I give these gadgets to my college kids and friends whom enjoy travel and camping while I still utilize the Areobie almost daily at my office during late nights
Positive Product Points
Well thought out design, funnel supplied for easy filling with coffee grinds also fits a standard S/S thermos, flat sided rim keeps unit from rolling off counter, requires no electricity, goes easily camping or travel and dorm use
Negative Product Points
sometimes air excapes past the plungers stopper and the ensuing birp can spew hot liquid; limited to about four cups per load, requires 2 to 3 times as much coffee as alturnate brewing methods
I was first prompted to get an AeroPress when my espresso machine went down, and knowing the repairs might take a while I searched for an inexpensive short term solution to get my coffee fix. I came upon an article for this then new devise. At first I was skeptical as little other information was available from the usual suspects: H B, Coffee Geek etc... What info that was available seemed negative. Most quipped that this little device was suspect and at best made the equivalent to the old cold brewing liquid coffee concentrate making funnel devices where you put a pound of coffee in cold water and let it steep overnight. I still had a bum machine and was looking for a quick inexpensive fix so I purchased the AeroPress. I was happily surprised. The coffee produced from this "press" type appliance had crema! It was strong, and sweet, and bright with little of that overwhelming bitterness that comes from over cooked coffee grinds. I do roast my own beans and I suspect that the appearance of my crema may be produced by the degassing of fresh roasted beans. Also for the other geeks out there- one can improve their cup by tweeking their "roast, grind, Pressure, and brewing temp.s" although not necessary ... yes fellow tweeking A- type geeksters you have yet another gadget to play with on your quest to brew another excellent cup of coffee. The AreoPress is a syringe looking type of mini press pot that uses a paper filter. Imagine a 5 inch tall clear plastic cylinder measuring 2.25 inches round with a screw on filter holding basket in the bottom end and a rubber ended plunger that goes in the top. It looks just like a giant syringe, sans needle. It also comes with a funnel to aid in pouring coffee grinds into the 2.25 inch cylinder, a perfect length stirring paddle, and a filter storage holder... those little devils otherwise would soon scatter all over the place with out one. The funnel doubles as it fits securely on the bottom of the rim at the basket so that you can use the AreoPress to brew directly into a thermos or other small-necked container. When using this devise - our morning routine goes something like this: We heat 3 cups of milk in a microwave proof measuring cup, pre-heat the thermos with hot water from our continuous hot water spigot, place the 2.25 inch round filter in the bottom of the screw on basket that goes on the aft end of this devise. by the way- a few notes here: the filters can be re-used maybe 5 or 6 times as suggested by the manufacture on his website. I do just so I have never reordered. Also, do not over tighten the bottom basket or you'll be sorry! It really needs very little effort to remove this basket if you just lightly screw it on; and that's all it needs. Back to brewing- I have a continual heat water dispenser like found in most Asian and other Tea drinking homes. You may need to have good water heating to a boil about now. Time to grind, we use 1/2 cup of beans per batch. Pouring out the pre-heat water from the thermos, we then fill it with hot milk at about 185 degrees F. Turn on the grinder to a fine grind just larger than espresso, Place the funnel in the top and dump the coffee inside. Now move the funnel to the neck of the thermos, secure the AreoPress on top of said funnel and fill with about 7 ounces of 200 degree water while quick stirring and dispersing the thick mix of a lot of coffee grinds in little water. Ten seconds or so later you place the syringe plunger in the top and give it a firm push. Here I will note that finer grinds provide more resistance but a deeper flavor extraction while coarse grinds provide little resistance and lighter flavor and oil extraction. I prefer the finer grind and I just expect to exert about 30 pounds of force, with slightly courser grinds this is totally unecessary. Expect a pocket of air to be trapped above the water line unless you fill the water all the way to the top of the cylinder. This air pocket is in fact the most important part of the extraction process as it expells all of the water out of the grinds and gets those sugars and oils that we want. Now- unscrew the basket near the trash and plunge the grinds right into the can. The milk can be replaced by hot water if you don't want the faux latte experience. I am expecting to have my review hammered by all of the purists-- yes it does take a while, and if you want - it can be a rather involved process, and – I’ll say it… it is NOT true espresso...BUT you can get a rather descent cup of joe on the cheap!! Go ahead, even if you are limited to utilizing short cuts such as heat the water over a camp fire, or in a microwave in a dormitory room or embassy suites hotel room you may just find that you'll be sharing a better than ever expected beverage !
I bought from the web. Locals Only Coffee. They thru in 500 extra filters during a special when I bought. I never spoke with anyone but after I ordered it arrived in the mail in about 3 days. No complaints. Hey, its not like u could break this thing if you wanted.
Three Month Followup
Its been well over two years now and we still enjoy our Areobie Aeropress! My (still) only complaint is the rubber plunger has shrink ever so slightly… enough to let some air escape past when expressing the coffee liquor. Currently you can only re-buy a whole new system, I wish that one could buy parts. My kids in college love their units and use it daily impressing their friends with both its novelty in design and the great tasting coffee it quickly produces.