While not the prettiest brewing apparatus, the Aeropress is a flexible brewing device that has the potential to create world class coffee with minimal effort or skill.
Positive Product Points
- Infinite amount of ways to brew - Easy to clean - Travel friendly - A quick brew method - Allows for brewing small amounts of coffee
Negative Product Points
- Not the most eye pleasing device - Rubber foot on plunger absorbs coffee smells
First off, I use the Aeropress with the Disk from the Coava Coffee Company. I have not used the standard paper filters.
The aeropress is not the prettiest looking coffee apparatus. Made out of matte plastic and rubber, the Aeropress is simple and allows for immersion brewing. Once the steep time has finish, the coffee is pushed with a plunger through a filter that is attached to the end of the device. It is as simple as adding coffee, pouring water of the appropriate temperature, allowing the brew to steep, and then plunging into a mug. There are countless ways to approach the Aeropress and that is part of the adventure.
Personally, I use the Aeropress in the inverted fashion. I insert the plunger about half an inch into the large tube and stand the press on it's end (on the plunger) with the filter cap unscrewed. I grind my coffee to a coarse drip grind (24F on my Preciso) and use 203 degree water. After preheating the Aeropress with boiling water, I plunge the pre-heating water into the mug that I will be using to heat it as well. Then, I unscrew the filter cap and Disk filter and let them float in the mug to stay hot. I add the coffee into the inverted Aeropress (I use a scale), shake to level it, and allow my water to come down to 203. Once the water is ready, I add about 200ml, and then stir to deflate the bloom. Then I top the water off to 230ml in total. I start a timer the minute I begin my pour and allow for a 1 minute steep. At 1 minute, I invert my mug over the end of the Aeropress (filter cap has been screwed on and preheat water has been discarded) and flip it all together. I aim to plunger steady and slow. A 45 second press is my goal with a total brew time of 1:45. The reason for inverting my mug and flipping it with Aeropress is to avoid drips, spills, or accidental burns. The inverted method can be a bit dangerous, so it's important to take precautions when flipping.
Using the Disk, my brews are often full bodied and perfectly extracted. Pre-heating the Aeropress is important, as an unheated press can drop the water's temperature very quickly. From start to finish, the Aeropress is an easy, repeatable, and quick method. It can be "hacked' in numerous ways and there are hundreds of "recipes" online to give you a starting point. Experiment and find what works for you.
*EDIT* 9/912 Let me update my review to accurately reflect my love for this brewer! My first review score was 6.4.
I have changed my brew method quite a bit. I now use the "regular" method of brewing and a ratio of 18g/270-275ml of 203F water. I aim for a medium-fine drip grind with the coarseness just a bit more than table sugar.
Bring water to a boil, fill plunger with water (over cup) and seal with plunger. Allow it to sit in order to preheat the device, but also to warm up (disk) or wash (paper) the filter.
Plunge water through, remove plunger, and add coffee. When the water has lowered to between 200-205 degrees F, start the timer and pour slowly over the coffee all the way to the top (comes out to 270-275ml).
Stir back and forth for 5 seconds in a relaxed manner.
When the timer reads 1:20, remove the plunger, stir for another 5 seconds, and begin plunge at 1:30. Aim to finish plunge by 2min.
Remove device from mug, dispense puck, wipe/rinse aeropress/filter and stir your cup with a spoon to mix.
Allow the cup to cool down and then enjoy slowly as to allow the cup to open up!
This has been a foolproof method for me that has worked wonders while traveling. This is the method used by Heart Roasters and has given me great results from day 1 with a fine enough grind!
I still enjoy the inverted method, but like the strength and complexity of brews that I have made in this manner. The Aeropress is the quintessential travel brewer and has held up great. I have altered my scores accordingly.
I purchased this as part of a bundle (came with Able Disk) from Prima-Coffee. The sale went smoothly and arrived quickly.
Three Month Followup
The aeropress continues to be a go to method when I want a small quick cup. It produces excellent results time after time. Nothing new to add.
I have been using the Aeropress a lot lately with excellent results. I use both an inverted method and a regular method.
Inverted: 17g/240ml, medium grind, start timer/pour 240ml of water. Stir the coffee and let it steep until 1:00. At that time, flip and press until 1:45.
Regular: 17g/275ml, fine drip, start timer/pour 275ml. Stir the coffee and steep until 0:55-1:00. At that time, remove the plunger and stir for 5 seconds. Press until 1:30-1:45. The press time will depend on the filter type, the coffee, and the grind size. Pick a time and then adjust accordingly.
I use a Disk, Disk Fine, and paper filters with my aeropress. It makes consistently good coffee with very little fuss.
One Year Followup
Well, I can honestly say that the Aeropress slowly became one of my favorite brew methods. As some of you may know, I cleaned out my brew method collection at the end of the summer and really focused on a few methods that were consistent and repeatable. The Aeropress is my go-to method in my office and is my only travel method.
18g/275ml. I grind at 1.3mm on my Rosco Mini, which is a coarse sand grind. 198*F water. 2min total brew time. I use paper and the Able Fine.
Pour water on coffee gently being sure to fully saturate the coffee. Stir for a few seconds gently, but with enough force to agitate the grounds.
At 1:20, remove plunger, and stir for a few seconds again. Begin plunge by 1:30 and finish by 2:00.
Stir coffee, allow it to cool, and enjoy.
The lower water temps can do amazing things for the Aeropress. The sweetness becomes far more savory and juicy, while the acidity remains snappy. I love this brewer. It's affordable and easy to use. Yes, I use a grinder that is many many more times expensive than the Aeropress, but a Hario Skerton is plenty to make quality coffee with the Aeropress.
My ultimate cost effective travel setup would like like this:
Bonavita Bon Voyage Electric Kettle
American Weigh Pocket Scale
My aeropress has held up perfectly over the year with a few scuffs here and there. The rubber bung is in great condition and the cap has maintained a tight fit. I do see the potential for the cap to eventually warp as the wings that hold it tight warp, but this is not something I see happening any time soon.