The AeroPress® is unique among coffee makers. Although it’s versatility is legendary, it comes in only one color and one style. As you see below, while there are accessories, the basic device sits atop the glass mug. The only change in over a decade is that newer models are made from opaque food-grade plastic instead of translucent.
This little $30 plastic device makes one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had. It’s also gentler on the stomach. AeroPressed coffee contains about one-fifth the acidity of drip-brewed coffee and one-ninth the acidity of a French Press coffee.
Plenty of other coffee aficionados agree with the great taste. Ten years ago two coffee lovers in Sweden started a friendly competition to see who could brew the best cup using the AeroPress. Today it has grown into a worldwide movement. Competitions were held around the world last year.
You can even get a lapel pin to tell the world how much your AeroPress means to you. Check it out here. You can get other AeroPress swag, too. Like a men’s or women’s t-shirt. I had no idea there was such a huge following until I began researching this post!
Less Acidity And Better Taste
When people use an AeroPress, their coffee is less acidic and lacks bitterness. Many people find they use less coffee when they switch from a drip coffee maker because they only brew what they plan to drink. They no longer pour out half pots of old, stale, sludgy coffee.
Since I bought our Aeropress in 2014, my hubby and I use it every morning to make coffee. I stick with decaf, but he is one of those people that caffeine doesn’t affect so he will often have a cup or two in the afternoon or evening, too.
Unique Design Is Made In The USA
The first thing you notice is the design. There’s a cylinder (brewing chamber) with a round interior and five-sided exterior that is marked at one-ounce intervals on the outside, a plunger, a perforated filter holder that fits over the end of the cylinder, a large scoop, a funnel, a container with 350 paper filters and a T-shaped stirrer.
Although it is plastic, the AeroPress has always been phthalate free and has been free of bisphenols, including bisphenol-A (BPA) and bisphenol-S (BPS), since 2009. All materials used in the AeroPress are made in the USA and are FDA and EU approved for use in contact with food. Read more about the materials here.
If you upgrade slightly to the travel version, you will also receive a handy bag to carry all the pieces mentioned above. Hubby and I never go away overnight without taking our AeroPress along.
How To Brew The Best Cup
As it is a single-cup coffee maker, the brewing chamber is meant to sit on top of a coffee mug. The biggest mug you can press into has a top inner diameter of 3 3/4 inches (95mm). The smallest mug you can press into with the AeroPress has a top inner diameter of 2 5/8 inches (67mm).
There are several methods you can use with this coffee maker. The instructions that came with my AeroPress suggest fitting the funnel into the coffee mug, then inserting the brewing chamber into the funnel and pushing the plunger. This works very well if your cup is outside of the recommended diameters and/or if you are brewing espresso.
You also get directions for making steeped coffee, like in a French Press, or loose leaf tea. To brew using the recommended inverted method, insert the plunger an inch or so into the chamber and set the AeroPress on a counter with the plunger down. Put the coffee or tea into the chamber, pour hot water into the chamber, and let it steep. When ready, put a filter into the filter cap, screw the cap onto the chamber, carefully invert it onto your mug, and press. Warning: using this inverted method may increase the risk of spilling hot water.
You Have Complete Control
The beverage you make with an AeroPress is totally dependant on what you prefer because you are in control of all aspects of the brewing process.
In addition to making a standard cup of coffee, the AeroPress makes a dynamite one-ounce espresso. That means you can have anything that has espresso as the base–like lattes, cappuccinos, cafe au lait, and Americanos.
The videos at the end of this post show how to make a standard cup of coffee and how to make an espresso or latte.
Here’s How I Use My AeroPress
I don’t follow the instructions when I use my own AeroPress. Here’s the 12-step sequence that I do at least
- put the kettle on to boil filtered water; see this post to find out why to use filtered water
- use the included large scoop to add two scoops of beans to my grinder
- hit the grinder for about 30 seconds and dump the loose grounds into the brewing chamber (already set up with filter and cap)
- take a toothbrush (free at my dentist) and clean the crevices and under the blades of the grinder
- shake the loosened coffee on top of what is already in the brewing chamber
- place the brewing chamber on top of my mug
- add water that has cooled slightly from the boiling point to the brewing chamber and top it off
- allow water and coffee to mix as the water seeps through the coffee grounds and into the cup
- when ready–either all water has seeped through or there is at least an inch of room at the top
- carefully insert the plunger (don’t want hot coffee all over)
- slowly push the plunger down until all water is extracted; you will feel a small resistance that disappears near the end, and then push the plunger to the bottom to extract everything you can
- remove the brewing chamber/plunger and dispose of the used grounds and filter, or rinse a metal filter
From this point, you can add sweetener, milk, cream, butter or coconut oil depending on your preference.
Et Voila! A great cup of coffee.
A Choice Of Filters
If you use a paper filter, the end result will be very much like a drip coffee and have less oil. The company recommends using paper filters and goes so far as to say the warranty is void if metal filters are used.
Alternatively, you can purchase a separate metal filter which will result in a beverage with an unfiltered flavor and more coffee oils. We bought a metal filter within days of receiving our AeroPress because I was concerned that the coffee filter bleaching process produced dioxin, a deadly chemical.
However, I learned that my concern was outdated and no longer valid. (I felt really old. ;)) According to the AeroPress website, the filter paper mills switched in the late 1980s to use a non-elemental chlorine bleaching process (they use a chlorine compound, not chlorine gas) to eliminate producing
Now, the AeroPress filters are cut from rolls of the same paper that is used to make the cone filters for standard drip coffee makers. The paper filters are 100% compostable along with the coffee grounds.
Clean Up And Durability
The AeroPress comes out a winner in my eyes here, too. You take off the filter cap and push out the filter and compressed grounds. You can dispose of the filter with the grounds or if you are using a metal filter, take it off and rinse clean.
From there, clean up is easy-peasy. Just take it apart and give the parts a quick rinse. The AeroPress can be washed in the top shelf of a dishwasher, but a simple rinse is sufficient because the plunger wipes the chamber clean.
There really isn’t any maintenance. No scale builds up on the plastic parts. The AeroPress I bought four years ago still shows no signs of deterioration, cracking or any
The one-ounce measurements on the outside of the brewing chamber have rubbed off over time, but it doesn’t affect the coffee. And as you saw just above here, I don’t use them anyway.
With its low price, great brewing ability and funky looks, you can’t