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Melbourne coffee culture in space

How the size and shape of coffee grinds affect taste were put under the microscope by La Trobe University at the Global Table forum in Melbourne in early September, with a coarse grind winning most votes.

This taste test was a spin-off from the research question: Can you prepare freshly ground coffee in a gravity-free and sensory-free environment and retain its flavour?

The research question was part of a 2025 scenario, in which Melbourne was (still) the world’s coffee capital, the Australian Space Agency was up and away, and a decent coffee was an astronautical imperative.

Unfortunately, we are going to have to await feedback from the first space station baristas to conclude this post.

Future food resources

More seriously, the Global Table examined the technological revolution underway to safeguard the sustainability and biodiversity of our food resources. The future of everything we farm is on the table as global agriculture faces some very serious threats.

It is one of the prime contributors to global warming, as well as being the first sector to really be feeling the impacts.

Coretext writers, working with researchers in this field, will be playing an important role in the global conversation that everyone needs to join.

A microscope with a sample of coffee on the microscope platform, with several other coffee samples in small dishes placed around the base of the microscope
Coffee under the microscope at the La Trobe University stand at the Global Table event, Melbourne, September 2019.

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