2019 AGENDA + Program


THURSDAY | January 24
3:30 p.m.   Registration and Welcome Mixer                           Alumni Center
4:30 p.m.   Opening Remarks                                               Alumni Center
5:30 p.m.   Dinner                                                         Alumni Center   
6:45 p.m.   Transition to RMI Sensory Theater
7:00 p.m.   Coffee and Dessert Break                                 RMI Lobby
7:30 p.m.   Winemaking and the Art of the Blend                    RMI Sensory Theater


FRIDAY | January 25   
7:00 a.m.   Coffee Service & Continental Breakfast               RMI Lobby
(Please take advantage of the full breakfast buffet at the Hyatt Place prior to heading over to the RMI)
8:00 a.m.   Nature vs. Nurture: WCR Multilocation Variety Trial  RMI Sensory Theater
9:30 a.m.   Coffee Break                                                         RMI Lobby     
10:00 a.m.  The Science of Coffee Freshness                                 RMI Sensory Theater
11:30 a.m.  Transition to Putah Creek Lodge
11:45 p.m.  Lunch                                                                     Putah Creek Lodge
12:45 p.m. Transition to RMI Sensory Theater 
1:00 p.m.   Flavor Science                                                 RMI Sensory Theater
2:30 p.m.   Coffee Break                                                         RMI Lobby          
3:00 p.m.   Multisensory Flavor Perception in Specialty Coffee       RMI Sensory Theater
4:30 p.m.   Conversation and Coffee                                  RMI Lobby
6:45 p.m. Shuttles Depart to Bistro 33 Entrance to Hyatt Place
7:30 p.m.   Dinner                                                         Bistro 33
9:30 p.m. Shuttles Depart to Hyatt Place Bistro 33


SATURDAY | January 26    

7:00 a.m.   Coffee Service & Continental Breakfast               RMI Lobby
(Please take advantage of the full breakfast buffet at the Hyatt Place prior to heading over to the RMI)
8:00 a.m.   The Influence of Roasting Dynamics and Profile on         RMI Sensory Theater
Sensory and Chemical Characteristics of Coffee
9:30 a.m.   Coffee Break                                                      RMI Lobby          
10:00 a.m. Cacao Roasting and Profile Development in Craft           RMI Sensory Theater
Chocolate Making
11:30 a.m.  Transition to Putah Creek Lodge
11:45 a.m.  Lunch                                                                    Putah Creek Lodge     
12:45 p.m. Transition to RMI Sensory Theater
1:00 p.m.   Applied Sensory Science and Consumer Research Principles  RMI Sensory Theater
2:30 p.m.   Coffee Break                                                     RMI Lobby     
3:00 p.m.   New Frontiers in Coffee Sensory Research                        RMI Sensory Theater
4:30 p.m.   Closing Remarks                                                   RMI Sensory Theater

*This schedule is tentative. Please check back periodically for updates.



Winemaking and the Art of the Blend
Barbara Lindblom, Consulting Winemaker

Like coffee, winemaking uses sensory tools and tasting skills to create experiences for consumers. Winemaking is a detailed and complex process, and delivers a wide variety of flavors the winemaker can use to ‘build’ great wines. Blending is one of the skills winemakers use to bring flavors together, and in this session we will explore the origins of wine flavors, the tools we use to evaluate them, and the philosophies we use to guide the work of the wine blender. Barbara Lindblom is an expert wine strategist with over 30 years of experience working in California and France, and will be walking us through the process of winemaking and wine blending, all while tasting and blending special locally-grown wines.

Learn More About Barbara Lindblom

Barbara Lindblom has spent over four decades working with grape growers and small, medium, and large wineries in California and France. She began her career directing the laboratories at Robert Mondavi and Simi Wineries. Barbara then spent two years in France working in wineries and vineyards in Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, and the south of France. Since returning to California, she has been making wine, working on other wine-related projects, and teaching. After being the winemaker for Grand Cru Vineyards and Marimar Torres Wine, she began her consultation work.


Nature vs. Nurture: WCR INTERNATIONAL Multilocation Variety Trial

Nature and nurture interact in complex ways to determine human health and the human experience. The same is true of coffee. Coffee’s genetics (its “nature”) define what’s possible for a given plant: what it is capable of tasting like or its tolerance to disease, heat, or drought. Meanwhile, the environment (its “nurture”) in which coffee is grown can substantially alter how the plant performs. Two plants with identical genetics grown in two different places might taste or behave dramatically different. In this session, Hanna Neuschwander will describe a major global trial underway that is designed to understand more about coffee’s GxE interaction. She will share how the organization plans to use the trial data to inform future breeding efforts and also have a chance to experience coffee GxE in the cup.

