The AeroPress has quickly become one of the most popular products for coffee connoisseurs. It can also be intimidating for those who are unfamiliar with the tools and supplies necessary for at-home coffee brewing.
Thankfully, the creators of the AeroPress have worked hard to make their product as simple as possible. If you purchase your AeroPress from an authorized retailer, it will come with everything you need to get started, including filters. The only thing sold separately is the coffee.
Having all the required supplies and tools is one thing, but do you know how the AeroPress works? The design is simple, but there are a few tricks that will help you get the most out of your investment. Read on to learn how to perfect your Aeropress coffee experience.
If you have tried making coffee at home before, you probably have a supply of filters for the traditional drip machine, also knows as a percolator. These filters can be cone or bowl-shaped, and they are designed to sit on the top of a drip machine. Unfortunately, these filters will not work in the AeroPress.
AeroPress filters are small disks, a bit smaller than the diameter of the average coffee mug. They are made from tough microfiber, which makes them durable while preventing grit from falling into your coffee. This innovation creates a smooth mouthfeel that just isn’t possible to achieve with other brewing methods, like the French press.
Every AeroPress comes complete with 350 filters. That’s almost enough for a whole year of brewing! If you are a real coffee fanatic, fear not. Additional filters are easy to purchase from hundreds of online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
If you are concerned about the environmental impact of your coffee waste, the AeroPress is an excellent choice. AeroPress filters are fully biodegradable, which means they will quickly breakdown over time. You can also compost your AeroPress filters along the spent coffee grounds. If you go this route, you can drink great coffee all year round and produce almost no excess waste.
The filter is just one advantage of the AeroPress. Read on to learn even more about how you can make coffee at home that tastes just as good as your favorite café, and for a fraction of the cost.
Comparing to Other Brewing Methods
Humans have been brewing coffee for thousands of years. It makes sense to be skeptical of a new product that makes big promises when it comes to ease and quality. Let’s take a look at how the AeroPress compares to more traditional brewing methods
The drip coffee maker
This brewing method uses a heating element and gravity. Once the water reaches temperature, it is pumped up and onto the grounds. As the water drips through, it absorbs flavor from the grounds. Brewing is complete when all the water has flowed through the grounds and into the carafe.
The drip method allows you to brew vast quantities of coffee at one time, making it ideal for large gatherings. However, most drip machines do not allow you to control the temperature of your water, which means your coffee may lack the proper flavor. Additionally, the long brewing time means more acidic coffee.
The AeroPress has no heating element, so you need a separate device—a stove or kettle—to heat your water to the proper temperature of 80 degrees Celsius. Depending on the style you choose, an AeroPress can make 1-4 cups of coffee at one time, making it perfect for single people and couples.
The French press
This method also requires an external heat source for proper brewing. Like the drip method, the French press also requires a longer steeping time (around five minutes), which results in more acidic coffee. The primary disadvantage of the French press is the filter, which is permeable enough to allow grit to pass through.
Not so with the AeroPress. The microfiber filter does not allow even the smallest particles into your morning joe. The AeroPress is also a faster brewing method (1-2) minutes, meaning your coffee will be far less acidic. This results in a far more pleasant sipping experience.
The espresso machine
If you’ve ever been to a coffee shop, you’ve seen that big hissing box that churns out the perfect cup of espresso each time. Well, if you are willing to shell out hundreds, even thousands of dollars, you can have your very own in your home. These machines also require a great deal of maintenance and upkeep. Repairs can be very costly.
For the cost of just a few lattes, you can own your very own AeroPress. The device itself is so simple and sturdy, repairs will never be necessary. While espresso machines can only brew from finely-ground espresso beans, the AeroPress has the versatility to brew whatever grind you chose.
How does it Work?
What makes the AeroPress unique?
Think of it as a combination of the traditional drip method and the espresso maker. Instead of relying on either gravity or a high-pressure pump, the AeroPress requires only a moderate amount of downward pressure from the user. The rubber plunger creates a seal and prevents additional air from leaking into the compartment.
The force of the plunger presses the water into the coffee grounds, and this pressure helps extract the maximum flavor from the grounds. Once the plunger reaches the grounds, your coffee is done. You can use any ration of water to grounds that you prefer. Part of the fun of the AeroPress is experimenting with different roasts, ratios, and grinds.
To make a full cup of American style coffee, just add enough hot water to dilute the espresso to your liking. It really couldn’t be easier.
Raising your Coffee Game:
The AeroPress is an excellent addition to the coffee snob’s toolbox, but other accessories will help you get the most of your brewing experience.
An Electric Kettle
A good electric kettle will allow you to heat your water to a specified temperature. This is necessary for the coffee connoisseur because some roasts require different temperatures to extract the proper flavor. Just boiling your water in a pot is not enough.
A Food Scale
Coffee professionals know that you must weigh your ingredients to achieve the proper ratios. Relying on spoons and cups for measurement just isn’t going to cut it. You can use a scale to weigh your beans as well as your water to achieve the perfect cup.
An Adjustable Grinder
Different roasts also call for different grinds. Some coffees require a very fine grind, while others benefit from a coaster grind. An adjustable grinder will ensure that you extract maximum flavor and pleasure from every single roast.
Your AeroPress will come with 350 micro-filters that you can replenish cheaply and easily. They are biodegradable and compostable, allowing you to cut down on waste. While the AeroPress does not require other specialty equipment, an electric kettle, a food scale, and an adjustable grinder will ensure you get the most out of your purchase.
You might just find that you prefer AeroPress coffee to the brews from your local coffee shop. Let the brewing begin!