April 07, 2015

I wanted to write something about the Aeropress for two main reasons. Firstly, I love it. Secondly, I believe that it is one of those pieces of equipment that has the potential to really open up the world of specialty coffee to everyone, including absolute beginners.

Now, the Aeropress is not a good option for espresso despite the claims of the manufacturers. What it does do brilliantly well though is brew high quality, single origin beans to make great filter coffee.

There is an element of personal preference here so I’d encourage you to see this more as a good place to start than as a definitive method and it should be pretty obvious where you can tweak things.  A final bit of advice….keep your method the same and just change grind size to get the coffee tasting how you like it.

So, first things first, here’s what you’ll need: a kettle, a grinder, an Aeropress, some kitchen scales, a thermometer and a stopwatch/timer. We’re going to assume that you don’t have a thermometer.

  • Weigh out your coffee beans according to the recipe that you are using. We find ourselves almost always using between 13-15g of beans
  • Boil your kettle. You need a fair bit of water when using the Aeropress.
  • Stand the Aeropress, ‘upside-down’ on it’s plunger, on your scales. The two parts of the Aeropress should be connected so that the whole thing is stable but whilst maximising the room in the brew chamber, the rubber part only needs to be a centimetre or so into the other half.
  • Place a clean filter paper in the Aeropress filter cap and lower it into the bottom of the mug. Half fill your mug with your boiled water.  This will help to remove any paper flavours form the filter as well as pre-heating your mug.
  • You now have a couple of minutes before the water will drop to the right temperature, ready for brewing. It’s possible to brew using water at anywhere from 85-98 degrees, depending on the recipe. Ours is a faster process, so we use water at around 97-98 degrees.
  • Now grind your coffee. This is the bit you where you need to experiment and find the right grind size to extract the coffee well, it can vary a fair bit from bean to bean.
  • Add the ground coffee to the Aeropress, turn on your scales and ensure they are zeroed.
  • Once the water in your pouring kettle reaches the temperature specified in the recipe, start your timer and make the first pour of 30g water over the first 10 seconds and then stir like a champ for a further 20 seconds.
  • At 30 seconds, add the rest of the water until you get to 240g on your scales, then give it one more quick stir. Screw on the cap and gently push down on the Aeropress to eliminate any air between the lid and the surface of the coffee. Stop pushing as the liquid appears through the holes.
  • At 1 minute and 10 seconds, slowly flip it upside-down and onto the top of your mug, giving the coffee a couple of seconds to settle.
  • At 1 minute and 15 seconds, take 15 seconds to steadily plunge the coffee into the cup, being careful to leave at least 10g or so in the Aeropress, i.e. stop before you hear the hiss.
  • Now, undo the cap over the sink and push out your puck of coffee grounds.

So, there it is. I know it seems like a lot of hassle but I promise that it’s worth it. It’s actually really simple despite appearances and you’ll soon be tweaking and trying things out. I find that this method gives you a really sound basis to work from. Different coffees will extract better at different temperatures – we’ll always give you this information. The only bit you need to work out for yourself is the grind size. If the coffee needs more intensity of flavour, make the grind finer, if you’re experiencing bitterness, make it coarser.

Good luck, I hope you enjoy your coffee.



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