to get the exposure that I got.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WCTC?:

I would like to thank Tshwaro Sehoro for introducing me to these competitions; Gitika Diah for believing in my talent; Tsakani Makhubela for assisting me with preparations for the WCTC; SCASA for hosting the coffee competitions; my parents, Doris Maluleka and Sunnyboy Maluleka, as well as my girlfriend for always supporting me.

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