How To Make Better Coffee In Just 30 Seconds
There is nothing in the coffee world quite as spectacular as a flawless bloom. The only question is what does that mean?
In short, the bloom is the process in which the coffee grounds de-gas by the application of hot water. Especially if you’re making pour-overs at home or relying on a French Press, don’t skip the climactic thirty seconds that will enhance your cup from good to great and tattoo the memory of deliciousness on your tongue.
Here’s how it works.
When they come to the roaster from their respective supplier, the beans are a jade green color. They are known as “green beans.” But, these ain't your mama's green beans--in fact, far from them. These beans pack a punch. Awe-inspiring coffee potential, a choir of characteristics, oceans of flavors, and tornadoes of nuances are packed into the tiny pea-size, seed-like package, eager to let loose in a wild transformation more miraculous than a caterpillar to a butterfly.
Crammed in there, however, with all of that organic and cultivated goodness, there are natural gases that need to be released. Naturally. We’ve all been there, right?
Throughout the roasting process, while the wonder of the beans are bursting out like Pokemon, CO2 is released at critical points known as first crack and second crack. Roasters can actually hear the beans snap, crackle, and pop, like a chorus that puts the tune of Rice Krispies to shame. After the beans are roasted, the batch is left to sit for 2-12 days so they can release even more gas. Finally, the beans are ready for their moment to shine. They can be ground and used for a satisfying cup.
There’s still one issue.
The roasting process isn’t able to get all of that pesky CO2 out. That’s where you come in with thirty seconds of something more elegant than Orlando Bloom as Legolas. You have the opportunity to team up with the roaster to chase those gases out. How do you accomplish a perfect bloom? Consider technique and time.
If you don’t already have a gooseneck kettle consider purchasing one. A kettle to a coffee snob is what a wand is to Harry Potter. When pouring with a gooseneck kettle, you have maximum control of the hot water, making it an ideal tool for a successful bloom. Lightly pour about an ounce of hot water (it’s good to have a scale), fully saturating the ground beans.
If, even with a gooseneck kettle, you struggle to maintain control, try filling the kettle up only half way.
After the grounds are wet, let it sit for about thirty seconds (oh yeah, a timer is super helpful too) before pouring again. A perfect bloom will inspire the coffee grounds to subtly rise, exhaling the CO2 and ultimately improving your cup. It’s a wondrous site, more worthy of praise than an African sunrise.
So, bask in the moment, and when it’s time to sip that delicious cup, let it saturate your soul, rid you of your morning grog, and then may you bloom from your cocoon and soar into the day like the beautiful butterfly you are.