The Aerobie AeroPress looks like a penis pump, but the only hard-on you’re going to get is when you taste the quality of coffee this thing pumps out. It brews a great, strong cup of coffee—much quicker than a French Press or a Bialetti. There are no grinds in your cup. And there’s virtually no messy clean-up.
I’ve tried it all. French Press. Bialetti. Turkish. Pour over. A delicious cup of coffee in the morning is one of the great pleasures in life. When the zombie apocalypse comes, you can be sure that good coffee will be the thing I miss most.
Espresso is the highest expression of a coffee bean, if you ask me, and when it’s done right, nothing’s better. Second best, though (and a distant second at that), is the AeroPress.
The AeroPress pumps only one cup at a time. But the genius of it is that once you have boiling water, you can just pump out cup after cup like a Starbucks barista. When I’m camping, I will boil a liter of water in my JetBoil (~ 4 minutes). Then I’ll make four or so cups at once, and keep them hot in a thermos.
I’ve read some people who claim the AeroPress is an espresso maker. This is NOT true! If you know what real espresso is, you’d never say the AeroPress makes espresso. Let’s just call it “strong coffee,” and leave it at that.
OK, let’s have a closer look at the best process I’ve discovered for brewing up a cup of AeroPress joe:
Get your grind right
The grind, of course, is one of the most important parts of the coffee-making process. I’ve experimented with various grinds in the Aeropress. In general, I’d say you want your grind to be a few hairs coarser than a true espresso-grade grind. The “drip grind” is way too coarse, but an espresso grind is too fine and will make it too difficult to plunge the coffee. Still, I recommend erring on the side of too fine than too coarse. Somewhere between drip and espresso grind is where you want to be.
I love my Jet Boil Sumo Canister Stove. Easy to set up. Reliable. Boils water quickly in any condition. First, I boil the water to a roiling boil. Then let it sit for a minute. You don’t want to pour boiling water directly onto your coffee grinds as it scorches the beans and imparts a burnt taste in your coffee. AeroPress recommends a temperature of 200 degrees F. I’ve never actually measured my water’s temperature. I just let my boiling water sit for one minute.
Assemble the AeroPress
Insert the filter
Insert a filter into the AeroPress’s cap.
Wet the filter with your hot water. This helps keep the filter in place, and it supposedly removes some of the paper taste imparted by the filter. You can perform this operation over your coffee cup: the hot water will trickle into your cup, and heat it up, which is nice if it’s a cold morning.
Add the coffee
My AeroPress came with a few accessories, including a funnel for adding grinds, a measuring spoon, and a stirrer. All of which I find very useful, particularly for adding the ground coffee.
Using the funnel, I add one spoonful of coffee—which basically fills the AeroPress up to the first number.
Fill the AeroPress up a little more than halfway with your 200-degree water.
Stir for 10 seconds.
Add more water
Fill up the water the rest of the way. Let sit for 1 minute.
Screw on the cap
Flip and Plunge
Flip the AeroPress over onto your cup and start plunging in one smooth motion! You want to exert about 30 pounds of pressure, which is roughly what a 5.9 arm bar in an offwidith feels like. If you find yourself doing 5.13 arm-barring, your grind is too fine. If you’re doing 5.6 arm-barring, your grind is too coarse.
Now for the best part …
Clean-up is as easy as unscrewing the cap, and plunging the puck out (please Leave No Trace, if you’re camping). Easy, peasy. No mess. And now you’re ready to enjoy strong, delicious coffee.