What is Aeropress and how do we use it?
What do frisbees and coffee have in common? Not much, except Alan Adler. Alan is an American inventor known for his toy prototypes. Also, he invented Aeropress in 2005. and we can’t thank him enough. Aeropress is one of our favorite coffee makers. Well, if you can call it that way. Aeropress consists of a plunger mechanism and a filter cap. You need to put coffee in the coffee basket. Add some hot water and stir. Then, press the plunger mechanism. Water will go right through the coffee ground, extracting them. The best part? You don’t need any electricity. Aeropress works using just the pressure of the air and your muscles. So, we just need to find the best coffee for Aeropress now. And that’s what this article is all about.
How to choose the best coffee for Aeropress?
Choosing the best coffee for Aeropress is a process that cannot be taken lightly. A bad cup of coffee is never an option in our lives. So, we made you a list of things to look after when choosing the right coffee for Aeropress.
Pre-ground or whole beans
Let’s be honest here, whole beans are always a better choice. You can choose all the bean aspects, from flavor to roast, and you will get an unmatched freshness and taste. But pre-ground coffee is also a decent choice. Let’s not forget that not everyone has access to fresh beans all the time. A large number of coffee aficionados live in smaller cities, with limited market options. Of course, they can order coffee online, and it’s easier than ever. But, some people simply like the simplicity and convenience that pre-ground coffee brings toon the table.
In short: if you can choose, choose the whole bean. If not, well…
Every coffee bean carries the geographic characteristic of its origin. So, coffee from Kenya and coffee from Ethiopia will never taste the same. That’s great for coffee drinkers, and we have two main reasons why:
- You can stick to your favorite bean origin, knowing it will taste great every single time
- You can choose combined coffee beans, which will bring out the best flavors from every origin
Remember that single-origin beans can taste great but will never have the aroma combo like combined beans.
The roast scale has many nuances, but there are three main coffee roast levels. Those are light, medium, and dark roasts. Now, remember that Aeropress enhances the characteristic of every roast. So, if you normally drink medium roasted coffee, try light roast in Aeropress. For a cup of stronger coffee, use medium roast. And if you want your coffee to taste extremely strong, use dark roast for Aeropress.
Different coffee beans have different flavors. Your favorite coffee can taste like almonds, blackberries or chocolate, or some of the other flavors. It all depends on the natural flavors contained in the beans. Using Aeropress for your coffee making will further enhance those flavors and provide you with a drinking experience no other brewing method can achieve,
You should always pick the package size based on your coffee drinking habits. The usual package size is two pounds. It’s a great standard package which will last you for seven days, more or less. This way, you don’t have to worry about beans losing freshness. That said, if you drink coffee only occasionally, opt for a smaller bag. For serious caffeine junkies or coffee shops, some coffee companies offer five-pound bags. Of course, it’s always better to buy a smaller bag, for the sake of freshness. But, if you don’t have a choice, you can always buy larger bags of coffee and store them in airtight containers, if needed.
What kind of beans do you use in Aeropress?
Aeropress is the best way to enjoy the full flavor of some good, single-origin beans. Our advice is to go with a fruity, sweet taste, as it will work out exceptionally well using this method. Of course, you can make a coffee by using any good beans, but go for something exotic. Something like:
- Hawaiian Kona coffee has a floral aroma, sweet scent, and medium body. Also, besides the Californian experiment, Hawaiian coffee is the only coffee grown entirely in the USA.
- Colombian coffees are slightly acidic, which pairs well with the fruity undertones these beans have. Light flavor is one of the main perks.
- Brazil is the world’s biggest coffee producer. Most of the Brazilian coffees will give you subtle chocolate and nutty nuances.
- Kenyan coffee beans sometimes ask for an acquired taste. Bold flavors and acidity will make you love these beans or hate them. There is no between.
How do I make perfect Aeropress coffee?
We assume that you already picked your favorite coffee for Aeropress. Oscar Wilde would say: I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. And so should you. So, after picking your favorite coffee beans, let’s go through all the steps necessary to make a perfect coffee using Aeropress.
