Well, I wasn't sure I believed all the hype, but I thought I'd give it a try. At the very least I figured it would be a great way to have some decent coffee at work, so I bought 2 with high hopes. I'm glad I bought 2 because I absolutely adore this Aeropress. What I get out of it is very similar to espresso. I know straight espresso drinkers would not find this prefferable to use over an espresso machine, but for Americanos or other espresso drinks, this is fantastic for the price and convenience.
The Aeropress produces a brew that is strong, full bodied and still has all the liveliness you would expect of your bean, but the bitterness is gone. The reason, as I have read it, is because of the reduced brew temp, which is recommended between 165-175 degrees f. If you like your coffee hotter for an Americano you can top it off with hotter water and still eliminate the bitterness.
This coffee for me is quite a treat. Although I own an espresso machine, I do not drink straight espresso, and I find this to be MUCH more convenient and easier to clean up. In fact, clean up could not be easier. You just push the plunger into the garbage and rinse. You are done.
As for everyone I have forced to try my new method of brewing, everyone thus far has absolutely loved it. From coffee-shop goers, to grind your own beaners, to the rot-gut coffee drinkers at work...everyone has loved the coffee. Two co-workers have already ordered theirs, and I'm considering these as a perfect gift for family and friends.
As for portability, this is fantastic. All I need to take with me is a grinder, cup and my Aeropress, which is nice and compact. As long as I can get hot water, I'm in business. Going camping? Yeah, this is a perfect choice.
The Aeropress brews between 1-4 shots at a time and has convenient guides for adding your water. I thought it might be more difficult my first time out, but I had great results right out of the starting gate. Just make sure to grind fine enough - you might be tempted to grind for french press, but you need a finer grind than that. And the other benefit: You don't need a high end grinder. A simple blade grinder does just fine for this.
I have a feeling as this gains popularity you will see the price come down a little and I'm hoping sometime in the future we will see something that can brew a whole pot. Perhaps they can create an all-in-one system that has an attached pot so you don't have to find something it will securely sit on. This would be great for parties or for those poor saps like me who can't get up an grab a quick cup of coffee at work. Being able to make a decent batch ahead of time so I can bring a carafe of hot water to my desk with me would make me one happy camper! Until then, I'll make due with the one I have.
Great new product...so great that I'm actually taking time out to write a review on it!