The Aeropress gets a lot of odd remarks. Although it looks like it would be better suited for use on the set of Breaking Bad or Grey’s Anatomy and was developed by a sport toy company, don’t let that confuse you out of trying it. This brewer is adored by the coffee community, and for good reason. At just under thirty bucks it’s extremely affordable, and it’s quick and easy to use. So, what makes the Aeropress so good, and how is it different from something like French Press or Pour Over? Well, it uses a paper filter like the pour over method and a plunger like a french press, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end--aside from the fact they all brew coffee, that is.
Heat up your water to between 195-205?. There is some variance about the “best possible temperature” just make sure it’s not boiling as this will burn the coffee). Measure out 20 grams of beans and grind them slightly finer than drip coffee. As with pour over you’re going to want to pre wet the filter to remove any paper residue and heat up the brewer. Some people prefer to use a metal filter to keep in some of the oils that the paper filter will remove, but it’s really up to your preference.
Prep time’s over, time to brew. Now there are two ways to do this, upright or inverted. To brew upright the Aeropress should be right side up over a cup. You’re going to screw on the filter and it’s holder, add the coffee and when you’re ready to add the water start your timer and pour. The whole process should only take about a minute, add the water and stir slowly for about ten seconds then let it steep. When it hits the one minute mark, you’re going to slowly push down and empty the coffee into your cup until you hear air escaping with a hiss. Press down the rest of the way in a separate container and dump the puck & filter. If you’re using the metal filter you can easily clean it with soap and water, or if you’re into conserving you can give your paper filter a rinse and reuse it a few times.
The thing about the regular upright method, is that some of the coffee is going to drip through the filter during the steeping time without being fully extracted. To combat the effect this has on the end cup, many users have resorted to turning the Aeropress upside down and using the inverted brew method. This is going to be a nearly identical process: just turn the Aeropress upside down, add your coffee grinds and water then stir, then while it’s steeping screw on your filter and holder and when you hit one minute, turn it upright onto a glass and press down until you hear air hissing and viola! No under-extracted drips, and the same quick and easy process.
The end result in your cup is going to be pretty concentrated, you can drink it straight or add some hot water or milk. Contrary to the boxes’ claim it’s not really espresso--as it isn’t brewed under 9 bars of pressure--but it is definitely one concentrated cup of coffee. This is a great brewer to take camping, in that case you might want to check out the manual hario grinder. Also, as I mentioned in my pour over blog, I’m a fan of the Bonavita gooseneck kettles. And, as always if you need a visual check out these great video for the upright and inverted methods. Happy brewing.