AeroPress

If you have an AeroPress you are probably pretty serious about coffee. It is among the nerdiest of coffee toys. It looks like something out of a chemistry lab. And it can make a mean good cup. There are 4,000 different ways to use this thing (none of which is to make espresso). Here is our suggestion.

Equipment

Water
Coffee
Grinder
Filters
Stirrer
AeroPress
Receiving Vessel
Bonus: Scale and Timer

The Grind

MEDIUM FINER
(a touch finer than table salt)

The name of the apparatus might suggest the use of a fine espresso grind, but we are treating the thing more like a cross between a French press and filtercone. The same grind you would use for a filtercone will work here, maybe a bit finer. If you feel too much resistance while plunging, you have gone too fine. Dial it back.

Ratio

Many Aeropress recipes call for a coffee/water ratio higher than one usually used for other brew methods. While these might be necessary with a shortened brew time, we prefer to stretch ours out and, therefore, use a ratio similar to one we would use for a filtercone.

coffee / water

16 g / 250 mL
2 big tbsp / 9 oz

Procedure

  1. Bring clean water to 205˚F (96˚C) or just off boil.
  2. Grind your fresh beans.
  3. Assemble Aeropress with filter (minus plunger), place atop vessel and scale.
  4. Thoroughly rinse filter with hot water to remove any residue and warm the device and vessel. Discard water.
  5. Add ground coffee and tare the scale.
  6. Start timer. Pour enough water to saturate the grounds (about 30 g / 1 oz).
  7. Give it a quick stir then let it sit for 30".
  8. Slowly pour in the remainder of the water (up to about the number 4) and place plunger in top just enough to seal it.
  9. At about 1'45", remove plunger and give the coffee another quick stir.
  10. Replace plunger and begin slowly depressing. Stop when you hear a hissing sound. Your plunge should take about 30" with a total brew time near 2'30".

Coda

The AeroPress is one of the most versatile pieces of coffee brewing equipment out there. It allows total control of all the important factors - water temperature, grind size, brew time - and introduces a new variable in pressure. Plus it's super durable and compact. The above procedure treats the device like a filtercone, with little emphasis placed on the pressure exerted during the plunge. This allows for an extended brew time (less need for precision) with the benefit of a total immersion brew as found with a French press or Clever dripper. We think it works great, but as with all techniques, adjust it to suit your taste.