Now that I know a bit about brewing speciality coffee, I am starting to see the "traditional ways of thinking." The practices that are taught to everyone but are rarely challenged. Have you ever thought about skipping the bloom in the pour-over brewing process? I recently started to think that I had never really tried brewing coffee without the bloom. Most of the things I have read about coffee so far—books and articles—suggest the bloom is crucial for brewing. But I like to learn through experience and I was unhappy with what I knew about blooming.
So I decided to brew a coffee without blooming.
My recipe was to pour all 250 grams of water into a V60 continuously, without stopping. I poured from the centre of the V60 to the outside of the device as normal. The only difference was that I did not stop after pouring 50 grams of water and stir the bloom. I just kept pouring. I had no idea what to expect because I had not done any research on what happens if you do not bloom coffee. The taste in the cup was all that mattered to me.
The final cup of coffee was delicious. I did not want to say this was a good method without testing my method again. I repeated the experiment and was able to make consistently good cups of coffee. I brewed two cups of coffee with this recipe this morning. In my most recent cup, I noticed the flavours were clear and there was no perceptible bitterness that would have resulted from brewing. I thoroughly enjoyed the cup of coffee.
I have been looking into osmotic flow brewing, which challenges the idea that you need to pour in circles when you are brewing with a pour-over. I do not know much about this method but I intend to learn. I want to challenge the usual ways of brewing coffee and see what I can discover. I am continuing to try new things in my brewing—albeit more infrequently over the last week or two—because I think there is more than a few ways to make a great cup. If you had told me a month ago I could make a delicious brew without blooming, I do not know what I would have said. But I may have uttered some theory about blooming that justified why you should bloom coffee.
The take away from this experience is to try something new if you get the urge. Not all experiments work out. I made a bad V60 due to using a really coarse grind size. So I know not to use the recipe I made for that experiment again. But I now know that I can brew without blooming and make a delicious brew. In fact, using no bloom has been my go-to recipe for the last few days. I hope to write more on osmotic brewing after trying that technique a few times. I am excited to explore new ways of brewing coffee.