How do I make a full mug of AEROPRESS coffee?
January 12, 2015 2:42 PM   Subscribe

I just got an Aeropress and have been trying to figure out how to use the inverted method to make a 10-oz. mug of regular (Americano) coffee. When I use one scoop of fine-ground coffee and fill to the 3 then the 2 as recommended by Stumptown inverted method, I get about 2 oz. of coffee concentrate, which makes about 5 oz. of regular-strength coffee. But if I use two scoops of coffee and fill to the 2 and then the 1 with this method, I get about 2.5 oz. of coffee concentrate, which doesn't make a strong-tasting 10-oz. cup, either. Generally I'm using a dark roast, Sumatra or French or a blend. To make a nice, full-tasting 10-oz. cup of coffee, do I need to steep longer? Use more grounds? Grind finer or coarser? Help! My second question is, do I really need to use twice as much coffee to make a single cup compared to a French press, where I use 2-3 tbsp. coarse-ground coffee and steep for 3-4 minutes to get 10 oz. of coffee? Thank you for any help!
posted by roxie110 to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Link to Stumptown inverted method:
posted by roxie110 at 2:44 PM on January 12, 2015

For making a larger-sized mug of regular coffee, I use the Aeropress non-inverted, add 1.5 to 2 scoops of coffee, wet the grounds for 10-20 seconds, then fill it slowly all the way to the "4" or slightly higher, then begin pressing about 60 seconds after the first water was added. Some will drip into the mug as I'm filling, so the amount that ends up in the mug is slightly more than the Aeropress's full capacity.

Previously I used Tonx "just add water" inverted method which is similar but doesn't make quite as large a coffee.
posted by mbrubeck at 3:04 PM on January 12, 2015

You seem to have doubled your amount of ground coffee, but you're not coming anywhere close to doubling the amount of water you're putting it in, have you tried filling it up all the way?
posted by Sequence at 3:07 PM on January 12, 2015

Response by poster: The Stumptown method includes tilting to a 45-degree angle and rotating for 10 seconds, which can't be done with the liquid filled up all the way...
posted by roxie110 at 3:09 PM on January 12, 2015

The appropriate ratio by weight is 15 g of water per 1 g of coffee. For example, I use 20 g of coffee -- 20 g * 15 = 300 g of water, which is roughly 10.6 oz (grams of water can be converted directly to fluid ounces, roughly because there's coffee in there too!).

The easiest way to do this, especially since you're doing the inverted method, is to get a digital kitchen scale and place the inverted Aeropress on it so that you can weigh the coffee and subsequently the water. I put as much water into the Aeropress as it can handle, and then add the remainder of the 300 g to the mug of concentrate.
posted by telegraph at 3:25 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

With inverted, I've used two scoops and filled the press to the 4 marking, and stirred for a couple of minutes by timer (or until I get bored and stop.) No tilting involved since that seems likely to burn me and also like more work. I've also had decent results using the standard method described in the included instructions (but I usually use a little more water and time than they suggest.)

I keep meaning to be more scientific about it, though, and telegraph's suggestion seems like a good step in that direction!
posted by asperity at 3:28 PM on January 12, 2015

I fill the inverted AeroPress about halfway with ground coffee (10s of grinding on my Bodum grinder, set a little finer than the middle=drip setting), I fill it with 185°F water to about the 4, stir to about a count of 10, let it sit for a little while (or not), and then I un-invert and press it through the press. I just shy of half a mug of coffee. I fill the mug the rest of the way with hot water. It seems plenty strong, although it's not crazy strong.

(When I was getting Tonx, one of the things I found was that i really did need to let it steep for a minute or so or else the coffee was often sour.)
posted by leahwrenn at 3:44 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't use the inverted method, but I have found that finer-ground coffee gives better results for me. I use two scoops, fill up to the 3, stir for 10 seconds, and then slowly press (for non-inverted), and that gives me a pretty strong cup. If I have to use coarse ground coffee I usually use 2.5-3 scoops, or re-grind it finer.
posted by majesty_snowbird at 3:45 PM on January 12, 2015

I make a large mug of AeroPress every morning. I use essentially this method, except I use 20 grams of ground coffee (instead of their recommended 17), I fill mine up almost to the top with water, and I "pause" for about a minute. This produces enough "concentrate" that when I water it down, my mug of coffee is full and strong and tasty.

FWIW, I think you're going to run into trouble if you're aiming for something like French Press. The French Press is noteworthy for the way that it leaves all the oils on the top, and you will not be able to get anything like the French Press body on an Aeropress (or pretty much anything that's not a french press). The Aeropress produces a very clean, very light-bodied cup of coffee, even if you just drink the "concentrate" straight.
posted by DGStieber at 4:29 PM on January 12, 2015

I thought I was using the Blue Bottle AeroPress method, but it turns out I've diverged from it.

