This is our in-depth AeroPress Coffee Maker review – hope you enjoy!
What is the AeroPress?
The AeroPress is a coffee brewing device and was invented in 2005 by Alan Adler.
It’s interesting and unique design separates it from the other brewing methods out there, and we firmly believe it may possible be one of the best home brewing pieces available today.
Capable of brewing everything from bold, short espresso-style shots to beautifully rich and clean Americanos, it is unbelievably versatile.
Essentially it combines the French Press’ immersion-based brewing and the pressure-based brewing of an Espresso machine into one simple, easy-to-use and affordable piece. It’s made of durable plastic and is very portable, making it the ideal travelling companion!
For the full review, please have a read below.
The Full Review
To tackle this beast properly, I’ve broken the review down into the following sections:
- The Full Review
- First Use
- Final Thoughts
I received my first AeroPress as a Christmas gift. I remember walking into a boutique coffee shop and seeing the long rectangular shaped box, with claims on the outside of it being the best and most versatile coffee maker in the world. I’ve always been interested in coffee so naturally this perked my interest.
I was away with the family for Christmas and, as all families do, they started asking each other what gifts we’d like. As Christmas lists were exchanged, I mentioned I wanted one thing – one of those game-changing coffee makers that seemed to be taking the world by storm.
Fortunately, my request was heard, and I had my very own AeroPress! It’s been around 3 years since I first received it and in that time I’ve used it on an almost daily basis and experimented with hundreds of recipes. Along this journey I butchered many cups of coffee but fortunately through trial and error made tons of incredible ones. Apologies to the many good beans out there that had to be sacrificed in order to find the perfect cup!
So safe to say, I know my way around an AeroPress. This is my detailed, honest review that I think both potential and long-time owners should have a proper read through. I believe it to be informing, expressive and hopefully entertaining! So please, grab a fresh cup, buckle that seat belt and get ready to take a journey through the newest brewing method that’s taking the coffee world by storm.
What a time to be alive! The first time you use your AeroPress is special. After opening the box and having a look through its contents, I’m sure you’d be dying to try it out. Before doing so, I recommend you give it a quick wash just so that your first cup won’t be dirty or taste of plastic. Unlikely to happen, but rather safe than sorry.
Don’t get too technical the first time you use it, just enjoy the process itself more than anything. It’s a fun, interactive way to brew and I don’t want you stressing yourself out to make sure everything is perfect. Follow the instructions given with the AeroPress for the classic method, or follow these guidelines for a decent cup:
- Start boiling some water
- Try use water that is somewhere between 95 – 80 °C (203 – 176 °F) – or just let the kettle sit for a minute or so after boiling
- Put a paper filter in the filter cap and attach it to the coffee chamber
- Run some of the freshly boiled water through to rinse the filter
- Use the spoon that came with your AeroPress to measure out one spoonful of a medium-fine grind
- Add the grind to the AeroPress and add the water you boiled earlier (fill to the number of shots you’re making)
- Stir (around 10 revolutions) and then let the it brew for around 1 mins 30 seconds
- Press for around 30 seconds
Producing a good cup takes some trial and error so don’t be discouraged if your first cup isn’t as great as you were hoping it would be. The AeroPress has incredible potential, it just takes some patience and practice to really get the best out of it. After all, experimenting is half the fun!
The AeroPress’ body is made of hard plastic and the plunger cap is made of rubber. It is well built, durable and light – making it very portable. I’ve had mine for 3 years now and haven’t had any concerns whatsoever. It’s incredibly versatile and travel-friendly – as comfortable on the road as it is sitting on your kitchen counter.
The AeroPress’ comes in at around $30, making it quite a bit more expensive than a pour over, around the equivalent cost of a great French press and significantly cheaper than all electronic coffee machines. Every AeroPress owner will tell you that the $30 is without a doubt worth it. As I mentioned above, they last forever and spare parts are super cheap. The filters for the AeroPress are significantly cheaper than those of most pour overs and therefore the AeroPress is more affordable in the long run. The AeroPress also comes with a couple hundred filters and they can be reused few times, so it’ll be a long time before you need to replace them.
There are two different ways to use you AeroPress: the traditional and the inverted method. The traditional method is the way the AeroPress was meant to be used, right way up. Essentially you insert a filter and screw the cap onto the main body, add your ground beans, stir in your boiling water and then add the rubber plunger and press.
