Buying a new coffeemaker can be a tough job. In this Aeropress review, we explain if it's worth it.
There are so many brands, models, and features to look at and compare that anyone can easily get confused. I found myself in a similar situation when a dear friend who is also a coffee expert recommended the Aeropress.
At first, I was a bit cynical because Aeropress is a comparatively newer brewing device invented in 2005 by engineer Alan Adler (of the Frisbee fame). I asked myself – Will it be able to beat its counterparts, some of which have existed for centuries?
After a few days of using the Aeropress, I was convinced that I had made the right choice. I will never use other product again and this is why:
• This is a simple and comparatively easier way to brew a remarkably great tasting espresso in an Americano-style mug.
• The brewing device is lightweight and extremely portable so you can enjoy a sweet and delicious brew whether you are at home or outdoors.
• This unique coffee maker uses the technique of total grounds immersion and pressure to brew coffee that has rich flavor and aroma.
• If you are a fan of American style coffee, Italian lattes or cappuccinos, you can make them all with this brewing device.
• Due to the short brew time and lower temperature, the acid level of the AeroPress coffee is significantly less than conventional brewers. As per pH tests, the acid level in AeroPress is less than one-fifth of the standard drip-brew.
• The complete immersion of grounds in hot water results in a quick yet effective extraction at a moderate temperature, resulting in a rich and smooth brew.
• This form of micro-filtered coffee is particle-free and extremely pure; hence, it can be stored as a concentrate for days.
• The effect of air pressure helps in shortening the filtering time and limiting it to 20 seconds only to prevent bitterness of other brewing methods. It also helps in the full extraction of the grounds.
What Is The Coffee To Water Ratio For AeroPress
Take an Aeropress spoonful of coffee beans and add hot water to the no- 4 mark on the device. If you have a scale available, you may make it 17-19 grams of coffee and add 220 grams of water to brew a great cuppa in less than 2 minutes.
- Popular with coffee enthusiasts worldwide, the patented AeroPress is a new kind of coffee press that uses a rapid, total immersion brewing process to make smooth, delicious, full flavored coffee without bitterness and with low acidity.
- Good-bye French Press! The rapid brewing AeroPress avoids the bitterness and high acidity created by the long steep time required by the French press. Plus, the AeroPress paper Microfilter eliminates grit and means clean up takes seconds.
- Makes 1 to 3 cups of American coffee per pressing in about a minute, and unlike a French press, it can also brew espresso style coffee for use in lattes, cappuccinos and other espresso based drinks.
- Perfect for home kitchen use, the AeroPress is lightweight, compact, portable and durable, making it also ideal for traveling, camping, backpacking, boating and more!
- Includes the AeroPress press, funnel, scoop, stirrer, 350 microfilters and a filter holder. Phthalate free and BPA free. Mug not included. Assembled measurements: 9 1/2" h X 4" w X 4" d
Let’s take a look at the other features of AeroPress.
Quality of brew
When using AeroPress for the first time, I really did not know what to expect. I had never seen a device like this before.
However, after sipping the brew, I fell in love with the way this coffee tastes. There is very little bitterness as compared to other coffee styles and lots of rich flavors.
If you manage to strike the right flavor, you can get the perfect brew you had ever imagined. However, if you mess up with the measurements, your Java may end up tasting bland. The low acidic level also makes the coffee stomach friendly!
Calling this the best coffee maker will be an exaggeration. But, I certainly believe that this is one of the smartly designed coffee makers of recent times.
It gets the job done and in a really impressive style. The entire device and complementary accessories are made of plastic (BPA free plastic) so this is certainly not the best quality.
The device boasts an innovative design, which gives an unconventional style to coffee making. The device includes a tough and heat-resistant chamber made from good quality plastic.
On the base of the device, there is a filter cap hat that securely holds the filter and the grounds. A plunger sits on the top and forms an airtight seal to prevent the flavors from escaping.
Read our guide:
Ease of Use
This coffee maker is synonym with simplicity and ease of use. Unlike other complicated brewing methods that involve several steps and take much time to brew a cup of Joe, this device is easy to use. It works best for those who need a great-tasting coffee without getting into the intricacies or spending too much time.
Cleaning up after use
For any coffee maker, the time needed for cleaning is an important aspect. Who wants to do the cleaning after a great cup of coffee?
