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techylah
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Dec 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007, 8:50am
Subject: Aeropress - The MAIN reason it's better
 

OK, I've been using the Aeropress for almost two years.  It's my best kept secret.  Guests rave about my coffee.  Trivial to blow away starbucks with this thing.
My question was WHY?
At first I thought it was mainly the limiting of brewing to the first 10 seconds.
That's important, as is having great beans (Celebes Kalossi for me) and grinding right before brewing.
I'm now pretty sure it's none of the above, but rather, the filter.

Is the  Aeropress the ONLY machine to use MICRO filters rather than macro (?) ones?
I really think this is responsible for the bulk of the quality difference between Aeropress coffee and any other brewer.

That being said, does anyone know of another brewer, perhaps with larger capacity hopefully, that uses micro filters?

I have 4 or 5 guests.  They each know if I make a single cup for them, it's awesome.
Must I do 3 or 4 Aeropressings?

Alan, if you're listening, can you invent a larger, French press type brewer with 10-12 cup capacity?
I know you'd need double size micro filters, and that would require four times the plunger pressure, but come on!
You've done something incredible once! Figure it out and do it again!
And, oh yeah, a sincere thank you from the depths of my taste buds!
Best Regards to all.
(to any coffee lover who hasn't tried this thing - get one! - best $30 bucks you'll EVER spend!)
Mitch

 
Mitch
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techylah
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Dec 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007, 12:41pm
Subject: Aeropress II
 

Alan,
I just posted a complement and a question for you without realizing that you, the inventor, are active on this forum.
Kudos!

Seriously, though.
Have you considered a larger capacity Aeropress?
My guess and hope is that you have.

Am I correct in thinking that the 4-fold increase in plunger pressure for a 2-fold increase in filter diameter is part of the problem?
I'd settle for an orange-juice squeezer type lever to multiply arm force!

It's like HD tv which is also pretty fantastic.
I love viewing some HD programs alone on my 23" 1080p computer monitor.
But in consideration of sharing such a pleasure with friends and family, I'll consider a lesser plasma or projector.

Same with your invention.
I find that the Aeropress makes one fantastic large cup of coffee at a time.
When I'd like to make such cups for myself and 3 or 4 friends, I wind up doing 4 total start-to-finish Aeropressings, i.e. no economy of scale.

Can you help?  I'm sure I'm not alone.
Thanks for the past.... and the future!

Perhaps you could post this question as a new topic to get some marketing info on the interest in a Gigapress!

 
Mitch
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WonderClown
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 220
Location: NC, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gave away a Saeco Via Veneto...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Zassenhaus
Drip: Buchner funnel + vacuum...
Roaster: WB Poppery I
Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007, 1:18pm
Subject: Re: Aeropress II
 

techylah Said:

Am I correct in thinking that the 4-fold increase in plunger pressure for a 2-fold increase in filter diameter is part of the problem?
I'd settle for an orange-juice squeezer type lever to multiply arm force!

Posted December 6, 2007 link

If the amount of pressure is to remain the same, the total force on the plunger would increase as you say, 4-fold for a 2-fold increase in diameter.  But there's no reason to think that the pressure would remain the same -- larger surface area means increased flow at the same pressure, or the same flow at reduced pressure, all other things being equal.

But Alan is a proponent of the "gentle pressure" method anyway, with which I finally came to concur after spending my first couple of months squeezing the heck out of it.  Gentle pressure gets the job done if your grind is right.  I think this would still be true with a larger device.

But Alan has considered this before, I think.  I doubt there's enough demand to make it worthwhile -- you have to sell a large number of these things to make it profitable.

By the way, I myself have figured out a way to create Aeropress-like brews in larger quantities -- much larger quantities if you like.  It's actually more like a Clover than an Aeropress.  One of these days I'll post a description and photos of my little "invention", but until then, google "buchner funnel" and you'll get the idea.  Just remember you heard it from me first -- this is going to be my claim to fame in the coffee world.  ;)
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techylah
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Dec 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007, 2:31pm
Subject: Re: Aeropress II
 

WC,
Thanks.  I did check out a Buchner funnel, and to my mind, an Aeropress is exactly that - a cylinder with a perforated bottom to support a filter.
The lack of a tapered spout is inconsequential since the current size Aeropress fits on the destination vessel.

