Do You Really Need to Stir Those Grounds?

Do You Really Need to Stir Those Grounds?

Jake Bonneman Jake Bonneman
4 minutes of coffee drinking

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Do you really need to stir the grounds when you're brewing coffee using an immersion method?  I mean, seriously, can you even taste the difference?

Just let the coffee sit there in peace—why do you need to stir the grounds? Doesn't the water make its way to every ground regardless?

For those who don't know, immersion brewing is when you let the grounds steep in the water for a period of time, usually a few minutes (unless it's cold brewing, in which case it's usually a few hundred minutes).

Some people will argue that stirring the grounds a bit during immersion brewing methods helps to evenly extract the coffee and produce a more consistent cup.

Others may tell you that it's absolutely necessary to help evenly distribute the heat and prevent hot spots. But honestly, I think they're just stirring up trouble.

Really, now. Can stirring your grounds for 10 seconds make that much of a difference? Just let the coffee sit there and soak in the hot water, enjoying the peace and quiet. It’s not bothering you, man. No need to stir up a fuss.

You know what they say: a fuss leads to a ruckus, a ruckus leads to a brouhaha, a brouhaha leads to loud horsin'-off.

They always say that.

The Argument Against Stirring Coffee Grounds

If you're a coffee snob, you might think that stirring the grounds is essential to making a great cup of coffee. But I'm here to tell you that it's not.

In fact, I would argue that stirring the grounds can actually make your coffee taste worse.

How so?

Consider the following scenario:

What if while you're stirring, you hear the theme song to The Simpsons come on in the next room, and while you're turning your head to see what Bart's writing on the chalkboard this week, you accidentally knock over a big bottle of castor oil and it ends up in your coffee grounds?

Now you've got some real trouble friend—and your coffee is ruined. All because you decided to stir the grounds.

So, next time you're brewing your coffee, just let the grounds settle and don't bother stirring them. It's just not not worth the risk.

The Argument For Stirring Coffee Grounds

Now, on the other hand, some people will tell you that stirring the grounds is essential to making a great cup of coffee. They'll argue that it helps to "evenly extract the coffee" and "produce a more consistent cup."

And they're right.

I mean, if you're going to all the trouble of making coffee, why not just do it the right way and stir the grounds? It can't be that hard, can it?

Besides, it's fun! You like standing there stirring coffee grounds instead of doing other things, right? Everyone does!

Okay, I admit, I may be a bit biased here. I like to stir my coffee grounds when I'm brewing immersion style. But that's just me. I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't bother with it, and go play Elden Ring for 10 extra seconds—and they're perfectly fine with the way their coffee tastes.

In all seriousness, brewing coffee is a personal experience. There is no one “right” way to do it.

Some people like to stir their grounds and make good coffee, some people don’t care what things they consume taste like. It’s really up to you, and whether you prefer things that taste good or bad.

Just stir your grounds. You already admitted you like to do it, and you know darn well the grounds like it too.

Do it for the grounds—if not for yourself.

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