Take a look at the AeroPress Coffee Maker below. Are you thinking, ‘hmmm… how on earth do these humble pieces of plastic turn out one fantastic cup of coffee?’
Puzzle away no longer…
What is an AeroPress?
The AeroPress coffee maker is relatively new to the coffeeosphere. Unlike the cafetiere and Moka pot, which are both golden oldies in the coffee world, the little AeroPress has only just turned 15. Bless…
But don’t be fooled. The AeroPress is a diva when it comes to great coffee. Brewing single-serving cups of rich, strong coffee in minutes, the AeroPress is the device to go for if you want barista-standard coffee fast.
Why the AeroPress is your new best friend
Using an AeroPress is one of the speediest ways to brew coffee at home. Or anywhere, in fact. The robust plastic design and uber-light materials make it ideal for coffee à la hotel room. Simply pack it in your suitcase along with some freshly roasted Two Chimps coffee, and you’ll never have to deal with a sub-standard holiday brew again. What’s more, the AeroPress is unbelievably easy to keep clean (unlike most 15-year-olds), so washing up is kept to a minimum and everyone is kept happy.
The AeroPress is a single-serving device; it makes an awesome coffee just for you. It was the frustration at poor-quality single cups that led Alan Adler to invent the AeroPress all those (not so many) years ago. Alan found single cups of coffee brewed in a drip machine to be dull and watery, so experimented with numerous models until he perfected his AeroPress design. Soggy single cups, be gone!
So that’s why we think the AeroPress coffee maker is so wickedly awesome. Light to carry, easy to care for, great for single mugs. Oh, and bloomin’ delicious too!
So, AeroPress, how do you brew?
For a small device, the AeroPress packs a punch by combining TWO brewing devices. The first is immersion, which occurs when the ground coffee and water steep together in the AeroPress chamber. During this time, the hot water extracts all the lovely coffee goodness from the coffee grounds and develops its melody of flavours. Yummmm…
If you were to continue with other immersion devices like a French Press, you would leave the coffee and water to steep for a short time before filtering the liquid from the grounds. With the AeroPress, however, we add some oomph to the steeping coffee by switching methods halfway through. Boom! You might say we’re indecisive; we say let’s get the best of both! The brew method we switch to now is pressure brewing, which you’ll also use when making an espresso or Moka pot coffee. You create pressure when you place the plunger into the main body of your AeroPress and press down. This forces the water through the coffee grounds in a similar way to an espresso machine. Just powered by a bit of elbow grease rather than the electric. ?
We love an AeroPress coffee for its rich, full body. Applying pressure in the second stage creates a concentrated flavour you might find reminiscent of espresso, while the earlier steeping time adds a rounder feel characteristic of immersion brewers.
Mind your grind
Getting the grind size spot on in any brewing device is really important. Top-of-the-list kinda stuff. Too fine, and your coffee will be under-extracted. Too coarse, and it will be over-extracted and sour.
So, what is the right grind for an AeroPress? We recommend a table salt-like consistency that falls just finer than the slightly coarser grind you’d use in a cafetiere. Feel free to experiment, of course. A quicker brew will require a slightly finer grind and will produce a shorter, stronger cup. A word of caution, though. There’s a lot you can play around with when using an AeroPress (pushing harder on the plunger, altering the grind size…), so make sure you only change one variable at a time. Just like your science teacher told you!
Let’s take it to bits
Fancy unpacking the AeroPress to see how it all works? Let’s do it.
When you look at an AeroPress you’ll probably be reminded of the plastic stacking cups you had as a toddler (and who said brewing wasn’t fun??). The first part you’ll use is the chamber. It looks like a plastic tube but is so much more – it’s where the magic happens! Your ground coffee and hot water get cosy in the chamber as they steep together and await the plunge.
So next up is, you guessed it, the plunger. Also called the piston, this key bit of kit fits nicely inside the chamber to press the water through the filter. It has a silicone seal on one end, which creates a vacuum and allows you to say yes to pressure! Since 2014, both the chamber and the plunger have been made from polypropylene, a super durable, nearly-but-not-quite indestructible plastic that’ll last for years.
Good things come in threes, so what completes the AeroPress bundle? Well, that will be the filter holder. This is the little cap you lock onto the chamber and where you put your filter paper. It also fits snug as a bug on most mugs to keep your device steady and spill-free.
There are a few extras that add the final touch to the AeroPress magic. There are the filter papers you put in the cap (these are, along with the grounds, fully compostable). The AeroPress stirrer might look like a plant label, but it’s actually a very clever gadget. Designed to be just the right length to stir your steeping coffee, it gives maximum swirlage without disturbing the filter paper at the bottom of the chamber. Finally, there’s the funnel, which is used to pour your ground coffee into the chamber with minimal mess.
They’re a motley crew, aren’t they? A happy bunch of brilliantly designed tools that allow you to brew top coffee in no time.
Simple. Super. Single-serve.
Get cracking with AeroPress coffee right away, or take a look at our online shop for our full coffee range!