Coffee Lab 227

Beginning Fall of 2019


This course is designed to apply the Scientific Method and Engineering & Design process to the variables associated with coffee brewing and roasting. The mission of this course parallels that of Cada Casa, in that students engage in a real-world, interdisciplinary, learning experience. We envision this year-long exploration being separated into three parts:

  1. The Pour Over. The first set of meetings will focus on developing a consistent method and process for pour-over coffee. This will include an exploration of water/bean ratio, temperature, grind size, filtration type, and timing.

  2. The Bean. The second set of meetings will introduce students to different bean types, regions, characteristics and flavor profiles through cupping.

  3. The Roast. The final set of classes will revolve around an introduction to roasting. This will include temperature profiles, timing, bean analysis, cooling, and local roaster work experience.

As this course develops we envision incorporating many elements of Beaverton High school. Potential partnerships may include:

  • The marketing pathway can prototype bag packaging and social media promotions.

  • Art students can help the marketing students in developing original artwork for bags and promotions.

  • Ceramics students can create cups used for the cuppings.

  • Engineering & Design students can prototype and build automated pour-over and dosage machines

  • Computer Science students can develop an app that allows staff to order and specialize coffee

  • Environmental studies students can do sustainability assessments and analyze the impact of climate change

  • The Screen Printing club can create merchandise and actually print on the bags

  • The Pond and the Bite can sell the beans through their physical store and develop an online store

  • AP Stats can help in analyzing different variables and their impact on the brew/roast


Instructor: Tymon Emch w/ Guest Speakers

Location: Beaverton High School, Room 227

Time & Date: Mondays & Tuesdays, during TAT

Price: Free for BHS Students (w/ fundraising)

List of Classes and Topics:

Part I: The Pour Over

  • Introduction to the Pour-Over & Filtration Types

    • Kahlita Wave, V60, Chemex, Chemex w/ Kone

    • What are some independent variables that we can change?

    • What are some dependent variables that we can measure?

    • Key metric: Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

  • Water & Bean Ratio (Brew Ratio)

    • How to measure

    • How to control

    • Research different roaster’s recommendations

    • Effect on TDS

  • Grind Size

    • How to measure very small things

    • How to control

    • Key metric: Percent Extraction

    • Effect on Time, TDS

  • Temperature:

    • How to measure very

    • How to control

    • How to

    • Effect on TDS, Flavor

  • Time

    • Effect of brew time on flavor

    • How to change previous variables in order to achieve desired time

    • Challenge: Pour over in exactly 3:30

  • Other types of brewing:

    • Aeropress

    • Intro to the Cappuccino

Part II: The BEAN

  • Flavor Profiles

  • Arabica vs. Robusta (w/ Liberica and Excelsa)

  • Basic ecology research & presentations

    • Latitude

    • Rain Fall

    • Elevation

  • Drying proces

    • Washed

    • Natural

    • Honey

  • Cupping

  • Roasting Profiles (Light, Medium, Dark)

  • Visiting local coffee shops

Part III: The Roast

  • Variable Investigation

  • Timing

  • Refractometer

  • Visiting local roasters

Budget, Funding, & Donations

  • CadaCasa ($3650):

    • All pour over equipment ($450 value),

    • Mahlkonig EK 43 Coffee Grinder ($2700 value),

    • Equipment for Engineering Pathway automated-pour-over machine. ($300)

  • Local Fundraising ($796):

  • Local Roasters & Coffee Shops:

    • Sample Beans (6 roasters x 1 lb bags) for Pour Over classes

    • Used equipment (particular interest in an older/smaller roaster)

    • Guest speakers (what are YOU most passionate about in the process)

    • Coffee Shop visits (especially cuppings)

    • Roaster work experience (for graduates of the program who want to learn more about the industry)