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New and Noteworthy
Why does the AeroPress™ Coffee Maker Brew a Richer, Smoother Cup of Coffee?
New and Noteworthy Paid Announcement, Date: February 2, 2006
AeroPress™ Coffee Maker
Company Info

AeroPress is a trademark of Aerobie, Inc.  
744 San Antonio Road
Suite 15,
Palo Alto, CA 94303
U.S.A. 1-650-493-3050
www.aerobie.com  
aerobie@aerobie.com

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The AEROPRESS is an entirely new way to make coffee. Water and grounds are mixed together for ten seconds. Then gentle air pressure pushes the mix through a micro-filter in 20 seconds. The total brewing time of only 30 seconds results in exceptionally smooth flavor. Tasters ranging from professional cuppers and author Kenneth Davids, to coffee aficionados all praise the smooth, rich flavor.

Some praises of AEROPRESS:

"It makes the absolute best cup of coffee I've tasted in my entire life."
Lewis Singer - Cooks Junction

"When used properly, AeroPress produces a remarkably good straight espresso and an excellent Americano-style taller cup. In fact, it produces a better espresso shot than many home machines that cost twenty or thirty times as much." Kenneth Davids – Author of:
Coffee: A Guide to Buying Brewing and Enjoying
Espresso: Ultimate Coffee
Coffee Roasting: Romance and Revival
editor of coffeereview.com

"Thank you for leaving us an Aeropress. I'm sipping a delicious Americano as I go through my emails -- you have saved me from servitude to the office brew cup and I will be forever grateful! The funny thing is, I made it with the same pre-ground coffee the drip stuff is made of (just to do a more direct comparison) and, well, there is no comparison--one has flavor, the other has bitterness."
Molly Watson - Sunset Magazine

"I didn't know the same coffee could taste so good."
Peter Whitely - Sunset Magazine

"This is the first cup of coffee I've ever enjoyed without cream and sugar."
Margie Gray – Professional Engineer and coffee lover

"Thus, the result with hardly any tinkering:  Two very, very good mugs of coffee.  I was able to taste qualities that I had mainly read about before, particularly on the floral, fruity, and sweet end of the spectrum.  You've obviously made a fine discovery."
Jeffrey Steingarten - Vogue Food Editor

“You must try it to understand why this device is the only coffee maker I will ever own again.  Making an AeroPress coffee takes only 30 seconds (start to finish) and best of all, only takes a few seconds to clean!  The only negative aspect about the AeroPress is that I cannot drink the burnt espresso anymore at our favorite bakery.”
Ellen Jorgenson - Seattle

“A couple of years ago I bought a $1500 espresso machine.  It works well - but it doesn't turn out the consistent quality of the AeroPress.  Now I use the AeroPress for ALL brewing and only use my expensive Italian machine for heating the AeroPress water and for foaming  milk for my cappuccino.”
Tom Osborne - Stewarts Point , CA

“It's hard to believe that something so simple can give me a cup of coffee that's as good as what I get at my local coffee shop using equipment many times the Aeropress's price. I love being able to experiment with different amounts and types of coffee to get everything from a rich espresso to the traditional cup of American coffee.”
Greg Silveria - Burlingame, CA

“I have this coffee maker at work along with a simple blade grinder and use the press at least once a day.  My friend in the next office has a traditional French press, and we've done a number of side by side comparisons, varying water temperature, brew time, bean variety, etc. The Aeropress coffee is consistently less bitter, with a much more robust flavor, than the French press.”
Eric Prather - Santa Clara, CA

“We've been using our AeroPress daily for two months now and love it.  It's light weight, durable, easy and quick to use and clean and makes an excellent caffe leche.  We've tried French press coffee, but the AeroPress delivers the flavor without bitterness or sediment.  It simplifies and improves on traditional methods; an elegant solution, indeed.”
Tim & Carolyn Biglow - Los Altos, CA

"It is fabulous; thanks for telling me about it. I think it makes espresso as good as $1000 restaurant machines and it is fun!"
Bryon Furey - Philadelphia, PA

"Hi, I just wanted to congratulate you on the new AeroPress. I bought one from Locals Only Coffee, and have used it several times. The simplicity of the design, use, and cleaning are impressive, as is the quality of the coffee."
Michael Davis - Seattle, WA

"Let me tell you I'm hooked. This makes an outstanding Americano. I'm the only coffee drinker in my house and making a pot of coffee often just goes to waste. The AeroPress makes just the right amount - nothing wasted. Good luck with the product; it is fantastic!"
Todd Hembry - Seattle, WA

"I don't know who the genius is over there, but I've only used it twice and, it's terrific. I definitely agree with your philosophy of brewing temp (which diverges from coffee "orthodoxy.") I'm amazed at how good this product is, and I wish you all the luck with it."
Darryl Rehr - Los Angeles, CA

At the time of this writing, all eight AeroPress reviews at www.localsonlycoffee.com awarded AeroPress the maximum possible rating of five stars.

Click for larger image

There are several reasons why AeroPress coffee tastes so good:

  •  Total immersion of the grounds in the water results in rapid yet robust extraction of flavor.

  •  Total immersion permits extraction at a moderate temperature, resulting in a smoother brew.  

  •  Air pressure shortens filtering time to 20 seconds. This avoids the bitterness of long
    processes such as drip brewing.  

  •  The air pressure also gently squeezes the last goodness from the grounds, further enriching the flavor.

