You may or may not have heard of the phrase “coffee bloom,” but it’s certainly something you need to boost the quality of your coffee. There’s so much about this term that coffee devotees need to know about.
For those who are new to it, don’t worry. In this article, you’ll interact with the idea of coffee blooming deeper and, ultimately, know how to make high-quality and delicious coffee.
Skip to the best part:
What is Coffee Bloom?
Simply put, Coffee Bloom is a gas-release reaction when pouring boiling water on grounded and roasted coffee beans.
During the roasting process, carbon dioxide gets trapped in the coffee beans. Using hot water to bloom the coffee reduces carbon dioxide, letting you enjoy your coffee to the fullest.
If you talk to experienced baristas, they will tell you that coffee blooming is an essential process for quality coffee. You’ll enjoy fresh and tasteful coffee if you bloom your coffee properly.
Why bloom coffee?
Indeed, blooming coffee is a vital practice, as roasted coffee contains carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide gives coffee a sour taste, which is not something you want first thing in the morning.
So, Coffee Bloom is handy to eliminate the carbon dioxide deposited in the coffee beans. Once you add some boiling water to the grounds, carbon dioxide removal begins. You’ll know that carbon dioxide has escaped from the coffee grounds when you see some foamy bubbles.
As carbon dioxide escapes, water is pushed from the beans to prevent it from affecting the flavor of the coffee. This means that the coffee that flows into your cup will be of good quality and highly flavored.
Different coffee beans have different flavor notes that you’ll be able to fully experience once you bloom your coffee successfully. The blooming process will create an optimal environment where carbon dioxide is gone, allowing the water to absorb the flavor of your ground beans. This will result in a rich taste of coffee that all coffee enthusiasts look forward to.
Basically, if you want to have the best coffee experience in terms of quality and flavor, you’ll have to coffee bloom. You can’t afford to ignore this process because the benefits are apparent.
How to bloom coffee?
Now that you’ve known what blooming espresso is and why you should consider it, it’s about time to learn how to bloom coffee correctly. Thankfully, it’s not a complicated process. In fact, it takes a short time without the need for extra equipment. The important thing is that you have to do it well for it to have quality results.
The process starts with adding boiling water to the grounds. Ensure there’s enough water to cover the coffee grounds for quality results. Allow some time to pass, then add the remaining water.
You should note that the brewing technique you use plays a significant part in completing the coffee blooming process. The pour-over brewing method is known to bring optimal benefits from blooming. However, you can still bloom your coffee grounds regardless of your coffee brewing technique.
Here are tips you can use depending on your preferred brewing method:
How do you bloom coffee for Pour over?
For pour-over coffee, pour the hot water gently, in a circular motion from the external walls as you move slowly towards the center. This ensures that the coffee soaks uniformly without dripping through the filter. Give the soaked grinds time to sit for about 1 minute. You can then continue.
If you’re doing this for the first time, you may not be perfect. Some drip may pass through, but don’t worry. A bit of practice will help you master the art.
Auto Drip Coffee
When using a drip coffee maker, add hot water to the level where you can cover the grinds well. Ensure the soaking process is uniform while preventing dripping through the filter. Give the soaked grounds enough time to sit before continuing. The recommended time is 90 seconds.
French Press Coffee
Add adequate hot water that covers the coarse coffee grinds in your French Press pot. Give it enough time to sit, preferably 20-30 seconds. Afterward, mix gently. Then, add the remaining water immediately. Make sure that the grounds mix well with the water for quality results.
How long do you let coffee bloom?
The ideal time to bloom coffee is 30-40 seconds. Once you’re through with the blooming, you can continue with the brewing process. Since carbon dioxide will have escaped from the beans, your cup of coffee will have the taste and flavor you’re looking for in your favorite beverage.
What are the factors that affect the blooming process
You should take note of different factors that affect the blooming process.
The Level of Freshness
Ensure the roasted beans are fresh to enjoy all the benefits of coffee blooming.
Freshness is an essential factor to consider when blooming espresso beans. Just like any other thing, freshness affects the quality of the process that something is involved in. So whenever you’re blooming your coffee, you’ll have a positive impact if the coffee is fresh.
