It might look more at home in a hospital than the kitchen, but the AeroPress is a great invention for coffee lovers!
In a few easy steps, this peculiar looking object will give you a great tasting beverage.
But where do you start? If you’ve just got your Aeropress for the first time, you’re probably wondering where the various bits and pieces go.
Perhaps you’re not sure what kind of coffee to buy? How do you grind the beans?
Never fear, we’re here to help! Despite its space-age appearance, this is one kitchen gadget that really is very easy to use. We’ll take you through the process step by step in our Aeropress brewing coffee tutorial.
And when you’ve mastered the technique, we’ll show you a twist to add another option to your coffee-brewing repertoire!
So read on and prepare to enjoy wonderful coffee in just a few easy steps.
What you will need to follow this tutorial
Coffee beans of your choice
An Aeropress will cope with any kind of coffee or roast level, so just choose whatever blend you prefer. For the freshest possible taste, though, buy whole beans and grind them when you’re ready to brew.
If there’s anything at all you don’t like about the flavor of your tap water, don’t risk transferring it to your coffee! Use filtered or bottled water instead for a cleaner flavor.
AeroPress coffee maker – available brand new for around $30
AeroPress filters, funnel, paddle and scoop – all these will come with your machine
With an AeroPress, there’s no need to invest in an expensive burr grinder. A metal bladed version will do the job perfectly well.
Metal pitcher (optional)
Most people make AeroPress coffee by placing the device on top of the cup or mug from which they’ll drink their coffee. You will, though, be putting quite a lot of pressure on the rim as you push down the plunger.
Although we’ve never heard of a cup breaking mid-plunge, some people prefer not to take the risk. They put the AeroPress on top of a metal pitcher and transfer the coffee to a cup when it’s ready.
Kitchen thermometer (optional)
How to brew AeroPress coffee: step by step instructions
Step 1: Heat the water
Boil at least enough water to fill whatever mug or cup you’re using for your coffee four times over. (You’ll be using it to warm your cup and AeroPress, as well as for the coffee itself). Now leave it to cool for a couple of minutes.
The winners of the annual World AeroPress Championships
consistently use water at slightly lower temperatures.
Instead of the 205 degrees Fahrenheit that is generally accepted as the optimal temperature for coffee, try leaving your boiled water to cool to more like 165 to 185 degrees.
You can use a kitchen thermometer if you want to be precise. Alternatively, just leave your kettle for a few minutes after boiling before using the water to brew.
Step 2: Measure and grind the coffee
Measure out between 15g and 18g of coffee, depending on how strong you like your drink. You can use a kitchen scales to get an exact measurement.
Far easier, though – and in keeping with the AeroPress spirit! – is just to use the scoop supplied. One rounded scoop is about the same as 2 ½ tablespoons, and will give you about 17g of coffee.
Now grind your beans. The consistency you’re looking for here is something slightly finer than sea salt.
Step 3: Prepare the filter and warm your cup
Take one of the round paper filters specifically designed for the AeroPress and place it inside the basket. (This is the shallow circular dish with holes in the bottom.)
Now pour a little hot water slowly over the filter. This will wash away the papery flavor, as well as helping it stick to the basket. ()
Be very careful as you do this! The basket is quite small, so don’t burn your fingers. You’ll see that there are little plastic nubs around the outside edge. Use these to hold on as you pour the water.
Hold the basket over whatever you’re going to be brewing the coffee into as you pour. That way you can use the same hot water to stick the filter to the basket and to warm up your brewing vessel. When your mug or pitcher is full, flush away the hot water and you’re ready to go.
Step 4: Prepare the AeroPress
Pour some hot water into the AeroPress, rinse it around and then flush it away. This will warm up the chamber where the coffee will be brewing and improve the flavor.
Fix the basket in place at the bottom of the brew chamber. Now put the brew chamber on top of your mug.
Step 5: Add the coffee and water
For a mess-free approach, place the funnel in the top of the AeroPress. Add the ground coffee and take the funnel away again.
Now pour in a little hot water, just enough to cover the coffee grounds. Set the timer and wait for 40 seconds to let the coffee “bloom” – i.e. expand in size.
(This step is adapted from pour over coffee. Many recipes omit it, but since 2011 all the winners of the World AeroPress Championships have allowed for blooming time. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us!)
When the time is up, pour the rest of the water slowly until it reaches level 4 on the AeroPress gauge. (You can use a scales to measure out 220g of water if you prefer.) Aim to take 30 seconds to complete the pour.
Turning the brewing chamber as you pour will help you saturate the grounds evenly.
Step 6: Place the plunger on top – but don’t press down!
When you’ve added the right amount of water, place the plunger on top of the brew chamber. But don’t press down yet! Instead, give it a gentle pull upwards to form an airtight seal.
