Gunnin Gives Coffee Roasting Demonstration to Chemistry Classes
Before students departed The Hill for winter break, Head of School Chris Gunnin provided a fun pick-me-up coffee roasting demonstration for four chemistry classes.
Known across campus as a coffee connoisseur who selects and roasts his own beans, Gunnin was invited to share his passion and knowledge with students by St. Stephen’s chemistry instructor Daniel Fisher, Ph.D. Fisher used the demonstrations to showcase the practical application of several textbook chemistry lessons.
Students learned to identify the various forms of heat transfer that occur during the roasting process, as well as the physical and chemical changes that take place, such as the decomposition of chlorogenic acid, caramelization and Maillard reaction (nonenzymatic reaction between sugars and proteins that occurs when heat is applied), and evaporation or vaporization of water. In addition, they learned to identify and set a benchmark roasting curve, as well as how to cite evidence for chemical and physical changes that occur during coffee roasting.