I must admit that when I first saw the AeroPress, back in 2005, I thought it was ridiculous. And I didn’t make the effort of getting one for the next ten years, but being a very obvious coffee lover, naturally, someone eventually figured out it would be a great Christmas present for me, and it was!
The thing with the AeroPress is that the resulting coffee is somewhat similar to a shot of espresso, and since it’s hard to get yourself a proper espresso at home, the AeroPress does come in handy.
This device basically forces hot water through ground coffee in a swift, almost brutal (yet classy) pressing motion. Air pressure builds up inside a plunger you push with your hand, doing what a drip press would do, but in mere seconds.
Interestingly, it was a mechanical engineering professor at Stanford University named Alan Adler, who developed the AeroPress getting everyone in the caffeine world thinking – why didn’t I think about that before? – but they didn’t, Mr. Adler did.
There are so many brilliant things about the AeroPress, starting with the simple paper filter that costs close to nothing.
After experimenting a lot and following baristas online, I experimented with making everything from chocolatey coffee to a mean iced coffee with my machine. Of course, the AeroPress is quite versatile, but it’s by far more useful for making espresso-strength brews.
No steam, no complicated espresso maker with expensive spare parts, and no hassle, just your AeroPress and the palm of your hand. And the best thing? You never get only one shot. The AeroPress yields an average 8 oz serving of intensely brewed coffee.
Ultimately, the coffee you use will determine the flavor profile of your brew. Since this process is fairly gentle, I don’t recommend dark roasts, but medium roasts that brim with fruity and nutty flavors.
As for the grind size, look for a medium; something in between what you’d use for an espresso machine and a French press grind. If you’re using a hand grind, set it to 3.5 and adjust from there.
Place a clean, dry mug on any surface and place the AeroPress ‘base’ over it.
Add the coffee to the AeroPress, start your timer and add the water. Stir 3 seconds and cap.
After one minute uncap, stir gently once more and cap again.
Press the plunger slowly for about 45 seconds, and you’re done!