Letting the grounds "bloom"

Discussion of press techniques

Letting the grounds "bloom"

Postby ericjs » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:22 am

I'm wondering how many people do this when they FP brew, and if anyone has any strong feelings, or better yet, experimental evidence of its benefits?

When I brew FP I first preheat the press with boiling water from the kettle. Then I dump the water back into the kettle to heat back to boiling, and meanwhile add the grounds to the press with a little of the water from the kettle, stir it in and allow them to expand. There seems to be just a right amount of water. Too little and the grounds do not get fully wet. Too much water and you get foam. Just the right amount of water and gasses from the beans form pockets of air in the grounds instead of foam, making the whole thing rise like a cake. By the time my water is boiling again the cake is done rising and I can stir the air out of it before pouring, much more easily than it is to stir the air out of the foam that forms without a bloom step.

I think this benefits me in two ways. I can pour straight boiling water into this and in mixing with the cooler slurry this takes the temperature down to a more ideal temperature. Secondly I suspect it reduces the formation of carbonic acid. I should note that I am often behind on my roasting and using beans that haven't been rested, so this may be more important to me than to some. I have no proof of this, but I rarely taste the acidity problems that are warned of from insufficient resting. It makes sense to me that the gasses that form pockets in barely wet grounds would be reacting with the water less, than gasses that mix with the water to form a foam.

I'm curious if anyone can confirm or debunk this theory.
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Re: Letting the grounds "bloom"

Postby RayH » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:43 am

Personally, I think that the bloom has as much to do with brewing coffee as the juggling act at Benihana's has to do with cooking. I brew for a total of 5:15, starting the timer as soon as the first drop of brewing water hists the grounds. I pour the water in slowly until I get 250 ml. Then I stir thoroughly stir to get total saturation. I'm satisfied with the results.
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Re: Letting the grounds "bloom"

Postby ericjs » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:01 am

Well, it certainly does have a very practical function of reducing foam without a ton of stirring. Maybe this doesn't matter to you if you are brewing in a pot with plenty of room, but if you brew in a little 12oz-er like I often do, and want to be able to brew right up to the brim, it is quite helpful.
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Re: Letting the grounds "bloom"

Postby RayH » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:36 am

The bloom is gasses flashing quickly in the hot water and becoming entrained in the water. Also entrained are coffee grounds. Those grounds are not completely saturated in the brewing process, creating a variation in the brew. I stir those grounds back into the water to make a more standard brew. I also use a digital scale to weigh both my water and beans. My timing of the brew starts with the first drop of water, not when water is completely charge then stirred....
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