Coffee Experiment: Does Blooming Coffee Really Make a Difference?

Does Blooming Coffee Matter?

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One of the many things that a coffee snob will tell you is to “bloom” your coffee.

What is blooming?

Blooming is when you pre-saturate your coffee with a little bit of water before the actual brew process begins. The purpose of blooming is to let CO2 escape from the freshly ground coffee, allowing all of the flavor profiles to fully develop.

Something like that…gotta be honest, I really winged that definition.

Whatever the reason for blooming, baristas have been doing it for quite some time, while auto drip coffee makers are now catching on to it too.

But does it really make a difference in taste? I conducted a blind taste test on myself to find out.

Exploring the differences

I clearly had trouble articulating why I liked the bloomed cup best, but ultimately I think I figured out why.

When I let the coffee sit in my mouth for a few seconds the differences really stood out.

The un-bloomed cup was extremely dry in comparison to the bloomed cup. It also had a lingering bitterness that made it necessary to force it down the hatch quickly.

Run your own experiment…what did you find?

It’s pretty easy to run your own experiment with coffee saturation. Give it a try and let me know what you discover. The more input we have here, the better!

Future iterations

I plan to experiment with different bloom times, as well as different amounts of water later on. I will link to these experiments when they become available.

Tools and coffee used in this experiment

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  • “Bloomed” coffee is essentially brewed for a longer time than regular coffee, and that’s probably what makes a difference. The “bloom” will also be a bit colder than regular brewing. I don’t know how blooming would allow more CO2 to escape, it’s not like it gets trapped in the coffee like in a soda.

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