Pour over. Blooming process or stirring method.

I would like to get some feedback in regards to pour over. Those of you in third wave coffee industry who use drip, pour over method please share your personal opinion what you think about blooming or stirring method and how it affect your final drink. I will really appreciate that.

In my personal opinion in regards to pour over, either to use stirring method or stay with what we have, I came to believe that it really does not make a huge difference other than there is some scientific approach to it. I would rather prefer blooming process. When we pour boiling water over the grounds we create “blooming” that allows trapped gases to be released within the coffee grounds. And I have also noticed that in some coffees bloom process rises up and in some stays still and that has a lot to do with freshness (time after roasting). If you’ve noticed that in some coffees that we have used before that were roasted 4 or 5 days ago the grounds can bloom up quite high in the filter which indicates freshness of coffee, and after 7 days of roasting the effect of blooming is considerably less. With blooming method and slow pour with clockwise rotation we still extracting flavors and aroma from coffee grounds thanks to the oils inside the beans. 45 seconds of pre-infusion gives enough time for hot water to extract all the flavors needed from the oils the moment they were ground. During those 45 seconds of pre-infusion we already extracted all the coffee essences from the grounds and the rest is finishing process of brewing cycle. Blooming method provides enough time for grounds to be saturated. Stirring method at the time of pre-infusion creates agitation of coffee grounds and by stirring we are saturating grounds the same way as using bloom process.

Stirring provides heavy body in finished beverage compare to blooming method but if we increase the blooming method of pre-infusion from 45 seconds to 1 minute I think it would provide the good body and mouthfeel in finished drink as well. Blooming method if properly used by getting water to coffee contact and poured slowly over the grounds will definitely produce good body and incredible aromatics either with 24 or 28 gr of coffee. But if heavily poured water over the grounds during the pre-infusion and initial pour will result in thin body and less aromatics as not enough water to coffee contact time was given to extract all necessary flavors out of the grounds. The good thing about stirring it makes the coffee bed in the filter to become flat providing balance extraction. Too much coffee on the side of the filter will result in under extraction as water did not have enough time to extract all solubles from the grounds and simply went thru the grounds. Stirring method allows the ground coffee to absorb water faster than in blooming process but does not allow coffee particles to swell in size. Has this some sort of effect on the drink, I am not sure.


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2 Responses to Pour over. Blooming process or stirring method.

  1. J. says:

    a simple and minimum-fiddle method of bloom / stir is to go with the bloom pour —
    pre-infuse + then just adding enough each time to cover the coffee grounds —
    but do it from a height of about 20 inches.
    Like the casbah tea merchants, in the movies.
    This ‘stirs’ the grounds on the pour, but otherwise adheres to the Bloom concept.
    And it’s a creative little flourish. Wear a fez.


  2. Brian Katz says:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now.

    I’ve submitted this on a number of coffee sites.

    I looked at it as simply combining FRENCH PRESS and DRIP (Manual or Automatic)

    I’d simply let only enough hot water into the basket and grounds with the Carafe pulled out so no coffee would drip, and then turn the coffee maker off for a few minutes. Stir it and let it steep.

    I would then place the carafe in place and let the water drain and then turn the coffee maker back on and let it run it’s course.

    With a manual drip such as a Melitta Cone Basket I do this with a # 6 filter.

    I also plug the bottom with a stopper.

    Be creative and find ways to plug the drain hole.

    Let the coffee STEEP for a few minutes…..Then pull the plug and let it drip into the carafe.
    During this time, if there is any remaining hot water needed, you can pour it over the grounds as it drains.

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