You're right about the gentle pressure approach working best.  If you use too much of and/or too fine of a grind, the pressure greatly increases and the results are probably poorer.

If that's the case, a simple scale up of Aeropress diameter might work.
Thus if the user presses with the same amount of force, the pressure is indeed lower, since his force divides by a larger area.
The rate of coffee flow might still be the same or even larger, however, since there is a larger filter and flow area.

I think the whole thing would work very well.
Perhaps the current Aeropress diameter was dictated not by force and pressure concerns, but rather by typical mug diameters.

If that's the case the solution is simple and as you envision.
A four inch diameter Aeropress, with four inch filters, that has a tapered, funnel like spout at the bottom to fit regular mug diameters.

I'll take two or three right now!

 
Mitch
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gt
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 210
Location: Mpls/St Paul MN
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Cones & CCD
Roaster: P1 w/ variacs
Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007, 3:40pm
Subject: Re: Aeropress II
 

WonderClown Said:

By the way, I myself have figured out a way to create Aeropress-like brews in larger quantities -- much larger quantities if you like.  It's actually more like a Clover than an Aeropress.  One of these days I'll post a description and photos of my little "invention", but until then, google "buchner funnel" and you'll get the idea.  Just remember you heard it from me first -- this is going to be my claim to fame in the coffee world.  ;)

Posted December 6, 2007 link

WonderClown,

I'm most interested in seeing how you use a buchner funnel.  You're way ahead of me but I did buy this on eBay a couple of days ago and hope to get it and give it a try next week.  I have no idea if it is the right size or how it will work but it sounds like it could be along the lines of what you are doing.

gt
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AlanAdler
Senior Member
AlanAdler
Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 722
Location: Palo Alto, Calif
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: AeroPress
Grinder: Baratza - Virtuoso
Roaster: Fresh Roast SR-500
Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007, 10:15pm
Subject: Re: Aeropress - Filtration
 

I agree that filtration contributes to the low bitterness.  But the short wet time and optimum temperature are also major contributors.

Our "micro filter" is made from the same paper used in quality cone filters.  Yet AeroPress brew has less particulate than drip brew.  Why?

It's because the "puck" of coffee substantially contributes to filtration.  

Best,

Alan
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WonderClown
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 220
Location: NC, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gave away a Saeco Via Veneto...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Zassenhaus
Drip: Buchner funnel + vacuum...
Roaster: WB Poppery I
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2007, 6:18am
Subject: Poor Man's Clover
 

gt Said:

I'm most interested in seeing how you use a buchner funnel.  You're way ahead of me but I did buy this on eBay a couple of days ago and hope to get it and give it a try next week.  I have no idea if it is the right size or how it will work but it sounds like it could be along the lines of what you are doing.

Posted December 6, 2007 link

Bingo, you're on the same track I started on.  The main problem you'll find is getting the right kind of filter paper.  It needs to be strong enough to resist breaking under the force while wet and it also needs to resist clogging up.  Of the lab filter paper rounds designed to work in these things, I've found that there's a big difference between the cheap generic stuff (sold as "Double Rings" brand by most places) and the high end stuff from Whatman.  Quantitative papers work best and are reusable, but more expensive.  I have found that when I have problems with clogging, a double layer of papers helps, because it distributes the filtering over more of the surface of the top paper, instead of just filtering directly over the holes in the perforated funnel plate.

But actually, the best thing I've found so far is normal coffee filters cut to size.  It's just a real pain to cut them out, and it seems a bit wasteful.  If more people than just you and me get interested in this method, perhaps we can pay somebody to work up a batch for us.  Alan might know something about how to have that done and what the minimum order size would be.  I'm sure poly filters would work, too, and be reusable.

