The AeroPress brewing method became quite popular during the last decade. This is because it works similar to other brewing methods but usually takes the best characteristics of other individual methods and mixes them to create something unique and worthwhile.
The AeroPress takes the plunger system from the French press, forcing the water to flow through the coffee and extracts all the goodness off the grounds. This process, however, has more pressure than the one in the French press method, therefore the result is much more similar to an espresso machine. Below we will go through the whole process and everything you need to know about getting the best coffee possible from your AeroPress.
The list of items that you need is rather short and straightforward, consider using the following:
- Of course, an AeroPress Brewer
- AeroPress Filter
- Grinder or ground coffee (depends if you grind it yourself, usually the quantity for an AeroPress brew is two and a half tablespoons or seventeen grams of coffee)
- Water almost hot enough to boil (should be obvious but yet we have to put it here)
- A way to measure time (usually your smartphone is more than enough)
- Your favorite mug for coffee (another obvious item but yeah…)
Brewing Step by Step
The first step will vary, depends if you have the ground coffee or are planning to grind it first, if this is the case, then that’s step one.
- Measure and Grind (just measure if you have ground coffee already): You will need 17 g or 2½ tbsp of ground coffee.
- Get the Filter in there : Inserting the filter must be the first thing you do once you touch the machine itself, never forget about this step, it’s crucial.
- Get the Brewer Hot & Ready : This is a step most people forget, we recommend doing it, as only good things can come out of it. Rinse the brewer and filter with hot water to avoid flavor contamination. Some people rinse their mug as well.
- Coffee in : You will need to add the coffee into the basket (the basket is where the filter fits) to actually brew a cup, you will notice if you forget about this one though.
- Water in : Now the water should be close to boiling, just shy of it in fact (will explain this below). This will allow for a perfect extraction without burning the coffee. Make sure the coffee in the basket is in complete contact.
- Plunger Patience : Time to fit the plunger in its place but beware, do not plunge quite yet, in fact, pull it up just a notch to create more pressure inside the brewing chamber. After that, wait for it!
- The Final Touch : After around a minute to a minute and a half has passed, remove the plunger and stir the content, this will release pressure and get everything moving. Then put the plunger back on and press slowly, don’t be too violent.
- Liquid Gold : The result will be coffee with the flavor from the French Press but the texture from espresso or americano. Something to write home about!
For lazy readers, here is a video by Stumptown Roasters about Aeropress brewing tutorial…
Now that you know how to make proper AeroPress coffee let’s check out some essential tips that are worth mentioning. Some of these tips will make a huge difference; in fact, some were added to the process because they became standard for us. Pay close attention:
The size of the coffee ground is a matter of taste, at least when it comes to AeroPress. Funnily enough, you can get away with almost any ground, and the difference in flavor will be what makes a size better than the other for you. For this point, we recommend experimenting; a fine or medium grind will benefit from shorter brew times while a coarser ground will benefit from shorter times, keep that in mind.
As mentioned in the process, the water temperature should be right before boiling, so as soon as you see those small bubbles, take it off the fire. For the temperatures, it can really go from 90 to 99 degrees Celsius or 190 to 210 Fahrenheit. This is because water boiling temperature is also affected by height, so the further away you are from sea level, the required temperature also goes down. Never forget about this when heating water!
The filter type is quite a matter of taste as well, so keep in mind this: paper filters can give better clarity because they offer better filtering, but metal filters can provide more taste and a better punch because fewer flavors are filtered. The paper often absorbs a lot of good things from coffee, like the oils we all hear about. This can take some things away from your cup, but you will also have a cleaner cup. In the end, I would rather the metal filters, but it’s really up to you, and this is a personal decision.
Ah, the brew time, a great way to finish this list, there’s a lot of things involved that will affect this point. First, think about the grind size, remember how we mentioned that would change the brew time? Yes, with a coarse grind you go for longer brew times while smaller means shorter. Now that we took that out of the way let’s go with water temperature, if the water is boiling or too hot, the longer it stays in contact with coffee, it becomes more likely to burn the coffee and get a bad taste off the extraction. This also applies to water being cold, you will need longer extraction time, or you will have a bland cup in the end, take for example how long do cold brews take, that rings a bell right?
Now that everything we know is on the table, it’s really up to you to get out there and brew the cup that is the best for YOU. Because remember, coffee is a matter of personal taste, and the perfect cup is different for everyone. Experiment, learn and replicate, you will find the best coffee in the world just by making it yourself!