Using the Aeropress is both fun and rewarding. Fun because you’re actually doing something & experimenting. Rewarding because it’s hands down the best tasting coffee. It’s also our favorite portable coffee maker.
A useful Aeropress tip a barista once gave me was to use the inverted method. The Aeropress is more commonly made with the filter facing down straight into the cup. 4 out of the last 6 winners of the AeroPress championship have used the inversion method. You’re guaranteed not to lose any coffee into your mug before you establish neutral air pressure with the plunger. Like the french press, you’re getting full emersion.
When you use the Aeropress the normal way, with the filter pointing down, water leaks through as you start to fill it with water. Whereas, when you add water in the inverted manner, you won’t get any leakage. The coffee steeps on top of the plunger. This allows you to extract a stronger cup coffee flavor.
First off, turn on your kettle. It’s fine if you can’t set the temperature on it. Boil it and let it sit for 20 seconds. Boiling water tends to kill off the flavor. That’s why it’s recommended that you brew coffee with 195-205 Fahrenheit water. That being said, have fun and experiment.
Next pull the plunger all the way out. Then put it back in about half an inch. This way you’ve got a nice seal. You don’t want it too close to the edge or you’ll suffer the possibility of spilling. The reward – risk factor isn’t worth it. Also, you can add hot water at the end.
Start with some fresh ground beans. It’s best to grind them coarsely. Set your grinder anywhere between 5 and 8.
What is the funnel that came with the AeroPress for?
The funnel that comes with the Aeropress can be used for several things:
If your coffee mug is larger than the circumference of the Aeropress then allows it to sit on top.
Another reason is while pressing down, sometimes the coffee drips out the sides. The filter prevents spillage in this case.
If you’ve got a grinder that shoots coffee grounds everywhere then the Aeropress funnel puts a stop to that too.
Now with the coarse grounds on the plunger you can add water slowly. Fill it to the 2 mark. I like to let the water run down the sides as to not agitate the coffee grounds as much. You can also rotate the Aeropress while pouring. This gets all the grounds soaked evenly.
With the wide stirrer that comes with your Aeropress, gently stir the coffee. Remember, when you agitate the coffee grounds too much it releases the bitterness into the coffee.
Some people let it bloom, but I never noticed a difference since the coffee is completely submerged in water.
Once all the grounds are soaked, I like to pour the rest of the water on the wide stirrer. This cleans it and goes back in the coffee where it will be caught in the fine paper.
Speaking about the paper. Some people like to wet it before applying. I do this too, not because of the paper taste (I never notice a difference) but because it helps stick the paper. When you go to screw on the filter it may come unlodged. Not a big deal, but it’s one less thing to worry about.
There are stainless steel filters available. However, most of them leave sediments in the cup. Others complain that it’s a pain to fit the filter. That being said, I prefer the papers.
Now it depends on many factors on how long you should steep the coffee before starting to press. If you would like a very strong cup: steep longer. If you are in a hurry (or impatient like me) then flip it over immediately and start to press.
I find that flipping it over and immediately pressing very slowly get me a great cup. If I am making for 2 people and I want to add water later then I let it steep for 2-3 minutes.
How hard should you press down on the Aeropress plunger?
Put 2 hands on it and let gravity do it’s thing. Should take anywhere from 30-45 seconds until you hear the hiss of air. Pull up a little and press back down to push out the remaining drops.
Reward yourself by enjoying the smoothest cup of coffee you’ve ever made.