Christopher Hendon Knowledge Talks

Toby’s Estate announces Christopher Hendon as next Knowledge Talks speaker

Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters has announced Professor Christopher Hendon of the University of Oregon as the next Knowledge Talks presenter, to tour Australia in November.

Christopher will be presenting on the chemical and physical considerations in coffee production, and how water plays a role in determining cup quality.

“Coffee is pretty complicated, but a lot of people have had some interaction with the science of coffee, even if it’s just as rudimentary as knowing there is a molecule that makes them feel energetic,” Christopher says.

“Instead of focusing on just one of these molecules, I want to look at all of them. There’s a bunch of different compounds in coffee and ways to target those compounds. This makes [coffee] a playground for scientists.”

Christopher currently runs a research group at the University of Oregon, focusing on the chemistry of porous materials, machine learning, and coffee. His presentation will focus on four key research areas including the chemistry of water, the physics of grinding, his latest endeavours of using mathematical modelling to improve espresso reproducibility, and using machine learnings to explain the chemical origins of flavour perception.

Christopher’s work on water chemistry was first introduced to the coffee community at the 2014 World Barista Championship by the United Kingdom’s Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood. In 2015, he published the book Water for Coffee.

Despite working in the United States and studying in the United Kingdom, Christopher was born and raised in Melbourne, and looks forward to officially sharing his work in his home country for the first time.

“A lot of my work has been shared by other people, but I’ve never presented on water chemistry or grinding myself in Australia,” Christopher says.

“Part of the reason I’m in the industry is that I see the value in coffee. I like working with people, and knowing that I can get off a plane anywhere in the world, can look up and find a specialty café online, go, and have a good conversation with someone I’ve never met.”

This new series of Knowledge Talks will be held in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney at the following dates and locations:

Perth: 7 November from 6pm to 8pm, at Maison, 9 Douglas Street, West Perth

Brisbane: 8 November from 6pm to 8pm, at The Boundary Hotel, 137 Boundary Street, West End

Melbourne: 11 November from 6pm to 8pm, at La Marzocco, 104 Nicholson Street, Abbotsford

Sydney: 12 November from 6pm to 8pm, at Toby’s Estate, Unit C1, 46-62 Maddox Street (entry via 53 Huntley Street), Alexandria Industrial Estate

All proceeds from Knowledge Talks ticket sales are donated to the Las Nubes Daycare and Afterschool-Learning Centre. The centre supports the education of more than 40 children aged between three and 12 in the coffee community of Acatenango, Guatemala. On a daily basis, the centre provides education, nutritional meals, and a safe and nurturing environment to children while allowing parents to continue working or complete their education.

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