I tend to remember days and moments by smells, tastes, and sounds.
Nothing brings me back to my time as a barista quite like the scream of my coffee grinder, the aroma of freshly ground beans, and the therapeutic routine of brewing coffee in my AeroPress. If you’ve ventured into craft coffee at all, you've probably tried pour over coffee, and you know that it tastes amazing, but it’s a time consuming process. Sometimes, you just need your cup of coffee a little faster, but you’re wanting something that packs a bit more punch than your drip coffee pot. Well my friends, the AeroPress is the answer. The AeroPress is the perfect method for brewing coffee because:
1) It only makes one 8 oz cup, which is perfect for me because my husband doesn’t drink coffee. How someone can make it through the day without a drop of caffeine boggles my mind, and I feel like we are missing some kind of foundational connection, but I won’t get too worked up about it. It just means I get the AeroPress all to myself.
2) Once your water is boiled, it only takes 2 minutes to make.
3) It makes a delicious full-bodied, yet smooth cup of coffee. Bear with me as I geek out for a minute. Just the like the french press, the AeroPress is an immersion method of brewing, meaning that the grounds steep in the water until they’re filtered out. However, one of the ways the AeroPress is different is that it uses a paper filter rather than a porous, metal filter. This paper filter absorbs some of the oils from the beans that would otherwise seep through a porous, metal filter, resulting in a cleaner cup of coffee than a french press would yield. Because of the combination of a fine grind, water temperature, quick brew time, and pressure at which you press down, your cup of coffee will still have big flavor, and in my opinion almost resemble the taste of espresso.
4) It literally cannot be broken. The AeroPress is made of some super tough plastic, which is perfect for people like me who break glass just by looking at it.
For around $30, you get everything you need to brew yourself a delicious cup (assuming you already own a grinder and kettle). When you buy an AeroPress, you get:
The AeroPress: the plunger, bottom chamber, and filter cap
A stirring paddle: Fun Fact- This paddle is specifically designed to stir the grounds in the chamber without touching the filter at the bottom
350 filters and a filter holder: With most other brewing methods, you have to buy the filters separately (and they never come with 350 of them!)
A funnel to pour your coffee grounds into the bottom chamber
- A scoop for your coffee (If you have a kitchen scale, you can be much more precise about how much coffee you use, rather than using the scoop)
How to Brew
Boil your water. If you don’t own a gooseneck kettle like this one, you can still use a regular tea kettle to brew a cup of coffee with the AeroPress. The gooseneck kettle has a unique spout that allows for a controlled stream of water that comes in handy when brewing pour-over coffee
While waiting for the water to boil, you’ll want to grind your coffee. If you own a kitchen scale like this one, weigh out 18-20 grams of your favorite coffee. If you don’t own a kitchen scale, no worries.
If using the AeroPress scoop, use one 1 rounded scoop of whole beans. Or if you’re not using the scoop, use 2 ½ tablespoons of whole beans. The benefit of using a scale is that you get to be extremely precise with your measurements, which will lead to consistency from brew to brew. Grind your coffee almost as fine as espresso, but not quite as fine. I would recommend using a high quality grinder with burr plates. The Burr plates will result in a more consistent grind size than a blade grinder will.
Next, prep your AeroPress for use. Place the filter in the filter cap and preheat it by running some of your boiled water over it. Preheating your filter is a good practice for brewing so that your coffee doesn't taste like paper, and warms it up so it’s ready to go.
Take your filter cap and lock it into place underneath the bottom chamber, and place on top of mug.
Place the funnel on top of the chamber and pour your coffee grounds into the chamber. Remove funnel. Make sure to level out the grounds by picking up the chamber and gently shaking it so the grounds are lying evenly in the bottom of the chamber. Pour hot water halfway up the chamber and stir like you mean it for 5 seconds.
Make sure that all of the grounds are saturated. This initial pour of water is called the bloom, and it will essentially open up the “pores” of the grounds. Continue to pour hot water all the way up the chamber until you are 1 cm from the top. Grab the plunger and insert into chamber so that it is flat. Pull the plunger up just a smidge to create a vacuum seal in the chamber. Let it steep for 45 seconds.
After the grounds have steeped for 45 seconds, remove the plunger and stir the mixture of coffee and water with your stirring paddle. Place plunger back into chamber and press down with even, steady pressure until you hear a hissing noise.
Once you hear that hissing noise, your cup of coffee is finished and you’re all set to sip on that hot cup of joe.
All you have left is cleanup, and it could not be easier. Simply take off the filter cap, push out the filter and grounds with the plunger. Give the plunger a good rinse, and your AeroPress is clean and ready to brew again.