Follow 50 competitors around the world, competing for the prestigious title of Top Roaster of the Year 2020!

What an incredible journey it has been for 48 brilliant coffee roasters who entered South Africa’s premiere coffee roasting competition, Coffee Magazine’s A Shot in The Dark Competition presented by Genio Roasters.

We could not be happier for Father Coffee from Johannesburg that impressed the judges the most and claimed the prestigious title of A Shot in the Dark Champion for 2020.

Father Coffee, co-owned by Barry Weedon and Chad Goddard, is a specialty coffee roaster that serves and supplies the best coffee in Johannesburg from their espresso bar in Juta Street, Braamfontein, as well as their flagship roastery and espresso bar in The Zone @ Rosebank.

Visit Father Coffee’s online shop for their specialty-grade coffee range, crowd-pleasing blends, rad merchandise, hand-picked coffee equipment, milk for coffee alternatives and so much more.

Genio Roasters is extremely excited to be once again the Title Sponsor for The Coffee Magazine’s A Shot in the Dark 2020 Competition – South Africa’s only coffee roasting competition.

50 Roasters from around South Africa were invited to test their skills in roasting specialty coffee beans and to achieve the most desirable flavours. The brainchild behind this competition was Genio Roaster’s owner, Neil Maree, who wanted to give roasters a competitive platform to demonstrate their roasting skills as well as an opportunity to grow personally, their brands and their businesses.

Together with The Coffee Magazine, Neil was directly involved in the writing of the competition’s rules and procedures, ensuring that international standards were followed across the board.  

The competition was first launched in 2018 and this year will be the first year the competition excepts entries for international roasters. Like before, all the finalists for A Shot in the Dark competition will roast it out for the Top Roaster of the Year title at the Creative Coffee Week 2020 in Durban, judged by 2 International Coffee Professionals…eek!

Our Top 10 Finalist

Congratulation to our 10 finalists that was announced on 28 May by The Coffee Magazine via an Instagram live streaming.

Good luck for the next stretch and make us proud!

Gansbaai Coffee Favour & Grace
Quafee Highland Coffee Roastery
Rosetta Roastery Roast Wolff
No Sugar Required Bottomless Blessings Coffee Roastery
Father Coffee Scuro Coffee Crafts

This year, we are pleased to announce that we had 50 entries into this prestigious competition and we can not wait to track them throughout this journey. The diversity of roasters in this competition contributes to the authenticity that the three judges experienced in the Preliminary Round earlier in May this year. According to Nicodemus Nabakwa, head judge in this years competition, the scores where very tight and they were very excited about the talent this year.

What is different in 2020:

  • A specifically designed A Shot in the Dark scoresheet using feedback from judges and roasters
  • A current local roaster will be included on the judges panel
  • Judging will take place before the A Shot in the Dark session at Creative Coffee Week 2020 which will allow for more engagement among the roasters and more practical workshopping
  • More coffee provided in the Final Round to play around with

The A Shot in the Dark Competiton consists of 3 stages.


Entre the Competition

Roasters from around the world entered the competition by completing the entry form (online or physically) and paid the Entry Fee.

Included in the entry fee were the following items: the competition speciality (85+) green coffee, the competition entry coffee bags, a roll of A Shot in the Dark stickers, a T-shirt and information on how the coffee will be judged.

One Full Event Pass to Creative Coffee Week (valued at R2500) was also included. 

Preliminary Round

The 50 competitors received their welcome packs and competition coffee before the national lock down was implemented. They will have to submit their 500g roasted coffee to the judges via courier with their roasting notes before the judges do a blind judging in the second week of May.

The top 10 Finalists will be announced and receive new coffee beans for the finals round. All competitors will also receive the judges’ scoresheet and feedback on their first entry.

Finals Round

The top 10 qualifiers from Preliminary Round will compete in the Finals during the Creative Coffee Week in Durban. 

Competitors will present their roasted competition coffee to the judges at Creative Coffee Week.

* We are are aware that some of the dates might change due to the current lock down situation, but we will keep all the competitors as well as the public up to date with regards to these changes. 

Highlights from Creative Coffee Week 2019

Title Sponsor for A Shot in the Dark 2020

Other Sponsors