Posted by Josh Hockin on April 09, 2014
This is a re-post from a couple years back, but it's still our favourite way to make Aeropress, and something we get asked about often, so we thought it was worth repeating.
If you’ve never heard of it, the Aeropress is a rather unique single-cup brewing device. It resembles a large syringe, and is made by Aerobie, a company known mostly for making flying discs. This fact alone can make the Aeropress pretty easy to shrug off as a novelty, but that would be a mistake. I’ve been using the Aeropress for over a year and a half, and I now use it more frequently than I do any other brewer. I like the level of control that I have over so many parameters.
Like with the French Press (another full immersion brew method), I can directly control the time that the water and coffee are in contact with each other. Pressing the coffee through a filter adds a bit of pressure which speeds up the extraction and really cleans up the flavour profile of the drink. However, I don’t use the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s not that they’re wrong, but what you get from them is a really concentrated beverage that needs to be diluted with hot water. This is not the coffee I enjoy drinking, and I believe the Aeropress does a fantastic job of making brewed coffee if used differently.
There are alternate instructions posted all over the internet (you can see quite a few at http://www.brewmethods.com). I’ve tried a great deal of them, and I’ve found that they all yield slightly different results. I think this is the most remarkable aspect to Aeropress brewing: the degree of control you have over so many brew parameters means you can many different flavour profiles for a single coffee.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of variables you have control over, and if you’re new to Aeropress brewing then the following method will work very nicely.
I use 210 mL of water and 14 g of coffee (about the same as one level scoop). The tricky part will be in measuring the water. The brewing chamber is quite small so 210 mL will fill up the whole chamber.
I think this is a pretty solid method that can yield a tasty cup with just about any coffee. The rub is in figuring out a good grind size. A good starting point is to use the same grind size as you would for your drip brewer. If you follow the above method, and your coffee comes out kind of weak, then I would suggest grinding slightly finer. If, on the other hand, it’s too bitter, then coarsening it up might help. If you do that and find a brew that tastes great, then you’ve already managed to take control of one of the most important coffee brewing variables! I think it’s important to mention that while you’re tweaking one variable, it’s a good idea to leave everything else constant. If you feel ready for a new challenge, try altering how quickly you plunge the brew. I find it can really affect the mouthfeel of the resulting coffee, but I’d be interested to hear what other people think.
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