The AeroPress, developed by Alan Adler (inventor of the Aerobie and other toys) and reached the market in 2005. The device has become very popular and has a cult following amongst coffee aficionados – so much so, that a World AeroPress Championship event is held in a different location every year.
The device works in a similar way to a syringe. Coffee and water are mixed in the tube, then the plunger is installed. Pushing the plunger down forces the coffee through a disc shaped paper filter at the bottom.
The advantages of the AeroPress:
- Very fast. There are no other manual brewing devices that can make palatable coffee in a brew time of 1’30”
- Extremely durable and portable. Many people take their AeroPress with them travelling or camping.
- Easy to clean. All the parts can go in the dishwasher.
- Versatile. You can brew concentrated espresso style coffee, or more dilute filter style coffee. By default, it’s somewhere in between the two.
There are many different ways to use the AeroPress. Most of them result in a delicious coffee. If you use good quality, freshly ground coffee beans and clean, very hot water then your results are sure to be delicious. That being said, you can optimise your brewing method for a particular coffee or to suit your taste. The Aeropress world championship website has lots of different recipes.
The most common manipulations:
- Upside down or traditional – what position the aeropress is used in
- Stirring, how hard and at what times – the aeropress comes with a special paddle
- Grind size big or small – as with all brewed coffee, this has a great impact on the result
- Water temperature – the AeroPress is often used with a far lower temperature than other brewing methods
There are many combinations of the above, and no clear winner across the board. Do as you please, and experiment.
Here is a basic, minimalist recipe. As with all coffee brewing, it’s important to use accurate scales.
This recipe uses coffee ground to approximately table salt, somewhere between pourover and espresso.
You will need:
- An Aerobie Aeropress
- Aeropress filters, paddle and funnel
- a set of Acaia scales
- a coffee grinder (either electric or Porlex hand mill)
- a kettle, preferably one with electronic control and a precise pour – like the Bonavita Electric Gooseneck (set it to 98 degrees Centigrade)
- a sturdy cup capable of holding the quantity of coffee you want to brew
Here’s what to do:
- Place a filter in the screen and rinse with hot water.
- Install the screen and filter on the bottom of the tube.
- Place the device on your mug on the Acaia scales, tare, then using the supplied funnel, add 17g of medium-fine (table salt) ground coffee, then tare again.
- Pour 240g of hot water into the brewer with and give five complete stirs using the paddle. Start the timer when all the water is added.
- Install the top plunger but do not press it down. This creates a vacuum seal, which will stop too much coffee falling out during the steeping phase.
- After 1’30”, press the plunger slowly until you hear the device start to hiss. Try to make the press last 30 seconds before hissing.
- Drink your coffee.