The University of California, Davis is about to become the go-to authority on coffee science in the United States. With a $250,000 grant from Peet's Coffee & Tea—the Berkeley-founded company that served as the original inspiration for Starbucks’s business model—it’s starting a multidisciplinary research center to study the art and science of coffee, according to SFGate.
In a press release, the university announced that researchers at the center will study the microbiology of green coffee fermentation, the chemistry of roasting and brewing, the sensory science of drinking java, and the consumer psychology of how people buy their beans and cups o’ joe. The $250,000 grant from Peet's Coffee will establish a Peet’s Coffee Pilot Roastery to research coffee in the post-harvest stage. The center will also offer short technical classes for baristas and other coffee professionals looking to up their game, and there will likely be other industry-funded research in the works. There will be research fellowships available, so be sure to brush up on your coffee chemistry, or revisit that thesis proposal on the connections between coffee and running to the bathroom.
UC Davis already offers a popular course in coffee and chemical engineering called Design of Coffee. It has a proven track record in beverage science, considering it’s had a wine and food science research center since 2008. The university hasn’t said when the new coffee research labs will open, but since it has to renovate a 6000-square-foot building to make room for the roastery, a sensory analysis lab, and other office and research spaces, it might be a while.
In the meantime, you can take the more delicious research route and just try the best coffee shop in all 50 states.
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