Let’s get this caffeinated party started and learn how to make AeroPress coffee, yeah? You only need a few things to make this simple product work, so let’s gather the items and get a-brewin’!
We’ve discussed the AeroPress and the filters, including that you can choose to use the reusable filters, but there are a few parts to the AeroPress you’ll want to make sure are all present and accounted for.
You’ll see the numbers 1-4 on the side of the AeroPress and they are positioned to correspond with the scoops of coffee (or servings) you’re aiming to make.
Note: While that is technically what the numbers on the side of the device are for, you’ll most likely find yourself ignoring the numbers altogether.
The Aeropress is a device that allows for a lot of creativity and experimentation, so you shouldn’t feel restricted by the numbers.
For example, filling water to the top of the #4 oval is typical for a standard, concentrated cup of coffee. But when using your Aeropress to make espresso, we fill the water just to the top of #2.
You can vary strength by choosing between the numbered ovals, as well. This is another one of those try-and-see-what-you-like things, so go with your gut and be patient.
How much coffee you use in an Aeropress is entirely dependent on the recipe you’re following.
We’re not going to get into the debate about which Aeropress recipe is the best one to follow, so for the purpose of this guide, we’re going to follow a fairly standard recipe we enjoy that calls for 18g of coffee.
Your AeroPress will come with a scoop, and one scoop full measures out to approximately 17g of whole bean coffee. But if you’re able to, we recommend using a small digital scale to weigh out your beans.
Digital kitchen scales are cheaper that they’ve ever been before, and spending approximately $10 on a small digital scale is well worth a more precisely-measured cup of coffee.
In terms of the fineness of the grind, this is another area where it depends on the recipe you follow.
However, we recommend sticking with a fineness somewhere between what you’d use for espresso and drip. Let’s say a medium-fine grind (but on the finer side of medium-fine), just to put a name on it. We don’t recommend deviating from this unless you’re testing out an Aeropress recipe that specifically calls for something more fine or more coarse.
Step #1: Gather your supplies and start heating the water (we like in at 175°F, but this can be adjusted) . Grind your beans right before you plan to use them for ultimate freshness.
Step #2: Take the filter cap and, if you’re using a paper filter, place the slip of paper inside. Before you put your AeroPress together any further, we need to do something we always must do whenever there is paper involved: run hot water through it. The last thing we want is a ‘papery’ taste in our coffee.
Step #3: Pick up the bigger cylinder (the AeroPress itself) and screw in the filter cap. That water we ran through there also pulls double duty—it’ll help keep the filter where it’s supposed to be.
Step #4: Settle your AeroPress on top of your chosen mug, filter-side down. (Before you duh me, somebody asked, okay? I’m covering my bases.)
Step #5: Settle the funnel on top of the AeroPress and pour in the 18 grams of ground coffee. Give the side of the Aeropress a gentle tap in order to level the grounds.
Step #6: Check the temperature of your heated water and, once it hits between 175 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, fill up the cylinder to the top of number “4” on the side within about 10 seconds, making sure to saturate all of the coffee. Much like we do in most other brewing methods, we want to get this coffee to bloom.
Let the grounds mull for about 10 seconds as they expand and release that delicious scent.
Step #7: Take the paddle (or a pair of chopsticks) and stir the coffee/water mixture for just a few seconds.
Note: If you’ve been keeping track of time, we’re about 25 seconds into the brewing process so far (10 seconds to fill the cylinder, 10 seconds to bloom, and five seconds to stir).
Step #8: Place the plunger on top of the cylinder and pull up slightly to create a pressure seal (but don’t press down on the plunger yet!).
Step #9: Let it brew for 1 minute and 15 seconds.
Note: you can very the brew time depending on your strength preference.
Step #10: After 1 minute and 15 seconds of brewing, remove the plunger from the top of the cylinder and give it a five-second stir with your paddle or chopsticks. Then, immediately place the plunger back on top and give it slow, steady press. The press should last about 25 seconds. Stop pressing once you hear a ‘hissing’ sound.
Finally, remove the Aeropress from the top of your mug and give your coffee a nice ol’ sip!
The AeroPress often gets labeled a ‘reconstitution’ method of brewing coffee, as some people find the resulting brew to be quite concentrated. If you find this to be the case, add some hot water until it hits the sweet spot.
If, however, you feel that it’s not quite concentrated enough or is lacking certain flavorful notes, you’ll likely be much happier with the brewing method preferred by many Aeropress aficionados: The Inverted Aeropress Method.