Learn More About Hanna Neuschwander

Hanna Neuschwander is the director of communications for World Coffee Research, a global nonprofit that conducts agricultural R&D for coffee. Whether she’s explaining the impact of climate change to a room full of coffee roasters, or coffee genetics to a hedge fund trader, or coffee brewing to her mom, the intersection of coffee and science is her passion. She writes regularly and speaks globally about the future of coffee. She is the author of over 50 magazine articles on coffee, and of the book Left Coast Roast.


The Science of Coffee Freshness
Chahan Yeretzian, Professor for Analytical Chemistry & Head of Coffee Excellence Center, Zurich University of Applied Sciences - ZHAW

Coffee freshness is one of the core values of high-quality specialty coffee. But why is preserving freshness so important? To maximize coffee’s potential, it is kept fresh to ensure quality and consistency. Coffee is a highly elusive product – as soon as it is roasted, it already starts to evolve, change and lose its freshness. Research on coffee freshness focuses on two fields related to changes that occur during storage: the chemical changes to coffee aroma and physical changes related to degassing. Both can be linked to loss of freshness. This session will elaborate on how to get the best out of our coffee by understanding the fundamentals of freshness.

Learn More About Chahan Yeretzian

Chahan Yeretzian is Professor for Analytical Chemistry, Bioanalytical Chemistry and Diagnostics at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Switzerland and earned an MBA from the University of Lausanne. In 2008 he founded the Coffee Excellence Center at the ZHAW and initiated the first post-graduate degree on “Science and Art of Coffee”. Chahan is a Director on the Board of the Specialty Coffee Association, where he Chairs the Research Advisory Council and serves on the Board of the Swiss SCA. He is also on the Board and is Secretary of ASIC (Association for the Science and Information on Coffee) and on the Advisory Board of the German Museum in Munich and CEO of Swiss Coffee Alliance GmbH.


Exploring Flavor Chemistry in Coffee Defects and Comparing Tastes between Coffee and Other Beverages
Dale Smith, Technical Director, FlavorActiv
Spencer Turer, Vice President, Coffee Enterprises

The session explores the world of flavor, how human sensory perception of it is used as a quality control system within the beverage and coffee industry. Common topics discussed relate to the control and standardisation of sensory perception, via training, reference materials and calibration systems. The use of sensory panels within the beverage industry with examples of common flavors and defects experienced. This session will explore common defects in coffee, and understand their chemical origins and ways to identify them, along with exercises in identification and understanding.

Learn More About Dale Smith

Dale Smith is FlavorActiV's Technical Director, responsible for all sensory products, GMP Flavour Standards, systems and development. Dale's prior background is in product development for the forensic market - nanotechnology based fingerprint powders - and as a Forensic Scientist in the United Kingdom. Specialising as a Fingerprint Development Expert and in the analysis of drugs of abuse.

Learn More About Spencer Turer

Spencer Turer is vice president of Coffee Enterprises, a coffee & tea testing laboratory and consulting business in Vermont. He earned degrees in Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management from Johnson & Wales University. Turer is a founding member of the Roasters Guild, a licensed Q grader, received the SCAA Outstanding Contributor to the Association Award, and earned the SCA Coffee Diploma. He is a respected writer and technical editor for industry publications, and is an active volunteer for the Specialty Coffee Association and the National Coffee Association USA.


Multisensory Flavor Perception in Specialty Coffee
Fabiana Carvalho, Post-doc at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Science shows that what we touch, see and hear can dramatically affect what we taste and smell, a phenomenon known as multisensory perception. This session will introduce the topic of multisensory flavour perception, show the well-known associations between senses (cross-modality) and how it affects perception of flavour in food and beverages. Fabiana will present her findings in specialty coffee and lead exercises that will demonstrate the effect of different sound experiences and cup textures on specialty coffee flavour perception.

Learn More About Fabiana Carvalho

Coming soon!


The Influence of Roasting Dynamics and Profile on Sensory and Chemical Characteristics of Coffee
Thomas Koziorowski, Executive Vice President Technology / R&D, Probat-Werke von Gimborn Maschinenfabrik GmbH

The roasting process is a dynamic and complex one, and subtle adjustments in roasting dynamics- airflow, drum speed, and other factors- can influence the roasting profile and change the chemistry behind the coffee roasting reactions. This leads to drastic changes in flavor. Roasters know this intuitively - but rarely get a chance to look at the specific chemistry and quantitative sensory data behind these phenomena. Physical, chemical and sensory data combined with sensory analysis performed at UC Davis will be used to interpret different roasting paradigms in this technical, sensory-oriented, and practical look at that most transformative of coffee processes.

