Here's the fifth instalment of our BREW AT HOME BLOG GUIDES designed to help you brew up great tasting coffee on a range of basic home coffee equipment. We've designed these guides to be as useful and uncomplicated as possible to help fill the coffee shop sized hole in all our lives.
GUIDE 5: Make the perfect Aeropress.
The Aeropress is an odd looking brewer from the man behind the Aerobie: the frisbee that looks like a bagel and frequently gets stuck in trees or stolen by dogs at the park.
Invented in 2005 by Alan Adler, the Aeropress is a plastic brewer that looks alarmingly like a big syringe. It consists of three main parts:
- The chamber: this is the section with the name and numbers.
- The plunger: fitting inside the chamber, the plunger has a rubber stopper attached.
- The basket: this is the black section that the filter paper is placed in, and screws on to the chamber.
When the basket is screwed on and the plunger is placed inside the chamber, the Aeropress becomes a vacuum, and therefore requires pressure to squeeze the coffee through the filter.
Just like every other coffee brewing product, there are a million and one recipes and methods for brewing with the Aeropress. On that note, we would suggest avoiding the original method from creator Alan Adler. Everybody has their preferences, and we mean no disrespect, but we would rather avoid putting our filter coffee and some cold milk in the microwave to make a ‘latte’, but each to their own!
After its invention, folk in coffee latched on to this strange new brewing technique, gave it a whirl, and completely remodelled how to brew with it. It was such a massive hit among the coffee community that in 2008 the first World Aeropress Championship took place in Oslo. You can read about the progression of the WAC here - it’s come a long way!
Our method yields a coffee more similar to a full-immersion filter coffee as opposed to an espresso-style, and is suitable for a single cup. We use the inverted method here, which consists of having the brewer ‘upside down’ and placing the filter and basket on last, as opposed to first.
At the bottom of the guide we have a few brewing tips, plus some World Aeropress Championship brewing methods if you fancy playing around. Brewing coffee at home is a great opportunity to play around with quantities and techniques, don’t be afraid to try something new!
You will need:
Let's get brewing!
1. Weigh out 17g of coffee, and grind medium/fine, between Kosher and table salt consistency.
2. Fix the two main sections of the Aeropress together, with the plunger pushed to the number 4 labelled on the chamber (refer to the Aeropress in the equipment image above the method). Place on top of the scales, with the open chamber facing up. Place coffee in the chamber, and shake to flatten the bed.
3. Over your empty mug, place the filter paper into the basket, and rinse.
4. Start your timer (0.00) and pour 50g of boiling water into the chamber, saturating the grounds, and leaving it to bloom. Give this a good stir.
5. At 0.30, fill the chamber up to a total brew weight of 220g.
6. Screw the basket tightly on to the top of the Aeropress.
7. At 1.20, place your mug upside down on top of the Aeropress, and quickly (but carefully) flip the brewer and mug by holding one in each hand and flipping in one swift movement.
8. Using a firm amount of pressure, press the plunger down into the chamber, and stop when you hear a hissing noise. Your plunge should take roughly 20-30seconds.
9. Remove the Aeropress, and top up your mug with hot water if desired.
* The ‘bloom’ stage is where the coffee degasses and releases CO2. You may see fresh coffee expand and bubble a little, and this is the gas being released. This is arguably the point in the brew where the sweeter notes are extracted from the coffee.
* When rinsing the filter, hold the basket by its ‘ears’, and pour slowly to avoid burning your fingers. Rinsing the filter removes the papery taste, and preheats your mug.
* It is important to stir the bloom, as the agitation will assure that all the grounds are saturated.
* If you are brewing with this inverted method for the first time, try practicing the ‘flip’ a couple of times without any coffee in the Aeropress. This will ensure that you know where to hold, and how to flip, before attempting with hot coffee! Have confidence in your flip! Be swift yet careful.
* When plunging, ensure your mug will not slip on the worktop by steadying it with your other hand.
* Once you have finished brewing, the Aeropress is very easy to clean. Simply unscrew the basket, and push the plunger the final inch into the chamber over the bin or compost. This will force out the coffee puck, mess free.
* Stir and taste the coffee before adding any hot water. If adding some, weigh it out, and then you can be consistent in adding the same amount of water for the next time.
If you fancy playing around with some other methods, you can check out the recipes used by the winners and runners up of the World Aeropress Championships here.