What is AeroPress Coffee?
If you’re a coffeephile (and even if you’re not), AeroPress coffee is any coffee made with an AeroPress brewer. This type of coffee is made by brewing within the AeroPress for less than a minute, then forcing the water through a plastic tube with a built-in plunger. It typically yields small batch brews that can be brewed and expelled directly into your coffee mug. Due to its unique composition, the AeroPress is designed to brew coffee in a way that delivers a rich flavor, from lighter, fruitier beans to a heartier, more espresso-like feel.
The allure of AeroPress coffee: in a word, versatility.
The AeroPress is neither espresso nor a slow-drip style of coffee, but does boast some of both’s best qualities. This brewer whips up coffee that has the fullness of espresso but the sweet flavors of the most delightful pour overs made with the likes of a Chemex or Clever manual brewer. And, most importantly, it’s a match for most coffee roasts, is lightweight and sturdy, inexpensive to replace if lost, simple to clean, brews right on top of a mug, and will still somehow impress all of your friends.
And yet, even with all this versatility, the AeroPress still produces one of the most well-balanced, high-quality and easily replicated cups of coffee.
How to Use an AeroPress Coffee Maker
Those familiar with a French press will feel right at home with an AeroPress. Consider this a comparable but more concentrated brew method than the French press, taking the general immersion-and-plunging concept and expanding upon it. It’s not quite accurate to pit AeroPress vs. French press, however, given that they generate a completely different cup of coffee: one, clean, short, and concentrated; the other, oily, robust, and taller.
Here’s how to brew with an AeroPress:
- Gather all of your supplies: a kettle and hot water heated in the range of 202-205 degrees Fahrenheit, a utensil for stirring, the AeroPress, a filter, a grinder (optional if your coffee is already ground), and a scale (optional, but useful if you want to precisely measure coffee and brew times).
- Measure approximately 18 grams--or about two-and-a-half tablespoons--of coffee and 200 grams of hot water, or seven ounces
- Conjoin the two halves of the AeroPress coffee maker, with the flared base on the bottom and against the tabletop. Apply water to the paper filter, if using one, and place it on the cap
- Add the ground coffee and shake to level it out for even brewing once the water is poured
- Begin brewing by pouring approximately half of the water over the bed of coffee grounds. Then stir gently to ensure all coffee grounds are soaked and to create turbulence that helps extract flavor from the coffee. After 30 seconds, add the remaining water and seal the device
- Once two minutes have passed, take your stirring utensil and gently stir the top one more time before flipping the brewer on top of a cup to begin pressing. Press slowly until the plunger hits the bottom
- Enjoy your coffee!
What is the Best Coffee Grind for an AeroPress?
AeroPress coffee should, ideally, be ground using a burr grinder on a medium-fine setting; the consistency will be like sea salt. As for types of coffee to seek out for use in an AeroPress, select an AeroPress grind of lighter roasts, as they’re beans primed to be the most flavorful and the AeroPress is designed to draw out those flavors. Those fruity and lightly sweet flavors from a Colombian will taste more prominent than they do when made with a pour over method, for example.
On the other end of the spectrum, espresso blends from, for example, Brazil, will taste bold but cleaner than they do when made with the added pressure of an espresso machine. The point being, the AeroPress can draw new flavors out of both lighter and darker roasts.
How Much Coffee for an AeroPress?
An AeroPress does not yield the same amount of coffee that other manual brewers do; a typical cup of AeroPress coffee calls for anywhere from 17-19 grams of coffee--truly, it depends on how concentrated you want your coffee to be--and makes about six ounces of coffee. Some people will even opt for less water and make an espresso-like beverage by going with four ounces.
Can I Travel with an AeroPress Coffee Maker?
A selling line for the AeroPress is, in fact, how well it travels: the brewer is plastic, so it barely registers as present in a bag and doubles as being much less anxiety-inducing to travel with than, say, a glass French press or small-sized Chemex. It can also be taken apart. Too, it works well as an accompaniment to a camping trip, because it doesn’t feature an additional receptacle in the brewing process and brews right into a cup. And while it should be cleaned with soap and water after each use, if only to eliminate any residual coffee oils, it can technically be rinsed off and ready for additional uses immediately.
How do I Clean an AeroPress Coffee Maker?
The AeroPress method is a refreshingly simple manual brew that, despite appearing daunting as a multi-part tool, is also just as straightforward to clean. AeroPress cleaning begins by popping out the filter and then pushing used grinds into a trash receptacle. (The grinds should easily come out in the shape of a patty.) Rinse the press with hot water and ensure all residual grinds are gone from the plunger--there shouldn’t be any, but just be thorough. Reattach the lid--the “seal”--to the plunger and rinse the whole area of the brewer with soap and warm water. It’s also safe to clean the AeroPress in a dishwasher, as long as it’s on the top shelf.
Whether you’re devoted to your trusty coffee pot, or excited for something new, the AeroPress is fast becoming a favorite of coffee drinkers for its convenience and ability to make a great cup of coffee pretty much anywhere.