Coffee blooming is a step in the coffee-making process that many coffee enthusiasts are not aware of. It is easy to do and sure to elevate your final cup. Plus, you can bloom your coffee in most brewing methods, so let's add this trick to your coffee repertoire.
What is a coffee bloom?
The coffee bloom is one of the first steps in coffee making, where you see a "bloom" of carbon dioxide occurring on top of your coffee surface. Coffee blooming is the act of dampening your coffee bed to provoke this release of carbon dioxide.
When coffee beans are roasted, carbon dioxide is created as a by-product. This gas is trapped in the coffee bean and slowly escapes as the coffee bean ages. Carbon dioxide tastes sour, so blooming prevents CO2 from infusing into your coffee.
Beans will continue to release natural gases, or “degas”, gradually over 14 days (but most of the gas is released in the first 10). When you grind your coffee, or add hot water it speeds up the degassing process - this is why we recommend you grind your coffee right before you brew whenever possible.
By blooming your coffee, you're essentially jumpstarting this degassing process to bring out more of beans' nuanced flavour. You'll also notice that your coffee will have a richer aroma after blooming.
Hot water in particular causes beans to immediately release most of their carbon dioxide and. coffee blooming is a great way to make sure you don't miss out on this process.
How do I bloom my coffee?
While the pour over technique benefits the most from blooming, it's not a bad idea to bloom before you brew, regardless of your preferred method.
Here are some pointers on how to bloom with some of the most common brewing processes available.
How to bloom pour over coffee:
Blooming is wildly popular in pour over methods such as Hario V60 and Chemex.
Start pouring at center of your coffee bed, working your way out to the sides. Pour about two times the the amount of coffee you use. Wait 30 seconds for coffee to “bloom” and release CO2. Grounds should be uniformly soaked, but not dripping wet.
How to bloom French press coffee:
Blooming coffee is especially important with French press coffee - and also easy to do!. You simply need to insert the “bloom time” right into the process where it would naturally go.
Start by adding coffee grounds to your press carafe and pour just enough water to et our coffee bed. Leave for 30 seconds, then stir until fully saturated before adding remaining brew water. Remember that 30 seconds of blooming is counted separately from your brew time, which should be around 3-4 minutes.
How to bloom automatic drip machine coffee:
Odds are you prefer an automatic drip machine coffee for its convenience so adding an extra step might not be enticing. We recommend you give it a try anyway as it can surely elevate the quality of your final cup and only takes a few minutes.
All you need to do is boil a small amount of water before starting the coffee maker. When you’re ready to brew – and the separately boiled water is hot – add your filter and coffee grounds to the basket and pour enough water to damp the coffee bed. Give the grounds 45-90 seconds to bloom and then proceed to brew your coffee as usual.
What if you don’t see a bloom?
This usually means your coffee has already degassed. This happens if your coffee is not fresh or your coffee container wasn’t sealed correctly, and your beans oxidized. The best way to avoid stale coffee beans is to buy from a reputable coffee store or a local coffee roaster that roasts your coffee to order. Pay attention to the roast date stamped on the bag to make sure you're not buying stale coffee that won't taste as good.