Marco Bertona

Passionate professional

"Involved in the world of tea for over three decades and still eager to learn."

Professional tea taster who graduated from the Tea Research Institute of the Guangdong Academy of Agriculture Sciences in Guangzhou (Canton), China.

In 2006, he passed the Chinese ministerial examination of professional suitability for tea tasters and obtained the National Professional Certification of Advanced Tea Taster, issued by the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHRSS) of the People's Republic of China. Bertona is the only European and one of the very few Westerners to have achieved this certification in China.

Professional Certification of Advanced Tea Taster issued by the Ministry of China (MOHRSS)

Bertona serves as the president of the Italy Tea & Infusions Association (AssoTè Infusi) and is the Italian delegate at the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea (IGG/Tea).

FAO IGG/Tea session - Colombo, Sri Lanka (2012)

FAO IGG/Tea session - Hangzhou, Cina (2018)

FAO International Tea Day 2022

FAO IGG/Tea session - Assam, India (2024)

Bertona is a prominent figure in the Italian tea industry. Recognized as one of Italy's foremost tea promoters and an international tea expert, he has held several significant national roles, including national coordinator for Slow Food in the development of the Master of Food on Tea and as a trainer for the same program's instructors (2004-2006).

Bertona is a key reference for tea enthusiasts and professionals in Italy, frequently invited abroad as a judge in international tea evaluation competitions. He regularly participates in high-level tea meetings worldwide and delivers lectures and seminars.

As an experienced tea buyer, Bertona works with leading European and Asian companies. His expertise in assessing the characteristics of teas from various Asian regions and his deep understanding of the global tea market have enabled him to establish strategic relationships with key suppliers and industry experts internationally.

Bertona at work in a tea broker house in Colombo, Sri Lanka

For his exceptional contributions to fostering tea culture exchange between China and Europe, Bertona was honored at the Milan 2015 Expo with the prestigious award of Italian Ambassador of Chinese Tea Culture by the Organization Committee of the China Tea Cultural Week (a Chinese government agency) of the National Pavilion of China at Expo 2015.

Certificate of merit as Italian Ambassador of Chinese Tea Culture

In 2024, in China, he was recognized as one of the 99 most prominent figures in the Chinese tea industry and awarded the title of '茶人榜样' (Role Model in Tea). Selected from over 300 candidates, Bertona is one of the first non-Chinese individuals to receive this esteemed accolade, marking a significant milestone in cross-cultural recognition.

The Awards Ceremony

The plaque with the prestigious title

Bertona is also an accomplished author and co-author of numerous books, including:

  • Tea: History, Peoples and Cultures (Luni Editrice, Milan)
  • The Warrior, the Monk, the Harmony (Interbooks, Padua)
  • Shaolin Temple – Cradle of Zen Buddhism and Martial Arts (Eos Editions, Novara)

His expertise has been featured in newspapers, radio, and television, with interviews and appearances on major national programs.

Geo & Geo - RAI3

Detto Fatto - RAI2

Check-up - RAI1

Bertona’s extensive knowledge and skill in tea are not limited to tasting and teaching; he has recently demonstrated his prowess as a tea maker.

He has won two prestigious awards in international tea competitions. In 2019, he won the Gold Award for his Italian Black Tea in China, and in 2020, he earned another Gold Medal for his Italian White Tea in Paris, besting over a hundred candidates from leading tea-producing countries worldwide. These achievements have earned him the nickname "The Alchemist of Italian Tea."

Bertona on the podium for the Verbano Black Tea award ceremony in China at the International Black Tea Tasting Competition

 Gold Medal for Verbano White Tea ranked first at the Teas of the World in Paris

Gold Award for Verbano Black Tea at International Black Tea Tasting Competition in China

Bertona during the handcrafting of the Black Tea of Lake Maggiore, the black tea winner in China of the Gold Award

Bertona, character of the month for World Tea News

We are honored to share this message of appreciation from Professor Liu Zhong Hua, addressed to our President, Professor Marco Bertona


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