Fun fact: The Aeropress was invented by the same serial entrepreneur who dazzled our collective childhood with the Aerobie frisbee. You know - that thing you'd line up 100 yards away from your friend, hurl into the air and never see again? Yeah - that one!
Anyhew - this weird little device is pure magic. It's cheap, insanely portable, and most importantly - makes an exceptionally clean cup of coffee.
Here's what ya need:
- A scale - nothing fancy, just something to help nail the measurements. Our preferred ratio is 15:1 (aka, 15 parts water to every 1 part coffee). You can snag this bad boy on Amazon for pretty cheap ... and yes, insane people spend many times that amount for fancy-shmancy barista gear.
- A timer - it's really, really important to nail the "bloom" time as well as the overall brew time. This one on Amazon will do just fine. If you're on a camping trip, just use the timer on your phone!
- Freshly roasted coffee - a'duh.
- A kettle - Bonavita makes a variety of these things that you can check out here. We recommend one that includes a temperature gauge (super helpful when you put your tinker hat on). The gooseneck shape of the spout becomes mighty useful when you're concentrating the pour into this rather small device.
- A burr grinder - the key to really great tasting coffee is uniformity in the grind. This is the numero uno investment you should be making if you're new to the coffee game. If you have the budget, go with the Baratza Virtuoso or the Encore (both work great). Otherwise if you want to keep it in the $40-100 range, just run a search for "burr grinder" on Amazon and follow your heart. And since the Aeropress is so dang portable - you may want to pick up a small hand grinder for those exciting trips you have coming up.
- All them Aeropress parts - make sure you have the plastic stirring spoon it came with, along with a paper filter and the plastic filter cap. These are important to have in reaching distance - otherwise you might be scrambling for them.
- Two mugs - one for serving, one for letting the Aeropress hang out on (and expel the remaining bits of coffee into after brewing). Make sure your mugs are big enough! We've have far too many experiences with "plunging" the Aeropress into a mug that's just not quite wide enough - which can result in a mess.
Commence ye olde H20 boil. If you're using a fancy kettle with temperature readout, set the temp to 209°F (science side-note: the boiling point of water at sea level is 212°F). If you're using a stovetop tea kettle - just let it start screamin' and hissin', you'll know when to take it off.
Meanwhile, prep the other goodies:
Weigh out 17 grams of coffee, and load it up into your grinder (don't grind just yet, you'll want to wait until just before brewing. Once exposed to oxygen, coffee starts losing it's awesomeness in a matter of seconds).
Affix the small paper filter into the plastic filter cap. Rinse it with some water - this removes any bit of "papery" taste that might otherwise show up in the cup.
For the inverted method, you'll want to join the two plastic tubes like this and place it on top of your scale:
Grind your beans: for the Aeropress, we'll be looking for a fine espresso-like grind. This will be a few clicks to the left (finer) than what you'd typically do for, say, a pour-over. If you're using a Baratza, this means somewhere in the 10-12 "click" range... and if you're winging it, just go with something that resembles fine beach sand (or kosher salt). Dump the grounds into the inverted Aeropress.
When your water cools to around 202-205°F (if you don't have a temperature gauge, then just wait approximately 1 minute after boiling before pouring onto the coffee. This of course is applicable to brewing at sea level - if you're camping up in the mountains, don't wait much longer than 30 seconds after boil to start brewing).
With your timer handy, pour 150 grams of water onto the coffee grounds (trying to evenly "wet" the whole batch). This process is known as the bloom and it allows the extra C02 gas + delightful oils leftover from the roast to burst out of the coffee. It should bubble up and look all neat-o and science-y. Make sure to start your timer immediately when the water makes contacts with the coffee.
At 1 minute: grab the plastic spoon (which came with your Aeropress purchase) and stir it all up. Easy, right?
At 2 minutes: Pour the remaining water to reach a 250 gram readout on your scale.
At 2:45 minutes: Let's stir again. Make sure to "whip" some of the grounds which have likely settled at the bottom, and make the whoosh up back to the top. This ensures an even brew throughout.
At 3 minutes: Affix the plastic filter cap to the top, twist it clockwise so it fits in properly, and gently press down on the top of the device so it becomes airtight. Stop pushing when you see a bit of liquid/bubbles coming out the top.
At 3:30 minutes: Party time. We're going to "flip" the device upside down (ever so carefully) and rest it with the filter cap side down onto the mug. Firmly plunge from the top of the Aeropress like you would for a french press, all the way down until you hear the final "hissing" sound. Stop when you hear that sound, and transfer the Aeropress to your backup mug. Press out the remaining coffee (the stuff you actually don't want to drink ... it's like wringing out a towel at this point), and then take a step back and marvel at your handiwork.
** How to Hack Iced Coffee with an Aeropress **
Simply double the amount of coffee (to 30g) and press it over a jug (or large mug) full of ice. The ice will melt and balance out the coffee:water ratio perfectly - ideal if you're traveling somewhere too hot for a regular brew. Use the same steps as listed above during the brew and you'll be all set!
That's it, folks. The Aeopress makes a modest sized cup of beanjuice - perfect if you're not feeling like a total crackhead. Enjoy and don't hesitate to contact us with your brewing questions - just send a note to email@example.com and we'll get back to you promptly.