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Peet's Coffee & Tea


Available for download: the Bloom coffee timer app for iPhone & iPod Touch

The Analog Agency, a web design and development firm in Springfield, Missouri, run by coffee fan Jeremy Boles, has produced a useful coffee brewing app for the iPhone called “Bloom — Coffee Timer.”  Commonly known as the Bloom app, this customizable coffee brew app helps you brew your best coffee with a timer, brewing helps, and the ability to track your own personal coffee brewing preferences.

You can download the app, which costs $2.99, for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad directly from the  iTunes store.  By the way, you should be running iOS5 on your device to use the Bloom app. (UPDATE:  I just realized that the developer has released a few redemption codes that might allow you to get the Bloom app for free.  Using this iTunes redemption code link, try the following codes:  NN4AKFFP6YRT, TFAYX3YP3TRT, 7MKWW7KY46JR, and L9W6WA9TWRAE.  If you use one of the redemption codes, The Analog Agency has asked that you notify them on Twitter (at @BloomApp) that you got the app using a redemption code.)

The opening screen of the Bloom app lists several coffee brewing methods, including Beehouse, Chemex, Clever, French press, siphon and V60.  Choosing any of these default brew methods takes the user to a timer screen that also lays out brew parameters for that brewing method.

bloom app screenshots

For example, if you choose the Clever brewing option, the Clever brewing screen shows a timer preset for 4 minutes, and suggests using 26 grams of coffee and 380 grams of water. The bottom half of the screen offers brewing reminders, suggesting you allow the coffee to bloom with 100 grams of water for 30 seconds, then infuse with the remainder of the water for 2 minutes, and then allow the coffee to begin the drop process into the container for 1 minute, 30 seconds to complete the brew. All of these elements are customizable to your own coffee brew methods and parameters, including the ability to add or remove brew steps, change their times, change the amount coffee or water to use, and more.  And don’t worry — if you like your water or coffee measurement in ounces instead of grams, you can change that in the “Edit” screen.

When you start the timer, the larger time counts down the total brew time while the lower brewing guides screen works through each of the brewing steps, highlighting the current brew step and counting down time remaining in that step.  At the completion of each step in the brew process, the Bloom app dings a bell, moves the highlight to the next step and begins the next brew guide timer, moving step by step until the brew is complete and the final bell rings.  If the user closes the app during a brew cycle, the Bloom App conveniently pops up a reminder on the screen as each bell dings to inform the user which step is now complete.

bloom app custom screenshotThe visual elements of the app are very clean, and it flows smoothly from step to step, working through each brew cycle.  The dinging bell isn’t too obtrusive, and the popup reminders on other screens is a convenient touch as well.  The magic of this simple coffee brewing app is that it works for someone new to manually brewing coffee by offering default parameters as a good starting point for each method, but for the advanced coffee user, the options are virtually endless.

One of the most valuable advanced features of the app is the ability to set up parameters by coffee bean, and then break down different brewing methods and parameters that you prefer for that specific bean.  If, for example, you enjoy the Panama Elida Estate coffee, and you like it via both Beehouse and French press, you can have a Panama Elida Estate profile for the Beehouse method and a completely different Panama Elida Estate profile for the French press method. You can have your favorite coffees that way you like them, and track them all in the Bloom app, setting up brew guides, timers and water/coffee measuring parameters as well as keeping notes.

Jeremy Boles, the mind behind the Bloom app, lives in Springfield and can frequently be found enjoying coffee while working at The Coffee Ethic.  In creating this app, he consulted local coffee professionals on the best parameters to set up as defaults to assist users who just want to use without having to set their own parameters.  Download the app, support local coffee lovers in southwest Missouri, and check out the great functionality offered by this new app.  And, if you like it, review it to further support Jeremy’s efforts to develop this coffee app.