Wait until the timer hits 1 minute 30 seconds. Then remove the plunger and give the coffee and water mixture a stir with the AeroPress paddle.
Now place the plunger back on top of the brew chamber.
Step 7: Take the plunge!
Press down gently on the plunger. There are two ways to do this.
The simplest is just to press down steadily and stop when you hear a hissing sound. You’re all done, and your coffee is ready to go. You’ll be left with a 7 to 8oz cup, and the whole brewing process will have taken under two minutes.
If you’re looking for an award-winning coffee, though, follow the example of the World AeroPress Champions…
Press down the plunger very slowly and stop before the hissing sound. You’ll probably need a bit of practice with your AeroPress to get the timing of this right.
You’re aiming for the pressing stage to take about 30 seconds. After that, your coffee is ready!
Step 8: Clean up time
As well as being a really easy way to make coffee, the AeroPress is super-simple to clean. Just unscrew the basket and push down all the way on the plunger. The filter and compressed coffee grounds will pop out in a neat little disc.
Rinse the plunger with hot water and you can make your next cup straight away! And perhaps this time you’d like to try a slightly different technique..?
How to brew AeroPress coffee: The upside down method
We promised we’d show you an interesting twist on the classic AeroPress technique. The upside down method is just what it sounds like.
It’s a bit trickier but it can get good results – the 2009 and 2010 World AeroPress Champions both used this method.
Steps 1 to 3: Same again – but consider using more coffee
Steps 1 to 3 are almost the same as for the classic approach. Just boil your water (200g this time), measure and grind your beans, prepare the filter and warm your cup.
Experts in the upside down technique, however, usually use slightly more beans than when brewing right side up.
Consider adding an extra 1 to 2g of beans. That will bring the total to between 16 and 19g, depending on how strong you like your coffee.
Although these steps are almost the same as the classic approach, everything changes when it comes to assembling the AeroPress.
Step 4: Assemble the AeroPress
As before, you need to warm the brewing chamber by pouring in and flushing away hot water. Then dry the body of the AeroPress very carefully. Any moisture can affect how well the seal works. That’s very important when you’re going to be brewing upside down!
Now place the plunger just inside the top of the brewing chamber. Put the whole assembly on top of a kitchen scales so that the numbers on the gauge are upside down. Set the scales to zero.
Step 5: Add the coffee and some water
Add your ground coffee to the brewing chamber (as before, using the funnel will avoid mess). Now add twice as much water as coffee grounds. In other words, if your scales read 18g after you added the coffee, you’ll need to add water until it reads 54g.
When all the water has been added, press down lightly on the coffee grounds with the paddle or butter knife. This helps to make sure they are evenly saturated.
Now set your timer and wait for 30 seconds.
Step 6: Add remaining water and stir
Add the rest of the water.
Remember, you’ve started with 200g for this technique. As an example, if you’ve used 18g of beans and 36g of water, you’ll have another 164g of water to add to the AeroPress now.
That will bring the total on your scales to 218g.
Wait for a minute then use the AeroPress paddle to stir together the water and coffee.
Don’t be afraid of giving it a good mix! We recommend stirring ten times to help extract the flavor.
Step 7: Secure the filter and flip it all over
This is where a steady and dextrous hand is needed!
First of all, place the basket with the filter on the bottom of the brewing vessel. Remember, the bottom is actually on top, as it’s upside down. Make sure that it clicks into the grooves tightly. You don’t want it coming off when you flip the AeroPress over.
Now make sure that the mug or pitcher you want to press your coffee into is nearby. Flip the AeroPress over in one smooth movement and place it on top of your mug or pitcher.
Alternatively, some people place their mug on top of the AeroPress before flipping it.
Check out this YouTube video from Damien Zeilinski, co-owner of Toronto’s Capital Espresso, to see how it’s done.
Step 8: The final push
Now we’re right side up again, the rest of the process is essentially the same.
Push down steadily on the plunger and stop when you hear the hissing sound. It’s coffee time!
If you find the plunger is moving too easily, you’ve probably ground your beans too coarse. If it’s really hard to push down, the grind will have been too fine.
We hope you enjoyed our AeroPress coffee brewing tutorial.
We’re convinced this is one of the easiest ways to get an excellent cup of coffee. Its simple process works whether you like your flavors rich and chocolatey or bright and floral.
So whether you’ve been given an AeroPress as a gift or purchased one yourself, we hope this tutorial has given you the confidence to get it out of the box and start enjoying great coffee.
If you’ve tried AeroPress coffee yourself we’d love to know how it went. Please tell us about your experiences in the comments. And if you’ve enjoyed reading, why not share this article with others?