And, who also wants to spoil the taste of future brews due to neglect in cleaning? So, it’s essential that the cleaning process does not look like a hassle.
With Aeropress, cleaning feels like an easy job. You just need to press out the spent coffee and discard the puck. Run some warm water through it and you are done.
If the coffee maker was made of glass like Hario V60 or Chemex, it would have scored low in terms of durability. However, the fact that the AeroPress is made of 100% BPA free plastic ensures that it will really last for a long time.
You can carry your AeroPress with you on road trips and not worry about dropping it accidentally when brewing outdoors in a camp. The device is sturdy and durable.
The AeroPress makes better coffee and costs less than many other devices at this range. Most importantly, it lets you enjoy espresso-style coffee (well, pretty close to that) anywhere, anytime. No wonder, this is one of the best value coffee makers you can buy.
When it comes to appearance, I would not call AeroPress the best-looking coffee maker. It may look like a 90’s something device, but then you who cares for looks in a cheap coffee maker? Whether or not you like the appearance, you are surely going to love the experience.
This is where the coffee maker scores high points compared to others. Most of the time spent in making an AeroPress coffee goes into the boiling water and measuring beans. The actual brew process only takes about one minute, which is less than any other traditional or contemporary method out there.
According to the inventor of AeroPress Alan Adler, the coffee maker derives benefits from its short brew time that prevents over-extraction of the grounds. So, this eliminates the risk of bothering your taste buds with bitter-tasting mud.
Made in the USA
Well, if the origin and make of the coffee maker matters to you then you will surely be impressed by this. AeroPress is one of the few USA-made coffee makers. So, you can take the pride in knowing that you are using a product made in America.
If you are the type of person who enjoys experimenting with different types of brew, AeroPress can be a great option. The coffee maker allows you to brew in hundreds of ways using a wide range of parameters.
Even though this is primarily a manual brew process, it is highly versatile in nature. Other than espresso, you may brew latte, tea, and other types of drinks.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of AeroPress
No wonder this is a genius invention capable of making great espresso-style coffee at home. However, let’s not forget that this is a relatively new product and coffee purists may take some time to approve of the results.
If you prefer the old traditional ritual, you may stick to it. But, if you are looking for a way to improve your quick fix coffee without sacrificing the quality, AeroPress may be the answer.
Like every invention, AeroPress has its set of pros and cons. I have prepared this list after looking at hundreds of real customer reviews and combining them with first-hand experiences from real users. Scan through them to see why you must buy this cool coffee brewing device.
Comparing AeroPress With Different Brewing Methods
AeroPress vs Drip Brewing
Drip brewing is a traditional method of brewing where hot water passes through coffee grounds and results in extractions. As the water first encounters grounds, it results in a bitter extract. As water continues to flow, the end result becomes weaker in taste.
In this method, water does not uniformly wet the grounds. In most cases, the grounds around the edges of the bed remain under-extracted and those at the center get over-extracted, causing bitterness in taste.
AeroPress offers a solution to this problem by allowing the total immersion of the coffee grounds, so all coffee is fully extracted without any waste. Every particle is exposed to the same water temperature, and the total brew time is short. The mild air pressure generated by the AeroPress also helps in extracting extra flavors from the coffee grounds.
The drip method is not efficient when it comes to using the coffee grounds for full extraction and the process is slow. AeroPress is a clear winner as it makes one to four servings in less than one minute, and the taste remains uniform for any number of cups.
Espresso fans around the world agree that it tastes less bitter than drip-style coffee and this is primarily due to the short brewing time. When espresso lovers tasted the AeroPress coffee, many said that they liked the taste better. So, if you get even half the flavors of espresso at a fraction of the price, isn’t this a better deal?
If you wish to treat yourself with an espresso shot every morning, but cannot buy the expensive machines, buying an AeroPress can work for you! The reason why the AeroPress works so well is that the smart design ensures complete immersion of the grounds, resulting in intense flavors.
The home espresso machines usually do not let you adjust the water temperature. Even if you had the controls, you may still not be able to get full extraction at a lower temperature. Besides the rich and intense taste, AeroPress also has several other advantages over the espresso makers.
