AeroPress Coffee & 'Espresso' Maker

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by Wolfy, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Wolfy

    Wolfy Big Bad Wolf

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    The AeroPress® Coffee & Espresso Maker is a small, portable and very easy to use 'coffee maker' made by the frisbee company Aerobie®: http://aerobie.com/products/aeropress.htm

    The AeroPress is quite popular with coffee-enthusiasts and has been mentioned in many threads on OCAU, however I couldn't find a dedicated thread ... So thought I would post some pictures and details on how easily you can make some really decent coffee. Current price for the AeroPress is about $35 / $45 / $55 (AliExpress / Ebay / Local online coffee suppliers), but can be picked up under $30 new when on sale.

    Essentially the AeroPress is a large 'coffee syringe', that presses the coffee out under pressure via a filter:
    [​IMG]

    While those who take their coffee very seriously will use digitial scales, accurate thermometers and liquid measures, I tend to throw mine together in the morning to drink in the car on the way to work. No matter how you put it together some decent coffee is a nice start, ManaBean's Jamocha, about 1 scoop:
    [​IMG]

    Medium-fine grind, somewhere between espresso and filter grind:
    [​IMG]

    The first thing to do when you get your AeroPress is to discard and ignore the instructions, insert the plunger, turn it upside down and dump in the coffee ('Inverted AeroPress'):
    [​IMG]

    Temperature controlled kettle helps get the water to the 'right' temps, or let it come to the boil and then rest some:
    [​IMG]

    Add water and stir to wet/mix well:
    [​IMG]

    Then fill to the top of the AeroPress:
    [​IMG]

    Wait a minute or two, add the filter to the filter-basket and run some water over it:
    [​IMG]
    The AeroPress comes with a few hundred paper filters, but after-market perforated or mesh stainless filters are available, and are reportedly better.
    (Unfortunately Kaffeologie want to charge $45 just to ship one, so still looking).

    Carefully invert and press down to filter and extract the coffee directly into your glass, some pressure is required but it's not usually that difficult:
    [​IMG]
    The IKEA-silicon mat or some similar non-slip surface is highly recommended for this part of the process. Hot liquids, pressure, slippery surface and pre-coffee early mornings don't mix well.

    .... and you are done:
    [​IMG]

    A very decent and more than acceptable (better than coffee from most non-dedicated-specialty shops) shot of coffee. While they advertise it as an 'Espresso' maker there is no crema, but it does make a great long-black:
    [​IMG]

    Clean-up is a breeze, the AeroPress essentially cleans itself as you push it through, just unscrew the filter and push out the spent coffee:
    [​IMG]
    Maybe give it a wash once a week or so.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Wolfy

    Wolfy Big Bad Wolf

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    The AeroPress is easy to use and experiment with, so now that summer is here, its also easy to make cold-pressed or ice-coffee.

    Slightly more coffee and slightly courser grind:
    [​IMG]

    An empty Aldi-mustard jar is the exact right size for the AeroPress, fill with cold water and mix:
    [​IMG]

    Refrigerate overnight, mix if/when you notice it:
    [​IMG]

    Add to inverted AeroPress, attach the filter and press as per usual:
    [​IMG]

    Quick, easy and very decent cold-filtered coffee:
    [​IMG]
    A great start on a hot summer day, spoil it with milk or add ice to make iced-coffee if you want, but sweetener shouldn't really be needed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  3. OP
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    Wolfy

    Wolfy Big Bad Wolf

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    I'm quite sure that others here are more dedicated to their coffee than me, so any comments, suggestions, updates, creative uses for or more detailed instructions to make the perfect AeroPress coffee are welcome.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  4. Turnip Dude

    Turnip Dude Member

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    My Aeropress (and yes, stainless steel filter disk and Porlex hand grinder) is gathering dust on top of my fridge (where I keep all crapgadgets that I may one day use again before coming to my senses and binning the lot to make room for the next wave). It was fun for a while but way too much effort considering what you get out of it. No crema? Results dependent on tiny variations on grind size? I gave up and went to the dark side (tea).

    These days I bung a Tetleys Extra Strong tea bag into a mug under a single serve auto-boiler and a splash of low fat milk and you have an awesome cuppa. Zero faffing about, which means more time spent on the internet and just as much if not more mouth-fun.
     
