Coffee Center Opens at UC Davis
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Coffee Center Opens at UC Davis

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University of California Davis Coffee Center

The University of California – Davis opened a new $6 million dollar Coffee Center on May 3, 2024, with all appropriate ruffles and flourishes, and I was proud to attend.

Over the last 9 years their elective course, Introduction to Coffee, has soared its way to being the most popular elective course offered to undergraduate students, outpacing “Into to Beer” and “Human Sexuality” making a strong case that to the UC Davis student body – coffee is more important than alcohol and/or sex.

Ribbon Cutting for the UC Davis Coffee Center Opening


Fascinating work was showcased on a wide variety of coffee topics, including:

  • Thermodynamics of To Go Coffee - What keeps To-Go Coffee Warmest? Study by undergrads.
    (Spoiler alert… It’s the lid.)
  • Impacts of Total Immersion Brewing On Cold Coffee Flavor
  • Climate Change Impacts on Coffee Growing Regions in Brazil
  • A new mobile application for coffee bean grading and evaluation using color, size and defect analysis – all on a mobile phone.

Representative Raw Data -Thermodynamics of To Go Coffee

What does chemical Engineering have to do with coffee - source UC Davis Coffee Center Opening


Itenerary for UC Davis Coffee Center Opening

It was also fascinating that all these studies needed to be underwritten (in one way or another) by some type of sponsorship. The sponsorships ranged from in-kind sponsors who donated 100 cups, in 4 sizes, to Coffee roasters who donated services, to equipment suppliers who donated the funds necessary to do thousands of measurements to prove their thesis. Our higher education facilities are simply not able to fund all these kinds of projects without external financial aid, so they are very vocally appreciative for those who contribute sponsorships.

Upper left, Doctoral Candidate Laudia Anoke-Bempah, upper right Dr. William Ristenpart, Center, Chancellor Gary May, lower left, Peter Giuliano SCA, lower right Richard L. Corsi

The Coffee Center Building

The building itself was repurposed from previously unrelated research purposes, but remodeled to allow for classrooms, cupping labs, roasting, testing, green coffee storage, and more.

Attendees at the opening of the Coffee Center at UC Davis

Interior of the new Coffee Center at UC Davis

We are excited for the future to see what this program will mean for the next wave of bright new minds in the coffee industry and for the deeper appreciation of coffee to thousands of students per year. Cheers!

UC Davis student roasted beans, from Royal Coffee, chocolate covered by students as well.