- Measuring and grinding
Using your kitchen scale, measure 16-18 grams of beans. When you get the hang of it, you can adjust the dosage. But for now, let’s stick to the basics. If you don’t own a scale, take two and a half tablespoons of beans. Grind those beans on a medium size. Their texture should resemble the table salt.
Of course, if you are using pre-ground coffee, just weigh 16 to 18 grams.
- Prepare your equipment
Put the unbleached paper filter inside the Aeropress cap. Boil some water in a kettle and use it to wet the filter and preheat the Aeropress. Wetting the filter enables it to stick firmer to the cap while preheating the Aeropress will help the coffee retain temperature for longer.
- Water issues
Every coffee beverage is cca 98% water. So bad water means bad coffee. Always use clean and fresh water. If your tap water is not drinkable or contains too many minerals, opt for bottled water. Heat water until it reaches a temperature between 175F and 205F. Check with your thermometer.
- Adding the coffee
Add your coffee grounds to the Aeropress chamber. Shake it a little bit so the grounds are evenly distributed.
- Adding the water
For 17 grams of coffee, you will need cca 220 grams of hot water. Again, the kitchen scale is your friend. No scale? No problem. Pour the water until it reaches number 4 on the Aeropress.
- Stir and plug
Stir the coffee using a spoon or a chopstick. Just make sure all grounds are soaked. Insert the Aeropress plunger on the chamber. Push it a bit, so it creates a vacuum. Now, wait 60 seconds for the grounds to steep.
Press the plunger down slowly. The time needed for the plunger to reach the bottom is anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute. You should feel resistance, but not too much. If the plunger just slides to the bottom, you used too coarse grind. If you struggle with pushing the plunger down, you used a too fine grind. But if you did everything right, and we know you did, you will hear a hissing sound. The sounds mean the process was successful.
You should get a clean, beautiful, full-bodied cup of joe. If the taste is too strong, you can always dilute it. Use hot water, ice cubes, or some of the best creamers for coffee.
You should clean your Aeropress after every use. The cleaning process is quick and kinda fun. Unscrew the cap. Then, press the plunger and launch the used coffee grounds into your trash bin or compost box. Wash the Aeropress thoroughly using only warm water. Leave it to dry. The process took one minute, max.
Can you use pre-ground coffee in Aeropress?
Of course. Although most of the coffee snobs scoff when someone mentions pre-ground coffee, it’s not bad at all. Pre-ground coffee has its advantages.
First, availability. You can find the pre-ground bags of coffee in every grocery shop. That’s a plus compared to whole beans.
The second perk is the price. Pre-ground coffee is ultimately cheaper than beans. Every time. And not just for the beans. Using pre-ground coffee means you don’t need grinders, home roasters, or any of that equipment. Just your faithful kitchen scale, thermometer, and a spoon.
Ultimately, the biggest advantage of pre-ground coffee is simplicity. Sometimes you just want your coffee here and now. You don’t want to measure the beans, grind them, measure again, and so on. You just want to grab a spoon and make a coffee in your Aeropress. That, my friend, is where the pre-ground wins vs. the whole beans. Take some fine type of coffee, possibly in a smaller package, to preserve the freshness. Always chose medium grind and light or medium roast.
Why is Aeropress coffee so good?
You will need a working hand (one) to brew the coffee with Aeropress. We bet you could even make a coffee using only your foot (not advisable). Aeropress is an almost 100% foolproof method that will provide you with an excellent cup of joe every time. You just need few minutes of your time. No electricity or complicated machines.
No coffee brewer can make good coffee from bad beans. But Aeropress will make you a wonderful coffee from good beans and enhance all the natural aromas of your beans. Thus, if you happen to choose bad beans, you will still get a bad coffee. But if you pick beans rich in flavors, your cup of joe will taste like nothing before.
Aeropress is usually used to brew strong cups of coffee, similar to espresso. However, that’s not all you can do with it. This machine is perfect for experimenting. Try different water temperatures, roast levels, and grind sizes. Make your personal perfect ratio for a perfect morning cup of coffee.
Why is my Aeropress coffee bitter?
