It may look like something out of a chemistry lab, but don’t let this little coffee gadget fool you. The AeroPress coffee maker is surprisingly easy to use and produces a consistently smooth and strong cup of coffee. Here’s what you need to know to press a perfect cup every time.
If you’ve read our pour over or French press brewing guides, you’ve noticed that we’re always preaching about two things: grind size and temperature. For the AeroPress, you’ll want a medium-fine grind size, similar to what you’d use in a drip coffee maker. If the grinds are about the size of table salt, you’re on the right track.
Brew with water that’s just under boiling. If you have a variable temp kettle, set it for 205°F. If not, bring water to a boil and remove it from heat until the water settles.
AeroPress instructions are simple, and as long as you’ve got your grind size and coffee to water ratio right, you’re practically guaranteed a good cup of coffee. Still, there is some debate over whether inverting the AeroPress will make a better cup.
Here’s the theory: in the standard brewing method, some coffee may drip into your mug before you can insert the plunger and form a vacuum (which will prevent the coffee from dripping out). Because this small amount of coffee hasn’t had a chance to brew, it might taste under extracted and sour. With the inverted method, no coffee gets into your mug until you flip it over. The inverted method also allows for a longer brew time if you prefer very strong coffee.
To us, both methods produce great coffee, so we’ve provided brewing instructions for both. Just be sure to place the plunger onto the chamber as quickly as possible after you’ve added the water to prevent dripping.
The AeroPress produces very concentrated coffee, so you might find that you prefer to drink it Americano-style by adding a little extra hot water. It also makes a great base for homemade lattes and cappuccinos.