I was watching a friend making a coffee a couple of days ago and everything was going swimmingly well. The grind looked good and smelt sensational (a Panamanian Gesha he’d sourced from the US). The kettle had been turned off well before boiling and our mugs were ready and waiting.
Two and a half scoops of the grounds into the AeroPress, water drizzled nicely around the grind up to 2.5, and a good stir of around 10 seconds.
In goes the plunger and we’re off and running (yes, this was the morning after the Melbourne Cup and we were really looking forward to a coffee!).
Hold on! What about the bloom?!
A 10 second stir is probably not enough to cover blooming as well and I mentioned this just as Dan was starting to plunge. Bad idea to interrupt someone in mid plunge. Dan took the pressure off the plunger and, in a moment of madness, actually started to lift it back out of the chamber. He wanted to let the brew air a bit and he is new to AeroPress, so exposing the brew seemed like a good idea. Uhuh.
It was just a momentary pull back so he continued with the plunge and everything seemed okay. He transferred half of the brew to my cup and topped up the cups with more water for a couple of nice Americana’s and we took them out to the patio.
Lovely tasting coffee. Quite aromatic and floral. Nice job Dan!
Well, he hit his dregs before I hit mine and copped a mouthful of grind. Urgghh! Out to the fire pit to empty his mouth.
My cup wasn’t too bad as the transfer seems to have left the worst of the grind behind in his cup. Yes, his cup was pretty bad. We went and took the filter cover off the chamber and the problem was exposed – the filter had lifted when Dan did the little pull back, just enough to let a sizeable amount of the grind through to his cup when he continued the plunge.
The lesson was very clear. Once you start the plunge there’s no coming back. Let the plunger rest if it gets difficult to push, but never pull back. Unless you like a mouthful of grind to finish your coffee.