So have you ever heard of the coffee “bloom”?
I first heard of it a few months ago and figured it was some fancy way to describe the way coffee tastes.
What I came to find out is that the coffee bloom is the result of freshly roasted coffee being brewed properly.
Now when I say “brewed properly”, don’t worry. I’m not talking about needing to buy some fancy equipment to do this.
In fact – blooming your coffee is something you can do for ABSOLUTELY FREE and it will improve the taste of your coffee.
So what is the trick?
Just add enough hot water to your coffee grounds to get them wet and then let the coffee set for 30-60 seconds.
Your coffee grounds will then start to “bloom” by bubbling and puffing up a bit. Then you can brew like normal with the rest of the water that you would use.
That seems so simple it’s almost stupid.
But it works.
And the reason why takes a bit of science to explain.
Extraction is the key
What we first have to understand is that the primary thing you are trying to accomplish while brewing coffee is a term known as extraction. Basically you are trying to extract the good flavors out of the coffee (chocolate, fruit, caramel, etc) and leave the bad ones alone (bitterness, grassy, dirty, etc). When you bloom your coffee you help the extraction process.
Well that’s embarrassing
The reason why is that when coffee is roasted there is a degassing process that lasts several weeks. During this time, coffee will release carbon dioxide. The amount of CO2 that is released will depend on how the coffee is stored and if it is pre-ground (pre-ground coffee releases CO2 quicker).
Ever seen those valves on a sealed bag of coffee? Those are called degassing valves and allow the CO2 to leave the bag and if that valve wasn’t there the bag would start to inflate and eventually blow up.
The CO2 in coffee beans/grounds is a good thing though. It preserves coffee flavor and once all the CO2 has been released you have stale, bland coffee (which is why you should only buy enough coffee to last you a few weeks and then grind it just before you brew to ensure the best taste).
That being said, once you pour water onto coffee grounds the CO2 fights like crazy to get out all at once.
If only there were a way to solve this…
This creates a bit of a conundrum though. As we said, to have delicious coffee bliss, you need to have a good extraction. However, if CO2 is running through the streets like the bulls of Pamplona it doesn’t create an ideal environment for extraction.
Similarly, imagine people trying to both get off and onto an elevator at the same time. It doesn’t work very well. You first need to let the people get off the elevator and then you can get on.
Same thing with coffee. Let the CO2 release (let the bulls pass, let the people off the elevator) for 30-60 seconds, then add the rest of the water. At this point the grounds are ready to interact with the hot water and release all the wonderful flavors you’re looking for.
Make sure you don’t add to much water though. Just enough to get the grounds wet and then let it set.
You will start to see bubbles come out of the grounds and the grounds will puff up a bit. If that happens you know you did it right.
To help clear up any confusion, I also recorded a quick video to walk you through the process.
So if you learned something in this article, do me a favor and go ahead and share this article with your friends on Facebook so we can help save the world from bad coffee! I’m sure they didn’t know about this tip either and they may even thank you by making you a cup of coffee 😉
Very interesting. I am a coffee lover of the intense kind. hum.