All About AeroPress!
For the next instalment of our High Fives Brew series we're taking a deep dive into all things AeroPress …
California Sunshine. The story of the small but mighty brewer from California’s Golden Coast is a fascinating one. Created by serial inventor Alan Adler, the AeroPress really is a genius bit of kit. Practically indestructible and super-easy to clean, it can brew coffee in as little as 30 seconds - it’s no surprise it’s become a genuine coffee phenomenon!
From toy maker to brew maker. Based at Palo Alto, in the San Francisco Bay Area, Alan’s company had previously designed and made all manner of aerodynamic toys, the most well-known being the Aerobie Frisbee. Finding himself regularly disappointed with the poor taste of the office filter coffee, Alan decided to put his problem-solving skills to good use. As only an inventor can he set about designing a brewer that would make a sweeter and better tasting cup. Several prototypes later he launched the original AeroPress back in 2005.
From San Francisco to Rimini. The magic of AeroPress is really all about its simplicity and practical nature. It ain't shiny & expensive, but it does what it promises - makes a great cup of coffee!
It wasn’t long before the brewer was adopted by the speciality coffee community and in 2008 the first ‘World AeroPress Championship’ took place in Oslo, Norway. With only three competitors (!) the first competition was very much tongue-in-cheek, but the seeds of an idea were planted …
There’s something about the AeroPress that seems to encourage people to play and experiment with their coffee making; combine this with the AeroPress’ accessibility and perhaps we can see the reason why over time so many enthusiasts got excited about competing.
Along with the popularity of AeroPress, the competition grew and pretty soon the championships spread across the globe to the extent that the 2019 competition boasted over 200 events, with national championships taking place in more than 60 countries.
Below are just two ways of brewing with your Aeropress; the first is more suited to coffee drinkers who like to add milk, the second recipe is best enjoyed black. As with a lot of things in coffee, these are just starting points - adapt and change to your personal preference, there really is no right or wrong way!
Espresso Style AeroPress
When Alan Adler invented the AeroPress he wanted to provide a cheap coffee maker that could brew espresso-style coffee in less than a minute. This recipe follows the method he originally had in mind.
- Take 14g of coffee, and grind it very fine - close to espresso grind size
- Add 50 – 60g of water (pour it up to about mark one on the AeroPress).
- Brew using water around 85 - 90°C. Stir for 10 – 15 seconds and press gently.
From start to finish this shouldn't take you more than a minute; it’s a super-quick brew! You’ll end up with an espresso-sized portion in your cup.
You can drink it as it is, or dilute with hot water to your taste - like an americano or short black in a coffee shop. Brewing AeroPress this way also means that you can add milk if you prefer, the flavour will cut through nicely.
Want a double or triple shot? Just multiply the servings – when increasing the dose you may also need to adjust the grind size a little bit to suit your taste.
Classic Black Coffee Style AeroPress
One of the first recipes in Europe was developed at Tim Wendelboe's cafe in Oslo, the same venue that hosted the very first AeroPress championship. This recipe brews a full cup of 200 millilitres. It goes like this:
- Use 14g of coffee and a medium grind size
- Add 200g of 93°C water (just off the boil).
- Stir Quickly, and then add the plunger to stop it dripping.
- After roughly one minute, take out the plunger, stir again and then press it gently. Overall, it should take you around 90 seconds.
If too much water passes through the coffee before you start pressing, check that:
- The coffee bed is level, so the water doesn't run through the filter without saturating the coffee.
- You inserted the plunger properly so that the vacuum is created to stop the water dripping.
- Your grind size isn’t too coarse.