The aeropress was invented in 2005 by Alan Adler, who is famous for several inventions such as the Aerobie Pro flying ring which holds the Guinness World Record for the longest throw.
The aeropress was designed to make a cup at a time. It reminds a syringe with a cylinder that fits inside another one. This tool relies on pressure to extract the flavours: a plunger pushes the air down forcing the water through the coffee bed and the filter, straight to the cup.
The aeropress is the most versatile brewing method that allows us to play over and over again. It’s also a compromise between a good quality coffee and the limited time available. But, on the other hand, it’s also a good friend to bring when going out, avoiding the buzz of the city or when hiking a mountain.
Technical Specs of Aeropress
The aeropress brews only a cup at a time.There is no recipe to follow and there is no silver bullet. As when we deal with all the variables that bring us to extract a good espresso, brewing with an aeropress need as well an understand of different variables such as:
- grinding size
- type of water
- water temperature
- ratio between the dose of coffee and the amount of water
- contact time (blooming as an optional)
- manual pressure
Depending on what we want to achieve, we need different grinding size. Finer size lead to a more contact time and a strong brew rather than a coarser size than bring to a mellow cup.
Water, Pressure and Ratio
I already talked in this article how important is to use the proper water.
The temperature of the water lead to the extraction: in short term the higher the temperature the more we are going to extract, the lower the temperature the less we are going to extract.
Don’t believe at those who say that brewing with an aeropress is similar to brew an espresso with an espresso machine. A professional espresso machine works with a pressure of 9-11 bar while the pressure we put on the aeropress is less than 1 bar (around 0,75). That’s why we will never obtain a crema.
The ratio is our recipe and it can be modified in two ways: keeping the same amount of water and add or take off some coffee, allow us to increase or decrease our body and strength; keeping the same amount of coffee and concentrate or dilute with water the coffee solution.
Aeropress Tips and Tricks
As I told before there’s no magic formula or recipe to follow.
As far as I’m concerned, as the brewing time is short, I prefer to grind the coffee between the size of the espresso and the V60. I usually brew at 80-85c starting with 30 seconds of bloom and then slowly pour the rest of the water.
After that, I press for about 30 seconds. I always use a rinsed paper filter, or even more, to achieve a much cleaner cup (a metal filter is used to obtain more body, letting more oils passing through).
I always use the inverted method rather than the traditional one, to increase the contact time between the water and the coffee and to prevent any grit into the cup. These are the main differences between the inverted method and the traditional one.
So, if you need to quickly brew a cup of coffee at home or brew it in the middle of the forest, that’s the tool you need it. It’s good to start having a look on the World Aeropress Championship website taking a cue on the winner’s recipes.
Just keep in mind that it’s all about a personal taste. So, play with it, grind finer or coarser, lower or higher the temperature, try different water and of course, use delicious coffee.