If your cup of joe came out bitter from the Aeropress, the reason is usually the slow extraction. Thus, your grind size is too coarse. Try using a bit finer grind, if you can. If you still don’t own a burr grinder, shame on you then. Leave your current coffee ground in immersion for a bit longer. If that doesn’t help, your water temperature is the issue. The perfect water temperature for extraction is just around 195 F. Get a small kitchen thermometer to help you be more precise. If these methods don’t help, then it’s your coffee that’s the problem. Switch to some good single-origin coffee.
Should I get Aeropress or Aeropress Go?
Aeropress Go is an offspring of the original Aeropress. Basically, it is a mobile version for people who can’t imagine going anywhere without coffee. To be honest, the only difference is size and convenience. The original Aeropress is quite robust compared to the Aeropress Go. But, it also makes a bigger mug of coffee. The Aeropress Go is small, compact, and will serve you on your numerous camping trips or beach weekends. This version comes with silicone parts and a plastic mug as an all-in-one solution. However, the Aeropress Go can only make cca 8 oz of coffee in one try.
So, if you drink coffee at home, get yourself an original Aeropress. For camping trips, go with Go (bad pun intended).
What is Aeropress inverted method?
No, it’s not something that Aussies use. This method is also known as the Upside Down Aeropress. Why do we have an inverted method? Well, because people are perfectionists by nature. The standard Aeropress method, used by Alan Adler himself, apparently has some issues:
- There is always a bit of under-extracted coffee in your cup
- Steeping time is long
- The crema is lost
As you see, nothing drastic, but hey, people talk. So, the all-seeing baristas have come up with the inverted method. You will take the same steps as usual. Grind the beans, prepare the water, yadda, yadda. But this time, you will set the Aeropress upside down. The rest of the steps are also similar, until the hard one – setting the reverted Aeropress on your cup. For a better explanation, take a look at this video. We trust that Paulina ‘Panda’ Miczka, a winner of the 2017 WAC (World Aeropress Championship), is better at explaining.
Best coffee for Aeropress FAQ
What grind size does Aeropress use?
Aeropress uses medium grind. If you choose too coarse grind, you will under extract the coffee and end with a diluted drink that tastes grassy. Choosing a too fine grind size will over-extract your beans, giving you a bitter taste and possibly clogging your Aeropress.
Can you use flavored coffee for Aeropress?
As Aeropress enhances the flavors of coffee, this is not advisable. Many of our readers tried it, as they wanted a seasonal taste of their cup of joe. Almost every time, the result was the over-concentrated flavor and undrinkable coffee. Flavored coffee beans are not meant to go inside AeroPress. However, you can always add a pinch of spices to your ground coffee.
Which coffee is best for Aeropress?
Repeat these three words:
Those are the perks you should be looking for when choosing the best coffee for Aeropress. The thing that makes the Aeropress coffee different from the others is the clean taste. You can extract all the fine flavors from the bean without the risk some of them will be dominant. So, it would be a shame to put bad beans in Aeropress.
Opt for lighter roasts, all the way to medium ones. Avoid dark and espresso roast, as they will be bitter. If possible, choose specialty beans or beans rich in natural flavors. As for the grind, we recommend you grind your beans, as always. Use your faithful kitchen scale and burr grinder to achieve the most precise results. A medium grind is the best choice if you are new in the Aeropress world. With time, you can always adjust the grind size. If you don’t have a home grinder, you should get one. But until then, you can always ask your roaster or coffee house to grind the beans. Some of them even have the Aeropress level of grind available, so they will save you the hassle.
Should I buy an Aeropress?
Yes, you should. Aeropress makes coffee brewing easy. And not just easy, it makes it available. The basic Aeropress models can be found for a price of a bag of coffee. This funny-looking plastic tube has brought a revolution in the coffee world. You don’t need to go to crowded coffee shops anymore if you don’t like it. Also, you don’t need any of the expensive equipment, or even electricity, for that matter. You just need to find your personal best coffee for Aeropress and take a couple of minutes of your time to drink the best cup of coffee you ever had. And with portable Aeropress models, you will never ever go camping without a coffee.