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First-of-its-kind Coffee Center founded at UC Davis

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, Peet’s Coffee announced a pledge of $250,000 to UC Davis to fund the Peet’s Coffee Pilot Roastery, which will be located in a first-of-its-kind Coffee Center at UC Davis. The pioneering center and pilot roastery will be devoted to post-harvest coffee research and engineering, an underrepresented field, and aims to be the leader in coffee science.

“The Coffee Center will generate unparalleled teaching, research and collaborative opportunities for our students, scientists and engineers, as well as for industry partners and visitors from around the world,” said Jennifer Sinclair Curtis, dean of the College of Engineering. “We are proud that Peet’s Coffee is one of our founding partners in this bold initiative. We fully expect the center will do for coffee what the renowned UC Davis wine and brewing programs have accomplished on behalf of those industries.”

Bill Ristenpart, professor of chemical engineering at UC Davis, will direct the Coffee Center and Peet’s Coffee Pilot Roastery, sharing duties with two colleagues — Tonya Kuhl, professor of chemical engineering, and Jean-Xavier Guinard, professor and sensory scientist in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

As the Coffee Center will be the first multidisciplinary university research center in the nation and the world devoted to post-harvest studies of coffee, UC Davis expects to host large numbers of both undergraduate and graduate students eager to learn more about the art and science of coffee. The Coffee Center will also collaborate closely with the Specialty Coffee Association of America to support graduate research fellowships and to offer technical short courses aimed at people in the coffee industry.

In addition to offering opportunities for privately funded company research, public research released by the UC Davis Coffee Center will range from the microbiology of green coffee fermentation, to the chemistry of roasting and brewing, to sensory and consumer science. The center is the first step in establishing a Global Coffee Institute at UC Davis.

Read full story about UC Davis Coffee Center.

Photo on home page of Link: Associate professor William Ristenpart talks with Sabrina Perell, community regional development major, and Kyle Phan, an undeclared major, about the taste of their brew during a UC Davis “Design of Coffee” class in 2015. Photo credit: Gregory Urquiaga


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