| US

UC Davis opens first coffee-dedicated research centre in the US

The 7,000sq ft cross-departmental Coffee Center is focused on developing ‘an academic talent pipeline’ across sustainability, sensory appreciation and brewing innovation

Representatives at the opening included Bill Ristenpart (third from left) and Richard Corsi (second from left) | Photo credit: UC Davis


The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) has opened The Coffee Center – the first academic research and teaching facility in the US entirely dedicated to the study of coffee.   

Part of the UC Davis College of Engineering, the 7,000sq ft cross-departmental facility features experimental green bean storage, brewing laboratories, sensory and cupping laboratories, a chemical and analytical site and a pilot roastery. 

In a press release, UC Davis said the site will leverage ‘a multidisciplinary, holistic approach to coffee science’ to educate students from its engineering, food science and agricultural economics courses. 

The Coffee Center houses over 50 UC Davis experts in agriculture, engineering, food science, and other disciplines. It is also outfitted with a full espresso lab of La Marzocco espresso machines to help students learn more about the coffee brewing process.

Bill Ristenpart, Founding Director of The Coffee Center, added that the facility will seek to ‘create an academic talent pipeline to serve the coffee industry’. 

The Coffee Center is the latest development in UC Davis’ research association with the coffee industry, which began as an undergraduate course, The Design of Coffee, in 2013 and also includes the launch of teaching laboratory The Coffee Lab in 2015.  

“What began as a first-year seminar and a truly unique way to teach chemical engineering has grown into a dynamic and innovative environment where we are advancing coffee science research, teaching and mentorship,” said Richard Corsi, Dean of Engineering, UC Davis. 

The unveiling event for The Coffee Center, which included coffee bean roasting and espresso brewing demonstrations, was attended by over 200 guests, including representatives from Peet’s Coffee. The California-based coffee chain provided funding to open the roastery. 

Other prominent supporters of The Coffee Center include California micro-roaster Bridge Coffee Company, software business Cropster, Louisiana-based Folgers, Italian espresso machine maker La Marzocco, German coffee roaster manufacturer Probat and The Specialty Coffee Association

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