This program series aims to bring science to the forefront of conversations about foods we may interact with daily but seldom take a moment to think about. We have hosted multiple events featuring coffee and chocolate. 

"Foams in Coffee"

In March 2022, Dr. Janine Nunes, a Research Scholar and Lecturer in the MAE department, and Dr. Camille Duprat, a Visiting Fellow in MAE, co-lead a lively discussion about the complexities and fascinating importance of foams as a fluid in our lives and of course, in coffee. Afterward, two skilled baristas from the Coffee Club talked attendees through the mechanical steps and necessary mindset for making beautiful latte art. Students were then able to put their creativity and new foam knowledge to the test by making their own latte art which was judged by the baristas, the top 3 of which received fun coffee-themed awards! 

"Ecology and Sustainability of Coffee"

In December 2021 the CST collaborated with the phenomenal, student-led Coffee Club on campus, where undergraduates first engaged in a conversation about the ecology and sustainability of coffee and then got to bring what they learned to a coffee tasting (otherwise known as a “cupping”) led by Ben Schellack, the owner of Penstock Coffee, a local roastery and Coffee Club partner. Participants learned about the realities of coffee harvesting throughout the world, how climate changes affect coffee growth and exports, and the variations in the taste of several kinds of coffee beans. 

"Science of Chocolate" 

The CST hosted a fun-filled, hands-on event on The Science of Chocolate, during the Spring 2023 semester, led by a Peruvian artisan chocolate maker, Alex Pimentel, a chocolate processing machine engineer, Bhahavi Veerapaneni, and CST Assistant Director, Dr. Vivian Feng. Students broke open fresh cacao beans, crushed roasted beans by hand, and fed the cacao nibs to the grinder while listening to the science behind each step. They also learned about the polymorphic nature of cocoa butter, and the science behind tempering chocolate. Students had a blast making their own bars of 75% dark chocolate sourced from Peru and the Ivory Coast to take home and share with friends! The program was repeated in May upon invitation by Assistant Professor of MAE and PMI, Prof. Aditya Sood who brought his class, MSE 502 Phase Transformations in Materials, and fellow researchers in PMI to end the semester on a sweet note!