CCB Coffee Awards 2020
2020 was a rollercoaster of a year, but through all the ups and downs and the restrictions that came and went, it seems that people kept on drinking coffee. Let's look at some of CCB's most popular products from the last year.
Note: these awards are awarded on a purely quantitative basis - products that sold the most throughout 2020 and not necessarily our top picks or favourites (although many of them are).
Manual coffee grinders of the year
The real winners of 2020 are without a doubt all the people that put in the grind and managed to get through (and even make a success from) what was an incredibly challenging year. Let's start with a shout out to all the hustlers and grinders out there... but of course, those aren't the grinders we are talking about.
Coffee grinders are our favourite category to look at (after all, we don't sell pre-ground coffee at all) and our range of grinders has expanded quite considerably in 2020. This year sees the introduction of a new category in the coffee grinder space with a whole range of premium hand grinders coming to market in 2020. With that in mind, there will be two grinder categories this year: entry-level hand grinders and premium hand grinders.
Entry level hand grinder of the year
This award goes to the trusty Hario Skerton Plus Manual Coffee Grinder. With the steep uptake we've seen in home brewing, it comes as no surprise that this entry level hand grinder has seen such success through 2020.
A burr grinder is an essential piece of kit for any home brewer starting out. There really is no substitute for freshly ground coffee, and the ability to adjust your grind settings will make a world of difference to your brews. The Skerton has been a favourite since CCB started. It's great to see that it still is so popular.
Premium hand grinder of the year
We were very excited to see a range of beautifully engineered and designed premium hand grinders entering the South African specialty coffee space in 2020. This included one of the most reputable hand grinders in the world: the Comandante C40 MK3. The people of South Africa loved the Comandante so much that it was our most popular premium hand grinder of 2020.
We were delighted to see how quickly coffee lovers snapped up these grinders, but what really excited us was how this reflected on the SA coffee community as a whole; it is a testament to the fact that South African coffee lovers really take their coffee brewing seriously and are willing to invest in achieving a high quality brew.
Electric coffee grinders of the year
Sticking with the theme of grinders, sometimes you just want a machine to do the heavy lifting for you. Here we have the most popular electric grinders in the filter and espresso categories.
Electric filter grinder of the year
This was an incredibly close call, so close in fact that we have to give a shout out to the Baratza Encore which sold just one unit less than the winner of this category... But there can only be one winner and the most popular electric filter grinder of the year is the Severin Conical Burr Electric Coffee Grinder.
The more we see coffee lovers trading in their blade grinders for burr grinders, the happier we become. If you have a blade grinder, it's time to upgrade to a burr grinder (the difference is huge) and you can't go wrong with the Severin Conical Burr Electric Coffee Grinder as a starting point.
Espresso grinder of the year
This category was pretty cut and dry with the Eureka Mignon Specialita Espresso Grinder winning by quite a margin. This really is an incredible little grinder, at a fantastic price point. It's one of our go to grinders at HQ and we even manage to get great results on filter with it (a pretty unique feat for an espresso grinder).
Although we must say that we are very excited to see what happens over the next year with the introduction of the new Rocket Espresso Milano grinders competing for this title.
Espresso machines of the year
As our range of espresso machines grows, it seems like a good idea to break things down a little further. Here we have two categories: entry level espresso machines (which includes all espresso machines under R40,000) and prosumer espresso machines (which includes all espresso machines above R40,000).
Beginner espresso machine of the year
Despite a number of new products in the beginner home espresso category, the Rancilio Silvia Home Espresso Machine defended its title as the most popular beginner espresso machine and most popular espresso machine of 2020. There's a reason that these little beauties have been one of the most popular espresso machines in the world for over two decades (although there have been a few upgrade over the years). These amazing machines deliver barista quality espresso at a price point that is as small as the Silvia's footprint.
If you've mastered all the manual brew methods and are looking for a new coffee challenge for 2021, then it might be time to get into the espresso game with a Rancilio Silvia.
Prosumer espresso machine of the year
The results for the most popular prosumer espresso machine came as a pleasant surprise to us - particularly given the challenges we faced around stock and logistics this year. The most popular prosumer espresso machine of 2020 was none other than the La Marzocco Linea Mini (we even managed to send one across the globe). Once again, it brings us great joy to see such fervent pursuit of quality and excellence from South African coffee drinkers!
La Marzocco have really earned their stripes in the world of commercial coffee and the Linea Mini lives up to that reputation in the home.
Coffee maker of the year
And now for the award you've all been waiting for. The answer to the question, "How do South Africans like to brew their coffee?" Without further ado let's look at the most popular coffee maker of 2020.
And the winner is...
Once again, the Bialetti Moka Express takes the title of the most popular coffee maker of the year.
Given the lifespan of these incredible little coffee makers (we have a customer who comes in to buy spares for the one they bought in the '80s), we continue to be surprised at how popular they are. We are surprised because one would think that eventually everyone in South Africa would own a Bialetti Moka Pot (and they last for a lifetime), but year on year by a significant margin, the Bialetti Moka Express is undisputed as the most popular coffee maker.
Most popular new coffee maker
With our deserving overall winner having been invented in the 1930s, we couldn't help but take a glance at how the competition faired among newer contenders. When looking specifically at coffee makers released in the last 12-18 months, there was also a clear winner...
Standing on the shoulders of the already incredibly popular AeroPress Coffee Maker, the AeroPress Go just beat out the Wacaco Pipamoka for the title of most popular among our recently released coffee makers.
Coffee brand of the year
The final award goes to the coffee brand that the people of South Africa enjoyed the most through 2020. We selected this by brand as opposed to doing it by product because many of our roasters change their offerings regularly and we didn't want this to be a disadvantage.
And the winner is...
The coffee brand that sold the most bags of coffee in 2020 at CCB was none other than Tribe Coffee Roasting. It seems that the ethos of "roasting the coffee that the people want to drink" has paid off and made Tribe Coffee Roasting CCB's most popular coffee brand. We have customers all over the country, and plenty just on our doorstep, who keep coming back for more coffee from Tribe. These guys have a truly dedicated following.
A note on all our coffee partners
While we sold more bags of Tribe coffee than any other brand we work with in 2020, we're very happy that, with our customers' support, we sold more coffee from all our suppliers than we ever had before, hopefully making a small contribution to plugging the gap left by cafes hurt by lockdown restrictions.
It also feels worth pointing out that there are literally hundreds of coffee brands in South Africa, and we have very carefully chosen the ones we work with. We think they are among the very best. That's why we work with them!
We want to sign off with a massive, heartfelt thank you to all South African coffee lovers for your continued support throughout 2020. It's been an inspiration to see South Africans pursuing quality and excellence with their coffee despite a very challenging environment. It feels as though the local coffee scene is going through a renaissance of sorts, and going in to 2021, we are committed to continuing to support South Africa's love of great coffee.