Forum: Brewing a Better Cup of Coffee, with Science!

Coffee brewing

Event Date


The UC Davis Coffee Center is the first multidisciplinary university research center dedicated to address the challenges and needs of the coffee industry. The center leverage’s the university’s global reputation for excellence, to align expertise across campus, in both applied and basic research.

The Coffee Center was inspired by the incredibly popular undergraduate elective course, The Design of Coffee, which was developed by chemical engineering professors Tonya Kuhl and Bill Ristenpart in 2013. Around the same time, UC Davis launched a “Coffee Initiative” that brought together faculty interested in coffee research. With support from the coffee industry, the UC Davis Coffee Center expanded quickly and has built a comprehensive program that provides educational opportunities at all levels and a broad spectrum of vital coffee research.

Director Bill Ristenpart provides an overview of the Coffee Center's work, and advancements in research. Peter Giuliano from the Coffee Science Foundation and the Specialty Coffee Association shares how research is impacting the industry.


Professor William D. Ristenpart leads a research group focused on understanding complex transport phenomena in a variety of important applications. Recent research topics include the behavior of colloids near electrodes, charge transfer into emulsified water droplets in high voltage fields, the behavior of red blood cells in constrictions, splatter of blood in forensics investigations and the production of expiratory aerosols during vocalization. Ristenpart is also passionate about coffee and became the Founding Director of the UC Davis Coffee Center, a multidisciplinary research and education effort focused on advancing coffee science.

Peter Giuliano is the Executive Director of the Coffee Science Foundation and Chief Research Officer of the Specialty Coffee Association. With more than 30 years’ experience in the coffee trade,  his focus now is on promoting research and scientific inquiry on coffee, and bringing evidence-based insights to the coffee industry.

Moderator Andrew Waterhouse is a professor in the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, and has previously held the John E. Kinsella Chair in Food, Nutrition, and Health, and the Marvin Sands Endowed Chair in Viticulture and Enology. He has won a UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow award, holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Bordeaux, and he has been named one of the most highly cited researchers in agriculture by ISI. In 2018, he was named the director of the Robert Mondavi Institute. 


This event is part of the Forum: Talks on Food & Wine Sciences series, which presents an array of research and scientific advancements in the disciplines of wine, brewing, and food sciences to demonstrate the importance of UC Davis to the food and beverage industry.


This is a virtual event that will be presented via Zoom. In order to access this webinar, you will need a free Zoom account, which you can sign up for here.


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