Results from beanline 02.440
Antoine Wojdyla∗,Center for X-ray Optics, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,1, Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA∗ E-mail: [email protected]
We analyze both quantitatively and qualitatively the results of adding an espresso machine in a crowd ofcaffeine-addict researchers. We show that the consequence are good according to all the metrics consideredand validate the usefulness of such implementation.
According to popular studies, caffeine is the main driver in science jobs . Countries having a strongculture of sharing coffee, such as Finland , also show increase productivity  attributed to both theeffect of enhanced collaboration and tiredness mitigation. To investigate the effects of coffee at the Centerfor X-Ray Optics, we needed devise a qualitative and a quantitative study.
Materials and Methods
For the experiments, we used a Bialetti Caffe Concerto two-cups, 15-bar pump semi-automatic espressomachine. The choice for the bean source, Peet's Coffee and Tea, was easy to make since it is sourcedlocally, to guarantee the freshness of the roast (Fig. 1). The beans were chosen based on availability,priority was given featured seasonal roast. Been were, although not consistently, ground using Peet'sCoffee and Tea in-house burr mill set on caliber 2, and sealed in a hermetic glass jar. The water wasgenerally taken from the tap, thanks to good general quality of tap water in the Bay Area. The tastings
Figure 1. Experimental bench. A picture of the bean source.
were performed on N = 2 participants, and to further ensure consistency in the results the coffee wasbrewed for two-cups servings.
Results of the tasting are displayed in Table 1.
strong chocolate taste
Panama Rainforest Preserve
good with a croissant
Guatemala San Sebastian
Blue bottle coffee
Hayes Valley Espresso
Table 1. Results of the tastings. Tasting performed by N = 2 participants.
Even the sample is low and various factors such as the grinder coarseness and coffee aging are over-
looked, these results are thought to be rather unbiased. There is no clear trend concerning the sourcing(origin) of the beans, even though it seems that Peet's Coffee and Tea house blends are particularlyappreciated.
Light roasted coffee from Blue Bottle coffee tend to be less appreciated on overall (their shelf
life, or life on the shelf is longer). This is probably due to very fruity notes that are in general moresuited for drip coffee, since this technique captures different flavors of the coffees.
The (first) espresso Machine was installed on January 8th, 2013. Since then, the weekly coffee consumptionstarted to rise from one pound a month to more than one pound a week.
The evolution of coffee
consumption during year 2013 is shown on Fig. 2.
A clear during week 25-32 (June 17th-August 11th) is attributed to the increased number of holiday
leaves during the summer. No clear pattern emerge relating the coffee quality and consumption, probablyassociated to the fact that average coffee quality was essentially kept constant during the whole period.
The evolution is expected to reach a plateau around 1 lbs/week, according to a preliminary Coffee Clubsubscription studies.
The total coffee consumption during the 43 weeks of the study has been 27 lbs. The yield of a pound
of coffee has been calibrated in the first few weeks to be about 60 cups/lbs, single-cup servings averaging
coffee consumption [lbs/week]
Figure 2. Evolution of weekly coffee consumption. A 5-point moving average have been appliedto account for week-to-week coffee availability.
out double-cup servings. Based on this figure, we believe that more than 1500 cups of coffee has beenserved, or the equivalent of 100 g of pure caffeine (70 mg/cup, vs. 180 mg for a 8 oz (small) brewedcoffee ).
The economic impact of the coffee machine is three-fold.
The first aspect is the direct monetary aspect : considering that espresso are available at the Peet's
Coffee and Tea stand located in the Bay View Caf (commonly referred to as Cafeteria) for a unit priceof $1.75, coffee sold in the coffee room of CXRO (room 02.440) for unit price of $0.25, the net aggregatedsaving is $1.5 × 1500 = $2250. This figure underestimates the true saving, since some espresso machineusers are prone to augment their gustatory experience by adding milk and/or cocoa, leading to whatis referred as caffe latte or mocha, having a much higher retail value. Some other aspects such as thecost of sugar or the environmental effect of use of ceramic cups instead of disposable cups have not beenassessed.
The second aspect is employee productivity due to the consumption of coffee. We believe that no
effect can be observed on that matter, because of the prior availability of coffee in the coffee room.
The final aspect is the societal aspect. Considering that the espresso machine and the brewing process
gather researchers from different fields in the same room for extended period of time, it is highly likelythat the general knowledge and the scientific production is increased, thanks to underlying mechanisms.
This is however hard to quantify, and scientific policies have relentlessly tried to find a good metrics forthat. We leave them the burden, since it is not listed in the goals of this article.
This study discussed the impact of adding en espresso machine in a workplace populated by researchers,and discussed the quality of the coffee It has been shown that the influence is positive according to mostaccepted metrics, and we believe it provides a good guide selection for anyone interested by having goodcoffee at home. The coffee machine also leverages an important aspect of the lab locations : the viewfrom the terrace, what has, most probably, very beneficial effects on worker's well-being, hence reducingsick leaves and empowering collaborations.
The author would like to thank Eric Gullikson, the members of the coffee club and all the coffee enthusiastswho dared to try the espresso machine, Sonia Dominguez and formerly Su-Jane Lai for their help inaccounting, Jake Koralek for his advices on the choice of coffee beans and grinding volunteer, MarkusBenk for the fruitful discussion on the validity of the results and Arnaud Allezy for continuous support.
Conflict of interest / Ethics
The author declares no conflict of interest with the coffee retailer (no NASDAQ:PEET share).
No humans have been harm during the experiments, even though unreported hot coffee spill-over mighthave occurred.
1. New Dunkin' Donuts & CareerBuilder, Survey Reveals Which Profession Need Coffee the Most.
2. ChartsBin.com, Current Worldwide Annual Coffee Consumption per capita. (2009)
3. The Conference Board, Total Economy Database : GDP per Hour Worked.(2013)
4. Energyfiend, The Complete Guide to Starbucks Caffeine. (2013)
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