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Coffee Stories

George Makropoulos

By 19th February 2024February 29th, 2024No Comments5 min read

In the world of coffee, George Makropoulos stands out as an inspiring figure. This Greek coffee professional has dedicated his life not only to mastering the art and science of coffee but also to passing on his knowledge and passion to a new generation of coffee experts.


George Makropoulos 1

George Makropoulos

George’s story is proof that when you are passionate about something, it is possible to turn that love into a career that not only fulfills you but also impacts those around you. His constant desire to become a better coffee trainer and his investment in teaching others about coffee is inspiring. It serves as a reminder that it is never too late to pursue your passion and to always continue learning in the process.

George Makropoulos was born in Greece and began his journey in the coffee industry in 2002 as a humble barista in Thessaloniki, where he went to study Physics. At the same time, he couldn’t resist the allure of coffee and found himself diving deeper into its aromatic world. Recognizing his love for education and his affinity for sharing what he had learned about coffee, he started working as an educator for the first coffee institute in northern Greece.

George Makropoulos Coffee Educator

George Makropoulos Coffee Educator

As an educator, he has trained many aspiring baristas and given lectures on coffee. He became serious about his coffee journey in 2009 when he competed in the barista competition. Since then, he has earned several certifications and studied “CAS in Coffee Excellence” at the University of Zurich. He specializes in innovative processing/fermentation and is an Authorized Trainer for all the Modules of the Coffee Skills Program.

His journey was not just about acquiring knowledge; George worked diligently to share his insights with others, making significant contributions to the establishment of a new division within Nestle Professional Greece called ACADEMISTA. As the Coffee Capabilities and Events Lead, George is focused on developing capabilities both within and outside the organization, promoting communication about coffee, and enhancing the overall coffee experience.

George enlightened us about the coffee competition scene. His first competitive experience was in the cocktail industry as a bartender in 2004. When he talks about coffee competitions, he doesn’t shy away from mentioning their costs. As a trainer, his approach is strategic. He describes competition training as similar to managing a project.

“The competition was Brewers Cup. I had a brewer in front of me, trying to analyze different extractions. It’s not just about knowing the coffee; it’s about extracting the best coffee by using water that perfectly matches. It was like having a project to learn something new,”

he explains. His biggest success came in 2023 when, as the coach and roaster of Savina Giachgia, he helped her secure second place in the world at the Brewers Cup.

“Coffee can sometimes be really expensive. It is not easy to find competition-grade coffee. You have to cup hundreds of coffees, traveling around to the origins, until you find a coffee that you fall in love with and have that feeling.”

His dedication to continuous learning and improvement is evident when he discusses his career as a ‘Q Grader’. Becoming a ‘Q Grader’ is a significant professional achievement. Certification from the Coffee Quality Institute gave him the authority to evaluate coffee’s quality on an international level. The path to becoming a ‘Q Grader’ is not easy; it requires discipline, hard work, and constant learning. But for George, the rewards were well worth the effort.

His passion for coffee and his journey to becoming a master of this art have been filled with exploration, learning, and sharing. He finds the evolution of the coffee industry fascinating, reminiscing about the old times when the competition was more about the art and technique of brewing rather than the quality of the coffee bean. He is also devoted to developing a better understanding of market demands and trends so that he can produce newer, innovative products.

George has come a long way from those days and has become a key figure in the evolution of the coffee industry. Today, he encourages aspiring baristas to develop their taste profiles, create memories around flavors, and expand their knowledge base. For George Makropoulos, there is never an ‘ordinary’ day. Whether he is conducting seminars in training labs, giving lectures at exhibitions, overseeing product development or designs, he is always engaged in something coffee-related.

As we reflect on the journey of George Makropoulos, it becomes clear that his story is far from over. From his beginnings as a passionate barista to becoming a beacon of knowledge and inspiration in the coffee industry, George has not only contributed significantly to the craft but has also paved the way for future generations of coffee professionals.

For those who have been inspired by George’s story, the journey doesn’t end here. Follow George on his latest projects and explorations in the coffee world. Be a part of his continuous quest for perfection, innovation, and sharing the love of coffee with the world.