Got a call from a customer this morning. She remarked that she did not see the oil rise from our beans like she normally sees in "XYZ" Company's beans. Emphatically I commented., "You shouldn't". She was a bit shocked because she thought it was the "sign" for dark bold delicious coffee. Breaking it to her gently, I said, if you see oil rising that is THE SIGN that they are ruined, over-roasted AND just plan bad coffee.
The truth is that anyone could take the bait, it has been sold to us that it is good. I know I was once a BELIEVER! So I thought if this customer thought that, then perhaps others may believe that also. So in attempt to clarify, I found a great article by Nicholas Thompson and thought to share an excerpt of his writings since he said it so poignantly.
'Do Me a Favor. Stop Buying Bad Coffee'
..."Any self-respecting barista should be concerned primarily with quality. It's the cornerstone of the industry.... But if there is one notion, one overarching fallacy about coffee that the consumer must come to understand, it is that dark roast coffee is not only bad, but it is disrespectful.
Yep. Dark roast is terrible in more ways than one. Sorry folks. Your oily, burnt French and Italian roasts are the antithesis of what today's coffee should be. It's not your fault that you've been told to enjoy this stuff for so long. The Big Guys, in the early 2000's (and well before, in fact), redefined the cafe scene by utilizing this greasy roasting profile for a couple of reasons. For one, coffee roasted darker and longer is easier to produce consistently on a mass scale. Plus, roasting it for as long as they do reduces its mass. That makes it cheaper to ship all over the world.
Because coffee is a sensitive, fragile plant, a good farm devotes an unspeakable amount of manpower and resources in order to produce a quality lot. Farmers must pay specialized processing facilities to prepare the raw fruit before it even leaves the country of origin. Superior quality Arabica strain only grows at higher altitudes, so often times these hand-picked cherry are hauled down the sides of mountains upon the backs of mules and the heads of laborers. We as baristas, roasters and consumers must honor that. It is the very least we can do. When these valuable beans are roasted into dark, smokey blends, we begin to lose sight of how this product is supposed to taste -- what it is supposed to be in the first place."
Read the article in its entirety at Do Me a Favor. Stop Buying Bad Coffee.
Anyone can bloom coffee right at home. Why would you want to bother blooming your ground coffee? Well once you do it, it will be hard not to go back! The taste is like no other, however, the intensity of the taste and aroma is in the "freshness" of your beans.
How to craft a smooth, non bitter, full-bodied coffee instead of a bitter or murky cup of JOE is first knowing how the process works which is called the coffee "bloom".
What makes coffee bloom?
When green coffee beans are roasted, during the the intense roasting process carbon dioxide is released and the bean's aroma and taste get trapped. After the roasting, the gases begin to release, however, not until the beans are bloomed can that flavor and aroma be unlocked. This process is referred to as degassing.
The next key blooming process occurs when hot water touches the freshly ground coffee. This will unlock the intense aroma and taste of the beans. Although it is a simple process, this is the point where most coffee enthusiasts pay particular attention.
What can I use to bloom my coffee?
If you When I first learned about blooming, I only had a coffee maker, measuring cup,, thermometer and microwave. (Don't cringe!) I was so eager to try it, I went home, poured 2 ounces of water in a glass measuring cup, heated for 2 minutes, took the temperature -set at 200, got MY fresh beans and went at it with my coffee maker!
For the fear I may loose some readers, I now have a goose-neck variable temp. kettle (which I love)! Makes a great gift!
You can bloom your coffee using a variety of methods: drip, pour over, Aero Press or French Press and others. It really is just preference. I use drip and pour-over more often. There are a few tools that come in handy; a thermometer, measuring cup, a timer and for those die-hard Bloomers, a scale and kettle.
Again, this is actually SIMPLE. Takes a little time but worth it.
Blooming Basics 101 - Pour Over Method, French Press, Drip
There are many techniques as many coffee aficionados will tell you, however, but we've outlined a few basic techniques. Just to note: when I am use the drip or pour over method in the mornings. I keep closely to the same routine. (Manageable in the mornings)
No matter your brewing technique, with fresh roasted and ground coffee, I guarantee that you will notice a better taste in your cup if you follow a simple coffee blooming technique.
Don't be afraid! Experiment with soak times and other techniques that works best for YOU because is Coffee is an adventure!
Have a question? Comment here or email us?
Time to drink an awesome cup of Joe.... or Jill!
Share Your Bloom!
Fresh Roasted Beans VS. Ground Coffee