My AeroPress changed my life.
Not only do I like good coffee, I am also a sucker for espresso over other kinds of coffee. Unfortunately, I cannot take my espresso machine with me wherever I go.
This used to mean that I was either stuck with really bad coffee or in some lucky cases semi-good immersion brew or filter coffee. Else, and this is the option I tended to go for… I just skiped my morning coffee. And that’s just sad.
It stands to reason that none of those options make my heart race with excitement. So, back to my opening statement… my AeroPress changed my life.
Although it isn’t true espresso, it comes pretty close to the real thing. But chances are that if you are here, you probably know all this and just want to know how to use your recently acquired AeroPress. So, I’ll just skip right to the good stuff…
This post is about hot AeroPress coffee. I have another step-by-step guide on how to make AeroPress cold brew.
Parts of the AeroPress
Okay, I’m kind of skipping. Before we go on I just want to make sure that you know what all the parts are called. That way, you won’t get confused when I talk about them.
First, you have the AeroPress chamber in which you put the coffee grounds and hot water. Then here is the plunger that you use to push the water through the grounds. Next up is the filter cap that holds the filter and is screwed onto the chamber.
The AeroPress filter that you use can either be a paper filter or a metal filter. I use the paper filters because they are easy to come by. However, I know that many people prefer metal filters. No matter which you use, the process will be the same.
Lastly, we have the scoop and the stirrer.
Step-by-Step Instructions for AeroPress Coffee
1. Boil Some Water
If you are making hot coffee, you need to boil water. The recommended temperature to get the best cup of coffee with a great flavor profile is 175ºF (80ºC). Okay, so technically you won’t boil it, you’ll only heat it, but whatever. That’s not the point. The point is that the ideal water temperature is 175ºF (80ºC).
However, you can play around with the water temperature if you believe that another brew temperature might suit your taste buds better.
2. Assemble the AeroPress
While you wait for the water, you need to put everything together.
Put your filter of choice in the filter cap and screw the filter cap on the chamber. Then put it on top of your mug. Be sure to use a sturdy mug.
3. Grind the Coffee Beans
AeroPress recommends using espresso grind coffee for a rich flavor. Some people like a slightly coarser grind, but after some experimentation I have come to the conclusion that I prefer finely ground, dark roast espresso beans.
4. Add the Ingredients
First, an overwhelming amount of people on the internet likes to weigh the ingredients with a coffee scale. However, I don’t see the need. Alan Adler himself uses the scoop and the markings on the chamber to measure the ingredients. So, why shouldn’t we?
I have made many a cup of coffee without weighing the exact amount of grams of coffee or grams of water and each time I end up with great coffee. I see no need to spend more time if the fast and easy method works so well.
Now, add a scoop of ground coffee to the brewing chamber; one scoop for every cup that you want to make (you can make up to three cups at a time). I use a flat scoop, that way it is easier to use a similar amount next time.
Make sure that the grounds in the chamber are level.
Now, pour in the water. Don’t pour too fast as that will increase the drip through into the cup while brewing. It is normal for a small amount of water to drip through, but if you pour too fast, you could increase it.
5. Stir for 10 Seconds
Now, use the stirrer and stir the water and grounds for 10 seconds. The stirrer has been designed that it doesn’t scrape the filter. So, don’t use something else to stir with.
6. Plunge Away
Next, insert the plunger into the brewing chamber and apply gentle pressure for 20-40 seconds. If you are met with a lot of pressure, pause and wait for a little bit until the pressure lessens.
Don’t press too hard, this will only compress the coffee bed and prevent the water from going through. If the pressure is too much and you struggle a lot, you could try a bit of a coarser ground the next time around.
Many people say that you should stop plunging once you hear a hissing sound, but I don’t think that that matters. I plunge until I reach the grounds.
The end result is espresso-style coffee that you can enjoy whenever you want.
7. Serving the Coffee
Finally, you can serve this great espresso-like coffee in any way that you like.
You can drink it as it is. Or you can add hot water to make yourself an Americano. If you are a latte kind of person like me, you can froth yourself some milk. When I don’t have a machine with a steam wand nearby I like to froth my milk using a French press.
Use a Sturdy Mug
I can’t stress this enough. Make sure that you use a mug that won’t crack under the pressure that you are applying. Also make sure that it has a wide enough base that it won’t fall over while you are plunging.
Ideal Grind Size
Okay, so, let’s talk about different grind sizes. If the grind size is too fine, you won’t be able to push the water through, or you might struggle a lot.
That said, I do like to use a finer grind than what some people use when using an AeroPress. I have heard of people suggesting a grind as coarse as a medium grind. That just doesn’t do it for me. I grind my coffee when using an AeroPress the same as I would for espresso.
If you are using a blade grinder, it won’t be quite as easy to get the right grind size every time, but with time you’ll get better at it.
Using a burr coffee grinder is your best choice is you want to get the perfect grind size every time. However, they can be super expensive and not suitable for everyone’s budget.
Pre-ground coffee tends to be too coarse for my taste. I like to buy whole beans that I grind just before using it. But you can totally use pre-ground beans if you like it or if you don’t have a grinder.
What Roast to Use
While I prefer darker roasts, there are lighter roasts that are also really good. It really is a matter of personal preference.
If you ask me, there really is no golden ratio when it comes to the AeroPress brewing method. I have never obsessed about how much coffee and how much water to use like many coffee enthusiasts do. And I have made the perfect cup of coffee every single time that I have used my AeroPress coffee maker.
I simply scoop some coffee into the brew chamber using the AeroPress scoop and eyeball the amount of water using the numbers on the side of the AeroPress.
Other Great Brewing Methods
Although I am quite a fan of an AeroPress brew, I won’t deny that there are other great ways of brewing coffee too. Here are some other amazing coffee brewing methods.
Although I am a fan of hot, strong coffee I cannot argue that sometimes we really need cold coffee. This is why it is so amazing that you can make cold brew coffee with your AeroPress by using cold water. The brewing process will be slightly longer, but it is a super short brew time compared to traditional cold brew.
Learn how to make AeroPress cold brew here.
Some people like to turn their AeroPress upside down when brewing with it. There are undeniable advantages to that over the standard method.
The first is a reduced amount of water that drip through while you are stirring. The other is that you can extend the brewing time if you wanted to. This could influence your brew strength.
Learn how to make a delicious cup of coffee using the inverted AeroPress method.
James Hoffmann’s French press brewing process is my favorite way to make French press coffee. His method ensures that basically no coffee grounds end up in your cup of coffee. And well, that is, in my world, quite an important aspect of a great cup of coffee.
Learn how James Hoffmann makes French press coffee.