The grind quality is not important in the AeroPress device but it’s critical for espresso machines. Most home grinders are not capable enough to produce a fine consistency to deliver a flavorful shot. You will need to invest in a special espresso grinder, which may cost hundreds of dollars and need frequent cleaning.
Commercial Espresso makers need to adjust the grind when there is a change in humidity or when brewing a new batch of coffee. They usually throw away the first few shots to achieve the perfect settings for the 25-second shot. In Aeropress, you have no such complexities.
Tamping is another important aspect of espresso making and you need to perfect the art of tamping in order to be an expert barista. The manuals on espresso teach home baristas to use a bathroom scale to ensure they provide an exact 30 pounds of pressure for the perfect tamping.
An additional step in espresso brewing involves pre-warming of the portafilter head to ensure optimum extraction. In AeroPress, there is no portafilter head so it takes less time to brew.
Ask any fan and they will say the less maintenance a coffee maker demands, the better it is. The espresso machines require regular cleaning to ensure that future batches are not impacted.
You may also need to descale the device using caustic chemicals. Espresso machines also need disassembling and cleaning of the grouphead.
Using an espresso machine correctly requires a set of skills and the highly experienced baristas get it right every time. However, the amateur or would-be baristas usually end up running the pump for too long to over-extracting the coffee grounds.
An AeroPress gives more control to the user who can brew coffee of any strength ranging from super-intense to weak. You just need to choose the right amount of water before you press it down.
A plethora of single-cup brewers has come to the market to cater to the busy bee consumers who do not have much time for the morning rituals but want a good coffee to start their day. These brewing devices are capable of making espresso, American coffee, latte, and so on. The price starts at $60 and it may go up to several hundred dollars.
If you look at a few randomly selected single-cup brewers, you can see that the flavor is not the best, nor bad. It can be correctly described as ‘mediocre flavor at its best’.
Many people consider AeroPress as the modern and smarter version of a French Press as both the techniques use total immersion and manual pressure. However, there’s much more to an AeroPress that differentiates it from a French Press.
In the French Press, the filter is placed at the top of the mixture. As the coffee grounds float, they tend to clog the filter making it harder to press. Cleaning the equipment also takes a lot of time.
As brewers are instructed to only use coarse coffee ground, this slows down the release of flavor. If you leave it for longer, this may result in bitterness.
Another common issue of using coarse ground coffee is that it may contain fine particles that can easily pass through the filter to give you a bitter brew. The finer particles in the drink continue to extract and turn a good coffee bitter. To avoid this, a French Press coffee must be consumed immediately.
As the AeroPress coffee is micro-filtered, it is extremely pure and free of particles. It can be stored as a concentrate for days, consumed as an espresso, or mixed with milk to make the latte. When it comes to cleaning, the AeroPress chamber cleans by itself and the plunger can be easily rinsed with warm water to make it ready for the next brewing.
Read our guide:
What Are The Steps To Make AeroPress Coffee
Making a cup of rich and flavorful coffee with an AeroPress is easy and takes only a minute to brew. This is perhaps one of the most hassle-free methods of preparing great coffee even while you are on the move. You just need to familiarize yourself with the mechanism and follow these steps carefully:
Measure your beans and grind about 17 -19 grams of coffee. For a single-time brew, you may need an AeroPress spoonful or 2 tablespoons of grounds. Grind the coffee beans as fine as table salt. It is important to maintain the right water to grounds ratio to get the best coffee, and AeroPress makes it easy!
Prepare the AeroPress device to make it ready for the brew. Put the filter inside the basket. Preheat the device and run some hot water on the filter. This helps in reducing the papery flavor and warms up the machine for optimum use. You may also heat up your coffee mug with hot water to retain the warmth for longer.
Tightly screw the basket cap to the bottom end of the brewing chamber and place the coffee grounds on the top of the mug. You may also use the funnel or coffee loader that comes with the device.
Now add hot water (ideally 205F) to the brewer and start the timer. You may wet the grounds and let it saturate for about 10 seconds. If you are using a scale, make sure you pour up to no. 4 or add 220 grams of water.
You may use a scale to measure. Spin the brewing chamber to ensure all coffee grounds are well saturated.
As you hit the no. 4 mark, stop and start stirring the mixture. Now place the plunger inside the brew chamber and pull it upwards slowly to create air pressure. Remember not to plunge at this point.
