Today we’re going to throw the spotlight on the famous Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker, a device that is insanely popular and yet some people have never heard of it and have no idea what it is.
But one thing is for sure – as coffee aficionados, we want our coffee prepared as smooth, rich, and as close to perfection as possible. Sometimes its nice to do make coffee in a way that will not cause us any unnecessary frustration, either from electrical malfunctions or other issues.
That’s exactly where the Aeropress Coffee & Espresso Maker makes its entrance. Here’s a video to start us off featuring Gwilym Davies.
The Aeropress Coffee & Espresso Maker – Quick & Easy
The Aeropress coffee maker is anything but complicated. As a matter of fact, we have always found the Aeropress to be perhaps the easiest way to make coffee there is, using both pressure and immersion as its guiding principles.
Perhaps its ease of use is what has attracted thousands of buyers to give this product one of the best track records of any coffee-related product out there.
Besides being uncomplicated, its also very quick, making astounding coffee within a few minutes, without the bells and whistles (and price tag) of more expensive coffee makers and espresso machines. In addition, it can make coffee strong or weak to your taste. You control the whole process. If you haven’t tried it, we think you definitely should!
Best Portable Coffee Maker
The maker itself is fairly small and lightweight at 1.1 pounds, easy to transport, and quite practical for vacations or camping trips, when we feel like having our coffee just the same way we have it at home – but away. Many brewing methods cannot accommodate people who frequently travel, but Aeropress does.
The Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker comes with the following parts – a coffee and water funnel, a plunger and a chamber, a scoop and a stir, a filter holder and they also throw in a bag of 350 paper filters. All of these things are more or less necessary to the process, although you can swap out things like the scoop and the stir with your own utensils, of course.
The way that your coffee is going to taste when brewing the Aeropress way will depend largely on two things – steep time, and water temperature.
Because this is a fully immersive method, you get to decide how long you want your coffee grinds to mix with the water before you use the plunger to push the coffee out and into your serving vessel or directly into your cup. We’ll get more into some specifics shortly, but for now just know that your coffee’s flavor is at your command because nothing here is really left up to chance, because the Aeropress is very hands on.
Two things about the Aeropress set it apart from its cousins, the French Press, and, indeed, the loftily-priced espresso machines of the world. These two things are: micro-filtering, and ease of maintenance.
The way Aeropress themselves put it, French Press coffee is similarly simple to make, but it requires a coarser grind and a longer steeping time which draws out some bitter flavors.
The coarser grinds prevents it from getting as much flavor out of the grinds as finer grinds would. Aeropress often uses finer grinds, and you don’t have a filter that gets clogged with particles, and a cup full of gritty coffee.
The filter for the French Press starts at the top, and goes downwards, catching the grinds as it goes. With the Aeropress, the paper filter is underneath, and this is they key to its smooth, rich coffee flavor that it produces, because the grinds are usually finer to begin with, and they don’t get past the filter, resulting in smoother coffee.
The folks at Aeropress want you to know their technology is not at all like the French Press, with French Press being incapable of creating espresso, and being overall a bit dirtier and messier. Meanwhile, the Aeropress just requires a quick rinse and you’re back to square one.
So, if you have decided that brewing Aeropress-style coffee is something you’d like to try, and now you are doing this for the first time, you can rest assured, this is an easy process, and you will pick up all the needed skills quickly.
Here are some of our guidelines for getting the best-tasting Aeropress coffee imaginable. Aeropress, to us, was made with experimentation in mind, so feel free to do it any way you please, but this is just to get you started.
First things first. You’re going to have to heat up some water, but before you start boiling, ask yourself this: Does my water taste good on its own? If not, you may need something like a Brita filter to improve its taste. Tap water, sometimes, has a tendency to taste a little off.
Once you make the call on the water situation, you will need to get the water hot, but not boiling hot – remember that. So, you can either stop the water right before it boils, or boil it and then wait for it to cool down a smidge. But wait! What are we boiling our water in?
You will need to warm the water up somehow; a coffee kettle being the ideal choice, and, more specifically, a gooseneck kettle being the best choice for pouring, as you get the most control with your pour.
Depending on how you do your Aeropress-ing, the way you pour may be more crucial, or maybe less so – It all depends on your technique, which you will have to develop over time if you’re just starting out.
Here’s a quick video on how to make Aeropress coffee featuring USBC World Champ Bronwen Serna, which will give you a good idea how the process goes.
The way she does it here, she uses a ceramic kettle to pour from, but we still prefer a gooseneck because we love to have that control, and a regular pouring vessel doesn’t have that.
Importance Of The Right Coffee Grinder
As for the coffee, we always recommend using fresh coffee grinds, which means – you guessed it – we’re going to recommend using a coffee grinder, and preferably one that grinds specifically for Aeropress.
For example, a quality burr mill might be a good choice, since it explicitly was made to grind for Aeropress coffee.
You can, of course, use pre-ground beans, but we always suggest going with fresh ground beans if at all possible, since the taste is quite noticeably better.
An adjustable ceramic burr hand crank grinder is what you want because, for one thing, it is meant to grind right into your Aeropress.
It also keeps everything consistent with the natural ways of the Aeropress, meaning taking that extra minute to do things the right way, as opposed to whizzing through everything just to gulp down your coffee and be out the door.
Aeropress is more in tune with those who want to savour coffee, not guzzle it (nothing against guzzlers, as some of our best friends are guzzlers).
Here is another video which shows how to prepare coffee the Aeropress way. Again, grab that notepad and see what you can glean from this guy’s Aeropress style.
Grind consistency when it comes to Aeropress is another thing you’re going to have to play around with, as with every part of the process, but, in general, many people go with a medium fine grind, which is said to be the perfect grind for making Aeropress coffee.
Either you’ll be doing the grinding yourself, with your own grinder, or you’ll be using pre-ground coffee. Hopefully you’ll take our advice and grind it yourself.
Ultimately, you won’t regret going down that path. In any case, the type of coffee (brand, roast), and then the grind consistency are ultimately up to you. We find that the Aeropress is similar to a Chemex in terms of giving you the freedom to be more creative with your coffee-making, so have fun with it.
Final Thoughts On The Aeropress
Just some last minute tips to take away with you regarding the Aeropress:
- Be careful what you’re plunging your coffee into, because if it is too fragile, it could break
- Along the same lines, don’t plunge too hard
- Pressing down shouldn’t be a struggle – do it slowly and it will take less than 60 seconds
- The higher your counter top, the more force you will need to apply, so we recommend starting out on some lower surfaces where you have better control of the pressing part of the process
- Don’t press to the very bottom. Do as Gwilym Davies does, and stop prior to plunging all the way. The final centimeters have some different, and possibly more bitter flavors lurking in them
- Keep track of your water to coffee ratio. Over time, you will learn what is best for you. As we’ve said all along here, play around with it – its your coffee after all!