If you know me you also know I love my coffee. I love coffee so much that I’m even willing to drink shitty coffee from yesterday that nobody else wanted. And it’s cold.
But why drink acrid coffee when you can drink a cup that tastes really good?
For the past couple years I have been grinding whole bean coffee and brewing it in a french press. (Which, by the way, is still my favorite way to brew.)
I especially get my jimmy’s rustled by the thick layer of dark and delicious coffee particles that collects on the bottom of a good cup–you absolutely cannot get that from a Keurig.
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Using a french press at least once a day for several years has given me a lot of time to experiment with different brewing times, temperatures, beans, roasts, and grinds textures.
One tip I was given that has most seriously brought my coffee brewing experience up another level (other than using a french press and grinding my beans at home) was letting the coffee “bloom.” When you do the bloom, you’ll notice your coffee winds up tasting less sour and you get a good “test smell” while you brew it.
How to do the coffee bloom
When you’re ready to add your water (experts suggest you use water that is 200°F ± 2°F (or 92.2 – 94.4°C)), start to slowly add that water on top of the slurry. (The slurry is the mud-pie of wet ground beans at the bottom of the press.) Make sure to cover the tops of the grounds that are dry by pouring around the slurry until you have only filled the french press half-way.
Once you have filled the press to its half-way point, wait 20-30 seconds and then take a plastic/wood (metal can scratch/break your french press) utensil to stir the slurry, like any normal brew.
Then, slowly add the rest of the water to the top of the press, put on the top, and brew to your desired brew time. The standard suggested most-often tossed around is 4 minutes. I’m a weirdo and prefer to go for 7 or more minutes to drag out the most acidity.
What the does is it give any carbon dioxide that’s in your grinds time to escape before you put on the top. This prevents your brew from tasting like sour nickle water. Instead, the carbon dioxide gets a chance to escape and outgas before the water is touching all the beans.
If you do not use beans that were recently ground or you purchased ground coffee, then you will still see some benefit from the bloom. The benefit will be lower, however, because the CO2 has already had more time to degas from the grinds.
Note further that most coffee snob assholes (Yo.) suggest grinding your own beans shortly before you brew. This advice will benefit those people (snobs) more.
And as a last note, many coffee snobs out there claim there is no difference between a bloomed pot versus one that has not. Either way, however, I appreciate the act of the bloom because you can sample the brew’s smell earlier on, get a feel for freshness, and it makes me far more mindful of the experience.
Have you tried the bloom? Did your coffee taste any different? Drop me a comment below to let me know.
Author: Ryan Ullman
Ryan Ullman is an attorney at the boutique law firm Spence | Brierley in Baltimore, Maryland. He is particularly interested in technology, productivity, peak flow states, music, and the outdoors.