  5. p3t0r

    p3t0r Member

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    Hey guys, I'm interested in aeropress however is there really much of a difference between this and a French press?
     
  6. scon

    scon Member

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    One of the biggest differences that I've seen when compared to a regular plunger is the ease of cleanup - once you're done you just push the syringe part through and the puck of coffee just pops out.
     
  7. zach

    zach (Banned or Deleted)

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    That actual coffee is cleaner too, less gritty bits.
     
  8. holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    The coffee is far less shit than French press. That stuff is just swill.

    I rarely use my aero press as I have espresso. But sometimes a clean, crisp tasting black coffee is called for and so I drag out the AP.
     
  9. Turnip Dude

    Turnip Dude Member

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    As scon and zach point out, the aeropress is (marginally) easier to clean and produces less 'gritty' coffee than a french press. For the life of me, and after weeks of constant annotated experimentation with grind size, technique, timing etc I could not get a decent tasting cup of coffee out of the aeropress, whereas the french press knocked it out of the park each time. And I was buying fresh beans from a local boutique roaster.

    Your kilometerage may vary, but for me it was way too much faffing about for a bleary-eyed weekday morning so I switched back to good old-fashioned strong tea.
     
  10. p3t0r

    p3t0r Member

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    Thanks for the comments! I am happy using my Silvia for espresso and french press for black coffee. I may just ask for an AP for an xmas / birthday gift :D
     
  11. doug81

    doug81 Member

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    good addition for an aeropress is a hand grinder. nothing more needed than hot water and fresh beans. Took mine travelling for a year and came in handy many times. Great for camping too!
     
  12. neRok

    neRok Member

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    This joint sells a couple different stainless filters
    http://www.centralcoastcoffee.com.au/category/other-coffee-makers/

    I use thermometer in the kettle to get the temp close to 80c. If I put in 1 scoop, I fill to 1, as per instructions. Then ~1min before pressing (paper filter, normal orientation). Makes a nice FW.

    I grind until I have 2 scoops of grounds (I also have a sunbeam grinder). I thought this is what the instructions said to do! Is it scoops of beans, not scoops of grinds?! I'm going to have to research/test. Or is the 1 scoop of beans just a good amount for your full to the brim method?

    Ive never used that black funnel thing, didn't know what it was for lol. The press sits on my mugs perfectly.
     
  13. OP
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    Wolfy

    Wolfy Big Bad Wolf

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    Thanks for the suggestion, but they're out of stock (like the few other local places I looked).

    From what I can tell, most advanced recipes that actually weigh the coffee, say that it amounts to about 1 scoop, so that's good enough for me. When I used a blade grinder it needed more coffee due to the inconsistent grind, but using the inverted method and letting it brew for longer, likely accounts for why less coffee is needed than following the included instructions.

    When pressing/filtering, the thing fits OK on most of the mugs/travel-mugs I use, however its such a tight fit that some tends to spill down the sides unless I press really slowly, hence using the funnel thingy.
     
  14. Turnip Dude

    Turnip Dude Member

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    Bill Gates once said that the best way to get something done was to ask a lazy person to do it, because they will always work out the most efficient method.

    Some people enjoy the ritual as much as they enjoy the product, and good for them, the ritual becomes the product. Like shaving, some guys love the lather and the straight blade and some guys just want to get it over with.

    Based on what I read on blogs and being someone that enjoys good coffee I bought an Aeropress. Initial results were mediocre but I saw the promise so I purchased a metal filter. Then a Porlex hand grinder. I watched hours of youtube videos and experimented with technique, inversion, grind size, pre-heating, pre-soaking, you name it.

    Could not even get close to the taste of a cup from a basic cafetiére, made with a quarter of the effort. If anyone can tell me the magic recipe to getting decent coffee from an Aeropress will be delighted to hear it.

    Otherwise I will stick to the 3 blade generic razor in the shower and leave the badger bristle brush and leather-stropped straight blade to the Samourai amongst us.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  15. shmity

    shmity Member

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    Wolfy, pop into Padre in brunswick. I got my metal filter there back when coava were still making them...if you really want one. I find that the paper filters work better though. They are finer than the metal ones and let you work with a finer grind in your coffee if you want.

