Why Bloom Coffee and What Does It Do?

Coffee 101
  • March 18, 2023

There’s nothing like opening up a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans. The smell is enough to get your mouth watering, but you’ll want to make sure that they taste as good as they smell when you pour yourself a cup. This requires one extra step during your brewing process, but can dramatically change the flavor of your coffee. That step is letting your coffee bloom.

Coffee Blooming Explained

Blooming your coffee helps to ensure that you can fully extract the rich flavors of the coffee beans during the brewing process. That’s because blooming combats and releases the carbon dioxide in your coffee that was created during the roasting process. That’s right, your morning cup of joe is full of carbon dioxide, which can contribute to a bitter taste.

When you brew coffee, carbon dioxide acts as an inhibitor. It pushes the hot water away from the beans, thereby blocking the water from absorbing the full deliciousness of the bean flavors.

Why You Should Bloom Coffee

The coffee blooming process gives you the best flavor profile and helps to remove the carbon dioxide in your grounds. That’s because as your grounds expand and bubble when hot water is poured over them, they release the carbon dioxide through a degassing process. Giving your grounds sufficient time to expand and interact with the water will remove bitter tastes and enhance the flavor of your coffee.

How to Bloom Coffee

It’s best to bloom coffee each time you brew a new cup. It won’t require additional equipment and is a simple process to maximize flavor. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Use a portion of water roughly 10-20% of the overall amount you will use to brew
  2. Heat the water just below the boiling point
  3. Slowly pour the water over the grounds in a circular motion. You’ll want to get the grounds just slightly wet
  4. Watch for the bubbling, which indicates the release of carbon dioxide
  5. Wait approximately 30-45 seconds for the carbon dioxide to escape entirely (How long to let coffee bloom depends partly on the roast and brewing process)
  6. Then, proceed with the rest of your normal brewing process

It’s essential to understand the factors that impact the coffee blooming process.

  • Blooming is more effective with grounds than beans because grounds allow the gasses to escape easier as they have more surface area.
  • But shy away from packaged grounds, which can go stale in a matter of weeks. Instead, buy fresh whole bean coffee and grind them when you’re ready to make a cup.
  • Store beans in a cool dark place with fair humidity to maintain freshness.
  • Remember, darker roasts trap in more gasses and require more time to bloom.

The way you brew coffee will impact the coffee bloom time and process.

  • Pour over coffee is the easiest process. Since coffee is already in a filter, you only need to add enough water to cover the beans. Wait about 45 seconds before making the rest of your cup.
  • Drip coffee is slightly more complex. Pour the water onto the grounds (like you did for the drip) and allow 60 seconds before you begin the normal brewing cycle with the coffee maker. Be careful not to drip water through the coffee filter.
  • French presses require you to add small amounts of water and swirl grounds to ensure you have evenly submerged the grinds. Wait 20 seconds, then begin normal brewing.
  • And even if you plan to cold brew your coffee, blooming is still integral to building flavor.

So what does blooming coffee do? It introduces you to the most robust flavor experience coffee can offer. Enjoy!