After 75 seconds, release the pressure and stir the mixture once again with a spoon. Now place the plunger back and press down gently by applying steady pressure.
When you hear a hissing sound, stop and release the pressure. The process takes about 2 minutes or less, and it can yield about seven to eight ounces of great coffee.
When you are done making the brew, it’s time to clean the equipment. To do this, first, remove the basket and then discard the used coffee puck from the basket into the trash can. Now take warm water and run it through the rubber plunger to clean the device and make it ready for future use.
What Prompted Alan Alder To Invent The AeroPress
It won’t be wrong to say that AeroPress is a perfect example of what you get when a good scientist takes a new look at age-old things. The coffee maker was the brainchild of Allan Adler, a famous Stanford professor known for inventing Frisbee back in the 80s.
While his company Aerobie was established in the 1980s, the idea for making an AeroPress was conceived several years later. In an interview, Adler revealed that the idea struck in a casual dinner with his company friends.
The wife to one of the staff said she always had troubled brewing just a single cup of good coffee. Being a coffee enthusiast himself, Adler had also faced similar problems and often wondered about creating something that could quickly brew a great cuppa.
As the market lacked a coffee maker that had the mechanism that he wanted, Adler decided to invent the coffee machine himself and find a solution. During that time, he was frustrated with the type of brewing devices that yielded 6-8 cups at a time.
So, if you have no friends or company, you either gulp down all that coffee yourself or they go down the drain. Adler could not let this problem worry him anymore and is known as an excellent problem solver, he went to his laboratory to invent a solution.
I guess that is the difference between a common man and a scientist. Common people complain and wish for things to happen their way, but scientists have the zeal to change, invent, and create history!
Adler started by experimenting with different pre-existing coffee makers and various brewing methods. The automatic drip makers were popular with those who had no time for morning rituals and the rest preferred the pour-over method.
He discovered a gap between these devices and hoped to invent something that was quick to brew like automatic drip makers but delivered the authentic taste of espresso. In an interview Alder said, the problem with home espresso machines and automatic drip machines is that there is no way to adjust the water temperature.
He wanted the freedom to be able to vary the temperature based on whether he wanted a super-strong coffee, a mediocre brew, or a weaker blend. This was one of the primary reasons that prompted him to invent a product that does exactly what he and many coffee lovers around the world want.
14 Tips and Tricks To Make AeroPress Coffee Even Better
So, now you know that AeroPress is what you need to make rich and smooth coffee without creating any mess. If you are looking for ways to make your coffee more enjoyable, consider your wish granted. Here are some insider tips and tricks to make your AeroPress coffee taste even better.
1. Grind coffee beans fresh
You may be tempted to use pre-ground coffee while traveling but this will kill the effect and make your brew less effective. For best results, you must always grind them fresh.
I have a mini hand crank grinder that I carry with me wherever I go. It just takes one minute and one extra step, but your taste buds will thank you for this effort!
I see many people resort to pre-ground coffee to save time on their morning rituals. They often do not realize why their brew does not taste like the one served at the café. In most cases, it is due to the quality of the coffee ground used.
2. Expose your taste buds to different quality of beans
There’s a whole gamut of flavors and aromas to try! Don’t restrict yourself one particular brand or flavor.
Experiment with different varieties of coffee beans to find your favorite one. I will tell you one secret – there is no one particular perfect bean when it comes to brewing with an AeroPress.
Unless you try out more varieties, you will not know the different tastes. You will need to do a test and trial to discover what suits and the best for you. Just ensure that you only use the freshest quality beans!
3. Experiment with different grind size to see what works best for you
While you can vary the grind size for your AeroPress drink, it is important to decide whether you want an intense espresso or a milder brew. If you haven’t deviated from the standard, you may be missing out on a lot of fun! Play around with your AeroPress and try different grind sizes to see which one suits you best.
While you may like the taste of a specific bean type, the grinding consistency can bring about a huge difference in the flavor quality. For example, to enjoy an espresso-style drink, you must grind beans to a finer consistency to allow them to release flavor quickly.
Using a coarse grind takes longer to brew but you may like the taste better. So, go ahead and experiment. Try out different sizes – table salt consistency, medium, coarse, big chunks, etc.
