CHEM 499: Design of Coffee

Spring 2019
Instructor: Dr. Bill Miller
Office: Davis Center South Room 137
Phone: 530-747-5213
Office Hours: Mondays 4:10-5:10pm, Tuesdays 8:30-10:00am, Wednesdays 8:50-9:50am

Respect for Diversity

Tree with bear and butterfly and phrase "Undocu Ally"It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups.

General Information

  1. Syllabus Spring 2019– 01/16/19
  2. Calendar– 01/16/19
  3. First Day Lecture Notes
  4. Make sure to order your lab manual
  5. Prelab quizzes and grade: login to Canvas

A course in which you get to use science to study and prepare the best cup of coffee.

This course uses materials from Profs. Ristenpart and Kuhl from the UC Davis Department of Chemical Engineering. At SCC, this course is currently taught by Bill Miller.

person pouring hot water into a Clever Dripper coffee maker

Clever Dripper: what makes it so clever?

person pouring coffee into French press coffee maker

French Press?

Light, Medium, or Dark Roast?

How does the type of roast affect taste and chemistry?

The heat causes chemical reactions to occur that caramelize sugars in the coffee beans. Go too far, and these sugars become bitter compounds. And what happens to caffeine at different roasts?

roasted coffee beans

Light, medium, and dark roast coffee beans

How do I grind the coffee beans …

… for espresso, pour overs, and coffee machines?

How much coffee should I add?

Too strong? Too weak? Ahh… just right.

Oils in Coffee?

Only if you use a metal filter (instead of paper)
This video shows oil droplets in coffee imaged through a microscope.


Flyer describing the course- has pictures of various coffee-making apparatii

Buzz About Design of Coffee

logo for KDRT showing antenna on top of the letters KDRT

An interview about this class from the radio program Davisville on KDRT

SCC Express logo

An article in the SCC Express online newspaper