I've only just registered and am now starting to read through this rather lengthy thread. I've been an Aeropress user for about a year now and I love it. Great taste and wonderfully convenient. I've mainly just used it for Americano so far, but I'm starting to branch out. I've only read the first five pages of this thread; I have no idea how long it will take me to read the rest.
This is undoubtedly a silly request, but does anyone have a roughly reliable "eyeball" technique for judging Brix? Like SlowRain I tend to make Americanos with my Aeropress, and I find I'm kind of hit and miss with the right amount of hot water to add to the shot. I generally make two scoops with water up to the top of the "2" but different grinds and different beans lead to different results.
Thanks, Alan. I think you've posted that rule of thumb here before and that's more or less what I go for. But I'm finding variation in the actual expereince of "strngth" depending on the grind and the bean. I am hoping for some way of "eyeballing" brix once I have the shot.
After Alan’s initial discussion here, I purchased an analog brix meter on eBay and after using it for a year now and I can support what Alan says about them. You can’t read the brix/strength down to two decimal places but I’ve found it is a very easy and reliable way to determine the strength of my coffee (1.5 brix in my case). I tend to not use it much after I have a method/procedure dial-in but when I change things I always use it to give me a strength reading. Of all the coffee equipment and gadgets I’ve bought, I find it to be one of those simple things that works good and gets a lot of use.
I can't believe I've reached the end of this huge thread. Very interesting reviewing the living history of the Aeropress.
I got mine about 6 months ago mainly to use while on long trips. I've been using mine every morning in Thailand for the past 3 months or so. It won't ever replace my 1983 vintage Olympia Express Cremina at home (except when the espresso machine is down for service) but it has been great to be able to easily brew a good quality coffee in my room over here.
Btw, they sell very inexpensive hot water heaters in various sizes (starting at around $20 for a 1.6 liter model) here that have stainless steel boiling chambers and bring the water up to boiling and then switch to a keep it hot setting at some lower temp that seems to work quite well in the Aeropress. The water heater also has a pump mechanism so water can be pumped from it directly into the Aeropress just by pressing on a large button and holding the Aeropress under the water heaters spout. Another cool feature is the power cord (which doubles as the on off switch) is held in place on the machine by magnetic force so it is easy to put on and pull off thus turning the machine on and off. If they were available in dual voltage, I would definitely bring one home with me.
It's obvious a lot of thought and testing went into the design and engineering of the Aeropress. I'm very impressed with the quality of materials and design of the device and all its accessories.
One thing I do hope for in the future is that a change will be made to a material that does not leach "any" of that nasty Bisphenol stuff. All though it may meet or exceed FDA standards, I really don't think it's wise to rely on government standards to ensure something is safe. The government has had all kinds of ridiculous industry driven standards that have proven over the years to be unhealthy. So I hope serious consideration is actively being given to finding a new material to make the Aeropress out of.
But aside from that, thanks for making such a great and portable coffee maker. Now off to make my first cup of the day.
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