What is the AeroPress?
The AeroPress is a simple cylindrical brewing device that has garnered a cult-like following in the coffee world. Like French press, the AeroPress is a delightful full immersion method that is rather forgiving and requires minimal investment to get started. It’s not uncommon to hear someone praise the AeroPress for delivering the best coffee they’ve ever had. It’s a magical little device, and with some knowledge you might just fall in love.
When to Use an AeroPress?
The beauty of the AeroPress is its simplicity. With coffee, water, a quick stir and a little time, you can brew delicious gourmet coffee directly from the device into your cup. Also, the food-grade plastic that it’s made of is virtually indestructible, which is a plus for clumsy coffee drinkers like me. For these reasons and more, here is when you’ll see the most benefit from an AeroPress:
- Traveling – the size, design, and simplicity of the entire process makes this a great method for those who wish to brew coffee on-the-go. Whether it’s camping or traveling abroad, the AeroPress will easily fit into small luggage and allows you to bring specialty coffee virtually anywhere.
- Single Brew – unlike French press, AeroPress exclusively makes an 8 oz. cup. If you are brewing for one, this is a great and efficient option.
- Limited Space – the AeroPress is smaller than any other coffee brewing device I can think of. If you’re crammed into a tiny studio where space is limited, or want to keep something in your office, this is a small but mighty option.
- Directions Aren’t Your Thing – it’s really hard to completely screw this one up. With the right amount of coffee and hot water, you should be able to brew a nice cup of coffee every time.
- Crisp, Clean Cup – since the AeroPress uses paper filters, you’ll be left with a bright, crisp, clean cup that many enjoy. With that said, if you like the mouthfeel of micro grounds and flavors of abundant oils in your coffee, you might instead opt for a French press with a metal filter.
How is an AeroPress Unique?
After the desired brew time, the ground coffee and water within the brew chamber are forced by pressure through a paper filter into your cup. It’s this addition of pressure during the filtration process that makes this unique from other immersion methods out there.
AeroPress Brew Guide
- Step 1: Grind Your Coffee – 16-18g (~2.5 Tablespoons) of coffee should be ground to a medium-fine consistency. Grind size should resemble somewhere between sea salt and table salt.
- Step 2: Rinse Filter and Preheat – Place the paper filter in the cap and pour some hot water through it. This will help secure the filter to the cap and simultaneously heat the brewing chamber.
- Step 3: Assemble the AeroPress, Upside-down – With the flared side up, the numbers on the press should appear upside-down. While this might be contrary to the AeroPress instructions, this is the preferred method to avoid leakage and brewing inconsistency. Trust me on this.
- Step 4: Add Coffee and Water – Take your ground coffee and add hot water (~200℉) until you reach the upside-down number 1 right beneath the top (~220g water).
- Step 5: Stir – Once the coffee grounds are completely saturated, and all the water is added, stir the mixture several times.
- Step 6: Cap On and Plunge – After the coffee and water has been in there for about 2 minutes, screw on the cap and filter, flip the entire AeroPress upright and place on your cup of choice. Begin to apply even pressure down to start filtering the coffee into your cup. You’ll know you’re done when you hear a hissing sound and no more coffee is coming out.
- Step 7: Clean and Enjoy – When brewing finishes, screw off the cap and push the residual grinds and paper filter into the trash. It’s a simple device to clean, allowing you to enjoy your coffee immediately.
- Step 8: Repeat Again Tomorrow Morning!