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The UC Davis Coffee Center is Looking for a Head Roaster

UC Davis coffee

The forthcoming UC Davis Coffee Center building. UC Davis Coffee Center photo.

The UC Davis Coffee Center is seeking someone to head up all its roasting operations.

The “lab manager” will be the university Coffee Center’s first staff member, leading the undergraduate coffee laboratory, overseeing a “Design of Coffee” flagship course, managing roasting and education research, and training students on roasting.

The university is currently in the process of building out a 6,000-square-foot facility to house the Coffee Center — within short walking distance of the university’s acclaimed Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science — that is being pitched as the first research and teaching center devoted specifically to coffee in U.S. academia. Like the Mondavi Institute, the Center has thus far leaned heavily on the private sector for funding and guidance.

In development since 2014, the UC Davis Coffee Center has received contributions from numerous private companies in recent years, including $750,000 from La Marzocco towards a brewing and espresso lab, and a $250,000 donation from brewer maker Wilbur Curtis. A two-year partnership between the Coffee Center and the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) to study brewing fundamentals will soon be reaching its conclusion.

UC Davis said the roasting position — technically classified as a “research associate” — has been funded for three years by roaster manufacturer Probat, which has also donated roasting equipment to the facility. The new staffer will be recognized as the “Probat Roasting Fellow” during the duration of the company’s financial support.

“Probat feels strongly that it has an obligation to support the advancement of the coffee industry through highly respected and credible academic and research-based programs that combine industry and acdemia [sic.] expertise like at UC Davis,” Probat President John Fortin said in an announcement from the Coffee Center. “UC Davis has an outstanding track record of success in establishing these types of programs, and the Coffee Center and coffee curriculum are well-positioned for success.”

According to the published job listing, the position will pay between $22.57 to $32.89 per hour, with a Monday through Friday schedule.

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