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russ5679
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Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 27
Location: WI
Expertise: I love coffee

Roaster: IRoast
Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 4:05pm
Subject: Need help with Aeropress Cappuccino
 

I've been experimenting with making a cappuccino with an aeropress, but I'm having trouble getting the flavor/strength right.

I'm using about 22-24 grams of finely ground coffee (setting 10 on Baratza Encore).  I'm filling the aeropress to the "2" level.  I'm inverting the aeropress.  I pour in enough water to cover the grounds, stir a bit, and then top off the water, put the filter cap on.  I will let it steep about 30 seconds.  My water temp is about 190.  

I add 4 ounces of steamed milk to my 2 ounces of coffee.  It is tasting weak to me.  Is there a way to make the coffee stronger, or should I just do less milk than a traditional cappuccino?

Any suggestions?
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
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Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 7:12pm
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Lee_M
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Lee_M
Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Posts: 51
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: V60
Roaster: Popper
Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 7:18pm
Subject: Re: Need help with Aeropress Cappuccino
 

Can an Aeropress extract 18% of 22g into that little water?
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 6:13am
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russ5679
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Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 27
Location: WI
Expertise: I love coffee

Roaster: IRoast
Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 1:23pm
Subject: Re: Reverse Engineering the Cappuccino with an Aeropress
 

Netphilosopher Said:

If you brew inverted and the grind is fine enough, and the contact time is long enough, absolutely.

2oz is only about 60g of coffee.  90g of brew water should be right about to yield the correct amount of produced coffee.  

I'd have to check but by memory, I think I did the "recommended" recipe (two scoops, fill to #2) and it was something like 100g water and 27g coffee, and I think I remember getting around 70g of coffee.

If you run that recipe, but steep a V. fine grind for 1 minute and press it over 30 seconds, it should be around a 20% extraction - but by immersion calculation.

E = (S*R)/(1-S) for immersion, so conversely
S = E/(R+E)

W=90, C=22, R=90/22=4.1

S at E=20% would be expected to be 4.65%, and that's on par with my measurements (not a 10 second steep - you need about 90-120 seconds contact time, and that can include press).

Note that because of the strong brew ratio, the "standard" yield-based calculation of extraction will be WAY off ( (60g * .0465)/22 = 12.7% extraction - clearly incorrect).


A typical espresso like you'd find from a Starbucks superauto is around 5-6% strength (a double shot will average around 60g) - so my recommendation to bump the amount of coffee is because espresso is a percolation method, and for the same extraction and produced coffee yield, will be stronger.  To compensate using an immersion method, you need to bump the brew ratio.  Additionally, some of the yield for espresso may be significantly lighter, because some baristas use volume for produced espresso instead of mass, so the actual mass may be 15-30% less, intensifying the strength.

If russ5679 bumped the coffee amount to 27g instead, (very fine grind, 1 minute steep, long press), and use about 90-100g of brew water (at least 195F), he SHOULD end up with around 60g of coffee at 5-5.5% strength.  This is pretty much the same strength/mass and extraction as two "standard" shots of espresso - though it will not taste exactly the same as espresso, it will be a very good emulation.

Then, all he needs to do to get the right taste combo is mix it 1:1 with hot milk, and top it off half-again with foam, and I suspect he'd have a near 90% approximation of a decent cappuccino.  At least that's my experience.

Posted December 10, 2012 link

Thank you for the tips!  I followed them and just had the best cappuccino I've ever tasted.  That was great.  

How do I increase the numbers to get a larger cappuccino?  I'm using the number 2 on the aeropress, but want to use the number 3 to get a little larger drink.  

How much more coffee do I need to add when I go from 2 to 3?  Would steep time be the same?  Would I increase the milk by 1 ounce, so 3 instead of 2, plus foam?
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 1:57pm
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