Basically, natural degassing takes place for around 14 days once the roasting of coffee beans happens. If you’re going to bloom coffee, make sure the roasted coffee beans are not too old. Once coffee beans aren’t fresh, you’ll notice that the flavor and coffee won’t be good. This compromises the taste of coffee to a large degree.
Similarly, when coffee blooming with coffee beans that aren’t fresh, you won’t get to see the full positive impact of the process. Ideally, for such beans, there’s not much gas left to release from the coffee grinds. This means that the quality of flavor will be significantly reduced.
The question is – how do you keep your coffee fresh? That brings us to the importance of coffee beans storage.
Did you know that how you store coffee affects the quality of blooming? We have already learned that if you store coffee beans for too long, the blooming quality will be poor, and the taste of your coffee won’t be pleasant. Now let’s talk about how to store your coffee.
The best way to keep coffee is to avoid high temperatures. Storing coffee beans at high temperatures increases the aging rate, affecting the quality of the blooming process.
As you already know, old coffee beans do not bloom well. The more you expose them to high temperatures, the higher the degassing rate is. In fact, there may be no gas left to escape.
For this reason, the best thing to do is to ensure that you store coffee beans in a cold environment that will slow down the rate of degassing and aging process. A great place to store your coffee is in a freezer. The cold temperatures are ideal for slowing down coffee beans’ aging and degassing process.
Clearly, good storage is what you need to make sure that you have a successful and quality coffee blooming process. But do all coffee bean types preserve well? The answer is it depends on the roasting level.
Coffee Roast Level
The roast level is a factor that affects the quality of bloom immensely.
Roasted beans can either be dark or light. The coffee beans will have less oil and less gas for lightly roasted coffee. The problem with lightly roasted coffee is that if it sits longer after roasting, it will age, and the little amount of trapped gas will escape through degassing.
The challenge with lightly roasted coffee is that it has less gas trapped inside, so it cannot stay for long after roasting without being used. The little gas present will have escaped, so blooming won’t have any impact.
The opposite is the dark roasted coffee. The good thing with dark roasted coffee is that it has much oil and more gas trapped within. The oil acts as a coating that traps gas from escaping.
Generally, darker roasted coffee stays fresh for longer. Unlike light-roast coffee, which cannot keep the trapped gas for too long, darker roasted coffee does an excellent job at it.
Dark roast coffee has enough gas for the blooming process. So, for coffee blooming to be a success, you should consider the roast level of your coffee. Darker roasted coffee will produce great results. For lightly roasted coffee to make a quality coffee bloom, don’t keep it longer. Use it when fresh.
So we know the importance of storing fresh coffee according to its roasting level. What about the water you use for blooming coffee?
Brewing Water Temperature
The quality of coffee blooming depends on the temperature of the brewing water.
For quality outcomes, the temperature has to be high. In fact, heat is a significant catalyst in the process. The bubbling effect of coffee bloom results from using hot water. The water used has to be boiling-hot to experience a quality blooming process.
Since it takes a short time for coffee to bloom, it has to be quick. The process can only be fast if the brewing water temperature is high. It should be around 92 to 96 degrees Celsius.
With these high temperatures, the brewing and blooming processes will happen fast and produce expected results. If you use low temperatures, the release of gas will be too slow, and the outcomes will be poor.
In other words, ensure the brewing water temperature is boiling hot for blooming to be effective.
What happens if you don’t bloom coffee?
As you already know, the roasting process invites carbon dioxide in coffee beans. Imagine your coffee being sour for its concentrated level of carbon dioxide. Now that you know about coffee blooming, I know you’d want to avoid that.
If you don’t bloom coffee, you’ll definitely notice the consequences. The main issue with not blooming coffee is that acidic sour taste caused by the carbon dioxide problem you’ve neglected. The gas will dissolve in your coffee and negatively affect its flavor and taste. It will taste sour and make your cup of coffee awful.
In short – get rid of carbon dioxide by blooming your coffee grounds. It will give your coffee the distinct taste and quality it should have.
Coffee Bloom – Final thoughts
Undoubtedly, blooming coffee is a necessary process you can’t ignore if you want to drink the best coffee.
Thankfully, blooming is an easy-to-do process that shouldn’t be problematic. Within a matter of seconds, you’ll be through with the blooming process.
It’s highly recommended that you create a consistent practice of blooming whenever you’re making coffee. Give it a try, and you’ll notice a huge difference in the flavor and quality of your coffee.