WHAT IS COFFEE BLOOM- HOW DOES IT AFFECT THE TASTE OF MY COFFEE?
We spend so much time on this blog talking about the benefits of brewing with fresh coffee beans. We always recommend that you buy your own beans as soon as it is roasted and grind before brewing. We have also shared brewing methods that will help you get the best out of your coffee beans. At this point, we will tell you a minor drawback of fresh coffee which can be solved when the coffee is allowed to bloom. Read on to learn more about degassing fresh coffee grounds to get premium flavors.
WHAT IS COFFEE BLOOM?
We know you must have heard about the term ‘coffee bloom’. It is used by devotees of the pour-over brew method. Coffee bloom is that quick bubble you see the first time you pour water over the coffee. It's the quick bubbling up of carbon dioxide and coffee that happens when freshly roasted coffee beans are brewed.
You must allow your coffee to bloom for half a minute, before allowing it to continue brewing. This will enhance the flavors. If you allowed coffee to bloom before, you must have noticed that the grounds swell, then the bubbles rise to the surface of the mixture.
HOW CARBON DIOXIDE AFFECTS THE COFFEE
Here's the science behind the coffee bloom, CO2 is inside every coffee bean. When the beans are roasted, the gas begins to escape. Note that the darker the roast, the less CO2 you’ll find in them. Coffee normally gives off CO2 for about two weeks, this process is referred to as degassing. Like we mentioned, this gas is released shortly after the coffee beans are roasted, especially within 3 hours immediately after roasting. The gas continues to escape from the beans for about 14 days and the amount of gas released, slowly declines as time goes.
Once you grind beans, the surface area is exposed and it begins to degas faster than the whole coffee beans. The only problem with this degassing method is that the coffee will begin to lose; the volatile compounds and flavors that escape with carbon dioxide. This could make the coffee go stale. CO2 is cool until it's time to brew.
Carbon dioxide negatively impacts the flavor of coffee in two ways. First, the carbon dioxide makes the coffee taste sour/ CO2 can be refreshing in carbonated water but it's not part of what we coffee lovers want in our coffee beans. Secondly, the gas prevents the water from having contact with the coffee. The gas has to be released else the water won't be able to extract those flavors and delicious compounds that are important in your brew. This is why it's important to add another 30 seconds to your brew time, so they can be released from the coffee.
HOW TO BLOOM COFFEE
It's not a complicated process, you don't have to worry. You don't need to do much to get the best out of your cup of coffee.
- Grind the amount of coffee you need and put it into your pour-over coffee maker.
- Boil the water to the right temperature, 90 to 96 degrees. If you don't own a thermometer, boil the water and let it sit for 30 seconds before pouring.
- Make sure you measure out twice as much water needed for the coffee. For example, use 30g of coffee beans and 60g of water. The next step is to pour the water over the coffee. Wait for about 30 seconds. At this point, the coffee will puff up and bubbles of gas will be released from the surface. Now, pour the remaining water and allow the coffee to brew. TIP: You should use a gooseneck coffee kettle to get a controlled pour.
Factors that affect how much gas will be released when the coffee blooms
We already mentioned the freshness of the coffee beans. Roasting too releases CO2, the darker the roast, the fewer bubbles you’ll see when blooming occurs. Another factor that affects the bloom is the bean hardness. This can make it a bit difficult for the CO2 to make its way through the coffee beans. The last thing that affects coffee bloom is the brewing process, the temperature of the brew water, heat, and humidity on the day you are brewing the coffee.
In other words, brewing at cooler temperatures means less gas will be released. The good thing about seeing lots of bubbles is that you are sure you are working with freshly roasted coffee beans.
HOW BLOOMING WORKS FOR DIFFERENT BREWING METHODS
Although the pour-over method benefits the most from blooming, it will make a lot of difference if you allow your coffee to bloom regardless of your preferred brewing style. These are a few tips on how to bloom coffee with different brewing methods. Check for the method you use most and try blooming one batch and see if there are any improvements.
This method is referred to as the ‘bloom champion’. When someone talks about blooming coffee, chances are that they are talking about using pour-over methods like Chemex or Hario V6O. It doesn't mean you should assume that once you're blooming with the pour-over method, nothing else will matter. That's not true, you will want to have the perfect grind for your Hario V60 or Chemex. And you need to brew with freshly roasted coffee beans, use the right grind, medium or coarse, and the right ratio- 55 grams per liter. You can now start brewing your coffee just the way you like it.
AUTOMATIC DRIP MAKERS
We know you are using an automatic drip maker because of the convenience and you wouldn't want to add another step to your brewing routine. Just trust us, this step is worth the try and it helps get the best extraction. For automatic drip makers, all you have to do is to boil a small amount of water before putting it on the coffee maker/ When you are set to brew, and the water you boiled is hot, add the filter and ground coffee to the basket. Then pour the required amount of water onto the coffee grounds. Make sure the carafe is put under the grounds when you pour to catch any water that passes through.
Give the coffee about 30 seconds to bloom, then add the remaining water. If done correctly, you will notice that after brewing, there won't be a normal sink spot in the center of the coffee grounds where the water was hitting directly. Once you bloom correctly, the water tends to rest on the coffee grounds and passes through it evenly, and allows for a better extraction process. This extra step is beneficial so don't pass upon it.
This is a simple brewing process so it won't take you time to add 30 seconds to the brewing process. Not only is it simple and quick, but it can also benefit from the blooming step. Once the coffee is grounded, add it to the carafe and add the required amount of water, following the instructions given above. Give the grounds 30 seconds to bloom, then use a spoon or spatula to stir them gently.
Add the remaining water and allow the coffee to steep. Note that the 30 seconds bloom time should be counted separately from the normal brewing time which is around 3-5 minutes.
COLD BREW METHOD
There are many ways to make cold brew coffee, you can check our guide on that. If you are interested in the steeping method, you should consider using the hot bloom/ cold brew method. It involves utilizing the benefits of the hot and cold method into a unified brewing experience, you may turn out to love. This method involves adding coarse grounds into a jug, adding the right amount of hot water based on the instructions given above, and allowing the coffee to bloom for 30 -40 seconds.
After the bloom, you can add the remaining water and the remaining water (cold water). Allow the coffee to steep for about 12-24 hours. Yeah, that long, that's the normal steeping time for cold brew coffee.
TIP: Ensure that the grounds are fully saturated- the water is spread evenly through the coffee grounds for all the brewing methods. The key to having a more flavorful coffee is allowing your coffee to bloom for 30 seconds. Add this step the next time you brew. You’ll surely taste the difference.
You can only notice this difference if you are brewing with freshly roasted coffee beans. Get some from Coffee hero and start brewing! We sell coffee beans with a wide range of flavors- chocolatey, floral, nutty, and more. We also offer FREE SHIPPING.