Meet SCASA Board Member, George Bertolis March 25 2019

Meet George Bertolis, SCASA board member and Director of CoffeeQuip in Johannesburg; a premier support partner for all speciality coffee needs. George has over 20 years valuable experience in the coffee industry with an allround understanding of what specialty coffee entails, not only as a business expert, but as a competition judge and consumer too.


How did you end up working in the coffee industry?
I tried it out through a family recommendation in the year 2000 and haven’t looked back since.

What excites you about the coffee industry?
The fast evolving technology and methods of preparing coffee. The continual evolution of the flavour profiles in every cup.

Has South Africa’s coffee industry grown? Are we on par with the rest of the world?
It has definitely grown. We are on par with most countries however, our specialty consumption and awareness needs to grow.

George Bertolis (centre) with fellow SCASA judges and board members Alessandro Morrico (left)
and Bernard Muneri (right)

As a SCASA BoD member what you like to see more of in the future (in the industry)?
A closer calibration between our local baristas and roasters, to bring a WCE event to South Africa.

What skills in your opinion should a barista or coffee professional have to be considered good?
Simply to be able to prepare a perfect cup of coffee. Understand the background of how that cup has come to light.

What can coffee shops do to create more awareness for specialty coffee
Employ and educate their baristas.

George Bertolis with fellow judges during the 2019 SCASA National Coffee Competitions

Any memorable SCASA coffee event moments you would like to share with us?
I’ve loved and been moved by all of them. This I what has kept me involved since 2006.

What is currently your favourite coffee, how are you brewing it, and why?
I really enjoy the Sidamo. I drink it as filter coffee. The blueberry flavour notes are awesome!

What’s your advice or motivation to current and/or aspiring coffee professionals out there?
Let’s all work together to further grow the coffee industry and competing baristas in our country. Let’s do more work to grow our grassroots coffee professionals.

Photos: Facebook