The Blue Bottle method does a 30-second bloom of 2:1 water:coffee, followed by adding a little more than 10:1 water:coffee and doing a 60-second steep. So for 15g of coffee they add 30g water, stir with the stirrer to make it all evenly wet; wait, let the CO2 off-gas for a bit; then add another 160g water, for a total of 190g water to 15g coffee; and wait again then press.

My accidental variant starts with 2:1 water:coffee for the bloom, but then just adds enough water to make it to 10:1 for the steep. And even at that rate it's hard for me to get much beyond 200g of water without overflowing the AeroPress (10oz is 283g). I have never filled up a 12oz cup much past halfway with any of these techniques, but I have learned some of the variables that make my coffee more enjoyable to me.

I mean I imagine your ultimate goal is taste, not volume? Experiment with the grind and the steep time and the coffee:water proportions. If you start out with the same mass of coffee, your caffeine titration should be pretty equivalent regardless of the final volume of your cup—so good taste+addictive stimulant ought to work out.
posted by xueexueg at 4:36 PM on January 12, 2015

I don't know what the benefit of doing it upside down is, but the most important step (when the crema appears) for me making ordinary aeropress is in the stirring.
posted by mdn at 5:31 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

The benefit of the upside down ("inverted") method is that liquid doesn't come out of the press until you flip it over. With the normal method, as soon as you add water it starts to filter out, so it's harder to be precise about brewing times and amounts.

For enough concentrate to make a "large" (e.g. 10oz'ish) Americano, I do something like xueexueg's method -- inverted, 34g of coffee, +100g water for 20s (the bloom), then +140g water for 60s. A side effect of these numbers is that it typically results in the press being almost completely full (assuming minimal plunger insertion at the beginning), which can be slightly tricky to work with (I have knocked it over in my morning haze and It Sucked), but it also makes it easier to get away with not using a scale for the water since you "know" it'll be full.
posted by kanuck at 7:03 PM on January 12, 2015

I make the cup of coffee that you want every morning! Its really easy.

Use the inverted method, with a generous amount of coffee (whatever that means to you) and a not too fine grind. When you flip the Aeropress over, let it drip into your mug for a bit then fill it up with water and stir again before plunging.

I thought it sounded silly and not 'pure' but it make a large mug of strong coffee and its my prefferred method! I'm going on about 2 years of an Aeropress and use a a steel strainer, but I'm not very particular about beans or roasts, and mostly use expired coffee thats donated to my work by Cafe Vita and Top Pot Doughnuts, FWIW.
posted by kittensofthenight at 7:11 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here's my recipe, which I adapted from one of the Aeropress international competition winners from the last few years (can't remember which):

Inverted method
12 or 12.5 grams of medium grind coffee (slightly finer than drip)
250 grams of water just off the boil
Stir with chopstick (non metallic)
Wait one minute
Flip and press

Works well for me. I don't add any water after brewing.
posted by kdern at 7:37 PM on January 12, 2015

kdern: Does your method address the OP's 10 oz coffee desire?
posted by artdrectr at 12:16 AM on January 13, 2015

I believe that kdern's method would make roughly 250 mls of coffee, which would be about 45 mls less than 10 oz.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 12:27 AM on January 13, 2015

I agree - my method does not make a full 10 ounces. I understood the OP's question to mean "how do I make a full mug of American coffee", which is what I try to do with the recipe I use. 250 ml of water makes about 8.8 ounces of coffee.
posted by kdern at 5:18 AM on January 13, 2015

Response by poster: I appreciate all the postings! Looks like I have some experimentation to do. It's all a bit mind-boggling!
posted by roxie110 at 10:57 AM on January 13, 2015

Adding another non-inverted, paper filter, 9oz recipe to the mix:

- Start with 18-20g of medium-coarse ground coffee
- Wet the filter as directed, add the coffee. Place over the mug.
- Pour 40g of water, soaking the grounds evenly. Let it sit for 35 seconds.
- Slowly pour in an additional 240g of water, spinning the Aeropress along the way to evenly agitate the grounds. Let it sit for 60 seconds.
- Place plunger over the base and slowly press for 15-20 seconds until you hear the hissing sound.
- Yields approx 9-9.5 oz of coffee.
posted by EarnestSchemingway at 11:52 AM on January 13, 2015

I think these are all great suggestions and its fun to experiment. However, sometimes its monday morning and you don't have the perfect recipe yet. For this situation I would suggest this recipe:

Put grounds in the aeropress.
Pour the just boiling water in to the top.
Let it drip a bit and do something else.
Fill the water up to the top again.
Plunge it.

This will make a whole mug without you having to worry about it. To be frank its how I use the Aeropress most often. I compared this method against French Press this morning (groggy coffee for 2) and the unmeasured Aeropress tasted fuller than the French Press.
posted by kittensofthenight at 2:48 PM on January 13, 2015

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