Want to get some great results out of your Aeropress coffee maker? I’m going to share a few tips and tricks in my brewing guide…
“Welcome to Bear Essentials Brewing Guides, this collection of articles will focus on providing “how to guides” for various coffee brewing systems. I will aim to strike a balance between the mythical “ideal brew method” and real life practicality. I find it important to remember that not everyone has temperature controlled water heaters and filtered water, along with high precision scales and timers, and more importantly, even if they do, not everyone wants to spend that much effort on every cup of coffee, so while I will include some tips and tricks, these articles will be as accessible as possible.”
This article is all about the Aeropress and how to get good results with it at home. I’ll get straight to the meat of the article with my brewing guide and then a little further down I will give some info on the history of this modern brewing method.
Bear’s Aeropress Brew Guide
Start by boiling a kettle with about 250ml-300ml of water and leaving it to cool. Or if you have access to a temperature controlled water unit set it for 96c/205f. We don’t want to use quite boiling water, not because there is a risk of scalding the coffee grounds, that’s a myth. That myth has been around a long time, but when you consider the temperature that the beans were roasted at it makes very little sense. We control temperature in brewing because hotter water creates a faster extraction.
Set the Aeropress up with the plunger at the “4” mark and turn the whole unit upside down. Really trust me on this. For those who want to know this is called the “inverted method” and for me it provides a better infusion for the coffee.
Add 18g (1 level Aeropress scoop is close enough) of fresh ground coffee into the chamber. As always I’ll add that if you are going to invest extra funds in your home brewing, the first place to spend it is on a grinder. No one thing has the same level of impact on your home brewed coffee as the step from pre ground to fresh ground coffee.
Pour just below boiling water into the chamber up to just under the top. This is about 250ml or a 13:1 water to coffee ratio, which I find is pretty much spot on for flavour balance.
Stir the coffee into the water for about 30 seconds. This agitation is a crucial part of ensuring the immersion, infusion and extraction of the coffee grounds.
Top up the chamber with more hot water. As the coffee infuses the level of the liquid will drop a little naturally. Ideally start a timer. I don’t state that you have to do this, but a little precision in the infusion/extraction timing can go a long way to getting the best from your Aeropress. We want to aim for about a minute and a half before we finish the brewing process.
While you wait place the paper filter into the cap and then wet it with hot water, you can skip this step if you have a reusable metal filter. Screw onto the top of the brewing unit. The pre wetting of the filter will help with even distribution as you use the pressure pump of the Aeropress, and will limit any papery taste in the drink.
After 1:30 of brewing time, put your cup upside down on top of the unit and then carefully invert the whole thing so it stands normally. It’s perfectly safe to do this as the seal on the Aeropress will contain the hot liquid until you apply pressure. As always just remember and respect the heat of the liquid you are using.
Gently depress the plunger with an even pressure until its fully down and you hear air expelled from it, leave to settle for a few seconds. This pressured final process is the key to the Aeropress’ unique effect on mouthfeel and flavour.
Take off the unit cap near a bin and press the plunger fully through to deposit the filter and coffee puck into the waste. If you have a reusable metal filter you will need to do this a little differently as you don’t want to bin that filter! This part is one of the best things about the Aeropress, so very easy to maintain.
Wash the whole Aeropress with hot water and store with the plunger pressed fully through.
Enjoy your coffee!
The History of Aeropress
Over the years various companies have done what they can to approximate the intensity of flavour in a quality espresso with portable brewing devices. One method that has gained a strong support in the coffee world is the Aeropress. We can thank one Alan Alder, the man behind the Aerobie, yes that funky frisbee thing from the 80’s for this innovation in coffee brewing. In 2005 Alder patented a modern coffee brewing system, a method he chose to call the Aeropress. The Aeropress itself is a thing of remarkable simplicity, a paper filter is placed into a locking lid, while coffee grounds are mixed with hot water in a large syringe style tube, the user then applies pressure to the syringe mechanism forcing the liquid through the filter and into a vessel. The resulting drink is a clean and intense one, reminiscent of pour over coffee but with arguably more body and mouthfeel.
The Aeropress method has a lot to recommend it and has really grown in popularity, capturing the hearts and minds of many coffee lovers. Nowadays you can order a coffee brewed in an Aeropress in many coffee shops. There are even global Aeropress Brewing Championship competitions, no really there are. All of this is amazing but for me the real joy of this method is its accessibility, something you may notice is a passion of mine. You don’t need a lot of extra kit to brew good coffee with the Aeropress, in fact the device itself, some fresh ground coffee and hot water will do the job just fine. Yes you can use scales and plenty of other paraphernalia to increase the precision of your brew, but the brewing technique is robust enough that you will be able to get a solid cup time and again with just the basics. Really one of the most “user friendly” home brew methods available today for my money.
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Thanks, – Bear