Lovely, another guide about how to make some excellent coffee. This time, we are focusing on using an AeroPress to make your brew. The AeroPress is a beautiful piece of kit that you can use for brewing your coffee, it was invited in 2005 by I’m not too sure, let’s just call that person a hero.
If you’re someone who is used to using a French Press, then you may not be familiar with the differences between a French Press and an AeroPress for brewing for coffee. Today, we are going to cover some of the differences here, methods with the AeroPress and FAQs.
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Firstly, with the rise in stay-at-home baristas, there has been a surge in manual brewing at home, both a French Press and an AeroPress tick this box. The AeroPress is a newer method that took the industry by storm overnight and has been a popular choice ever since.
An AeroPress is made up of two cylinders, which will be plastic, the larger cylinder is for brewing, and the second is the plunger chamber. This second chamber is what is pressed down to add pressure by pressing the water, which aids in extracting coffee.
The note on pressure is what makes the AeroPress stand out against other coffee devices. It gives you total control over the amount of pressure you apply, which will vary based on how you like your coffee.
Another key point in favor of the AeroPress is the shorter brewing time that means quicker coffee in your mug! It sounds like a win to me. A French Press isn’t exactly slow, mine takes roughly 5-6 minutes which I always thought was great. However, the AeroPress setup is around 1 minute!
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Having said all of this in favour of the AeroPress, we can’t be biased here (even if we are) – the French press has a few notable points in its favour as well.
Using a French press is going to give you a stronger tasting coffee due to the metal mesh it uses, more of the oils and properties of your coffee will reach your mug using a French press, hence the stronger tasting cuppa.
The last thing we can think of that will be in favor of the French press would be how much coffee you can make with one. With an AeroPress, you are usually limited to making one mug’s worth of coffee, which in the rush of the morning, is perfect. However, if you want to have a coffee brewed and ready for when you get home from your long, dull day at work, this is where a French Press will excel.
So there you have it, a ramble on about a French press vs. an AeroPress, if after reading the above, you’re set on an AeroPress, carry on reading to find out how to make coffee with your AeroPress and some other vital points.
Firstly, let’s cover the different brewing methods available when using an AeroPress, there are 2 ways of doing this. First, is the inverted method and second, the upright method. Let me first say that the inverted method is trickier and if performed incorrectly can mean you’ll have a leak of boiling water which of course, is a big no. Not just for how badly you could get burnt but also, that boiling water was for my damn coffee! The inverted method involves you flipping the AeroPress and the upright method is… do I really need to explain? Fine, keep your AeroPress upright.
Let’s cover both methods below:
Method 1: The AeroPress flip method
I won’t specify what you’ll need as its coffee and boiling water, if you struggled to figure that out for coffee, then please, seek help. You need to figure out how much water you’d like to use, I prefer using a 1:15 ratio so 15g of water per 1g of coffee. Maybe start with that and add more water if your coffee is too strong or vice versa.
For your grind, to be blunt on this one, it should look and feel like table salt, think about the grind you’d use for a drip brew, and picture it slightly finer, that’s the grind you need here. Use whatever coffee you want for this in terms of region and flavour.
Have your coffee and water ready as per your ratio. Add your water to a kettle or pan and boil your water.
Insert your plunger and set your AeroPress down on a solid surface with the filter side up. Add your coffee and enough boiling water to just submerge the coffee. Stir until no coffee grounds are left dry.
Fill your AeroPress with the remaining boiling water and stir again if you feel like you need to. This is where you need to wait for about 1 minute. I know it’s hard to wait, especially when you smell your coffee.
Brace yourselves, a flip is coming. Place your filter on top of your AeroPress and place your mug on top of that. Try to have the top of the mug around the AeroPress rather than just below it, otherwise, that is more likely to leak. With one hand on your mug and the other on the AeroPress, slowly and smoothly flip your AeroPress. I hope you weren’t expecting to do a Cocktail shaker flip.
You’re getting closer. Now, plunge your AeroPress using the standard method for around 15-20 seconds. If you hear a hissing noise before the time is up, you can stop anyway as that means its done.
There you have it, you’ve made coffee in your AeroPress and performed a flip in the process. When was the last time you make coffee using a method that involves a flip! Don’t be like me and be tempted to try to do it quicker or cooler, it never ends well.
