Be it the surprisingly good cups of coffee I have precariously eyeballed with a pot of boiling water off the campfire, or the time I almost missed my flight to the Aeropress competition because I forgot ...my Aeropress… this brewer is just all about adventure for me. It’s tough and light and quick and affordable and weird. Pack it up and hit the road.
But come to think of it, when the afternoon hours at work start to drag, what better brewer to nab for that one quick injection of caffeine that’s going to keep you in the game?
The Aeropress, baby. Here for you wherever you need it.
I would categorize the Aeropress as ‘chaotic good’. I have witnessed (read: perpetrated) some absolutely colossal messes with it; but it has always been in the service of coming through with a sorely needed cup of coffee. When people ask, I whole-heartedly recommend it as a single cup brewer. Wanna make a coffee first thing, before the eyes have opened, or the brain has begun to function? Aeropress. Wanna tinker around until you could write a dissertation on a single cup? Aeropress. It’s a minutes-to-learn but lifetime-to-master kind of thing – like poker or the Irish tin whistle.
Aeropress(es?) are made by the Aerobie company, who are also known for their flying discs. I just read on Wikipedia that one guy threw an Aerobie a quarter mile, which seems absolutely wild to me? Anyways, they seem to know what they’re doing. They do state the Aeropress makes espresso, but you’re better off brewing a tasty cup of brewed coffee, and leaving the spro to the machines.
There are so many ways to personalize your brew method with the Aeropress, so, as always, regard my suggestions as a starting point – or just jump in and forget the recipe altogether. If it works it works!
But if you’ve made it this far let me offer a little guidance. There are two main ways to brew: traditional and inverted – and neither should take much longer than two minutes. Let’s brew!
TRADITIONAL METHOD (Tried and True)
- Portion out 17g of whole beans. If you don’t have a scale, the Aeropress does come with a handy scoop, which will portion roughly that amount.
- Grind will be the ongoing process with the Aeropress. You’re looking for a finer grind than filter, but not so fine that it enters espresso territory. If you find you’re getting an inordinate amount of resistance when plunging your Aeropress, this could be why. As always, use a burr grinder only!
- I like using two paper filters for a little extra clarity. Set them into the filter basket, screw it into the brewing chamber, and wet both with hot water, and sit it on a mug that can fit the Aeropress comfortably on top. Your brewing water should be off a boil, around 195°F if you happen to have a thermometer.
- Pop your ground coffee into the chamber and give it a shake to distribute. Add around twice the amount of water as there is dry mass. (34g in this case, but if you don’t have a scale, just look to wet all the grounds.) Swirl the Aeropress and let the coffee bed bloom for 15 seconds.
- Add 225g of water (No scale? Add up to the ‘4’ on the side of the Aeropress). Look to do this over about 30 seconds as you rotate the brew chamber slowly and mix in all the grinds that float to the top.
- Swirl again, and seal the Aeropress by placing the plunger in at an angle, and pulling it up slightly. This will create a vacuum seal, and stop any coffee from dripping into your mug.
- Wait for 30 seconds, and reflect on the upcoming day.
- Give the chamber another few careful swirls and begin a steady and even plunge over another 30 seconds.
- When air begins to hiss through the coffee bed, pull up slightly on the plunger and remove the Aeropress.
- Screw the filter basket off, pop the used grounds into the compost, wipe off the rubber end. All clean! Go drink that coffee.
INVERTED METHOD (You’re going to see me use the word ‘carefully’ here a lot.)
- Repeat the first two steps from the traditional method. You will similarly still want to preheat your brewer and wet the filters, but it will all be assembled in a different order.
- Insert the plunger evenly into the top of the brew chamber. Sit the Aeropress lightly down on the plunger so the chamber faces up: away from gusts, elbows, impending natural disasters etc.
- Dump coffee into the chamber, wet the grounds, give it a good but careful swirl.
- Add water up to the brim over 30 seconds. 250g all told.
- Add the filter basket and tighten it down carefully. Press down slightly and slowly on the brewer so that just a bit of coffee emerges through the filter basket. Then reverse the effect - which will suck the coffee back in and create a vacuum seal.
- So, so, so carefully you can rotate the Aeropress a few times to agitate. Or play it safe and do a two handed swirl. Wait 30-40 seconds.
- Carefully rotate the Aeropress onto your cup and plunge over 30 seconds.
- When air begins to hiss through the filter, pull up on the plunger and remove the Aeropress.
- Like before, screw the filter basket off, pop the used grounds into the compost, wipe off the rubber end. All clean! Go drink that coffee.