So you picked up an AeroPress and it's time to start making some amazing espresso-like coffee. But which method should you use? As you'll see, there are many ways to use this great little coffee maker.
If you're unsure how to make a cup of Joe using the stock-standard AeroPress method (or want to make sure you're doing it correctly), this is a great place to start. We're going to break down exactly how to use an AeroPress the way it was intended.
Hint: There Is More Than One Way To Use The AeroPress
The process we're exploring today is known as the standard AeroPress brewing method. There's another AeroPress brewing technique called the ‘inverted method' which we'll talk about in another brew method. You can also use your AeroPress to make espresso and cold brew coffee, but the standard method is meant for straight up hot black filter coffee.
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of this technique, here's a brief summary to help you follow our step-by-step instructions:
First, take your AeroPress and pop a filter into the cap and screw it in place. Then, take the cylindrical tube and position it over your mug, brew the coffee, and plunge the finished product into your cup. That's it – sounds easy, right? Even 2017 Brazil AeroPress Champion Leonardo Gonçalves thinks so.
1. Measure And Grind Coffee
Measure out 16-17 grams of coffee beans using your coffee scales. If you don't have a scale handy, measure out 2.5 tablespoons, or one very-full AeroPress scoop (a full scoop is about 16 grams).
Grind your coffee beans until they're medium-fine. By the time you've finished grinding they should be a similar consistency to table salt; the same size grounds you'd use for drip coffee.
2. Pre-Heat, Rinse And Prepare Your AeroPress
Place the filter inside of the AeroPress cap, and use boiling water to wash out the filter and wet your AeroPress.
If you're using paper filters don't be tempted to skip this step. Rinsing the filter removes any lingering paper odors, tastes, and dust, that impact the overall quality of the brew and helps the filter adhere to the cap.
This will also pre-heat your AeroPress and coffee mug, allowing your brewed coffee to retain its temperature for longer. Just don't forget to throw out the water before brewing.
3. Heat Water
Boil your water aiming for a reading between 197.6°F/92°C and 205°F/96°C on your thermometer. You can start in the middle and adjust the temperature based on how your brew tastes.
If you don't have a thermometer, just heat the water until its boiling and allow it to cool for approximately 30 seconds. This should get it into the ballpark (depending on your climate of course).
4. Add Ground Coffee
After ensuring the brew chamber of the AeroPress is placed securely on top your mug, go ahead and add the coffee.
Give the chamber a shake to level out your grounds (which will avoid channeling). Now get your hot water ready and get ready to pour.
5. Add Water
Add your hot water with the aim to fill your chamber within 10 seconds. Twist the chamber as you pour, as this will ensure you wet your grounds evenly.
If you're using a scale: aim for 220 grams of water. If you're using the cowboy method, add water up to or above the number 4 on the Aeropress chamber.
5. Stir, Plug, And Wait
Give the coffee slurry a stir.
Use the paddle stirrer (or failing that, a spoon) to stir the slurry. Now grab the AeroPress plunger and insert it into the chamber at a slight angle. Straighten it up and pull up a little until it creates a vacuum seal. This will stop your coffee dripping through the filter.
Insert the Aeropress plunger into the chamber, then straighten it up and pull it out slightly to create a vacuum seal.
Set your timer and wait for 1 minute.
6. Stir And Press
Remove your pressure seal and give the whole thing another stir. Insert the plunger back into the chamber and slowly begin to press. Aim for a 1 minute plunge.
You should feel a good amount of pressure. If you don’t and the plunger goes down too easily, then your coffee grounds are too coarse. However, if it’s really hard to push, then the grinds are too fine. You’ll know when your coffee is brewed when you hear a hissing sound, indicating that there’s no water left in the AeroPress to push through.
7. Taste And Dilute To Your Liking.
If you feel it needs it, add more water. You should be aware the AeroPress produces a pretty strong tasting cup of Java.
8. Clean Up
The best way to clean your AeroPress is to unscrew the cap and push the plunger until both the filter and coffee grounds pop out. The harder you push, the more satisfying it will be. If you're brewing another cup, your Aeropress is pre heated and ready to go.