Coffee 101Coffee 101

Engineering a Better Cup of Coffee

View descriptionShare

In this episode, Kenneth sits down with Professor William Ristenpart who is the director of The UC Davis Coffee Center to discuss the efforts that are being made to engineer a better cup of coffee.

They discuss how the industry is working to reduce the level of waste generated and make better use of the byproducts. Currently, humans only consume around 3% of the coffee cherries that are harvested. That is why the industry is exploring new ways to use those waste materials, as well as working to enhance the fermentation and roasting processes so that less energy is consumed.


  • A huge amount of engineering goes into taking coffee from its picked state and turning it into beans for export.
  • Around 50% of the coffee cherry mass is discarded in the form of the cascara (fruit pulp) and parchment.
  • Yet, that cascara waste can be used to make a tasty drink and a nice jelly.
  • Every day in America, about 22 million pounds of spent coffee grounds are generated.
  • Engineering during the fermentation and roasting processes can be used to get more flavor out of the beans.
  • At UC Davis they run a competition that challenges students to make a great coffee using the least amount of energy and materials possible.


‘For every 100 pounds of coffee cherries that are harvested, humans actually consume about 3 pounds of it. ´

‘You could say that is 97% waste or you could say that is 97% opportunity.’

‘We are just trying to make everything better for everybody and the environment along the chain.’




Award-winning single-origin specialty coffee:

You’re disciplined and high achieving. You never settle. Shouldn’t the fuel that helps you reach your goals be held to those same standards? Instead of a crash-inducing cup of jo, you need coffee with optimal antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. A coffee so good that you can drink it black.

At Umble Coffee, we only roast specialty-grade arabica coffee from around the world with cupping scores 84 and above. Don’t sabotage yourself in pursuing your goals - drink coffee that tastes better and is better for you. No crash, great taste, and better long-term health benefits. That’s Umble Coffee.





As a coffee lover, physician, chemical engineer, serial entrepreneur, competitive runner, writer, and family man, Kenneth knows what it’s like to push yourself to achieve goals very few accomplish. He’s one of the best specialty coffee roasters in the United States as he’s a multi-year US Coffee Roasters’ Competition Finalist. He created Umble Coffee Co with the belief that, if sourced and roasted right, coffee can taste phenomenal and be good for you.

“Life’s too short to drink bad coffee.”


Want to reach Kenneth? Have questions, show ideas, or want to just let us know you’re enjoying the show? The best way is to leave us a great review and put your thoughts in the comment section - Kenneth reads all of them! The second-best way is through DM on social media.

Podcast Description

Coffee 101 is an educational show on all things coffee. The host, Kenneth Thomas, starts with the most basic questions about coffee and builds your knowledge from there. If you love coffee, are curious about coffee, or you’re a business just looking for a resource to train your team, Coffee 101 is without question the show for you!  Season 1 is all about coffee’s journey from seed to shelf!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Email
  • Download

In 1 playlist(s)

  1. Coffee 101

    80 clip(s)

Coffee 101

Coffee 101 is an educational show on all things coffee. The host, Kenneth Thomas, starts with the mo 
Social links
Follow podcast
Recent clips
Browse 80 clip(s)