Baristas can choose either the water-first, bloom, or coffee-first approach to brewing. They must explain their brewing plan to the Coach before they commence the brewing process.
To prepare a successful steep-and-release (S’n’R) brew, it is important to carefully manage the valve at the base of the brewer. It is easy to cause spills if the valve is open when the barista wasn’t expecting it to be. Coaches will check to ensure baristas avoid spills on the bar top. To rinse filter papers, position the brewer on a decanter with the valve open, and proceed to rinse the filter paper as though you were making an ordinary pour-over. Be sure to pour the rinse water out of the decanter.
Excessive stirring into the coffee bed of an S’n’R brew is likely to cause muddying of the coffee filter paper, causing the brew to choke up and not draw down. If a brew fails to draw down during the allotted time frame, a barista will not pass this S’n’R Baseline test.
Just as with static immersion brews, the way a barista manages the crust of coffee in S’n’R brewing can affect the drawdown speeds. Coaches will check to ensure the brewer is not bumped or moved unnecessarily during the brewing process.