Are you tired of the everyday coffee routine? Maybe you’re looking for a lighter, flavourful coffee instead of a bold, heavy French Press. Do you love your espresso machine, but are in need of a travel-friendly alternative? The Aeropress could be the brewing device you’ve been waiting for.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a strong cup of drip, pour-over, or French Press. However, after consistently drinking French Press and pour-over coffee, I was looking for a lighter, smooth finish to mix up my morning routine. I’ll be completely honest: I didn’t find the Aeropress on my own. The Aeropress found me in the form of a birthday gift from a fellow coffee drinker. And in giving it a try, I’ve never looked back.
Not only does the Aeropress provide a flavourful, smooth cup, but it has a shorter steep time than the French press, and is more convenient in terms of portability and cleaning. This simple, easy-to-use manual device provides the versatility of a semi-automatic espresso machine, without the added cost.
The Aeropress has become an essential part of my everyday morning routine, and it allows me to produce quality coffee in half the time as other brew methods, while still allowing me to mix up the type of coffee I make.
What exactly is an Aeropress coffee maker?
The Aerobie Aeropress is a coffee maker that uses manual pressure in order to brew strong coffee, quickly. Made entirely of BPA-free plastic, it is lightweight, easy-to-clean, and extremely portable. The brewing technology developed for this press allows for a shorter brewing time that results in a smooth, less acidic flavour profile.
This system comes equipped with a variety of accessories, including a filter cap, filter holder, a pack of 350 paper filters, a scoop, plastic stirrer, and funnel.
Combined, the press and accessories weigh in at approximately 368 grams. The ergonomically engineered plunger on the press comes fitted with a rubber seal on the bottom, which allows users to completely press the mixture through the brew chamber without leaving grounds or residue behind.
On average, an Aeropress can brew 1-3 cups in less than a minute. This device assembles easily and can be taken apart for easy maintenance and travel. While this brewing tool has a small, narrow design to it, the Aeropress can produce strong, flavourful coffee that can be prepared in four different ways. This makes this manual coffeemaker more versatile than pour-over and French press makers.
RELATED: Aeropress vs French Press
Aeropress Features and Benefits
There are many features that make the Aeropress stand out from other manual makers. In this section, I’ll discuss a few of my favourites for this device, and how well they measure up to other manual coffee makers on the market.
Plunger seal and paper filters
I’ll be honest, I was sceptical at first about the idea of a rubberized plunger sealing the chamber of this device completely. However, I was not disappointed by the design of the plunger in the Aeropress. Not only does this device create a tight seal in the device chamber, but if properly maintained, it can last up to three years before needing to be replaced.
The seal allows for minimal cleaning in the device chamber after pressing. One thing I have noticed, though, is the plunger does accumulate some residue buildup on the rubber plunger. Instead of the cursory rinse recommended by the Aeropress site, a more thorough rinse is required after each use.
While the implementation of paper filters is nothing new in the manual coffeemaker world, the Aeropress uses custom circular paper filters that fit right into the plastic cap. Each Aeropress comes equipped with 350 filters to start with, as well as a plastic holder for filters waiting to be used. What makes this device unique is its way of efficiently disposing of used grounds and filters. Instead of removing grounds from the top of a drip or pour-over coffeemaker, simply remove the cap and press the plunger to eject both paper and grounds.
Brews directly into your cup
Another benefit to using the Aeropress is the ability to press directly into a cup or travel mug. As someone who is consistently travelling during the workweek, being able to press directly into a travel mug has been essential to my morning routine.
The brew to mug feature also adds to the convenience during camping trips or when you’re travelling with this manual device. The Aeropress eliminates the need for a carafe and focuses on brewing for one quality serving at a time.
Easy to clean and travel with
While I love to experiment with manual coffeemakers, I’ve found some devices are easier to clean than others. With the simple design and construction, the Aeropress takes easy cleaning to a whole new level. Simply rinse each accessory in the sink, and your press is ready to use.
For brewers on-the-go, this device is portable enough to travel with you! Simply disassemble all accessories, and place them in a carrying bag. This device makes the perfect addition to any camping or road trip. Along with replacement parts, The Aeropress website even offers a carrying case for extra convenience. The plastic body makes this device more durable than the fragile glass or ceramic of French presses and pour-over coffee makers.
One of my favourite aspects of the Aeropress is that there are so many options for coffee making. While French Presses and pour-over makers are limited to one type of style, you can prepare four different styles with this single device.
