The AeroPress truly is one of my favorite tools for brewing coffee. Now, there are essentially two different ways to go about brewing coffee in an Aeropress: the regular, right-side-up method and the inverted, or upside-down, method. Many people will argue for one being better than the other, but both will produce a great cup. Personally, I like the inverted method better, primarily because it does not leak into the cup before the brew time is complete.
What You Will Need:
- AeroPress Filter
- Fresh Coffee (15 grams)
- Coffee Grinder
- Water Kettle
- Spoon/Chopstick/AeroPress Stirrer
Step 1: Begin Heating Water. Again, the perfect water temperature for brewing coffee is somewhere between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. With that said, though, the makers of the AeroPress suggest a temperature of 175F. Honestly, it seems that everyone has a different opinion about this; therefore, try it both ways and see what you like. Personally, I use about 195.
Step 2: Weigh and Grind Fresh Coffee Beans. If you have a scale, weigh out 15 grams of coffee. If you do not have a scale, use 1 flat AeroPress Scoop, or 2 tablespoons.
Then, grind the coffee beans to about a medium grind—slightly finer than you would use for an auto-drip brewer (Baratza suggests 14). Others use different grind sizes, which will, essentially, either shorten or lengthen the brew time.
Step 3: Set Up the AeroPress and Add Coffee. Insert the plunger, or piston, into the brewing chamber—just enough, though, that the black rubber-like seal/stopper on the plunger is the only part inside the chamber.
Place the assembled AeroPress on your scale, or counter, with the plunger on the bottom and the brewing chamber on top, so that the numbers (1-4) are upside-down. Then, pour the ground coffee inside the brewing chamber—the seal/stopper should catch the ground coffee.
The AeroPress actually comes with a funnel to help with this process. Some people use it, and some do not. But it can help with the issue of coffee grounds getting stuck between the filter cap and the rim of the brewing chamber, which can cause leakage.
Give the AeroPress a little shake, so that there is a flat bed of coffee grounds inside the brewing chamber.
Step 4: Start the Brewing Process. Now that the coffee is inside the AeroPress, tare the scale to 0. Then, start the timer and pour 75ml of water into the brewing chamber (about 1/3 of the way up). Then, using your spoon/chopstick/AeroPress Stirrer, stir the grounds with the water for 30 seconds.
Again, this step is also debated. Some people argue that the coffee should be allowed time to bloom, while others argue that the entire amount of water should be poured in at the beginning. I prefer the previous method, but test it out and see what you like better.
Step 5: Add the Remaining Water, Prepare the Filter Cap. After the 30 seconds of stirring, pour the remaining 165ml of water into the brewing chamber, bringing it to a total of 240ml.
The total brew time is 2 minutes, so use the remaining time to insert the filter into the filter cap and to wet the filter. Wetting the filter removes the paper flavor from the filter, allowing you to have a purer cup. Set it in another mug, or in a sink, and pour the leftover water in your kettle over the filter.
After that, secure the filter cap, with the wet filter inside, upon the top of the brewing chamber.
Brew time is of course debated as well, so play around with it. You may find that you like a finer grind with a shorter brew time than a coarser grind with a longer brew time.
Step 6: Flip and Press the AeroPress. When the timer has reached 2:00, flip the AeroPress and place the brewing chamber onto your mug—with the filter cap inside the mug. Personally, I place the mug on top of the brewing chamber before flipping the AeroPress, so that the hot water does not leak on me or the counter while flipping.
Then, press down the plunger, forcing the coffee through the filter and into your mug. I have not tested the proper amount of weight used to press the AeroPress, but I have heard that 30 pounds is the goal. So, if you feel that it is going down quite easily, it may be that you have too coarse of a grind; but if it is nearly impossible to push down, then your grind is too fine.
When you hear the hissing sound—you’ll know it when you hear it—the brewing process is complete. Remove the AeroPress from your mug.
Step 7: Remove Filter Cap, Eject Used Grounds, and Enjoy.
After removing the AeroPress, hold the device with the filter cap on top and unscrew it from the brewing chamber. Then, eject the used grounds into the garbage, or compost bucket. It is important to force the plunger all the way through the brewing chamber. If this is not done, the seal can become misshaped, leaving you with a plunger that can’t force coffee through the brewing chamber.
Personally, I always rinse the AeroPress off at this point. The rubber-like seal can easily start smelling like old coffee if not taken care of.
With such an easy process and easy clean up, you can now enjoy your freshly brewed coffee!
What Sets the AeroPress Apart?
Many things set this brewing method apart form others. First, it is forgiving brewer. As you can tell, by some of my comments above, there are many different ways to brew coffee with an AeroPress. The reality, though, is that you can produce a robust, tasty cup of coffee with many different methods. Have fun with it. Experiment.
Second, because the AeroPress is an immersion brewer, it creates a cup with more even extraction than a pour over. But because it is also filtered, it creates a cleaner cup than a French Press. Also, the pressure used to force the coffee through the filter allows a quicker brew time, leaving less chance for the water to extract bitter flavors from the grounds.
On top of these things, the AeroPress is also extremely portable. Personally, I take this on nearly every trip I go on, whether that be visiting family or friends, camping, backpacking, or international sightseeing. Take the AeroPress along with a hand-burr grinder and you are set to have a great cup of coffee, even in the remotest places.