Share your Aeropress strategy or favorite Aeropress trick!
January 3, 2013 5:07 AM   Subscribe

Share your Aeropress strategy or favorite Aeropress trick! Hello! I've been using my Aeropress more and more and I am totally in love with it. It really does brew an amazing cup. I'm learning that everyone has a different preference for how they use their aeropress, though, from the temperature of the water to the amount/brand/etc of the bean, to the type of grinder (burr, etc)... to other factors that I don't even know about.

Here's my cup:
* Water at 175 deg. fahrenheit
* 1 and 1/2 scoops fresh coffee beans.

Burr grind (I have this hand grinder) the beans while heating the water. Serendipitously it takes just as long to heat the water as it does to grind the beans. Prep a small paper filter in to the chamber (you can re-use these filters, btw. just rinse them off). Dump the grounds in to the aeropress and then fill to just above the '2' circle. Stir for 10 seconds and set aside the stir. I then dunk the rubber end of the press in to the left-over water to lubricate. Then do a slow press to brew the grounds. If there is any foam, i use the stir to scrape the foam on to the top of the cup. Delicious!

As far as my bean preference, I tend to go for bulk item local beans here in Asheville, NC. Counter culture beans are really nice.

I've heard of people making iced drinks and more using the Aeropress but I've never heard of how or tried on my own.

Does your process differ from mine? Do you use a different water temperature? More or less beans? Why or why not? Any other tips or tricks? Thanks in advance!
posted by dep to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Have you seen
posted by backwards guitar at 5:23 AM on January 3, 2013

Your temperature seems more or less right, but do take into account ambient temperature and that your equipment is cold when you start. During the winter or in a cold kitchen or whatever, I'd jack it up a few notches.
As to number of scoops, grind, and kinds of coffee, the trick is to test a lot, and a lot of combinations, to observe processability and to learn and remember what you like best.

I believe that the fascination with coffee, on the most fundamental level, has to do with the unlimited ways and variations for getting the brew even better.

["Coffee: Discuss!" Oh I so hope this doesn't get chat-filtered. Because it's about coffee.]
posted by Namlit at 5:25 AM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm about to make my first cup of the day. I use the inverted method.
posted by rtha at 5:32 AM on January 3, 2013

One scoop of beans per serving.

Grind on "2" using a Cuisinart burr grinder; this makes what seem to be tiny flakes of coffee.

We go hot, maybe 95C out of the kettle, as we like a more strident coffee. It does cool down in the (cold) press and during our relatively long (2+min) extraction, so it is not nasty. Just has a little edge.

Water in the cylinder half way for one scoop, all the way for two.

The result gets diluted in a standard sized go cup with hot water for an Americano-style product.

We reuse the filters until they blow out (which is a little inconvenient but we just re-filter the mud, no big deal). After 5+ years we're still on our original allocation of filters.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:37 AM on January 3, 2013

Also, we use a variety of beans from mass merchandisers to small local roasters. Sometimes we blend them ourselves. I usually use cheaper beans on workdays, when we won't be paying quite so much attention to the beverage. Better beans for weekends and holidays!
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:38 AM on January 3, 2013

If you ever use pre-ground coffee, avoid Dunkin Donuts. For some reason it compacts to the point where the piston refuses to move. I ended up mixing it with other brands at around 1/3 of the total in order to use it up.
posted by tommasz at 5:39 AM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Mod note: This is phrased a little too closely to chatfilter, but is fundamentally asking about tips and methods for using the Aeropress, so if we can stick to that, all will be fine. Thanks.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:40 AM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

You may want to investigate the following for lots of more questions and tips:
posted by lohmannn at 5:40 AM on January 3, 2013

For iced coffee: Make a shot of coffee as you have described. Add sugar to taste and make sure it's dissolved. Make up to a full cup with cold milk and add a pile of ice cubes.

I've also been grinding the beans for longer and longer and finding the coffee gets better and better (and stronger of course).
posted by emilyw at 5:47 AM on January 3, 2013

The most amazing thing to me about the Aeropress is not how well it makes good coffee -- which is very well indeed -- but what it does to supermarket coffee. I found myself with more month than money a while back and bought a $1 can of Walgreen's store brand ("Nice!") and was amazed at how well it turned out. I can't say I've made it a habit but something to consider. (I also wound up trying it with Maxwell House which also comes out way better than it does in any drip coffeemaker.)
posted by Infinity_8 at 6:30 AM on January 3, 2013

Best answer: This is really close to the method I use (without the soundtrack...gah) except I also use an Able Metal Filter, and a little bit coarser grind. It can be a bit tricky, but it works really well. The paper filters do retain oils on them that aren't easily washed away, but this isn't the case with the metal filters that can actually be washed between uses, but based on your brewing description so far the two things I would suggest:

Firstly, get a halfway decent kitchen scale, so you know exactly how much coffee you're using each time. Ground coffee can vary in volume depending on the weather (humidity and static seem to be the biggest culprits), but the weight is always constant. 14g coffee to 225g of water (a ratio of 1:16) is a really good starting point, but adjust as needed.

Secondly, I'd raise the temperature of your water, coffee has trouble extracting quickly at a temp that low...shoot for 190F+ and you'll get a more balanced extraction, but this also depends on the coffee...some coffees like it hot, some like it a bit cooler, but 190F is a good averaging point to start.

And finally, if you're looking for just a bunch of different, super detailed methods of brewing with the aeropress? Check out some of the World Aeropress Championship blog coverage floating around the internet out there.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:10 AM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Here's a link to the winning recipes from the World Aeropress Championship 2012.
posted by Static Vagabond at 7:14 AM on January 3, 2013

Your water temp is probably a little too cool if your thermometer is to be trusted - 185-195F is closer to optimal for most coffee.
posted by slow graffiti at 8:28 AM on January 3, 2013

I basically use this method. I haven't had mine that long though, so still experimenting with beans and brew times. I just got a metal filter for Christmas, so it'll be interesting to see how it changes things. I'm told it makes a really different cup of coffee.
posted by SoftRain at 10:08 AM on January 3, 2013

I bought a coava disc for my Aeropress (which costs almost as much as the Aeropress). It really makes a great cup. Here's a link to a bunch of threads on coffeegeek.
posted by toddst at 10:31 AM on January 3, 2013

Since I learned about The Inverted Aeropress method, that's the only way I do it now.

Also a plug for my local bean shop because they are awesome.
posted by j03 at 10:46 AM on January 3, 2013

Yeah, the inverted method mentioned above is awesome. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but a few Youtube videos helped.

Before I got an espresso machine I used my Aeropress to make the milky espresso drinks I love. What the Aeropress produces isn't true espresso, but it's close enough to make a delicious latte or mocha. I just substituted the normal Aeropress output (without any further dilution) in place of the shot(s) called for in the espresso drinks. I prefer mine iced, but my friends who like them hot use the microwave method for steamed/foamed milk for their Aeropress-espresso drinks.

The undiluted Aerorpress output is also great for any other recipes that call for shots of espresso or "strongly-brewed coffee."
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:34 PM on January 3, 2013

Vietnamese Iced coffee
posted by lalochezia at 8:56 AM on January 4, 2013

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