AeroPress Coffee Brewing Guide

 AeroPress brewing guide

 A space-age brewer with gravity-defying aspirations, AeroPress was created by Alan Adler - the same person who developed the Aerobie (the Frisbee-like things that you can throw nearly two soccer fields) that broke the Guinness world record when it soared 1,333 feet in the air.

AeroPress uses the same aerodynamics and is a specially unique and attractive device for preparing coffee. And, at just $29.95, the AeroPress coffee maker is also one of the more affordable coffee brewing options available.

As a result, it is a favorite among coffee lovers worldwide, and has been a staple in professional coffee shops and home kitchens for the past decade.

For home brewing, the AeroPress coffee maker is a lightweight brewing device that's perfect because it uses pressure and a short brew time if you just want a single cup.

We like it because it travels well (like Aerobies) and because it is easy to use.

Here's our proven AeroPress recipe brew guide that will produce a delicious 7 oz. cup of coffee.

AeroPress Instructions Before You Start Brewing

There are two methods to brew with the original Aeropress:  “the Standard Method” or “the Inverted Method.”

We'll be focusing on the standard AeroPress brewing method.

Wondering how to use Aeropress for the inverted method? Alan Adler was adamant that this was NOT the way you should be brewing coffee (more on that below).

Before you get started, make sure your AeroPress's brew chamber is clean and completely dry before using it; otherwise, the plunger may not form a perfect seal in the chamber.

For best results, we recommend that you start with whole coffee beans and grind them with a burr grinder immediately before brewing for the best taste and grind size consistency.

Although it may seem complicated, we believe that using a scale makes preparation easier by removing all assumptions from the equation.

What you Need to Brew an AeroPress Coffee

  • The AeroPress chamber
  • A cap for the end of the plunger
  • Filters to go in the cap
  • A coffee measuring scoop
  • Funnel to easily transfer grounds into the brewing chamber
  • Kettle
  • Grinder
  • Digital scale
  • Timer (optional)
  • Stirring tool
  • Coffee cup or other vessel

Brew Time

  • 1 - 1:30 minutes

AeroPress Instructions

A consistent bit of feedback we hear regularly is how challenging it can be getting a consistent cup with the Aeropress. Having a consistent recipe will help minimize these inconsistencies.

Step 1 - Heat the Water

Bring your water to a boil. Let it cool for about 1 minute. According to Mr. Adler, you should aiming for something in between 175°F (for medium to dark roasts) and 185°F (for lighter roasts).

Step 2 - Grind the coffee

Measure two full scoops of coffee beans.

If you are accustomed to the coarse grind typically used for a French Press, I would recommend a more medium fine coffee ground - halfway between the espresso and the drip, similar to a spice or seasoning rub.

You'll need about 17 grams of ground coffee to 250 grams of water.

Step 3 - Add a Filter

As you assemble your AeroPress, insert a paper filter into the AeroPress's detachable plastic cap and place on top of your mug or cup.

Wet the filter cap by drizzling a little hot water. Here, the boiling water has a double function: it helps the filter to adhere to the cap and pre-heats the brewing chamber.

Step 4 - Place on the Scale

Place the built AeroPress on your scale, then tare the weight.

Step 5 - Add Your Coffee

Add the pre ground coffee. Make sure that no coffee grounds fall into the ring-gutter at the top of the AeroPress chamber.

Give the chamber a little shake or a tap to level the coffee. This will help balance the distribution of water when it is poured.

Step 6 - Add Water

It should be noted, Alan Adler believes pre-saturation and steeping the coffee defeats the entire purpose of the Aeropress. The less time the coffee spends in contact with the hot water, the better.

Simply pour water to the number that equals what you added in scoops of coffee. If you're following this AeroPress recipe, that would be 2.

Step 7 - Stir 10 Seconds

Using a paddle stirrer (or a spoon or knife) stir briefly.

Step 8 - Press (Firm but Gently)

Insert the plunger. Begin to apply a slow but steady downward pressure.

You can achieve the approximately 15 lbs of pressure needed for an effective press using the crossed arms method.

If pressing is too easy, your grind is probably too coarse. If it is very difficult to push, the grind is probably too fine.

Your coffee is completely brewed when you start to hear a hissing sound. This means that no water is left to push through the device.

Step 9 - Taste (and Dilute if Needed)

The AeroPress makes a concentrated coffee - similar to an espresso.

After a quick taste test, if needed, you can split this amount between two cups and add a little more hot water to even out that perfect cup of delicious coffee.

Step 10 - Clean up

Once you have unscrewed the cap, you can pop out the filter and used grounds by simply pressing the inside of the AeroPress a final inch.

Then wash and dry each part. The rubber plunger can be cleaned with hot water from the kettle and you are ready for the next preparation.

What About That Inverted AeroPress Brewing Method?

Mr. Adler is convinced an inverted AeroPress brewed coffee results in a more bitter cup due to the longer saturation time.

His reasoning?

Any barista / competitor who used the inverted method had never won a blind taste test in the World AeroPress Championship held around the world.

Final Tips for Brewing AeroPress Coffee

The degree of extraction of roasting coffee is determined by a series of variables:

  • surface
  • water temperature
  • turbulence
  • flow
  • etc.

When you are comfortable with the brewing method, try slight variations to the variables:

  • grind finer and/or use cooler water
  • Grind the grounds more coarse and let steep longer

This balancing act ensures there is no right way to do everything ... just use your taste to guide you.

In general, if coffee is thin, hollow, sour, less sweet, it has not been extracted enough. The most effective way to fix this is to make the coffee grounds finer and keep the rest the same.

If your coffee tastes bitter/harsh or astringent, the grinds have been over-extracted. Try coarsening up the grind the next time you go for a brew.

AeroPress is good for maintaining warmth: the polymer used in its construction has very little heat transfer and therefore minimum heat loss.

The short brewing time ensures that the temperature throughout the extraction is quite flat compared to drip brew methods which lose heat and benefits from higher water temperatures to keep the extraction temperature high. Try using colder water with a finer grind.

Because AeroPress not only offers thermal stability but also gravity control, this is a great brewing method for experimenting with water temperature, grinding time and extraction. 

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