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This content is taken from the University of York's online course, Exploring Everyday Chemistry. Join the course to learn more.

Andy's weekly cafe

As we come to a close on this week, do you have any questions on what is happening in the world of chemistry, including in the area of brewing? You may have seen some science news in the media whilst the course has been running, and this is our chance to make sure we can all stay abreast of what’s topical and how it might affect us all going forward.

For example, did you see that, after more than 5 years work, a team in China has decoded the genetic building blocks of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, whose leaves are used for all types of tea, including black, green and oolong – this research gives further insight into the chemicals that give tea its flavour.

Or that a new and more accurate method of testing coffee quality found that a tenth of high quality products labelled “100% Arabica” contained significant levels of inferior and cheaper “Robusta” beans. The method uses an analytical technique, called nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, to detect the presence of 16-O-methylcafestol (16-OMC), which is only found in Robusta coffee.

Or that used coffee grounds have been turned into a cheap, renewable fuel that could be used to power London’s famous red buses?

Or that the first study to examine links between coffee brewing methods and risks of heart attacks and death concluded that a filtered brew is safest.

Please pose any questions you have in the Comments below or using Twitter or Instagram hashtag #FLChemistry by noon of Thursday this week. We will then post our short video, which brings together some of the most interesting topics, on the following day (on Friday this week).

Don’t miss out on the chance to share what’s on your mind!

Also, for our end-of-week teaser, see if you can deduce the names of the eight beverage-related compounds in the photomontage in the downloads section below and post your answers.

Finally, why not download a third digital badge as a momento of completing the third week of our course. Just one more to achieve a full set!

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This video is from the free online course:

Exploring Everyday Chemistry

University of York