Invented in 2005, the Aeropress has since developed a bit of a cult status, with numerous AeroPress competitions around the world and even an annual World Championship where baristas compete to see whose recipe and technique delivers the best cup of coffee. The Aeropress is a single cup coffee brewing system and like a cafetiere it uses a plunger to force water through coffee.
If you search online for Aeropress recipes you’ll find a number of different approaches, with varying brewing temperatures, grind size, brewing times and even plunge times. Apart from recipes, there are two main methods that you can try. There’s the regular top down brewing method as described in the instructions that ship with the Aeropress and then there’s what’s known as the inverted or upside down method, which is the method that we’ll cover here. It’s our preferred method, principally because with the standard brewing method you can sometimes get leakage before brewing is complete.
When it comes to grind size the manufacturers advise somewhere between drip and espresso, a medium to fine grind, and we’d recommend starting with 17g of coffee which is approximately one single Aeropress scoop.
Once you have boiled your water, first warm your brewing chamber. Then place the plunger securely into the chamber, pushing it down just enough so that it is secure. Next add your ground coffee, using the Aeropress funnel to ensure your grounds drop to the bottom. Place your paper filter inside the filter cap and in a similar way to the V60 rinse with warm water.
Having let your boiled water sit for a minute so that it’s at a temperature of between 92-96C you can now start pouring. Start with a bloom stage, saturating the grounds evenly, stirring and then letting it sit for 30 seconds whilst any CO2 is released. Then continue to add water to the top of chamber before then screwing on the filter cap. It’s best to hold onto the Aeropress where the plunger and the chamber meet whilst you are doing this to avoid any mishaps.
As we said earlier there are different brewing times you can use depending on your preference, something you can experiment with over time. But a good place to start is to leave for a total brew time of 90 seconds before then taking the Aeropress and flipping it over onto the top of your mug. Again be sure to hold both chambers whilst you’re doing this so you don’t end up with a lapful of hot coffee!
Using a slow steady press, push down your plunger until it just begins compacting the coffee at the bottom. You can then remove the brewing unit from your mug and disassemble it. One of the nice things about the Aeropress is that it’s easy to clean up. Just remove the filter cap and over a bin push the plunger the remaining way and this will then eject the coffee grounds. All that’s needed then is to rinse your Aeropress and then put aside ready for its next outing.
You now have in your mug a coffee concentrate and you can choose to either dilute your coffee a bit by adding some more hot water or just to enjoy it as is if you prefer a more espresso like beverage.