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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Best GE class: Design of Coffee

Students reflect on taking Design of Coffee

Regardless of major, every student at UC Davis must complete general education (GE) requirements. With categories ranging from “Domestic Diversity” to “Scientific Literacy,” students take courses to fulfill unit requirements in topical breadth and core literacy by the time they graduate. While there are a myriad of courses that students can take to complete these requirements, 36.2% of students who voted in Best of Davis this year selected Design of Coffee (ECH 01) as the best GE at Davis. 

Tonya Kuhl, a professor and the chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at UC Davis, reflected on her favorite parts about teaching the class. 

“I love that aspect of trying different things with coffee and trying to make it as good as I can,” Kuhl said.

Kuhl described the unique environment the class provides for students. 

“You just get to meet people in a really fun way that’s different than most classes,” Kuhl said. “You go into our labs, and people are smiling, they’re joking and they’re talking.”

Diana Cardenas, a second-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major, took Design of Coffee last year and greatly enjoyed it. Cardenas explained the concepts she learned about in the course. 

“We got taught a lot about how different types of coffee machines can produce different types of textures, colors, consistencies and concentrations in coffee,” Cardenas said.

Additionally, she found a new appreciation for coffee while taking the course.

“I never thought there was so much to [making coffee],” Cardenas said. “I always thought it was just something easy, like plugging in the light, but it’s not, it’s something so complicated.”

Genelie Baltazar, a second-year psychology major, also took Design of Coffee. Baltazar found the class to be very interesting and enjoyed working with her lab partners. 

“It was just fun knowing that I can experiment and just do my own thing and not be too stressed with my other classes,” Baltazar said. “I just thought that this class was a good way for me to start my freshman year.”

Baltazar’s favorite part of the class was making the coffee and exploring different methods while feeling comfortable to look to her fellow classmates and the administrators for help. Overall, she stated that this class was one of the most enjoyable courses she has taken at UC Davis. 

“In my opinion, it has been honestly one of the best ones, just because [of] the people that I worked with, the experiences,” Baltazar said. “I do honestly consider it one of my most favorite classes that I’ve taken.”

Written by: Nora Farahdel — features@theaggie.org

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