Coffee prepared hot this press is espresso-style, and users can drink it as is after pressing it into a mug. For espresso-lovers craving a latte, you can simply add milk to taste!
For those looking for a more diluted brew, they can simply add water to fill a cup, and you have American-style. For those looking to mix up their normal routine with some cold-pressed coffee, simply add ice to your mug! While this device does not specialize in just one style, the versatility and quality offer coffee drinkers something that specialized devices can’t.
How to use an Aeropress
One thing I truly appreciate about this method is its simple-to-use assembly and brewing process. The Aeropress coffee maker requires three main things to make a full-bodied cup: Hot water, coffee grounds, and manual pressure. The most time-consuming part of this process is heating the water.
Before anything can happen, it’s important to ready the machine for the process:
- First, users need to push the plunger out of the chamber.
- Next, users need to take a paper filter and fit it inside the filter cap.
- Once the filter is set in place, users can twist the filter cap onto the bottom of the chamber.
- From here, users can stand the Aeropress coffee maker on a sturdy mug, and measure out one scoop of fine-ground coffee to the brewing chamber.
For the traditional brew method, water temperature is an important factor. The Aeropress website recommends heating to 80 degrees celsius. Once your hot water is ready to go, users can pour it evenly into the chamber and using the plastic stirrer to ensure all coffee grounds are saturated. This helps release the CO2 gas and allows the flavour to bloom. While stirring, some coffee will begin to drip into your cup. This is completely normal. (For users who want to maximize their control over the extraction process, check out how to brew using the inverted method in the next section.)
After stirring the mixture for 10 seconds, users can insert the plunger into the top of the chamber and lightly press it down. If you feel resistance while pressing, it’s important to pause. When the plunger reaches the grounds, apply pressure to move coffee through the filter cap, until you hear the air come through. After, users can remove the cap, push the plunger to eject the used coffee from the chamber. After rinsing the seal, the press is ready to be used again.
Mixing it up: How to add variety to your Aeropress brew routine
Like with any manual device, there is a learning curve. In order to find the best ratio, grind, and system that works for you, some trial and error is required. While the Aeropress is a coffeemaker that’s simple to use, this minimalist design builds in flexibility to empower its users.
Inverted Brew Method:
For those who strive to have more control over the extraction process, you may struggle with losing a small amount of coffee in between the stirring and plunging steps of the process. Aeropress has a practical solution to this problem.
Instead of assembling the Aeropress and placing its filter cap down on a mug, simply pull the plunger to the back of the chamber, place the end of the plunger on the counter so the bottom of the chamber is facing upward. From here, you can add in coffee, water, and finish by stirring and sealing the chamber with the filter and cap. The rubberized seal prevents the liquid from leaving the device, and users can simply pick up the press, flip it upside down so the cap rests on a coffee cup, and press.
The inverted method adds some versatility to the preexisting ease of use for this brew method. This produces the same good coffee taste the Aeropress is known for, with an added spin on its process.
Depending on your taste and flavour preference, this brew method allows for complete control over your ratio. While the device instructions call for one measured scoop of ground coffee per each use, adding additional scoops can lead to a stronger cup of coffee. I’ve found that I prefer using two scoops to the normal ratio of water. This provides a more flavourful cup with a smooth and strong finish.
Likewise, increasing the coffee and the water together will produce a larger quantity. For a more diluted cup, users can increase the amount of water used in the process, while maintaining the suggested scoop of ground beans, too. Ultimately, the flexibility of the Aeropress surpasses the benefit in its ease of use.
Cold-brew with Aeropress:
Another added benefit to the Aeropress is its capability to make cold coffee using the same approach to hot coffee. There are subtle changes to the process in order to achieve good coffee, cold-brew style.
For a cold-pressed coffee, users don’t need to ensure water is at a certain temperature. Tap or iced water is perfect to use for this style. Instead of stirring the mixture in the chamber for 10 seconds, increase the stirring time to a minute to allow for optimal extraction and saturation. From this point, the plunger can be inserted and pressed, sending fresh coffee into a mug or glass of your choice.
Is the Aeropress a good fit for all coffee lovers?
While the Aeropress is a great addition to any home kitchen, it is a brewing device marketed for travellers, camping communities, and those looking for a quick, consistent brew process. Its ease of use makes it an attractive device for beginning coffee users as well. While the Aeropress has fans across the experience spectrum, it isn’t a device that works well for everyone.
