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6 Tips for the Best Cup of AeroPress Coffee

A 2020 guide for coffee on the go

aeropress coffee tipsMost of us have our own experiences with an AeroPress coffee maker. It’s probably the earliest investment in coffee brewing devices because it’s relatively cheap and generally easy to use. 

Of course, it’s actually very versatile in terms of what you can do with it. Which is why it leaves room for error, there are just so many variables.

The biggest issue you may have faced using AeroPress is that you generally end up with one of two results:

  • Oily, sour, over-extracted, heavy and dense with sediments; essentially all the stuff you don’t want in a cup.

  • More like tea with a very weak body. Very light in terms of the flavor and just generally not that great cup of coffee.

To fix these issues I found the best 6 tips to get the best cup of AeroPress coffee that many of those award winning recipes utilize that really elevates the cup of coffee you can get from an AeroPress.

If you’re an absolute beginner with AeroPress then we recommend you check out our other article that explains the basics and has a specific recipe for you to follow.

Tip 1: Increase the Amount of Coffee Grounds

When first using an AeroPress, I would use 1 scoop. 1 scoop is 11 grams. The AeroPress typically holds 7oz of water.

The winning recipes from the world AeroPress World Championship from the last 3 years all used between 30 and 35 grams of coffee, which is a pretty huge increase from the typical 1 scoop I was using.

Now the way those larger doses translate into the cup is pretty interesting, but for this specific article I think it’s important to understand that the larger the dose, the harder it is to over-extract the coffee.

When you add that 30-35 grams of coffee into your AeroPress recipe and it’s only brewed for a minute or two max; it’s very difficult to over-extract the coffee. Unless, of course you’re not paying attention.

Tip 2: Grind Coarser

First mistake I made with AeroPress was trying to dial it in like espresso. Trying coarse grinds, fine, and everything in between. Every time I would get a new specialty coffee, it would take me awhile to dial in the flavor, like an espresso. Even using varying temperatures of water.

I didn’t think of an AeroPress as a kind of stand alone cup of coffee or really looked at them as a versatile tool. I looked at it very simply. Like, “Okay, I need to fine grind the beans, add water, press hard to push this water through the pucks and that’s basically it”.

As I mentioned before, I would end up with one of the 2 aforementioned cups of coffee. Weak & watered down or over-extracted & sour.

I noticed that every single one of these winning AeroPress recipes all grounded their coffee fairly coarse. I couldn’t find the exact details or even find a picture. However, they did mention on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being fine and 10 being coarse. All three of these winning recipes ground their coffee between 7 and 8.

Needless to say, if you’re trying to create a good cup of coffee and not something that resembles espresso, grind your coffee coarsely. Grinding it coarse allows an even extraction through the grounds. Plus, you don’t have sediments slipping out through your filter and ending up in your cup with unwanted oils.

Tip 3: Dilution Is Key

When I brewed with an AeroPress, everything was contained within that AeroPress that I needed for that specific cup of coffee. I would add a scoop of coffee (11 grams), fill up 1/4 with hot water and stir slowly using the flat spoon, plastic stick thingy it comes with. Then fill the rest up with water. Flip it on top of my cup and slowly press down. Easy.

However, I didn’t consider other options like dilution. When you combine using a smaller dose, a fine grind, putting everything in at once, and making that your final product, what you’re really creating is an unideal cup of coffee.

The lesson here is that you can use that large dose of coarsely ground coffee and the regular 7oz of hot water to create a really nice and dense coffee concentrate that can then be deluded to make a super clean cup of coffee.

When you do it this way you basically have complete control of the strength of that coffee.

Tip 4: Stir, Don’t Just Bloom

In the early days of making Aeropresses, I would bloom my Aeropress the same way as I would a pour-over, and depending on who you are asking, probably isn’t the worst possible thing. I’ve always stirred the bloom.

I feel it’s important to stir the bloom of your coffee purely because you want to make sure that all those coffee grounds are wet during the blooming phase. If the coffee grounds are not wet and there are dry patches in the coffee bed; you’re not going to get an even extraction.

All the winning recipes use stirring and agitation immediately once the water is in the grounds. Some of these recipes even use terms like strongly or briskly. Some of the winning recipes used chopsticks.

The lesson here is stirring or agitation is important for getting even extraction and getting the most out of the coffee bed.

Tip 5: Invert For Control

inverted aeropress method is betterThose of you who are familiar with AeroPress or maybe have one then you are probably familiar with the two methods of brewing. You have your standard up-right brewing method and you have the inverted method.

For those who brew using the up-right or the standard method, you generally put on your filter cap with your filter already wetted and rinsed. Then you drop in your grounds and water into that brewing chamber. Using this method, before you apply pressure, it’s already brewing out the bottom. In my opinion, this lacks control.

You can’t really control how long it actually spends with the water touching the grounds. This takes away your overall control of the extraction time. All of the winning recipes from the world AeroPress championship used the inverted brewing method. Flipping over the entire unit and then you’re brewing on top of the plunger that you’re going to press down later, after you flip it over.

First you add the grounds, then add water and then you can do your stirring. For a more precise cup you can measure the brew time. You can control all these variables and then you put the filter cap on, flip it over on the cup and press down.

That seems to be generally the best way to go about brewing in an AeroPress and the last few championship recipes go about it this way.

Tip 6: Paper Is Still The Best

aeropress paper filter replacementThe AeroPress has been out for quite some time (invented in 2005). When a coffee product is that prolific and has been out for that many years and it’s relatively inexpensive; people will start making accessories for it and really try to elevate the product’s game.

You will find hundreds of products for AeroPress out there including different types of filters like metal, plastic pressure actuated. I’ve had the pleasure of trying a few myself, and they’re good products. However, in the end, the paper filter still reigns supreme for me.

After looking up and trying all these world AeroPress championship winning recipes; I was relieved to see that every one of these recipes uses just a good old fashioned paper disk.

The reason why the paper filter has held its own throughout this onslaught of competitors is that it really does create the best possible cup of coffee. It filters out lots of oils, sediments, fines and all sorts of things that can slip by a standard metal filter. All these things cause the quality of coffee to decrease.

What it really boils down to is that the good old fashioned paper filter really creates the cleanest cup of coffee you can make with an AeroPress.

Final Thoughts:

After spending a lot of time with AeroPress and really kind of digging into some of the unique aspects of it, learning how it functions and how to make the best possible cup of coffee possible from it. Personally, I wake up early and just want my machine to make me a cup of coffee without any fuss.

That being said, these recipes are game changers and they’re just so genuinely simple and easy to recreate at home. There’s really no excuse to not give them a try. Especially if you’ve got some good quality beans. Don’t waste them in a typical drip coffee maker.

I highly recommend you brewing them up especially if you haven’t had a good cup from an AeroPress in a long time like myself prior to this experience because it will really change your view on the AeroPress.

Of course, if you travel quite a bit, as do I, it’s always in my suitcase. Why suffer drinking hotel or AirBnB coffee when you can have award winning AeroPress coffee anytime?

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