Brewing a cup of Joe is not only a science but an art as well. If you've had some genuinely amazing pour over coffee at a local coffee shop and want to reproduce it at home, there's one thing you should do: take advantage of the coffee bloom!
SCIENCE BEHIND COFFEE BLOOM
Coffee beans release carbon dioxide gas once they are roasted. This process is known as degassing of coffee beans. Whole coffee beans can retain carbon dioxide for longer in them but, once you grind the coffee beans, the gas escapes rapidly because of increase in the surface area. When you pour hot water on grounded coffee, the remaining gas rapidly moves out from the coffee. This phenomenon is termed as turbulence.
Turbulence blocks the water from reaching the coffee grounds and extracting the rich flavors from coffee because the coffee grounds starts to bubble up as you might have noticed that coffee grounds start to rise up as soon as you pour the water over coffee grounds. This process increases the time that is required to produce the brew.
To overcome the phenomenon of turbulence, it is recommended to bloom the coffee prior to fully brewing it. It is therefore suggested to buy roasted whole coffee beans and use them within 10 to 20 days after opening.
You should always store the coffee beans in airtight containers or the best option is to leave them in the bag in which they are packed and delivered. The valve on the bag allows the carbon dioxide to leave the bag slowly and keeps the beans fresh till they are grinded.
IS YOUR COFFEE FRESH?
To check the freshness of your coffee you can check is turbulence. Greater turbulence indicates the presence of excessive carbon dioxide which ultimately means that your coffee is fresh and vice versa.
Remember! Low turbulence can also be an indicator of excessive roasting of coffee beans.
Always buy freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them just before brewing the coffee. It will increase your coffee brewing time but, you will be able to enjoy the best flavor from the coffee.
IS IT IMPORTANT TO BLOOM THE COFFEE?
Blooming coffee is a fantastic idea in general. Allowing that extra bit of carbon dioxide to escape will improve the interaction of the coffee grinds with the water. Blooming coffee takes only 15-20 seconds, and the extra effort is definitely worth it.
HOW TO BLOOM THE COFFEE
Please keep in mind that you cannot bloom coffee in an espresso machine, but you also do not need to because the pressure of the water and steam will extract all of the flavors. Let’s see how we can bloom the coffee for different brewing techniques.
- Pour over or drip method
Since you're relying solely on gravity to do the work for you, pour over is the most basic yet important type of coffee brew to bloom.
Pour a small amount of hot water over the coffee grounds (no more than 50 mL if brewing a single cup) just enough to soak them through, but not enough to start filtering down into the cup.
The carbon dioxide will be released by saturating the grounds with hot water, and the remaining water can be poured through the filter in about 20 seconds.
- French press
Pour a tiny amount of hot water into the French press, just enough to evenly wet the coffee grounds (give it a stir to encourage all of the grounds to get wet), and wait 20 seconds for it to bubble over. Pour the remaining water in after that.
You should be able to get away without blooming the coffee because you're steeping the coffee anyhow, and the water will almost definitely interact with all of the grinds within the 4 minutes of steeping. So, there's no need to bloom a French press brew.
When blooming an Aeropress, you must be more careful because even a small amount of additional water will cause the coffee to flow through the filter. Of course, if you're utilizing the inverted approach, this won't be an issue.
Pour a tiny bit of hot water over the grounds after they're in the Aeropress to uniformly soak them. Wait 20-30 seconds before pouring in the remaining water, stirring to combine, and brewing as usual.
- Cold brew coffee
Because you'll be adding cold water after the initial bloom, cold brew is a little trickier to bloom, but since the brewing process is so long, it shouldn't have too much of an impact on the coffee.
However, because cold brewing uses a lot more coffee than hot brewing, you'll need to use a little more hot water.
Wet the grounds gently with hot water and wait 20 to 30 seconds for the bubbles to form and release before pouring cold water and letting it brew for 12 to 24 hours.
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE BLOOM
Bloom depends upon the concentration of gas that is left behind in the coffee. So, the factors that affect the rate at which the gas leaves the coffee are responsible for the coffee bloom. Click here to explore ways in which you can store the coffee beans once you’ve opened the bag.
Coffee loses the carbon dioxide rapidly when stored in hotter environment as compared to the beans that are stored in cooler environment. To avoid the rapid loss of gas from the beans, it is better to store the beans away from heat and light.
Humid environments can lead to the formation of molds and fungus in the coffee beans and dry environments can accelerate the release of gas from the beans. Therefore, it is suggested to store the coffee at the moderate environments where there is neither much humidity nor too much dryness.
- Roast level
Dark roasted coffee beans tend to lose the gas at a much faster rate as compared to the light or medium roasted beans. Click here to learn about different roast levels.
- Origin of coffee beans
Degassing occurs more frequently in some coffee beans than in others. Experiment is the best approach to find out which coffee would you like the most.
Click here to buy freshly roasted premium quality whole coffee beans all the way from Kenyan mountains.