Learn More About Thomas Koziorowski

Thomas Koziorowski, born in 1964, studies Mechanical Engineering at the University of Duisburg. Since 1998 he is working at PROBAT-WERKE in Germany as Executive VP Technology / R&D. His cooperation with Universities and international coffee roasters, skilled him with know how about the complexity of processing coffee. He is Aware of the recent Trends and issues which arise worldwide in this market. That already enabled him to find different innovative Solutions for the coffee industry. The main emphasis of his work lies on the development and Trends of coffee roasting Technology and the cup results for different markets.


Cacao Roasting and Profile Development in Craft Chocolate Making
Karen Cogan, Flavor Manager, Dandelion Chocolate

Craft chocolate makers have to consider roasting dynamics just as coffee roasters do. Karen Cogan of Dandelion Chocolate will guide this session through sensory impacts of cacao roasting as well as the parallels and major differences with coffee roasting, providing a palate-expanding education in cacao roasting.

Learn More About Karen Cogan

Growing up, Karen never believed that one could actually work in a chocolate factory. Karen’s inner child has been giggling for the last 5 years that she has worked at Dandelion Chocolate, first as a chocolate maker creating one Dandelion’s most decorated bars (Butuo, Liberia), as the production manager at Dandelion’s flagship factory, and currently as the Flavor Manager, where she plays a critical role in the company’s R&D department. Equipped with a certificate in Sensory and Consumer Science from UC Davis and a passion for elevating the chocolate industry’s caliber of tasting, Karen finds great joy in being an active member of the chocolate community (and savoring as much chocolate as she can on the way, of course).


Applied Sensory Science and Consumer Research Principles
Olivia Auell, Sensory Scientist II, Synergy Flavors
Jean Xavier Guinard, Professor, UC Davis

This session will provide a deeper understanding of sensory science principles and how to employ them effectively. Industry cupping protocol and sensory science approaches will be compared in light of their history, purpose, and methodology. Topics include the principles and central dogma of sensory science, the types of sensory testing, and an in-depth exploration of consumer testing (market segmentation, psychographics, and preference mapping). Receive practical tips on crafting sensory protocols that fit your objective.

Learn More About Olivia Auell

Olivia Auell is a Sensory Scientist at Synergy Flavors in Chicago, Illinois. She earned a Master’s in Food Science from the University of Minnesota and holds bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry and Spanish. Her graduate research focused on coffee bitterness and multisensory phenomena. She has been involved in the specialty coffee industry in various capacities for a decade, and has consulted with the SCA for several events, including Re:co Symposium and Sensory Forum Korea. As a person familiar with both the specialty coffee industry and academic sensory science, she enjoys contributing to the ongoing conversation between the two.

Learn More About Jean Xavier Guinard

Jean-Xavier Guinard is Professor of Sensory Science at the University of California, Davis. Trained as a food and agricultural engineer, he earned MS degrees in sensory physiology and in food science/enology and a PhD in microbiology. His research focuses on sensory strategies for dietary change and the optimization of the sensory quality and consumer acceptance of foods, beverages and other consumer products. He teaches undergraduate, graduate and extension courses at UC Davis and consults for food and beverage companies and consumer agencies worldwide.


New Frontiers in Coffee Sensory Research
Mackenzie Batali, Graduate Student Researcher, UC Davis
William Ristenpart, Prof. of Chemical Engineering and Director, UC Davis Coffee Center

Over the last two years, the UC Davis coffee center and the Specialty Coffee Association have been engaged in a revolutionary and comprehensive investigation into the chemical and sensory impacts of coffee extraction. This session will debut of some of the most exciting and captivating data showing specific sensory and consumer-liking attributes of different extraction protocols, different roast levels, and even fractions of coffee extractions. Expect a mind-blowing exploration and deeper understanding of coffee flavor and science.

Learn More About Mackenzie Batali

Mackenzie is a second year graduate student in Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis, focusing her research in coffee sensory analysis. Previously she received a chemistry degree from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, and worked as a flavor chemist before transitioning into the coffee world. She has spoken previously about her work on coffee fractionation at ASIC 2018.

Learn More About William Ristenpart

William Ristenpart is the Joe and Essie Smith Professor of Chemical Engineering and the founding director of the Coffee Center at the University of California Davis. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and did his postdoctoral research at Harvard University. In 2012, Prof. Ristenpart co-developed ECH 1, “The Design of Coffee,” which is now the most popular elective general education course on campus, taught to over 1,500 students per year. His research expertise is in complex transport phenomena, with current research supported by the Specialty Coffee Association focusing on convective and diffusive mass transfer effects during brewing of coffee and their corresponding impact on quality.

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