Folgers Coffee Partners with the UC Davis Coffee Center
By Rachel Steere, originally posted by UC Davis Engineering.
The UC Davis Coffee Center is proud to announce a recent $500,000 gift from Folgers Coffee.
The Folgers Analytical Chemistry Lab will provide the first university infrastructure in the nation to address the unresolved questions around how certain molecules naturally present in coffee affect the final flavor profile of this beloved beverage.
“I’m ecstatic for the Coffee Center to partner with Folgers. They operate some of the largest coffee roasteries in the world and as UC Davis continues to build up an academic talent pipeline for the coffee industry, I’m really excited to leverage Folgers’ expertise to create a world-class education for our students,” said Coffee Center director and chemical engineering professor Bill Ristenpart.
Housed in the UC Davis College of Engineering, the Coffee Center is the first multidisciplinary university research center in the world devoted to addressing the broad needs of the coffee industry through a holistic approach to coffee science and education. With support from its many partners, the Coffee Center is raising global standards for coffee by applying a rigorous academic framework to coffee research.
“As a leader in the coffee category, we are passionately committed to advancing coffee science, offering a catalyst for research supporting meaningful innovation, making progress on our collaborative support of the supply chain and spurring the interest of leading students in this growing industry,” said Jim Trout, Vice President for Coffee Research and Development at The J.M. Smucker Co., which is the parent company of Folgers.
By supporting university research programming, Trout says they are also able to collaborate with others in the industry who share their passion to utilize resources to support all those who help deliver and enjoy America’s favorite morning beverage.
Folgers coffee is roasted in New Orleans, Louisiana. Every employee plays an invaluable role in delivering their coffee to consumers and the knowledge behind the taste of Folgers coffee has been passed down for more than 160 years.
“We have often shared that we are relentlessly consumer-centric. One of the ways this comes to life is through our committing resources to develop innovations that offer fresh concepts to delight consumers. In coffee, consumer behaviors have evolved dramatically, and we have consistently invested in staying ahead of this. Our support of the UC Davis Coffee Center will offer an important amplification of these efforts,” said Trout.
The Coffee Center builds upon the university’s existing Coffee Lab, a 1,200 square-foot laboratory in which students explore engineering principles through roasting and brewing coffee. The vision for the center was born out of the incredibly popular undergraduate elective course, The Design of Coffee, developed by chemical engineering faculty Tonya Kuhl and Bill Ristenpart in 2013. Near the same time, UC Davis launched a “Coffee Initiative” that brought together students, researchers and industry leaders from around the world.
“We are confident that the UC Davis Coffee Center will help support many important priorities that are central to our strategy including advancing coffee science, offering a catalyst for research driving meaningful innovation and spurring the interest of leading students in this growing industry,” said Trout. “We are excited to support these efforts and to share in the great progress we know will be realized.”