Sensory Summit Is Back—And It’s Happening This Weekend

Sip tea, taste beer, and eat cheese with some of the best tasters in the world at Sensory Summit, a two-day conference delivering workshops and lectures focused on building sensory skills.


Photos courtesy of the Specialty Coffee Association

Sensory Summit, a two-day conference that brings together coffee professionals to participate in workshops and lectures focused on building sensory skills, is back for its third year. The event kicked off last night with opening remarks and a discussion about fermentation and flavor in cheese. Over the next two days, attendees will take classes and attend lectures on the effects of climate and flavor in tea, the future of coffee processing, and extraction methods in beer and coffee. Speakers include Jean-Xavier Guinard, a professor of sensory science at the University of California, Davis; Sacha Laurin, head cheesemaker for Winters Cheese Company in Sacramento, Calif.; and Dr. Rosane Freitas Schwan, professor of microbiology at the Federal University of Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Sensory Summit is held at UC Davis Coffee Center

Sensory Summit will take place at the Sensory Theater inside the Robert Mondavi Institute at UC Davis. UC Davis is home to the UC Davis Coffee Center, the first research department dedicated to the study and science of coffee. Recently, the Coffee Center has received donations to build out their education programs and initiatives from La MarzoccoPeet’s, and Wilbur Curtis.

Experts from the wine, cheese world come together with academics to talk about how we taste.

Sensory Summit is like no other program or education initiative offered in coffee—participants put on blindfolds to taste wine, or walk into dark rooms to evaluate chocolate. Sensory Summit looks to other industries with established tasting methods to critically examine how we evaluate coffee. The event also invites speakers from the academic and professional realms, combining both practical knowledge and academic rigor to develop sensory skills.

Barista Magazine Online will be at Sensory Summit this year—stay tuned for continued coverage!

About Ashley Rodriguez 413 Articles
Ashley is the Online Editor for Barista Magazine. She's based in Chicago. If you want to share a story or have a comment, you can reach her at