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Meet Our Instructors

Savannah Phillips

Founder/Lead SCA Certified Barista Instructor

A native Northwesterner turned So-Cal sunshine girl, Savannah has no memory of ever not loving coffee. After just one year in the industry working at Cafe Virtuoso, and a trip to LA for Barista Nation, she realized that there is an enormous amount of opportunities available for a career in coffee. Several Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Barista Camps and Expo trips later, she obtained her Level One and Level Two SCA Barista Certifications.


After that, she knew this is exactly where she wanted to be and found herself in charge of Quality Assurance at Cafe Virtuoso. She became a Lead Instructor for SCA and shortly after came up with the idea to create SDCTI and to make it an SCA certified campus that was also a nonprofit. This was inspired by a desire to work directly with marginalized individuals in the community. 

Greg Luli

Lead SCA Certified Roasting Instructor

As an industrial microbiologist—both by education and for 30 years by trade—Greg never imagined that he’d find himself, as he is today, thoroughly involved and immensely intrigued as an SCA certified roasting instructor working in the specialty coffee industry.


After discovering more specifics about the complexity and level of science and technology that is actually involved, he was fascinated at the sheer amount of effort and expertise that is required in order to roast and brew just an above average cup of coffee, let alone one that positively stops coffee aficionados in their tracks. From that moment on and to this day, he has been hooked on continuously learning the endless intricate nuances, varieties and methods that goes into every detail of creating specialty coffee.

A gifted artist, Mary paints every day. She does this not just because it’s cathartic, but also because she knows it’s necessary to continually work to master her own craft through constant practice and education. The same applies to her when it comes to coffee. Now also as a certified SCA Barista Instructor for SDCTI, she helps others to learn how to master all of these essential skills a professional barista needs. 

Mary Jhun Dandan

SCA Certified Barista Instructor

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