South Africa 2024



There is one round in the new format of the competition. Entries open 15 April 2024 and close 20 July 2024. Competition coffee, water & merch will be sent to competitors in September 2024. 

All Competitors receive the exact same green coffee to roast. 

Competitors may roast their competition coffee in their own roaster and on their own coffee roasting equipment.

All coffee will be blind judged by two independent sets of judges – Q graders for the Cupping Coffee scores and Barista Competition judges for the espresso scores. 

There are 3 coffees in each competition pack – One extremely high quality specialty coffee exclusively for the cupping challenge as well as two additional coffees for the blending challenge. 

As a first for A Shot in the Dark, we will have two judging panels, one for Cupping and one for Espresso Blending.

This year, there will be 3 Winners, one in each of the following categories, with prizes and accolades for each:

Overall Champion, Top Cupping Score and Top Blending Score

Why should you enter?

1. Every Roaster gets to do the Cupping and Blending Challenge. More Coffee – Twice the fun!  (10kg, 20kg and 30kg options available!)
2. Two independent sets of judges – Q graders for the Cupping Coffee scores and Barista Competition judges for the espresso scores, providing amazing feedback.
3. Online Roasters workshops with some of the best minds in the country ( and possibly internationally too…watch this space!). Roasting specific workshops at CCW.
4. Every Competitor gets one free ticket to Creative Coffee Week, SA’s biggest coffee conference (Durban 24-26 July) PLUS a ticket to The Coffee Magazine Awards where we will announce the winners!!! 
5. Great Prizes – Win an Origin Trip, a R10 000 BWT premium water filtration system, a PUQpress, a Mahlkonig X54 grinder and more from our Sponsors. 
6. Brand new: Besides the competition coffee, water and merch, each and every competitor gets a Roasters Bundle from Ecotact!

Get started with


Receive your specialty coffee beans in your competition pack via courier. We can’t wait to taste your roasts of these beans!

Test your


Roasters are able to experiment with beans in the comfort of their own roastery to achieve the best flavour results.

Earn the title of


This year we hope to have the biggest field yet competing for the title of A Shot in the Dark South Africa Champion 2024.

OUR Partners

Genio Roasters – Presenting Partner of A Shot in the Dark

Zuka Green Coffee – Green Coffee Sponsor

BWT water + more – Water Filtration Partner

La Cimbali- Espresso Machine Partner

Mahlkönig – Grinder Partner

Lizzard – Apparel Partner

Puq – Equipment Sponsor

EcoTact – Packaging Partner

The Coffee Magazine – Official Hosts and Media Partner 

Screenshot 2024-04-18 at 12.33.42


Ready to test your roasting skills and compete for the title of A Shot in the Dark South African Champion 2024

Every Roaster that wishes to enter A Shot in the Dark, needs to fill out the online Entry Form below and pay the Entry Fee. Your entry is only confirmed when we have received payment. You can either request an invoice and send us the Proof of Payment or you can pay with a credit or debit card online. Remember that you can sell much of the coffee that comes with your entry pack PLUS you get on free entry to Creative Coffee Week and the Coffee Magazine Awards where the winner will be announced.

Tier 1: R7500 – 10kg Cupping + 2 x 5kg Blending

Tier 2: R10 000 – 20kg Cupping + 2 x 5kg Blending

Tier 3: R12 500 – 30kg Cupping + 2 x 5kg Blending

You can pay off the invoice in instalments of R2500 per month, provided the entire amount is paid by September 2024. 


What's included in your entry fee?

challenge one


Competitors will submit 250g of the high quality specialty coffee used for the cupping challenge, roasted to its best potential and then submitted to the judges via courier with their roasting notes.

challenge two


You will also have to roast and blend the additional two supplied coffees in addition to their original competition coffee. This will be roasted and blended for the best espresso. Standardised espresso recipes will be provided for the competitors to work towards. There will also be an Espresso Judging Panel.


The entire competition is blind judged by a panel of Coffee Professionals (Q-graders + Roasters) in a cupping laboratory using the specially formulated A Shot in the Dark judging scoresheets and feedback forms. Each competitor will receive feedback regardless of their final placement.


Do you have any questions? Drop us a mail on the email address below!

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