Coffee: Chemistry and Culture

Coffee Chemistry

Numerous physical and chemical processes play a determining role in the quality of a cup of coffee, ranging from agricultural practices, to roasting and brewing.

This FIG canvases the landscape of coffee research to date, detailing areas that require further study, as well as discussing our early efforts to better understand the key factors that determine cup quality and reproducibility.  A focus will be placed on the production of espresso-based beverages, and how we can systematically improve both the flavor reproducibility and coffee efficiency using a mixture of mathematics, chemistry, and physics.

The FIG will involve a mixture of lectures, as well as interfacing with Eugene’s local specialty coffee purveyors visiting multiple cafes around the city, merging science with local businesses. Check out more about Professor Hendon's research here.

Note: Spaces in this FIG will not be available until IntroDUCKtion. Each IntroDUCKtion session will have spaces available. You must see an academic advisor before adding a chemistry FIG.


Students explore the intersection of topics by taking the following course package*:

*Courses in the FIG package may be subject to change

CH 199 College Connections - FIG Seminar, 1-credit

CH 221 General Chemistry - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes that it undergoes. It is a science that is central to our understanding of the natural world and it serves as a foundation for all other scientific disciplines. The General Chemistry sequence, beginning with CH 221, is designed for science majors and pre-professional students, and provides an introduction to the experimental and theoretical foundations of chemistry. Students will gain factual knowledge about the terminology and language of chemistry as well as an understanding of the underlying reasons why chemical processes occur. They will be expected to interpret, reason and problem solve using fundamental chemical principles.

CH 227 General Chemistry Lab - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 2-credits

Introduces chemistry laboratory techniques, including volume and mass measurement, use of the pipette and burette, and gravimetric thermochemical measurements. Required for students in the natural sciences or for those preparing to enter one of the medical sciences.