As good or better than machines which cost many times as much.
Positive Product Points
- Strong, flavorful brew - Price - Ease of use and cleanup - Included instructions just work
Negative Product Points
- Brew temperature is dissatisfying
I make coffee at home using a Mr. Coffee auto-drip machine and get a post-lunch espresso from the coffee shop. I wanted a product that would brew a better cup at home. After considering the Technivorm, Gaggia and a $300 pod brewer, I ordered the Aeropress based on online reviews. I am thrilled with the results.
If you use the product as suggested by the manufacturer, the result will be a strong, espresso-sized serving which can be consumed straight or diluted.
I will try not to repeat points that are already covered in other excellent reviews, and would like to address the following:
The product has been dinged by some reviewers (e.g. Sweet Maria's) for claiming it can brew espresso. It is true that the brew is not true espresso, lacking crema and such. However it is very strong and extracts flavors very well from the coffee. I personally find the result just as satisfying and delicious as the coffee shop with their expensive espresso machine. I like getting the same result from a $25 machine at home in less time.
The result *may* be healthier than espresso as paper filters remove more cholesterol-elevating compounds. Espresso machines use metal filters. A French-press does not filter at all. If you are concerned about the health effects of coffee, you may want to research this.
The instructions recommend using water heated to 165-175 and my experience agrees with this. If I heat the water more, the result is more bitter.
The instructions recommend using a fine espresso grind when brewing a single cup and again my experience agrees with this recommendation. If I use a drip grind or something midway between drip and espresso, the result is weak and not as satisfying.
The manufacturer claims that the result is less acidic as compared to other methods of brewing. I find it just as acidic as my regular cup.
Negatives? I like my coffee piping hot and the brew from the Aeropress is much cooler. I am trying to get used to it but it barely warms my mug. I could dilute it with hot water after brewing but I find that defeats the whole purpose. That and the manufacturer's claims about acidity don't hold up.