La Marzocco, the espresso machine manufacturer, has pledged US$750,000 to the University of California, Davis to help fund a new Coffee Center and further coffee science research efforts at the university.
The commitment represents the largest gift to date to the UC Davis Coffee Center.
The first-of-its-kind Coffee Center will act as a hub for faculty, students and visiting scholars from industry and academia to explore fundamental and applied scientific research questions about coffee.
The infrastructure and laboratories will allow researchers to investigate a host of post-harvest research topics under carefully controlled and measured conditions to facilitate discoveries and innovations similar to those that have advanced the wine and beer industries.
“The science underlying the creation of high-quality espressos is notoriously complicated because of the interplay between fluid flow and extraction under high pressure and high-temperature conditions,” says William Ristenpart, professor of chemical engineering at UC Davis and director of the Coffee Center.
“La Marzocco has decades of experience in espresso, so we are very excited to work with them to both advance the state of espresso science and to develop curricula focused on teaching the next generation of coffee science professionals.”
The partnership with UC Davis provides the company with an opportunity to take part in dedicated coffee research in an academic environment. With the world’s changing climate, an industry-wide push for sustainable best practices, and the ever-growing demand for high-quality coffee, the need for coffee-educated talent and associated academic research has never been greater.
The La Marzocco Brewing and Espresso Laboratory will be the cornerstone of the university’s research and teaching efforts on brewing and espresso. La Marzocco will also provide state-of-the-art espresso machines for the laboratory.
UC Davis will renovate an existing 6,000 square-foot facility to serve as a hub for coffee research and education. In addition to the La Marzocco Brewing and Espresso Laboratory, the Coffee Center building will include a pilot roastery, a green bean storage laboratory, a sensory and cupping laboratory, an advanced chemical analytical laboratory, a classroom and an outdoor event space.
The photo here shows (from left to right) Professor William Ristenpart, Scott Callender, Kente Bakke, and Moira Kennelly (La Marzocco).