4. Flip over your AeroPress for better taste
AeroPress fans are going crazy about this new inverted method’ of brewing. I have tried it too and I think it really makes it a difference.
I believe the inverted method gives a fuller and more intense coffee experience than you get from the right side up. This method allows better immersion of coffee grounds in water.
You can see in the video, the so-called inverted method works out pretty well but you need to be careful to avoid any mess. To avoid drippings, make sure you insert the plunger far enough (nearly half an inch).
If you are a beginner, I would not recommend you to start with the flip over or inverted method. Get the basics right and familiarize yourself with the right-up method before experimenting with different styles.
5. Don’t forget to use good quality water
You may have heard this before, but I am surprised at how many people forget this basic tip for making great coffee. If you want your coffee to taste great, your water should be tasty too.
How can you expect your brew to be delicious if you use bad-quality tap water? Always choose simple filtered for best-tasting coffee. Another tip for adding water – The concentrate you get from AeroPress is very strong, so you can add cold water if you can’t wait to drink your morning Joe.
6. Use less than boiling hot water
I do not prefer using water that is boiling or bubbling hot, instead of something cooler than oiling hot’ works best for me. Using boiling water not only scalds the ground but also results in poor quality extraction.
If you find it difficult to achieve the right water temperature, consider buying a water thermometer like this on Amazon. This little investment can go a long way in giving you great tasting coffee every morning!
7. A gooseneck kettle can give you better pour control
What I have learned from my various experiments is that boiling water in a gooseneck kettle comes handy. A gooseneck kettle has a long and slender pout that is useful when pouring out water. So, consider investing in one to improve your coffee.
While some people choose to just dump water into the AeroPress, I believe in finesse. This is significant for many reasons.
Most importantly, real magic takes place at the point when water encounters the grounds. The speed at which you pour water results in full immersion and better extraction.
Studies have shown that a controlled pour always results in better coffee. Dumping water creates a kind of aroma for the grounds forcing them to extract in a rush. Slow and consistent pour, on the other hand, treats your coffee ground with care, allowing it to bloom and extract at its own pace!
8. Do not forget to pre-soak filter and mug
This is an extremely important tip that helps in making the process smoother. While many people don’t bother about pre-soaking at all, this can be the difference between a mediocre and great AeroPress experience.
Remember to pre-soak paper filter to remove the papery taste and any dust particles clinging to it. Just pour some hot water on the filter and you are done.
Pre-heat your mug by pouring warm water on it. This will prepare the mug for the hot coffee dripping into it and also retain the drinkable temperature for long!
9. Let the ground pre-infuse for 30 seconds
Remember to pre-infuse the grounds for full 30 seconds to saturate the grounds and promote the release of CO2 gases. Add 50 ml of water and let the ground infuse properly before you add the remaining water.
Remember to even out the grounds bed by shaking the device slightly before adding water to it. You may insert a chopstick or make the grounds uniform. An even grounds bed will result in better extraction and tastier coffee.
10. Using back pressure to stop the drip
When you add hot water, you will notice that the device starts dripping but this is not coffee. A nice trick to stop this is to insert the plunger into the body and use back pressure to stop the dripping. This little trick stops the flow of water and lets the grounds steep fully until you are ready to press the plunger.
11. Be all ears for the hissing sound
The best way to make AeroPress coffee is to stop before it hits the ground because beyond this point you will only add over-extracted brew. As the plunger gets closer to the bottom, you can hear a slight hissing sound caused by air. This is when you need to stop pressing and release.
By getting this right you can ensure that you have nothing but the best quality coffee in your cup. So, be attentive during the process and be all ears for the iss’ sound that usually occurs after 30 seconds of pressing.
12. Always use a good quality mug
When making coffee with AeroPress, you will be pressing the device on top of a coffee mug. You will be applying pressure on the cup so it should be well built and sturdy. Using low-quality cups or thin-walled mugs may result in cracks or even spillage.
Many people believe that they can press into anything and this is where they go wrong. Choose only sturdy coffee mugs for AeroPress and keep them separately.
Another important tip is to ensure that you don’t press too hard. Go slow, steady, and consistent to get the most delicious brew in less than 2 minutes!
13. Use two filters to enjoy a better taste
Using one filter is the norm, but if you want to brew like the champions do then go for two filters. This helps in brewing a more balanced and clearer cup of mud.
