In the early 2000s, Alan Adler, an inventor with a passion for aerodynamics and the inventor of the Aerobie, invented the Aeropress. It was Alan’s solution to a problem he had; brewing a single cup of coffee well. His problem came from trying to use a batch brewer to create a single cup and realising he couldn’t get the quality he desired. In 2005 he launched the Aeropress in its initial form and it hasn’t really changed from there.
Fifteen or so years down the track, it’s hard to believe that most people haven’t seen one; they were still very niche for quite some time. So if you’ve never unboxed an Aeropress, seeing it for the first time is pretty fun. From the initial opening of a box, you get the vibe that it is trying to be a plunger that looks like a syringe but with a very different style of brewing. Like most coffee brewers these days, it comes with a coffee scoop but it also comes with its own stirrer, a funnel for the coffee and a cradle for the one million papers you will inevitably never use before losing and having to buy another pack; that’s my experience anyway!
The instructions recommend you use the Aeropress by placing a paper filter in the cap, screwing it on and placing the main chamber over a jug. From there you add coffee, then the water and place the plunger at the top. This then creates a vacuum that stops the water from dripping through the filter too soon, allowing you to control the extracion.
Whilst this is a reasonably easy process, quite some time ago, a lot of people started using the aeropress upside down. Placing the plunger in the aeropress, and placing the whole thing upside down. Make the coffee like this and flip it when you’re ready to push the coffee out.
Our recommendation is to start with 15 grams of coffee and add 225 grams of water just off the boil. A lot of recipes out there will call for water at 95 or even 85 but you simply will not extract the coffee well with low water temperatures. We prefer the water as hot as possible.
Start the timer, pour the water in straight away, all the way to the top. No bloom is required as there is no emphasis on the bed of coffee and minimising channels. The gasses from fresh coffee will escape well before you plunge the Aeropress. Give your coffee a quick stir, ensuring all the coffee is wet and there are no dry pockets left in the chamber. Place the cap on with a filter paper on the chamber. At 2 minutes, flip the Aeropress and push the coffee out using light force. The target is 30 seconds to complete the extraction. If you push too fast you can end up with some very astringent, over extracted elements in the coffee.
With practice, you will start understanding how hard you need to push and start getting very consistent brews, everytime. For a detailed rundown of how to brew and Aeropress, head to our youtube channel and watch our video on how to brew and Aeropress.