    Really you should be working with a grind something closer to filter rather than espresso. And despite the name, its a method of brewing long black coffee, not espresso shots. Its the best way of producing a well balanced full body coffee. Its cleaner than a french press and has more of the good stuff extracted than something like chemex or V60. It can be drunk from the point you extract it right down to room temperature. You can actually taste the coffee get sweeter as it drops in temperature. If you cant get this, then you're doing it wrong.

    The best recipes are on the aeropress world championship website. Look there and experiment yourself. Try different beans, some people like the juicy fruity flavours of sidamos, generally this is a good place to start because you know if you got it right and can taste that, or if it tastes like balls then you probably got it wrong. There are plenty of excellent roasters in australia, all working with great in season beans. Go and get them to make you one, taste it and see how good it is. Buy 250 grams of their stuff and try it yourself till you get it right.

    The most important peice of equipment to pair with an aeropress and a grinder? A set of scales. You can get some good ones off amazon for less than 20 bucks that will help you get your coffee and water weights perfect. ALL coffee brewing methods from espresso to french press and everything in between rely on a few things:

    Coffee weight
    Water weight
    Grind
    Pre infusion/blooming
    Extraction time/infusion time

    Different methods rely on different parts more than others, but they all play a part.

    Also, preheat EVERYTHING. pre heat the aeropress, preheat the mug, preheat and rinse the filter. This makes sure your temperature stays as consistent as possible while extracting. If you dont then the water temperature drops each time it hits something cold and you get an odd extraction.

    Follow some good recipes and use some excellent beans and you will get great results.

    http://worldaeropresschampionship.com/recipes/

    Go forth and caffinate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  16. doug81

    doug81 Member

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    use boiling water from the kettle into your mug first. Mug gets warmed, temperature of the water drops, win-win!

    I've found that the paper filters are best the second and third time around. First cup is OK, but rinse the filter under cold water and leave it to dry. cup 2 & 3 are very nice :thumbup: Also means your standard pack of filters will be good for 3 cups a day for a year...

    oh, and neRok, the funnel was supposed to be for the coffee grounds (but yeah, I've never used that or the stirring paddle, back of the teaspoon works a treat!)
     
  17. neRok

    neRok Member

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    I reuse my paper filters also. I only drink a few coffees on the weekends, so 1 filter lasts the whole weekend. I did have a stainless, but the stitching broke from the frame and made a hole after not too much use (maybe a couple of months). A bit disappointing. As others mentioned, the stainless filters are not as fine, and brewing in the regular method, a lot more water would drip out of the press. Paper holds it in better (until you press).

    @Turnip Dude, do you get fresh roasted beans, or ground coffee from the supermarket?
     
  18. Turnip Dude

    Turnip Dude Member

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    I got my beans from a roaster in the Fremantle Markets, I forget the name now but I think it might be Dark Star (awesome movie, yes I'm that old). Had a great email exchange with Tim over a bag that wouldn't open, I love it when a business owner is happy to interact with clients when there's an issue. I have no doubt as to the quality of his beans cos I could get a gorgeous cup out of the cafetière except with the usual sludge at the bottom. Vacuum packed valved bags dated less than a week since roast. Using the aeropress on the same beans resulted in a watery, vaguely coffee-like unpleasant hot drink. I guess that's the problem with trying to teach yourself how to do something using the internet.

    Participating in this thread has made me want to try again. But the results/effort ratio better be damn high. Can anyone give practical advice?
     
  19. fredhoon

    fredhoon Member

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    If you try it again, use beans that are a bit older (1-3 weeks?). If they were only a few days from roasting the flavours may not have matured. The roaster I buy my beans from suggests leaving them to rest for at least 5 days after roasting, with the flavour peaking around 10 days.
     
  20. mevereyn

    mevereyn Member

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    I sometimes use the Aeropress. Always with freshly roasted beans ground for espresso, filtered water and quality local milk.

    Otherwise, it's the full espresso deal (not quite a commercial quality machine, but very good). Occasionally though, I really want the kind of coffee you can get out of the 'press.


    edit: I use a metal filter, too. Prefer it.
     

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