Imaging Coffee Beans: Take One

One of the important responsibilities we have at the California Academy of Sciences is archiving the vast treasury of scientific specimens that we maintain, over 45 million specimens at last count. Much of those collections remain hidden behind well protected walls and shelves, inaccessible to the general public, and only available by special arrangement to researchers and students.

But one major project seeks to emancipate our collections to make them much more widely available by digitizing scans of those specimens and putting them online. Over the past few months, our Digitization Team has been hard at work using the Magnify2 GIGAMacro, our newest and most powerful digital imaging microscopic camera, to image thousands of items from our collections.

The Digitization Team has graciously invited our TechTeens to bring in small items from their own homes to scan that have personal significance. As a test, I brought in something that was important to me personally: coffee. The initial scan they did a few days ago of a couple of coffee beans is just gorgeous. 


Next I'm bringing in some unroasted beans, to highlight the dramatic changes that happen to the beans during the roasting process.

Beans courtesy of the nice folks at Snowbird Coffee in the Sunset District, SF. Visit them at 1352 9th Avenue, San Francisco. 

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