The Aeropress makes for a perfect go-anywhere, no-fuss brew method, but it doesn’t make the best fit for those who enjoy the nuanced steps of the coffee-making process. Since this device is designed for quick, convenient brews, there isn’t as much of a focus on sitting back to enjoy each step. Likewise, for users looking to brew in large quantities, using an Aeropress can be more tedious than a device built to brew 6-12 cups at a time.
If you are looking for something portable, lightweight, and simple, this device could work well for you. For more experienced espresso makers, though, this device may not produce the calibre of authentic espresso to fit your taste, simply because the pressure present with this method does not equate to the 9 bars needed to get the subtle flavour notes and crema.
While I enjoy going through the steps of a more nuanced coffee-making process each morning, having the convenience and time-saving aspects of the Aeropress has been a life-saver during the workweek. I wouldn’t recommend this device as your sole coffeemaker, but it functions as a great device for camping, and to supplement within your brew routine.
Alternatives to an Aeropress Coffee Maker
The Delter press is one of the first devices to use the injection brewing method. Like the Aeropress, the Delter press uses manual pressure in order to infuse grounds. Both devices are constructed of plastic to be durable and portable. What makes this device truly unique from the Aeropress is the inclusion of a dosing cap to separate ground coffee and water until downward pressure is applied.
Likewise, the plunger can be raised to measure the dose of the exact amount required per serving. This dosing control differs from the Aeropress, but both devices produce coffee with similar flavour profiles. Both devices compare at price as well.
Similar to the original Aeropress model, the Go is an upgrade specially designed for portability. This press comes equipped with a 444 ml capacity travel mug and lid. This press comes with a variety of accessories like a redesigned stirrer, stirrer, and filter holder.
The Aeropress Go takes travel to the next level with all accessories being expertly designed to fit inside of the travel mug, making the device its own carrying case. While this press is slightly higher in price in comparison to the original model, the Go is the perfect tagalong for anyone consistently on the move.
Whether you’re looking for a manual coffeemaker that’s easy to travel with, or looking to add some versatility to your everyday coffee routine, the Aeropress is a great addition to your coffee arsenal!
Perfect for the on-the-go lifestyle, this device is a great value for the cost. What’s even better is its capability to brew light, smooth, and flavourful coffee.
Is AeroPress coffee better than French press coffee?
Two major differences between Aeropress and French Press brewing methods is coffee filtration and steep time.
Aeropress coffee is known for its smooth, rich coffee. The pressure generated upon pressing produces a coffee with 1/9th the acidity of French Press coffee, according to the Aeropress website. For those who dislike a bitter coffee finish, the combination of a fine grind and 2.5 minute brew time prevents over-extraction. The presence of a paper filter inserts instead of a course metal filter used in French Press also prevents sediment build-up at the bottom of your cup.
Is AeroPress better than pour over?
While both manual coffee-making processes include a paper filtration system, what is different between the two methods is the application of pressure. While pour-over coffee is well-known for its full-bodied flavour, Aeropress coffee cuts out the bitterness and acidity found in drip coffee.
Another factor to consider is steep time. While pour-over coffee is known to take a few minutes from beginning to end, the Aeropress can achieve the same result in half the time. Similarly, since pour-over coffee takes longer, the flavour profile tends to be more vibrant than quick-brewing methods.
Why is an AeroPress cup of coffee so good?
In comparison to other brew methods and coffee styles, the Aeropress is known for producing a smooth, flavourful coffee with less acidity and bitterness than most brewed coffee. How does it achieve this, exactly? Well, there are a few factors that play into this.
Firstly, brewing at a lower temperature (80 degrees celsius) allows for a smooth, mellow coffee to fill your cup. With the decreased temperature, the finished product includes a less bitter and less acidic flavour profile. The quick brewing process further eliminates the possibility of over extracting your coffee.
What coffee do you put in an AeroPress?
Like the French Press and other manual brewing devices, the Aeropress excels using coffee all along the roast spectrum. Since the brew time for Aeropress coffee is relatively short, certain roasts thrive using this brew method more than others.
For those seeking a strong, bold cup of coffee, use a medium to dark roast. For a more robust flavour, increase the brew ratio of coffee grounds to water. For those who want a cup of coffee that contains subtle flavour notes, like fruitiness and acidity, your best bet is to opt for a lighter roast. I’ve preferred the flavour profile of a single-origin medium or dark roast.
Since this brewing method is flexible when it comes to roast type, another important factor to consider with the Aerobie Aeropress is grind size. With the quick brewing process, a fine drip or espresso grind is the preferred size.