  •  Because of the lower temperature and short brew time, the acid level of the brew is much lower than conventional brewers. Laboratory pH testing measured AEROPRESS brew's acid as less than one fifth that of regular drip brew. The low acid is confirmed by coffee lovers who report that AEROPRESS brew is
    friendlier to their stomachs.

Click for larger image

Comparison with other brewing methods:

Drip Brewing.

Drip brewing passes water through a bed of grounds. When the water first drips into the bed, it is too hot and bitterness is extracted. As the water filters downward through the bed, it becomes too cool and extraction is weak. The water doesn't contact all of the grounds uniformly. Grounds at the edge of the bed are under-extracted while grounds at the center are over- extracted and contribute bitterness.  

Total immersion of the grounds in the AEROPRESS completely solves these problems.  All of the grounds contact the same water temperature, and the brewing process is short and sweet. The gentle air pressure of the AEROPRESS also extracts extra flavor from the coffee. Ordinary drip brewers leave a lot of flavor in their soggy grounds.

The drip method cannot make a robust single cup because the small amount of water doesn't heat the bed enough for rich extraction. It is also slow. AEROPRESS makes one to four servings with a single pressing in less than a minute. The flavor is equally rich for any number of cups.

The lengthy wet time of drip brewing also extracts bitterness from the grounds.

In their 2005 edition of America's Test Kitchen Live, the editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine wrote: "Drip coffee machines make coffee easily, but rarely well - often producing a burnt and bitter liquid reminiscent of stale truck stop coffee".

Finally, drip brewers cannot make espresso or lattes.

Espresso Machines.

Most coffee lovers agree that espresso is less bitter than drip brew because of the shorter brewing time. However when we ran comparison taste-tests in the homes of espresso lovers, they all agreed that AEROPRESS espresso tasted better than the brew from their high-priced European espresso machines -- why? The reason is that the total immersion brewing of the AEROPRESS yields a robust flavor at lower temperature -- and lower temperature brew is far less bitter. Home espresso machines don’t allow adjustment of temperature. But even if they did, their lack of total immersion would not yield robust flavor at reduced temperature.  

In addition to smoother taste, the AEROPRESS has several other advantages over conventional espresso machines.

Grind is not critical in the AEROPRESS. Grind is so critical in espresso machines that most grinders cannot produce a grind fine enough to make a good tasting shot!  Special espresso grinders cost hundreds of dollars and require frequent cleaning.  

Espresso experts always adjust the grind when there are changes in humidity or batches of coffee. They throw away two or three shots while adjusting the grind to achieve the desired 25-second shot.

There is no tamping in the AEROPRESS. Books on espresso teach the art of just the right amount of tamping. They instruct the home barista to practice on the bathroom scale to learn exactly thirty pounds of pressure.  

There is no pre-warming of the portafilter head. In fact the AEROPRESS has no portafilter head!

There is no maintenance. Espresso machines require regular cleaning and descaling with caustic chemicals. They also require disassembly and cleaning of the showerhead.

There is no need to judge when to stop the pull. This is the most critical skill in using an espresso machine. As espresso lovers well know, most would-be baristas in coffee shops, hotels and restaurants run the pump too long -- extracting sour bitterness from the grounds.

With the AeroPress, the amount of water is predetermined by the user, who can brew any strength from weak to super-intense just by choosing the desired amount of water prior to pressing.

Pod Brewers.

Many single-cup pod brewers have come to market recently. Some of these machines make American coffee. Others make espresso. They range in price from about $60 to several hundred dollars. The December 2004 issue of Consumer Reports Magazine tested the three most popular pod brewers and reported the flavor as "mediocre at best".  

There are also many negative reviews on internet discussion groups. For example two reviews of American-cup pod brewers at coffeeforums.com:

"I tried everything I could to like the taste of the coffee, but I couldn't".

"I'm still not liking my own coffee made in this machine. So far it tastes awful".

French Presses.

People see some similarities between the AEROPRESS and a French Press. Both use total immersion and pressure. But the similarities end there.  

The filter in the French Press is at the top of the mixture. Because coffee floats, the floating grounds clog the filter and makes pressing and cleaning very difficult. Users are instructed to use only coarse ground coffee. But this reduces the amount of flavor that can be extracted from the coffee and necessitates long steeping times which extract bitterness.

Furthermore, even coarse ground coffee includes many fine particles. These small particles pass through and around the filter resulting in a bitter, gritty brew. The particles in the brew continue to leach out bitterness. Consequently French press users are advised to drink or decant the brew immediately. Also, some particles clog the filter screen making pressing and cleaning very difficult.  

AEROPRESS coffee is micro-filtered. It’s so pure and particle-free that it can be stored for days as a concentrate. The concentrate can be drunk as espresso, mixed with milk for lattes, or diluted to make American coffee. French presses cannot make espresso or lattes.

Finally, cleaning the French press is quite a chore. The AEROPRESS chamber is self-cleaning. A ten-second rinse of the plunger is all that's required.

AEROPRESS is the result of several years of applied research by inventor/engineer Alan Adler. He conducted numerous brewing experiments, measuring the brew with laboratory instruments. The experiments demonstrated that proper temperature, total immersion and rapid filtering were key to flavor excellence.  He then designed and tested dozens of brewers before settling on the AEROPRESS design. The design was further validated by coffee lovers who tested prototypes in their homes. Adler is a famous inventor with over forty U.S. patents and an equal number of foreign patents.  

AEROPRESS is entirely manufactured in California, USA.

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