Classes with Shawn Steiman, Ph.D.

Courses and classes scheduled by request and subject to availability. Advanced planning preferred as the doctor may need to travel between islands. For booking and further information on our educational offerings, please email coffee@daylightmind.com


About Shawn Steiman, Ph.D. Chief science officer, and co-owner

Shawn is a coffee scientist, author, and consultant. He's a graduate of Oberlin College as well as the University of Hawai‘i (graduate work in coffee science). His coffee research has included coffee production, entomology, ecology, physiology, biochemistry, organoleptic quality, and brewing. Aside from being an owner of Daylight Mind, he also owns Coffea Consulting, a coffee-centric consulting firm. Shawn regularly presents seminars, workshops, and tastings for both public and private events. He has authored numerous articles in scientific journals, trade magazines, newsletters, and newspapers. He's even been known to star in Korean coffee commercials. If you have too much spare time, you can see Shawn's CV here. He is the author of The Hawai‘i Coffee Book: A Gourmet's Guide from Kona to Kaua‘i, is a co-editor and author of Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry, and is author of The Little Coffee Know-It-All: A Miscellany for growing, roasting, and brewing, uncompromising and unapologetic. Shawn likes reading, all manner of whisky, science fiction, and gardening. Long walks on the beach are passé.

Short Classes

Coffee can be as simple as a caffeine-carrying beverage or as complicated as the subject of Ph.D. dissertations.  If you're reading this, your interest probably falls somewhere in the middle of these extremes.  We can help you learn what you want to learn!

The Hawaii coffee industry
This class includes a history of the Hawaii coffee industry, its relationship to the international coffee industry, and its evolution into a modern specialty coffee origin.


Coffee production 
From planting to roasting, coffee needs plenty of care and attention. This class 
explores the agricultural needs and processing steps that coffee must go through before being roasted.

Coffee production and factors that influence cup quality 
Learn about the journey of coffee from seed to cup. Throughout that journey, this course uses the current scientific literature to explore factors that help determine coffee's flavor.

Shedding light on shade grown coffee
Unlike most plants, coffee can tolerate being grown in the shade or full sun. There are pros and cons of both methods. This class explores the facts and fiction behind shade-grown coffee.

Coffee cherry processing
Coffee is the seed of a fruit. Before we can roast that seed, it must be dried down and
extracted from the fruit. Through a short lecture followed by a comparative cupping, this class explores the various methods used to achieve this drying, and how they influence flavor in the cup.


Introduction to roasting 
This class explores the theory of coffee roasting and introduces essential concepts like roast profiling and freshness.

Roast level and quality
A roaster's job is to roast coffee, but how do they settle on a particular roast level? What does coffee taste like when roasted differently? Ever wanted to taste the same coffee roasted in different ways side by side? Now’s your chance!

Coffee freshness
What's more useful to know, "best by" date or "roasted on" date? We’ll use scientific 
evidence to explore this topic to try to figure out just how much time must after roasting before coffee becomes stale.

Coffee quality and evaluation
This class explores the idea of coffee quality, both objectively and subjectively, and 
presents an introduction to how coffee quality is evaluated.

Introduction to coffee cupping
Cupping is the formal method used by coffee professionals to evaluate coffee quality. This class will introduce the pros and cons of the method and guide students through an actual cupping following the official Specialty Coffee Association cupping protocol.

Coffee brewing: theory and practice

If brewing is just adding water to coffee, why are there so many different devices and
methods available for achieving this simple goal? This class explores the science behind brewing and offers students a chance to compare brewing methods by tasting the same coffee brewed in several different ways.

Espresso fundamentals 
As a method of brewing coffee, espresso is perhaps the most complicated and most
mythologized. This class introduces the fundamental aspects of espresso brewing and allows students to use an espresso machine to pull shots!

Ethical coffees and certifications 
There are several different labels that one might find on a coffee package, like organic,
shade-grown, and Fair Trade. This class explains the philosophy behind these ethical 
coffees and explores how they relate to the Hawaii coffee industry.

Identifying the origin of a coffee
As individual coffee varieties, origins, and farms gain notoriety and value, there is a greater need to authenticate just where a coffee comes from. This class explores the challenges of identifying coffee origin and variety, and the current state of the science behind the process.

Know your coffee and your market
Not all coffees and coffee drinkers are alike. This class explores different coffee quality standards and consumer demographics to help sellers find the right market for their coffee.

Exploring the reality of 10% Kona blends
This is one of the most contentious issues in the Hawaii coffee industry. It is much more complicated than most people realize. This class explores the nuances of the 10% Kona blending from an impartial perspective.