The inverted method was a technique developed after the AeroPress was sent to market and is vastly popular now. As its name suggests, it entails flipping the AeroPress on it’s head and using it the other way around. So you start by putting the plunger into the main body, flipping it around, adding your ground coffee and hot water, and then after letting it brew attach the filter cap and your cup on top, flip the whole thing around and start pressing. Have a look at the picture to the left for a better idea (the inverted method is shown in the left of the picture and the traditional method is shown on the right).
Inverted Method Pros
- You can brew and steep your grind for a lot longer because the water won’t automatically start filtering through into your cup as with the traditional method
- Because you’re fully submerging your beans in the water they’ll have more contact with the water and allow for longer and more thorough extractions
- Coffee oils extracted during the process will rise to the top of the AeroPress and then when you flip into around, you’ll have more chance of these oils landing up in your cup. Flavor city!
Traditional Method Pros
- This method is a lot easier and simpler to master, making it a lot more forgiving and ideal for beginners. It is the way the AeroPress was intended to be used, and if you find yourself butchering a cup with this method, time to reflect! No excuses.
- The inverted method can be quite messy and/or dangerous I guess, because you either have to place the cup upside down on top of the inverted AeroPress, or flip the AeroPress onto the upright cup. For the less co-ordinated folk out there (myself included), this could pose a bit of a challenge! The traditional method is safe and easy, making brewing a cup virtually risk-free.
While I experiment with both methods, I find the inverted method to be my favorite. Why you may ask? Well I find that with the traditional method the cups are generally a bit weaker because some water starts dripping through the filter into your cup before and after you attach the rubber plunger. This doesn’t happen with the inverted method and is therefore more accommodating to experimenting with different brewing times. Just be careful when flipping the whole thing around.
In the end both methods prepare great cups of coffee, and each of these methods has countless recipes to try out. You’ll never get tired of experimenting!
The AeroPress is super easy to clean. After plunging the used grinds end up being a dense, compressed puck which you can either push out through the AeroPress into the dustbin, or straight into your plants for a lovely little boost of nitrogen (cue healthy plants). Once the used grinds are out of the picture, cleaning the AeroPress is also quick. Simply take the plunger out of the main body and rinse both. A quick wipe down with a cloth or sponge will have your AeroPress clean and ready for use again. You can also use some dish washing soap to clean all the residual coffee oils, but the only concern is that some leftover soap will contaminate your next cup. Just see what works for you.
None at all really. Just give your AeroPress a good rinse after each use (and a proper wash with dish washing liquid once in a while) and treat it with love and respect, and it will reward you with years and years worth of great coffee. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve used mine almost daily in the 3 years that I’ve owned it and it’s still in perfect condition. However, it’s always good to keep some spare parts around in case you lose or accidentally break a piece – they’re cheap and ensure that you’ll never miss a day of coffee again!
The extras mentioned below are in no way essential to make a good cup, but will definitely enhance the experience:
- Burr Grinder: A good quality burr grinder goes hand-in-hand with all brewing methods, including your AeroPress. Grinding your own beans with a proper burr grinder ensures you’ll brew with a consistent grind, resulting in a fresh, well-extracted cup of coffee.
- Thermometer: One of the best features of the AeroPress is the ability to experiment with different recipes. You can either make your own or find tried and tested ones online, but either way you’re going to need an accurate thermometer to do this properly. Luckily they’re cheap and always handy, so I definitely recommend investing one. It could only be a valuable addition to your home barista kit!
Where to Buy
I’d recommend buying an AeroPress online, I haven’t seen many in coffee shops. I suggest Amazon as they always have stock, great prices, quick delivery and good customer service. They also accommodate returns so you have complete assurance that you’ll end up with a perfectly functioning unit. There are 2 brands to consider, the original AeroPress and AeroPress by Aerobie. Both are amazing and work identically, they just look slightly different. Considering they both come in at $29 for the base model, pick based on personal preference and whether there is a sale on. Check them out below:
- AeroPress by Aerobie
Honestly speaking, the pros heavily outweigh any cons of this unique brewing method. Using the AeroPress and enjoying the fine cups it produces is fast becoming my favourite part of my morning ritual. The quality build, portability and brewing potential of the AeroPress makes the affordable $30 price tag well worth it. But, why not test it out for yourself? I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
What’s your favorite thing about the AeroPress? Let me know in the comments section below!
Thanks for reading,