The Design of Coffee: An Engineering Approach (2nd ed.)  by W.D. Ristenpart and T.L. Kuhl (2016).

The Design of Coffee (ECM 1) provides a non-mathematical introduction to chemical engineering, as illustrated by the roasting and brewing of coffee. Hands-on coffee experiments demonstrate key engineering principles, including material balances, chemical kinetics, mass transfer, fluid mechanics, conservation of energy, and colloidal phenomena. The experiments lead to an engineering design competition where contestants strive to make the best tasting coffee using the least amount of energy – a classic engineering optimization problem, but one that is both fun and tasty!

We first taught ECM 1 as a freshmen seminar in spring of 2013 to 18 students. The Design of Coffee is now the most popular non-required elective course on campus: we taught over 1,500 students during the 2015-2016 academic year.  (For comparison, U.C. Davis enrolls about 6000 freshmen every year.)  In spring 2016 the students voted The Design of Coffee as the best general education class on campus.

ECM 1 Syllabus


What others are saying about ECM 1:

San Francisco Chronicle puts the Coffee Lab on the Front Page (September 8, 2016)

ABC 10 Reports on Grand Re-Opening of Coffee Lab (October 23, 2015)

Good Day Sacramento: Major in Coffee (video part 1) (February 5, 2015)

and Studying the World of Java (video part 2)

UC Davis will offer classes dedicated to the science of coffee (March 14, 2014)

KRCA: Designer coffee at UC Davis has students buzzing (February 27, 2014)

The Sacramento Bee: UC Davis lures students to engineering with unusual draw: coffee (February 12, 2014)

Davis Enterprise: Students learning engineering through coffee (February 11, 2014)

CBS Sacramento: UC Davis Coffee Course Brewing Up Interest With Students, Faculty (February 4, 2014)

PE Magazine: Engineering the Perfect Cup (January/February 2014)

UC Davis News: Students learn engineering through coffee (January 30, 2014)

UC Davis College of Engineering: Coffee-brewing class teaches engineering skills (January 2014) Coffee is a good way to get students interested in engineering (December 22, 2013)

Daily Coffee News: College Students, You Should Probably Transfer to UC Davis Now (November 25, 2013)

Coffee Kind: UC Davis to Offer Coffee Brewing Class for College Credit (November 22, 2013)

The California Aggie: Coffee Brewing Class Offered Winter 2014 (November 21, 2013)

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