Taking coffee seriously, UC Davis opens Coffee Center for scientific research

The new UC Davis Coffee Center aims to foster research on the quality, health and sustainability of coffee.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Coffee is no small part of our daily lives. If you need more evidence of just how vital it has become, UC Davis has opened a coffee-centric training center to give scientists a place to study every aspect of coffee production and global trade.

“We think there is sufficient interest given the fact that so many people have consumed coffee so regularly across the world, for so long,” J. Bruce German, director of the UC Davis Foods for Health Institute told the Sacramento Bee. “Coffee is not an insignificant contributor to the agricultural footprint.”

A team of the university’s scientists are looking into the sensory aspects of coffee to determine ideal temperatures and conditions for maximum flavor. They’re also researching why coffee drinking is linked to protection from metabolic diseases.

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The center held its first coffee conference Tuesday with a program that included coffee genetics, the microbiology of coffee production, the sensory perception of coffee and wine drinkers and a panel on coffee research. The day, of course, was broken up by scheduled coffee breaks.


There are plans in the works for the center to build and operate a greenhouse to grow coffee for research. And once funding is in order, a possible coffee science major.

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