Grinding their way to success

Participants have the chance to be trained at the KCC Training Centre.

Something is brewing in Hout Bay and a local organisation has been making every effort to spread the word.

The Serenity Psycho-social support and wellness services started sending unemployed individuals from Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg for barista skills training.

Founder Alene Edson conducted surveys among the youth in both communities after having given the training idea much thought.

“There was a huge excitement about learning the barista skill and art especially. This trade is quite appealing and the youth is quite aware it can take them places,” she said.

The organisation has been actively involved in the community, particularly so during lockdown. After being set up earlier this year in Hout Bay, their focus shifted to empowering women.

“When engaging the youth there’s always this desire to be a better version of who they currently are and they want to acquire skills, elevate themselves and more so to take care of themselves and their families instead of being labelled the lost generation,” said Ms Edson.

She initially wanted to train 20 youth and secured sponsorships for 25 of them using social media platforms.

“Our list is growing as there seems to be many people interested in the training, but we are in need of more sponsors to cover the participants,” she said.

All participants are sent to the KCC Training Centre in Fish Hoek where they receive barista group training, which is a four hour class providing training and experience in making coffees.

The course focuses on calibrating electronic coffee grinders, high speed coffee production, technique correction and recipe creation, cleaning and hygiene as well as barista latte art.

They also receive youth mentorship and coaching, which focuses on how to prepare for an interview, how to look for a job, grooming and other lessons.

Each participant receives a certificate of attendance.

Luney Phillips from Hangberg also got the opportunity to further her training.

“The reason why I’m interested is because I’ve always liked coffee and I’ve always been fascinated by how different methods in making coffee would make it look so unique to each blend, and I think it would benefit me by providing more work opportunities, especially now with this pandemic and everyone needs a penny,” she said.

Azola Gwenza from Hout Bay also completed the same training programme a few years back and has built a reputation for himself, which led to his promotion to manager of Seattle Coffee shop in Durbanville.

Mr Gwenza was unemployed and had lost his job as a petrol attendant when he got offered the opportunity to train as a barista.

“It gave me a skill that I could work on. I was fascinated that I could draw a flower on coffee,” he laughed.

“I was just happy to be able to have the opportunity to do something different. There is one thing everybody needs in the morning and that is a good cup of coffee.”

● If you would like to assist or sponsor a participant, contact Alene on 074 895 3342 or email