The other thing you'll find is that it's rather difficult to mix the grounds with water right in the funnel, especially with the smallish funnel you got.  I mix grounds and water in the pyrex glass measuring cup that I used to heat the water (in the microwave).  This has the benefit of using the thermal mass of the pyrex to maintain the temperature during mixing.  After 10-15 seconds of mixing I pour the mix into the funnel and vacuum the brew out.  If you get the grind right (roughly the same grind as used by the Aeropress), it will be less than 60 seconds from the water first hitting the grounds to the hiss of air through the puck.  With the funnel you got, you'll have a hard time doing more brew than the Aeropress can do, though if you only pour in part at first and then the rest as the brew filters through and makes room in the filter, you can do a bit more.  I have a 110mm funnel (CoorsTek brand, which tends to be slightly higher capacity for the same filer size than the generic brands) and can do 8 shots all at once comfortably.  I could do a bit more than that using the pouring trick I just described, but I haven't had to yet.

Sorry to hijack the Aeropress thread with a "competitor", Alan!  But I think anybody who tries this method will quickly find that for doing small amounts, the Aeropress is really much more convenient, and much cheaper as well, so this isn't really competition.  The only other advantage of this method would be that you can completely avoid plastic, if you're concerned about that sort of thing.  When I first started down this road, I thought I might be able to use a finer grind and super-fast filtering because of the strong vacuum, but in the end I found that even with a strong vacuum -- perhaps particularly with a strong vacuum -- the filters will quickly clog if your grind is too fine.  Perhaps some different filters could fix this -- glass microfiber, maybe.

Because this method uses vacuum from below rather than pressure from above, I think of it more as a "poor man's Clover" than a "high-capacity Aeropress", but in fact the resulting brew is the same as Aeropress brew, as far as I can taste -- if you use similar grind, temperature, and timing.  (Of course, you have a lot of flexibility with those things, just like the Aeropress.)  I've never tried the results of the Clover, but I imagine they're pretty similar.

One thing I have found is very nice about the 8-shot capacity of my larger funnel is that I can do a large batch, pour it into an ice cube tray, and freeze it.  I use those cubes to make my morning brew when I'm in a hurry.  When I have more time, I still make it fresh, but those cubes are really convenient.  Since I put a lot of milk in my morning cup, I can't really taste the difference from fresh anyway.  (My lunch/afternoon cup I drink strong and black, and I really prefer that to be fresh.)

Well, I guess I let the cat out of the bag on my great new technique.  I was sort of planning to put up a web page with pictures and videos and whatnot, but really there's not much more to say than what I said here.
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gt
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 210
Location: Mpls/St Paul MN
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Cones & CCD
Roaster: P1 w/ variacs
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2007, 6:58am
Subject: Re: Poor Man's Clover
 

WOW! Thanks for sharing all your experiences with your vacuum/buchner funnel idea.  I wonder if we shouldn't put this in  a separate thread so the AeroPress thread stays on track.  I'd be glad to start it but since it's your idea maybe you could start it.

Thanks gt
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WonderClown
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 220
Location: NC, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gave away a Saeco Via Veneto...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Zassenhaus
Drip: Buchner funnel + vacuum...
Roaster: WB Poppery I
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2007, 8:22am
Subject: Re: Poor Man's Clover
 

gt Said:

WOW! Thanks for sharing all your experiences with your vacuum/buchner funnel idea.  I wonder if we shouldn't put this in  a separate thread so the AeroPress thread stays on track.  I'd be glad to start it but since it's your idea maybe you could start it.

Posted December 7, 2007 link

Good point, I've started the thread here: "Poor Man's Clover"

But I'm not sure I can really claim it as my idea -- you apparently had the idea independently of me, but just a few months behind.  (Unless you saw that one post I made to alt.coffee a while back and got the idea from there?)  I suspect that other geeks have had this idea before and maybe even tried it, if they had access to a chemistry lab.  I didn't find any websites talking about the technique when I first got started, though, so I don't think it's ever caught on.
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DanHonemann
Senior Member
DanHonemann
Joined: 7 Dec 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Baltimore, MD
Expertise: Just starting

Drip: AeroPress
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2007, 9:41am
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

I've been using the Aeropress for over a year now and continue to love everything about it.  Recently, I've been cold brewing my coffee by mixing equal portions of coffee (about 4 oz of between fine and medium grind) and cold water in the plunger, letting it sit overnight (12 hrs.), pouring the mix into the cylinder and plunging per usual.  The usual great-tasting Aeropress coffee with even less acid and caffeine than when prepared the standard way.

Dan
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