You just need to put two filters on the cap in the place of one and follow the same process. Rinse with warm water and treat them as one instead of two. The resulting brew has a better taste to it!
14. Do the right cleaning for better coffee
The instruction says the device needs no cleaning. You can just press the plunger and discard the coffee puck into the bin. However, I don’t agree with this because if you continue to clean like this, your coffee will taste awful after a couple of uses.
It’s cool and contemporary brewer, no doubt, but remember to clean it once in a while with warm water and baking soda. Many people do not know that the rubber gasket is easily removable for thorough clean up to remove any accumulated oils.
You may follow the ress and discard puck’ method while you are traveling. But, once you are back home, make sure you disassemble and clean the device thoroughly.
FAQs About Aeropress
I have heard about using metal filters with AeroPress. Where can I buy one?
There has been a long-standing debate between paper filter and metal filters for AeroPress. While some people prefer using metal filters, AeroPress does not recommend or endorse them.
AeroPress is made of plastic, so does it contain BPA or phthalates?
No. Although the AeroPress is made of plastic material, it is free of harmful phthalates. It has been BPA-free since 2009.
Can I use AeroPress to make tea?
Yes, you can. You may use the inverted method to make a cup of great-tasting tea. Just insert the plunger about an inch inside the main chamber and place the device on the counter (keeping the plunger down.
Pour hot water inside the chamber and let the tea leaves steep properly. Place a filter on the filter cap, screw the cap tightly, flip over the device and start pressing. The inverted method’ carries the risk of spilling hot water so be careful.
Why you must invest in a quality grinder?
When using an AeroPress, the coffee grounds must not be too fine or too coarse, but a balance of both. Grinding very fine will block the water flow, making it difficult to press the plunger. If the grind size is inconsistent, you will have a similar problem because the finer particles will block spaces within the larger particles.
A good quality grinder like this will help you grind the coffee beans to a consistent and uniform size. It will help you brew a great-tasting coffee every time!
Why can’t I press the plunger easily?
This could be due to inconsistent grind size. You may need to upgrade your grinder and get a new one with sharper burr blades.
A good grinder should be able to chop coffee beans in the same size and produce consistent ground. A cheap grinder will crush your premium beans into powdery dust that blocks water flow and makes pressing difficult.
Another reason may be that you are pressing too hard. I would suggest that you go slow and press gently so that the coffee particles don’t get compact to form a barrier. There is no need to rush.
Press down half an inch and wait. The air pressure locked in the chamber will do the pressing for you. After waiting for ten seconds, press again and keep repeating.
Finally, keep a check on your grind size. If you are using fine grounds, chances are you will have a hard time pressing the plunger. Use a coarser grind instead and apply gentle pressure for 20-40 seconds with gaps in between. Stop when you hear the hissing sound of air.
What To Do If My AeroPress Becomes Rigid And Hard To Plunge?
You can fix this problem by thoroughly cleaning the rubber seal at the end of the AeroPress plunger. Here are the steps to follow:
• Take out the rubber seal at the end of the plunger
• Mix a little liquid dishwasher soap with hot water to make a solution
• Let the rubber seal soak in the warm soapy solution for five minutes
• Remove the seal from hot water using a fork or tongs
• Wipe the hot rubber seal using a paper towel
• Repeat the steps from above if necessary to make the seal look and work like new
Some Other Recipes
Aeropress Review: The Final Word
Let’s admit it! Who wants to go through morning coffee making rituals every day If you are a fan of espresso coffee and wish you could brew just one great cup in less than two minutes without any rituals, AeroPress is your thing.
I would like to mention that the end result is not exactly the same as espresso. If you buy the device expecting pure espresso quality for $30, you may be disappointed but this is a close replica. If you are not a coffee purist, you will not mind the technicalities and just enjoy the drink just like me.
I love my AeroPress simply because it lets me brew coffee just as I prefer and cleaning it is easy too. The device is so easy to use and portable that I carry it with me while traveling, camping, and even take it to work. I will certainly not want to use any other product again.
Whether you are the regular coffee drinker, college guy, business traveler, or backpacker, the AeroPress can make your life easier. And, of course! don’t forget to thank Allan Adler for this amazing invention that has made coffee making easier than before!