George Sabados is a coffee connoisseur with over two decades experience in the industry. George discovered coffee while working in his family restaurant business in Sydney. Back then, in the 1980s, espresso was often bitter, burnt and an acquired taste. One day, George took it upon himself to refine the taste of pure coffee. Approaching it like a scientist, he isolated the variables, locked down the processes, and altered one element at a time until he struck gold – an espresso devoid of bitterness but brimming with body, flavour and sweetness. He had mastered the art of pouring a shot of espresso that could be truly enjoyed by the drinker, without resorting to sugar, milk or a glass of water to cleanse the palette.
A few years later, at the age of 31, George would go onto claim the first of many industry accolades. In 1998, he was crowned the NSW Barista Champion of the year and also collected a Best Café of the Year Award. In the same year, he came in second at the Australian National Championships, and also established the Barista College of Australia, the first training facility of its kind. In 2001, George ranked fourth at the inaugural World Barista Championship held at Monte Carlo. He would proceed to train three Australian barista champions, two New Zealand champions, and a World Latte Art champion. He was the first person in Australia to be acknowledged globally for his espresso and espresso retailing expertise by his peers.
In 2001, George founded the Australasian Specialty Coffee Association. In 2004, a coffee brand he worked for received a 95% approval rating at the SCAA Barista Jam of America, edging out many premium boutique labels in the US. George has been a guest of honour and head judge to a slew of national barista competitions globally, and a green bean tasting judge for several nations. He has worked on numerous Australian coffee brands before establishing GS Roasting in 2006. The company provides expertise and boutique-quality espresso to franchise chains, multi-store retailers and distributors worldwide. He launched Mongrel Joe’s in 2014 because he was appalled at the taste of existing high performance coffees and knew he could do better.