Why is my AeroPress coffee too weak? Five easy ways to solve weak AeroPress coffee!
Is your AeroPress coffee too weak? Flavours not quite on-point? We need to get this sorted! Keep reading for five easy ways to make AeroPress coffee stronger…
What does AeroPress coffee taste like?
Coffee made in an AeroPress should taste smooth, flavourful and full-bodied. It’ll sport a low-acidity and fairly strong taste; we’re not talking espresso territory here but going in that direction.
The paper AeroPress filters give a clean, well-defined coffee flavour. Why? Because they absorb most of the natural coffee oil and sediment rather than allowing it to come through into your cup. This is the Way To Go if you like a cup with a light mouthfeel.
But, considering you’re reading this article, you’re AP cup is tasting a bit… off. It’s too weak: maybe it’s watery and sour, or falling short on the flavour front.
Fret no longer, lovely people! Because if your AeroPress coffee is weak, it’s not going to be for much longer…
Why is my AeroPress coffee too weak?
Multiple factors can cause bland AeroPress coffee:
- Brew time
- Grind size
- Coffee to water ratio (i.e. the amount of coffee you’re using)
- Water temperature
- The type of filters you choose
Juggling five things at once doesn’t sound fun, so we’re not going to ask you to change everything at one time. In fact, we’re going to tell you not to.
Remember your science teacher telling you to alter one variable per experiment? They were right. If you go in, all guns blazing, and give each variable a major shake-up, how will you know which one made the best change?
So we’re just gonna take things nice and slow.
Not brewing for long enough can make AeroPress coffee taste too weak.
This nifty coffee maker combines two brew types:
- Immersion (because we immerse the ground coffee in water to begin with)
- Pressure (because, after immersion, we force the coffee through the filter by plunging)
The immersion-y bit means brew time is really important. Don’t steep for long enough, and the flavour compounds won’t have enough time to extract, and your joe will be weak and sad.
Think of it like a cafetiere, probably the most widely used immersion device. If you only give the coffee and water a few seconds to immerse, the resulting cup will taste weak, right?
Just don’t leave your AeroPress coffee to brew for too long, as it might over-extract and turn bitter. Caffeine and bitterness are the last compounds to extract in a brew (acidity and sweetness extract first), meaning that longer brew times bring the bitterness and caffeine strength up a notch.
The AeroPress brew time is short; usually no more than two minutes from start to finish. If you’re looking to make it stronger, try increasing the brew time in 30-second intervals until you get the strength you love.
Tweaking the grind size can help solve weak AeroPress coffee.
The finer you grind, the stronger your coffee will be. This is because finer grinds have more surface area, which accelerates the rate of extraction. If you keep the brew time the same and adjust your grind size to make it finer, you will extract more flavour compounds over the same period of time.
The result? A shorter, stronger AeroPress brew with a bit more flavour!
For great AeroPress coffee, try starting with a grind size similar to table salt. These medium-fine grounds will be about 0.5 mm in diameter and fall between the fine grind you pop in a Moka pot and the coarser grind used in a V60.
If you’re finding your AeroPress coffee to lack strength, try altering that table salt consistency to something a bit finer. Alternatively, try a coarser grind if bright acidity is what you’re after.
Quick pointer: finer grinds mean you might need to exert a bit more pressure when you plunge. Time to flex those muscles!
Amount of coffee
If you want to make AeroPress coffee taste stronger, try brewing with a bit more coffee. This one makes sense. When you want more coffee flavours, ‘ya use more coffee!
But not much more. Go bunging in bucketfuls and your brew will be bitter. And you’ll probably break your AeroPress, too.
We use coffee to water ratios to determine how much coffee to weigh out. A coffee to water ratio, or ‘golden ratio’, is the amount of coffee you use to the amount of water.
The AeroPress coffee to water ratio is 1:16. Prefer words to numbers? A ratio of 1:16 means that you need 16ml of water for every gram of coffee. The AeroPress takes 240ml of water, which means (grab a calculator) you need 15g of ground coffee for one cup.
This is a top starter, but some days call for stronger coffee. If today is one of ‘em days, try increasing the coffee to 18g while keeping the same amount of water. This will give a stronger coffee and a golden ratio of 1:13. Awesome!
AeroPress water temp isn’t top of this list because it’s less likely to be your weak coffee culprit.
Methods such as the V60 are very sensitive to temperature. The AeroPress, less so. This is because the pressure created by the plunger makes up for slightly lower temperatures to give you a great-tasting final brew.
As a general rule, your AeroPress water temp should fall between 91 and 96°C (195 and 205°F), but you can brew with water as low as 74°C (165°F)!
Taking the temperature down will give you a mellower taste with less acidity. If you’re looking to go in the other direction and up the strength, try using water that’s a tad hotter. This will increase the rate of extraction, but only marginally. Unlike with the V60, AeroPress temperature isn’t something you need to worry about toooo much.
Type of filter
Thought only paper was possible for AeroPress filters? Think again!
Paper filters are great for getting a clean-tasting coffee and tea-like texture. Whizz back up to the intro and you’ll know that this is all down to the paper’s absorption prowess. By stopping fine coffee particles, oils and impurities from entering your cup, they keep AeroPress coffee nice and clear.
But this might not be your style of coffee. Craving coffee that’s richer with a bit more mouthfeel? Something similar to cafetiere coffee? Then try metal AeroPress filters!
Just like the mesh on your cafetiere plunger, stainless steel coffee filters allow more of the coffee’s natural oil into your cup. Just the ticket if you like bold, aromatic coffee with a thicker texture!
No longer need you cry out “Help! My AeroPress coffee is weak!” Mop up the tears and pop a smile on your face – because you’ve solved your weak AeroPress problem!
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