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How To Use an Aeropress to Brew Great Coffee

How To Use an Aeropress to Brew Great Coffee

Let me let you in on a little secret. The Aeropress is every coffee professional’s favourite home brew method. Now they might say it’s a V60, Chemex or even a stovetop, but if you kept track, the one they use most often is the Almighty Aeropress. Why? Because it’s so easy to make amazing coffee.

Image of Aeropress on top of a Rumble Coffee roasters enamel mug, alongside Stagg gooseneck kettle, acacia lunar scales, and a bag of Rumble Coffee Roasters single origin

The Aeropress coffee maker was invented by the same genius who came up with the Aerobie. His name is Alan Adler, and he holds over 40 patents. Tired of inventing better frisbees and adding fins to footballs, Alan turned his focus to making filter coffee easy.

Like all brew methods, you need the right gear and the right way to go about it. The Aeropress itself comes with a sweet funnel and stirrer that helps, but you’ll also need scales, a timer and some freshly ground coffee.

And an Aeropress recipe. There are many of them out there, but this is simple. It’s an inverted method, which means the Aeropress is upside down. So keep that in mind, you’ll need to flip your Aeropress and it will be filled with hot water. Maybe keep any small children or rambunctious animals out of the kitchen when you’re flipping.

Close up of Aeropress brewing coffee. Stagg kettle in background

 

INGREDIENTS/GEAR

  • Aeropress

  • Scales and timer

  • Funnel and stirrer

  • Filter

  • Freshly ground coffee

  • Timer

  • Vessel (like a Rumble mug)

  • Hot filtered water 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Setup: Grab the cap off the Aeropress and place the filter inside.

  • Pull the Aeropress apart, screw the cap back in and place on top of your cup.

  • Pour hot water into the press to rinse the filter and preheat the vessel.

  • Put the top of your Aeropress in and push down to remove all the water (you can leave the water in the cup to keep it warm).

  • Take the cap of the Aeropress off and pull the press back until it is 1 cm from the top

  • Place your funnel at the top of the press.

  • Grind: Pour fresh, medium to fine ground (think caster sugar) coffee in the funnel. (Use 7.5g of coffee per 100ml of water, so 15g to 200ml water).

  • Tare the scales.

  • Brew: Add 95 °C water (a good way to do this is to let a freshly boiled kettle sit for 45 secs and then pour).

  • Start your timer and pour in 200ml of water.

  • Use your stirrer to gently stir the brew and insure all the coffee is saturated.

  • Push the press down slightly to remove any air and place the cap back on.

  • Empty the water from your cup and allow the coffee to brew for 45 seconds.

  • Invert the press by flipping it over and placing it on top of your cup. (Be careful)

  • Swirl the press gently to ensure the coffee is all saturated.

  • Pour: After a total brew time of 2 minutes, push down, stopping just before the bottom. Now your coffee is ready to enjoy!

Hand pushing down on Aeropress, on top of Rumble Coffee Roasters enamel mug. Phone timer, acacia lunar brewing scales, and pour over kettle are also in shot.

Can an Aeropress make espresso? No. It can’t. The Aeropress box makes an outrageous claim that it brews espresso. It doesn’t. If you used super fine coffee and tamped it down somehow, you would need to push harder to get the brewed coffee through the paper filter. It would look and taste different to a regular Aeropress brew, but wouldn’t be close to espresso.

Espresso machines pump water through the coffee at 9 bars of pressure, which is 130 PSI or close to four times the pressure of your car tires. The pressure extracts the golden crema from the coffee grounds.

There are recipes online that claim to make espresso coffee with the Aeropress but we wouldn’t bother, we’d stick to brewing delicious filter coffee. Aeropress espresso is not really possible.

What coffee works best in the Aeropress? We recommend you try a filter roast. They are lighter and brighter than espresso roasts and let you appreciate the true flavour and variety of coffee. If you like a little more body in your coffee, then lighter espresso roasts can work well.

What grind size to use in the Aeropress? We like a medium-fine grind, think of caster sugar. It’s always a good idea to experiment a little, try different coffee beans and different grind sizes.

Do I need a grinder to use an Aeropress? No, but a grinder is always better. We always advise you to buy a grinder. The Breville Smart Grinder is an excellent home grinder and the Porlex Mini II is a sweet little burr grinder that grinds beautifully and fits inside the Aeropress to make it easy for travel.

How long do I brew the Aeropress? Our recipe has a total brew time of 2 minutes, but there are many others. 30 seconds would not be long enough to extract enough from the coffee grounds, but anything over 1 minute could work with the correct grind size. The beauty of the Aeropress is that it is a simple and forgiving brew method.

Are paper filters better than metal filters? When you buy an Aeropress, it comes with a pack of 350 paper filters which last for a long time. When you run out however, you might get a metal filter. Paper filters out more particles and oils than metal, leaving a clearer cup. Metal filters still make a good cup of coffee but with more body. We like the Able Disk Fine as it filters out lots of micro particles and produces a sweet, clean cup of coffee.

Another benefit of metal filters is that they never run out and, of course, produce less waste.

Can I replace the parts on the Aeropress? You sure can. Nearly all the pieces are replaceable, from the Aeropress plunger to the rubber seal, the filter cap and the Aeropress chamber itself.

Hand reaching to grab enamel mug full of Rumble coffee, off scales. Aeropress in foreground, and filter kettle in background.

Aeropress Go vs Aeropress: The Aeropress Go is a newer, smaller version of the traditional Aeropress. The original was already the best coffee maker to travel with and now the Aeropress Go is even smaller. It’s exactly the same, but a third smaller.

If you aren’t travelling often, then we would stick with the original. But if there is lots of camping and hiking in your future, then investigate the Aeropress Go.

Aeropress coffee is easy to make and offers an affordable and accessible entry point to home coffee brewing. We love the Aeropress coffee maker and think every coffee lover should have one.

Check out our other brew guides for V60, Stovetop and French Press/Plunger in our Brew Guides section.