Sunday, June 20, 2021By:
Week three of the SPS program is officially in the history books. I've spent this week diving my time between a couple of projects and getting used to spending my days writing. I have really been enjoying the blend of research and writing that this project has allowed. I love the feeling of getting to condense and share the things that I have been learning right away.
Thinking so much about food in a scientific manner has also given me a new obsession: coffee. Though I always liked having a cup of coffee in the morning and cared about grinding fresh beans, my research on food rheology has led me down the rabbityest of all rabbit holes that is the world of specialty coffee. I have spent a truly inordinate amount of time this past week (both at work and not) reading the extreme levels of experimental precision that the specialty coffee world has come up with to get everything possible out of the humble coffee bean. This has ranged from everything from genetic analysis of bean varietals, to a fully developed, supercomputer-simulated fluid transport model which a team of researchers built in an attempt to understand the optimal pressure at which to brew espresso.
One of my favorite parts of learning more about coffee has been seeing how many hobbyists who otherwise don't have a background in science jump in full tilt to the rigorous testing and experimentation. It has underscored for me how much people have an innate desire for exploration and curiosity and has made me want to do more to show people how to bring scientific principles into their everyday lives. In reading educational articles, I've encountered a lot of great discussion about how we can develop this desire to experiment in children, and I hope that some of the projects that I've been working on can help people find that curiousity themselves.
Until next time!