So you bought your self an Aeropress?

I heard a comment last week: “I can not make coffee in the Aeropress without everything leaking out”, and wondered how many people struggle with this?  Now there are two methods of using the Aeropress and the foolproof way which I will describe is what is known as the inverted method.

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Some of the wonderful things about the Aeropress is it’s portability for camping and travel as well as the large number of different “recipes” you can get, so the world is your oyster!  There are companion apps like Aeropress Timer from Apple Store or Mr Barista which will assist with advice, recipes and a built in timer.  It is makes such good clean coffee and offer so many variations that there are even world championships!

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Before describing the inverted method, here is a video from the guys at StumpTown on the traditional, little trickier method.

The inverted method – 2015 world champion Lukas Zahradnik’s winning recipe:


What you need

WhatYouNeed

  1. An Aeropress.  There is only one Aeropress and a good price is below R500 ($29.95 on Amazon)
  2. Coffee beans. Ideally, you should grind it yourself, but if you do not have a grinder, purchase an appropriate grind for the recipe you want to make.  General rule of thumb is a medium coarse grind.
  3. A grinder.  A decent burr grinder will do, but not the whirly blade type grinder please.  If not, see point two.
  4. Water.  Filtered water since anything else could affect the taste.
  5. Timer or app.  This just makes things easier and consistent.
  6. Scale.  Since every recipe uses a different quantity of coffee it is quite important.
  7. Filters.  Startup stack and a neat holder is included with your Aeropress,
  8. Stirrer.  Included with your Aeropress and designed not to disturb your filter if you use the traditional way.

Method

Hand drawing a black process diagam

  1. Place your plunger about one centimeter into the body and set upside down with the filter to be fitted to the top later.
  2. Grind and measure your coffee beforehand according to your chosen method, typically 20 grams and as is the case for this recipe, make it medium fine.
  3. Place coffee into the opening where filter will be fitted later using handy funnel included.  No water ratio required since there are marks on the Aeropress and most recipes fill to mark four or close to the top.
  4. Get your filter seated in the filter holder and set  aside.
  5. Get your water boiling.  Boil more water than is needed as you want to warm up your equipment.  Start your timer as boil ends. but most recipes will have you wait a minute or until water has cooled down to 80 degrees Celsius.  This recipe is for 79 degrees.
  6. Use the boiled water to “wash” the filter.  Be careful not to spill water and burn yourself as I did the first time!
  7. At one minute, start your first pour.  Recipe calls for 8 second pour since you only pour a little.  This is to let the coffee bloom, by wetting the all the coffee to the consistency of wet mud.
  8. During the next 15 seconds while bloom is allowed to happen, pick up the Aeropress and gently swirl it.  If you use an app, you will not need to count up the seconds!
  9. During the next 10 seconds, fill the Aeropress to just below the top.
  10. You can use the next 5 seconds to twist on your filter cap, place your preheated mug upside down on the Aeropress and flipping the whole lot over.
  11. This recipe calls for a long gentle plunge so try and time it for 45 seconds.  When you hear a hiss from escaping air, you should stop, but ideally, just a second before you reach that point.
  12. You are at 2:26 including cool down time, all done – enjoy!  Cleaning the Aeropress is super easy – just remove cap and discard filter and coffee by plunging down over a bin and rise.

Don’ts

Donts

The biggest mistakes you can make are the following:

  1. Using boiling water. This will guarantee over extraction and the harsh bitter coffee that goes with it.  Waiting a minute for water to cool down is a good rule of thumb.
  2. Incorrect grind.  Use appropriate grind as per your recipe.
  3. Store your Aeropress assembled.  Don’t store Aeropress assembled since plunger seal will compress over time.

Also try:  Make a cold brew recipe from the app or alternatively do what I tried:

Place one cup course ground medium roast coffee in a can fruit jar and pour three cups of ice water over the grounds.  Stir for about  30 seconds and seal.  Store in fridge for twelve to twenty four hours.  Scoop out most of the grounds and then filter using the Aeropress for a super smooth, almost sweet brew.  I like it over ice, one third ice brew since it is concentrated and two thirds milk.

At first glance it seems complicated, but once you follow these easy steps, it should be simple enough that you do not even have to think about it.  If you use the app, it will be foolproof!

As always: Remember, life is to short for bad coffee!

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