Method 2: The keep your AeroPress upright method
Same thing as the above method with regards to the coffee to water ratio, this is entirely dependent on how you like your coffee to taste. Grind your coffee until it is fine.
Step 1: Assemble and wet the filter
Put everything together including the paper filter and place your AeroPress on top of your mug. You should splash a little bit of your hot water over the filter as it helps the process.
Step 2: In goes the coffee
Add your ground coffee into the AeroPress and add a small amount of water just to cover the top of your coffee. Stir until you’re happy and leave to sit for roughly 30 seconds.
Step 3: Add the rest of your water and press
Add the rest of your water and start pressing slowly on your AeroPress for around another 30-40 seconds. I’d recommend leaving around 45g in the AeroPress and discarding it.
And there you have it, both methods should take under 2/3 minutes from start to a hot brew touching your lips.
You may now be even more confused as to what method you should use, to be honest, I would be too. Luckily for you, I am going to cover the differences in each approach to aid you in your AeroPress coffee brewing process.
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The first and most important thing to state here is that changing methods won’t have a significant impact on the taste of your brew, which is good to know. Using the inverted method virtually ensures that you fully submerge all your coffee in water, which you could technically label as full immersion brewing at home. In reverse, if you use the standard method with your AeroPress, you are essentially drip brewing your coffee, a small part of the coffee anyway.
In simple terms:
- Normal: The coffee starts dripping almost immediately, this means some water didn’t get a chance to extract. Grounds fall to the bottom and create a self-filtering layer, which is what works with the pressure.
- Inverted: You can let it brew for as long as you want, which is a huge bonus. Make sure when you flip that some of your coffee is not stuck to the top. You can solve this by swirling your water round a few times after flipping.
The key takeaway here is to use whatever method you want. The standard way is going to be much easier, and you can do this straight into your mug. The inverted method is going to allow you to brew your coffee for as long as you want. Try both methods a few times and figure out which works best for you in terms of taste and ease and go from there.
Frequently Asked Questions about the AeroPress:
Can I brew Tea in my AeroPress?
We write about coffee all day, every day. However, another industry is booming, just like the coffee industry, the Tea industry.
If you are a lover of Tea, you’ll be happy to know you, in fact, can use your AeroPress to make Tea! You must use the inverted method above. I won’t cover the exact method because it is pretty much the exact same as what we have mentioned above. Just replace the word Coffee with Tea, and you’ll be on your way to making a lovely cup of tea.
Is AeroPress coffee easier on my stomach?
I’ve not noticed this myself, but I have heard a few people whisper that the AeroPress is easier on the stomach. The official website states: AeroPress brewed coffee contains about one-fifth the acidity of drip-brewed and one-ninth the acidity of French Press. This does confirm that drinking coffee brewed in an AeroPress is indeed, better on for your stomach.
Can I use a metal filter with my AeroPress?
AeroPress themselves have said specific companies have manufactured metal filters that work fine with the AeroPress. However, when first making the AeroPress, they conducted numerous taste tests to find out which was better and every single time the paper filter won, which is why they give you 350 paper filters.
AeroPress also found out that a paper filter is healthier as it removes diterpenes from the coffee, diterpenes are potent agents that raise the wrong side of your cholesterol, so this is a good thing.
It seems like AeroPress knows what they’re doing, so try and use the paper filter provided. If you have a metal filter, you could try a few coffees with each and see what you prefer. At the end of the day, this is your coffee.
How do I store my AeroPress?
As mentioned in my brewing methods above, always eject the used coffee right away so it doesn’t set. Store your AeroPress with the silicone seal pushed all the way through the AeroPress chamber to keep compression out.
How do I clean my AeroPress?
Good news, you can place your AeroPress parts in the top part of your dishwasher for an easy clean. It is, however, as per AeroPress not necessary. The plunger wipes the chamber, which will help a lot with keeping it clean, a simple wipe every now and then should suffice. Every now and then, you should remove the seal from the end of the plunger and let it soak in warm, soapy water before scrubbing and then rinse.
After reading this extended blog all about the AeroPress coffee machine, I expect you to all be experts at using this device to make the perfect brew at home. Remember, keep experimenting with the different methods and coffee to water ratio to find the right coffee for you.