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coffee and donuts donuts

Come join the Exploratorium as we explore the scientific mysteries behind that most revered of morning rituals: coffee and donuts!


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Why do coffee and donuts go well together?

What's makes the "perfect" cup of coffee?

Why has it been such a treasured substance for centuries?

Has coffee really found its perfect companion in that fluffy, sugary thing we call a donut?

In typical Exploratorium fashion, we'll dig into science behind the taste. Join us live at the museum, or live via the Web, and you can be part of the investigation.

Our guests will include Tony Azzolini , master coffee roaster from Caffe Roma in San Francisco, as he helps us understand the complexities of roasting: popping, temperature, flavor, variety, mixture, light versus dark roast.

Exploratorium educator Eric Muller will be with us throughout the show, revealing the chemistry behind the delicious facade: what role does acid play in the flavor of coffee? What is caffeine and is it bad for you?

We'll also check in with Dr. Ernesto Illy of the world-famous Illy Coffee in Trieste, Italy , where espresso-making is an art form. With Illy's advice, we'll make our own espresso, and let you judge the results.

Then we'll turn our attention to the sweet side of this breakfast duo, donuts. We'll take you behind the scenes of a Krispy Kreme donut factory to explore the donut-making process, from flour to fluffy perfection.

The Exploratorium's own Michael Rothberg will give us a brief history of donuts and make some for us to try. His recipe for Buttermilk Spice Doughnuts can be found in the recipe section of our bulletin board. Try it and add your comments or share your favorite donut recipes with our readers!

So join us for a tasty and illuminating hour--you'll never look at your morning cup the same way again!

Have a question for our guests? e-mail it to us at and we'll do our best to get it answered on the air.

cup  of coffee What's in that cup of coffee anyway? Find out about the history and chemistry of coffee.

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The Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio is located inside the Exploratorium. Entrance to the event is included in the price of admission. See Directions and Hours & Admissions for more info."

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