How to Make Aeropress Coffee – The Aeropress Coffee Brewing Method

AeroPress Brewer on a tableAeropress is one of our favorite coffee brewing methods. I don’t know what took us so long to write this guide, but we finally wrote it. As with all our tutorials, we don’t just aim to teach you how to make AeroPress coffee. Our goal is to give you the technical knowledge to tweak your own recipe. What works for some, doesn’t work for others.

I like rich coffee, (espresso is my absolute favorite), so Aeropress is a logical second place on my list. In fact, many people who like rich, full bodied coffee, prefer it to espresso. You will see, that my recipe is tweaked to maximize coffee richness and body.

There is always a little confusion about AeroPress, because the brewing concept is so similar to French press. While the idea is very similar, there are a few things that make AeroPress superior, and we have an article about it here.

What Makes the AeroPress Great

People new to it always ask: “What’s so special about the AeroPress?” There are a few things that contribute to its fame and popularity. First of all, AeroPress is an inexpensive device. With a cost around 30$, is probably one of the least expensive brewers on the market. But price is not the concern of us coffee lovers. We spend hundreds of dollars on expensive equipment to get a great cup, so the cost is not the most important aspect.

Many people love it because of its cleaner cup and milder taste, at the same time having a rich and complex taste. AeroPress is a milder version of espresso, if brewed correctly. Some drip coffee lovers enjoy the stronger coffee made with the AeroPress, but the bolder flavor of espresso is too much for them.

AeroPress parts and ground coffee
AeroPress parts and ground coffee

Probably, the greatest advantage of the AeroPress is its versatility. Using Aeropress is a constant surprise, you can always brew a totally different cup, yet equally great. People want to brew espresso with Aeropress; you can’t get an espresso out of it, just to be clear about this. You can get a coffee closer to a Moka pot, though. However, as a manual brewing method, you can tweak your final cup in many ways. Stick with me and you’ll find your favorite way of using the AeroPress.

Lastly, we’re going back to the comparison with espresso. Even great baristas can pull a bad shot from time to time. The AeroPress coffee, on the other hand, is very consistent. If you follow the recipe, you’ll get the same taste every single time.

CoffeeGeek.com has an entire article showing why AeroPress is a great brewer. They rate this coffee maker noteworthy, give it a read, if you want to see what other people think about it.

We actually dedicated an entire article for reviewing the AeroPress, it’s nice read.

Technical details:

  • Aeropress uses immersion for the extraction. Immersion optimizes the extraction compared to drip, by extracting at a uniform temperature.
  • It prolongs the extraction time, compared to espresso, and this enables a better saturation.
  • The exerted pressure is way lower than espresso, and this is about the only aspect where it loses points.
  • The lower brewing temperature allows longer steeping, and avoids extracting bitter compounds.

How to Make AeroPress Coffee – WAC 2016 Recipe [Video]

AeroPress Brew Guide – World AeroPress Championship Recipe

I have my own recipe for AeroPress, and that’s my prefered method. However, as I always say, coffee taste is subjective, so I figured I’d give you a renown recipe, one that has an International recognition. I will also show you my own recipe, later in the article.

There are many ways to brew with AeroPress, we said it, AeroPress is versatile. We will point you in the right direction, and show you how changing brewing parameters can alter your cup. But at the end of the day, you will have to play with it, and find your perfect recipe. If you are not the adventurous type, stick with our recipe, and you won’t be disappointed. I did the same when I first discovered how to make AeroPress coffee. I got a recipe, and used it for a while, until I was confident i was preparing it right. Only after that I started to explore, and created my own version.

The recipe we present today is the winner of the World AeroPress Championship, and it put its creator, Shuichi Sasaki on the first place of the podium. Here are the details:

  • Heat up water around 175 °F, (no hotter than 180 °F)
  • Measure 16-17g of coffee on a kitchen scale
  • Grind the coffee slightly coarser than filter, (Not as coarse as French press)
  • Rinse a paper filter, and place it in the AeroPress.
  • Add 50g of water, to bloom the grounds, (that’s about 1 and ½ oz).
  • Let it bloom about 30 seconds, if needed stir with a wooden spoon, or stick. This ensures perfect grounds saturation, for a complete extraction.
  • Add the rest of the water slowly, aiming to sink as much grounds as possible. Aim for a 20 seconds pouring time. You should be able to pour another 250g of water.
  • Press the plunge very slowly, aim for a 40 seconds press. This should bring your total extraction to around 90 seconds.
  • Pour in cups, and enjoy.

If you need more ideas on brewing your AeroPress cup, check The World Aeropress Championship website. They published the recipes of all the former winners of the famous contest.

