Test Drive: The ESPRO Bloom

The ESPRO bloom provides a novel addition to the ever-growing pourover market.

BY JOSH TAVES
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE

Photos courtesy of Josh Taves

If you’ve been keeping up with the “single-cup pourover scene” lately, then I don’t need to explain to you that it has become something of a rat race to make the next best brewer. Ever since coffee companies like Intelligentsia started turning heads by committing to brewing coffee in-house on Hario V60s in the early 2000s, many equipment companies have entered the market—competing to be the first to create a “be-all and end-all” pourover brewer.

One company that has caught the attention of many baristas who are seeking the perfect cup is Espro. Since the release of their Calibrated Tamper nearly 20 years ago, Espro has focused on improving older methods for the ease of consistent replication in the modern era. While many readers may be familiar with Espro’s technological advances with French press filtration, their most recent project makes them a formidable player in the single-cup pourover game. The BLOOM marks Espro’s foray into a different kind of brewing and promises to turn some heads.

The Espro BLOOM is a great addition to your home coffee station.

The BLOOM is made of stainless steel to ensure the clearest cup flavor, and is simple and elegant. The brewer’s straight bottom also has a flared upper neck, which channels your brewing liquid in a unique, consistent, and easy-to-use manner. An insulating rubber grip covers the top rim, which makes handling the brewer a breeze. This also makes it handle-free and creates a pleasing symmetrical outline to the brewer.

The hallmark of the BLOOM is that there are 1,502 holes in the bottom of the brewer. While there are endless arguments in the coffee community about which type of draining is best (one large hole, three small holes, one small hole, etc.), Espro decided to try something new and add an excess of holes to promote even extraction. This design creates the even flow of water throughout the brew bed, rather than directing water to a few small channels of movement. On top of that, each hole has been individually flared, which actually results in faster movement of the liquid through the hole. In short, the hole pattern has been designed to not only diminish restriction on flow rate, but also to promote the flow of water through the brew bed.

The design of the 1,502 holes in the Espro BLOOM helps filter water through the coffee bed in an even manner.

Moving onto the filtration itself—the 1,502 holes are small enough that they can also act as a “filter bottom” for your brew bed, so you don’t need filters if you choose to forego them. The BLOOM also features a unique “steep flared slope” that Espro says creates unparalleled even extraction. Because of this specific shape, Espro also produces chlorine-free paper filters for the cone. I found these paper filters to provide a pleasantly clean mouthfeel and good clarity of flavor in the cup.

Still not convinced that the BLOOM brewer is worth giving a try? Check out their Kickstarter page, where in 2020, Espro raised over $75,000 (almost four times their goal!) from nearly 1,600 supporters to bring their latest brewer to market. On that page, you can also find endorsement videos from well-recognized brewers such as 2019 U.S. Brewers Cup Champion Kaley Gann and Aaron Kafka of Kafka’s Coffee.

The abundance of drain holes and steep sloping sides promotes even extraction of the coffee grounds.

Overall, Espro has succeeded in contributing a novel product to the pourover world. As I search for the perfect pourover brewer, the BLOOM has definitely earned a place on my shelf.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Taves has been working in the coffee industry since 2006 and has worked as a barista, trainer, QC director, profile roaster, and green buyer. You can currently find him (or not find him) roaming the Rocky Mountains wherever the wind takes him. He is also the inventor of the Rattleware Cupping Brewer and a 2017 United States Barista Championship finalist.

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