The Aeropress coffee maker is used by home coffee enthusiasts and baristas all across the world. It’s known for being one of the fastest and easiest ways to make fantastic tasting coffee at home. But why is it so good, and how do you use it? Our ultimate Aeropress coffee guide is the perfect introduction to this fabulous coffee brewing method.
What is an Aeropress?
To explain it simply, the Aeropress uses pressure to create a delicious, clean tasting coffee with a nice amount of body. Circular filter papers are fit into its base, water and coffee are added, and then pressure is applied and the coffee is squeezed through a filter into your mug. It was designed by Alan Adler, professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University, who wanted to create a coffee-brewing method ideal for making one cup of coffee at a time.
Why do home coffee drinkers love it?
- Speed – one of the major upsides of the Aeropress is its speed. Brewing methods such as a French press can take around 9 minutes, but the Aeropress takes under 2. You will only get one cup of coffee at a time, but the sheer speed of the Aeropress makes it extremely useful. It allows you to have delicious speciality coffee, even on the busiest morning!
- Durability – another amazing aspect of the Aeropress is that it is particularly durable. Every time you use it, you can just rinse the coffee maker and throw away (or compost) the filter paper. The Aeropress is also dishwasher safe. Other brewing methods can be quite fragile (e.g. the glass devices) so the durability of the Aeropress is really quite impressive.
- Portability – because it is so durable, the Aeropress is also ideal for anyone who wants to make delicious coffee whilst travelling, or if you want to take it with you to work or on holidays. With this little brewing method, you’ll never be stuck drinking terrible coffee again!
- Flavour – finally, the flavour of this brewing method really does have to be tasted to be believed. An Aeropress coffee is very clean, because the brewing method minimises the possibility of chemicals such as quinic acid ruining the flavour. The effect of applying pressure during the brewing process also gives a medium body to the coffee.
How do you use it?
Here’s a quick video of our founder James Bellis showing you how to use the Aeropress:
What you’ll need:
- Digital scales – this is to weigh your coffee. It’s not essential but it’ll dramatically improve your quality as you’ll know exactly how much coffee to water you’re using. Once you’ve mastered the recipe you can then replicate for the best cup of coffee daily.
- Aeropress filter papers
- Freshly ground speciality coffee beans – these will need to be ground a tad finer than you would with a V60 or Kalita brewer. (due to the fact we’re applying pressure).
- Filtered water – for more information about why filtered water is the best for brewing coffee, head here!
- Rinse your filter paper with hot water. This will get rid of the papery flavour and will pre-heat your brewing gear. Discard the water before brewing.
- Put 16.5g of coffee into the Aeropress. Pour 250ml of filtered water straight in and give it a good stir to ensure that all of the coffee grounds are soaked through.
- Put the cap on and wait 1 minute. Your brewing time starts as soon as the water hits the coffee grounds.
- After 1 minute, flip your Aeropress into your container or cup and press down for 30 seconds until it is empty. Enjoy!
How to overcome common coffee-brewing problems:
It is important that you make sure you’ve got the perfect grind for your Aeropress. If your coffee is ground too fine, it will taste slightly bitter and will over-brew the coffee. You’ll be able to tell if it is too fine if it is too difficult to press the coffee down. However, if your grind is too coarse, your coffee may under-brew and not extract all those delicious flavours that you’re looking for from your coffee. The Aeropress provides a great reference point against the perfect grind for your coffee because it you feel some resistance but it’s also moving downwards, then you have the ideal grind.
You can also use the inverted method with the Aeropress. Some people believe that it can make your coffee taste even better, because it stops the coffee from under-extracting, which can sometimes happen when using an alternative method.
For the inverted method, you’ll need to start like the method as we’ve outlined above, but before you put your coffee in the Aeropress, you’ll need to press the plunger slightly (creating a seal) and flip the Aeropress upside down. Add the coffee and water as you normally would, and wait the same amount of time as above. Then, push gently and slowly down on the upside down until you have closed the space between the filter and the coffee. Put your mug upside down on top of the Aeropress, and then in one swift motion flip both it and your mug the right way up. Finally, you can push the brewed coffee through the filter and into the mug, ready to drink.
Here’s a great video explaining the inverted method:
Another way to experiment with the Aeropress is with filters. Although it is suggested to use only one filter, it is also possible to use multiple, or to use a metal filter. (Just make sure you’re composting/recycling them as much as possible!)
If you want to follow our Aeropress guide for yourself, you can purchase everything you need here. And if you’re not sure if the Aeropress sounds like it’s for you, then check out our other recommended home equipment. You can also read our ultimate guide to the Hario V60!
Enjoy this article? Sign up to our Balance Coffee Club newsletter below for monthly recipes, tips and hacks that’ll improve your coffee game!