My Own AeroPress Recipe

My personal recipe is a stronger cup, and I usually dilute it into an Americano. This cup has a higher TDS, with a fuller body, and a very rich  taste. This is why many people would probably find it too strong. If you are an espresso lover, and you want try AeroPress, this is a great recipe to try. If you are a drip coffee lover, this cup might disappoint you. Here is the recipe:

  • Use a metal AeroPress filter, as they allow coffee oils to pass through into your coffee. This in turn will give more flavor to your cup.
  • Heat up water around 180 °F, (no hotter than 185 °F) Note the slightly hotter water temperature, compared to the WAC recipe. It is still, way under the drip brewing temperature.
  • Measure 15g of coffee on a kitchen scale. You can adjust the amount of grounds according to your taste. 3 grams up or down are totally acceptable, according to your preference.
  • Grind the coffee to a coarse espresso, slightly finer than filter. You will need a perfect grinder for this recipe, or a set of coffee sifters, to make sure your coffee grind is perfectly uniform.
  • With the AeroPress upside down, dump the perfectly ground coffee in the press.
  • Add 60g of water, to bloom the grounds, (that’s about 2 oz, or ¼ cup).
  • Let it bloom for 15 seconds, and stir with a wooden stick in the meantime. Stirring ensures perfect grounds saturation, for a complete extraction. Note the lower blooming time compared to the winner.
  • Pour the rest of the water fast. Aim for a 3 seconds pouring time. Note the short pouring time.
  • Put the filter and the cap on, and let it steep for 60 seconds.
  • Press the plunge slowly, aim for a 20 to 25 seconds press. This will bring your total extraction time to around 90 seconds.
  • Pour in cups, and enjoy.
Technical Notes: The short pouring time, combined with the short blooming time, will maintain a higher brewing temperature than the WAC winner. We aim to maintain the brewing bed as close as possible to the 180 °F, where we get some of the bite associated with espresso. The finer grind and the metal filter will also increase the TDS, and provide some more bite to the final cup, but it won’t render it bitter.

Aeropress Brewing Tips

AeroPress Brew Methods Regular vs Inverted Method

Whatever recipe you are using, you can brew it regularly, as described in the AeroPress manual, or use the inverted method.

The regular method starts with the filter and the screw cap on. You dump your coffee in, pour water, insert the plunger and press. The problem with this method is that coffee can leak through the filter before the steeping cycle is complete. With metal disk filters, the leaking is even more likely to happen.

The inverted method starts with the filter and screw cap off, and with the plunger slightly inserted, just enough to seal the beaker. The brewer stands on the plunger; you dump your coffee, pour water, place the filter and screw on the cap. Flip the brewer, and the press. This way we avoid the leakage, and we give the grounds time to expand. After coffee particles fully expand, they won’t pass through the filter anymore.

Water Temperature

How to Make Aeropress Coffee - Measuring TemperatureMany people can’t get out of the hot coffee routine, and they use hot water with their AeroPress. Yes, AeroPress coffee is slightly colder than drip. Firstly because of the low brewing temperature, and secondly because of the small volume that allows a faster cooling. Resist the urge to use hotter water, the coffee will taste much better, if you use the temperatures recommended in the recipes. Typically, AeroPress uses water between 175 °F and 185 °F. With darker roasts using colder brewing temperatures, and light roasts using the upper temperature range.

How Much Coffee to Use?

Weighing the Beans for AeroPress Brewing - 17gramsUsing the AeroPress scoop is probably the easiest way to measure your beans amount. On Aerobie.com you will find out that a heaping scoop can hold 14 grams of coffee. In fact, depending on the roast level, and origin, coffee can vary a lot in density. So you can have a few grams difference between light roasted beans and dark roasted ones. The best way is to weigh your beans at least when you first use them. You can use the scoop, but use a scale at least the first time you use a particular blend or bean. After the initial volumetric calibration, you can use scoop based measurements.

The amount of coffee used depends on your taste, and the way you drink your coffee. This can be anywhere between 12 grams and 18 grams, but most people prefer to brew around 15-17 grams.

How Much Coffee Does AeroPress Make?

You can get about 8 fl oz of coffee with the inverted method, and just under 10 fl oz with the regular brewing method. The reason is because the plunger takes some space in the beaker, when inserted. This is strong coffee, espresso strength. This means you can make about two coffee cups of drip-like strength, after diluting it with some hot water.

AeroPress Brew Time

The 1 ½ minutes brewing time might seem like too long. The concern is over-extraction. However, the low brewing temperature will prevent over extraction. AeroPress is similar to French press from this perspective. Long steeping times are perfectly acceptable, when you lower the brewing temperature. On the other hand, if you stop brewing too early, you might get an under-extracted cup. The 90 seconds total extraction time is a good rough estimate. You can play with it, maintaining everything else the same, and experiment. I personally tend to extend the brewing time over the 90 seconds. The water cools down anyway, and the risk of over-extraction decreases.

Aeropress Filter

Filter Type - How to Make AeroPress CoffeeThe filter choice comes down to preference, at the end of the day. If you like a clear cup, or you want to filter out coffee oils, the choice is the stock paper  filter. If you want a cup that resembles more to espresso, get the metal filter. Firstly, it will get you a fuller bodied coffee, with a higher TDS. Secondly, it is a permanent filter, so no need to buy filters anymore.

Remember, for paper filter you ground coarser, for metal filters you need to grind finer. The disk type of metal filters need an espresso grind, and the paper filters need drip and coarser.

The AeroPress Brew App

We only covered here two recipes, which I believe, can be the starting point for many other original recipes. If you would like to check some more tested recipes, instead of exploring yourself, check the AeroPress Brew App. It has a lot of recipes, with instructions, and it helped many beginners to find their favorite way to make AeroPress coffee. You can pick the app for Apple devices here, or the app for Android devices here. The app helps with step by step instructions, and wit timing your steps.

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