AeroPress Tips: 10 Tips and Hints on How to Make the Best AeroPress Coffee

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The AeroPress is a brilliant coffee maker. I use mine all the time. It’s straight forward to use and anyone can make a great cup of coffee simply by following the instructions which come with the device. But, as with anything, there are always little tips and hints that you can pick up to make it even better.

Having now become quite experienced in using my AeroPress coffee maker (I drink way too much coffee) I’ve put together my top 10 tips and hints on using this simple but brilliant coffee maker.

Here’s a list, read on for detailed explanations of each point.

1: Choose the right coffee.
2: Use a coarser grind.
3: Try the inverted AeroPress method.
4: Steep your coffee longer.
5: Try the James Hoffman AeroPress recipe.

6: Make a coffee second latte.
7: Try different filters with your AeroPress.
8: Try an iced coffee.
9: Weigh your coffee.
10: Use a thermometer for water temperature.

Let’s look at those in more detail.

Top 10 AeroPress tips

1 – Choose the right coffee

Making a cup of coffee is quite an art. While the AeroPress is one of the simpler ways of getting a delicious cup of coffee at home, you’ll still need to make sure you get it right if you want your drink to be perfect.

One of the most important factors to consider is the type of coffee you’ll be using (as well as the grind you use – we discuss this below).

beans to cup
It’s all in the beans

Choosing the right coffee beans can make or break your beverage so it’s important to get it right. Of course, you may want to experiment and find something to match your tastes but generally speaking there is one rule to follow – always use the best quality coffee beans you can

The AeroPress is great but it can’t make silk out of a sow’s ear. In other words, if you use poor quality beans your coffee will taste rank no matter what method you use to brew it. AeroPress, drip coffee maker, or espresso machine if you use poor quality beans you won’t be happy with the result.

So, good quality beans every time to make great coffee. But which type of bean makes the best AeroPress coffee? Let’s discuss.

Lighter coffees with a bright and clean taste work very well for the AeroPress and where you can, we would advise you to choose a specialty coffee. Doing this will allow you to pick out the more subtle notes within the blend resulting in a much tastier experience.

With that said, choosing the right roast comes down to your personal tastes. While a light roast is largely considered to be the best for AeroPress, some coffee lovers prefer dark roasts so choosing medium or dark roast is always an option.

As it happens, the inventor of the AeroPress once stated that using a darker roast is a great way to produce coffee that’ll be used as a base for drinks like cappuccino and latte.

Finding the best beans is very much a matter of personal taste and experimentation. Don’t limit yourself. Try as many different good quality roasts as you can.

2 – Use a coarser grind

A super important part of getting your AeroPress coffee spot on is making sure that the grind is right. Especially if you grind your own beans. If you use a burr grinder and grind the coffee beans too finely then you may find that the AeroPress plunger becomes very difficult to push. In some cases, it will be impossible.

More importantly, since the coffee grounds are packed so closely together, the water has a much harder time seeping through. The result of this is over extraction. This will taste far too bitter.

For this reason, it is a good idea to grind your coffee beans a little more coarsely than you might think. But don’t go too far in this direction as then the water will pass through more quickly which will result in weak, under extracted coffee.

The best grind size is around the same as sea salt with each ground measuring around 0.5mm. You’d call this a medium fine grind which is slightly coarser than what you’d use for espresso.

However, since everyone prefers their coffee in a different way, there’s no harm in experimenting. Provided that you can actually push the plunger, how the coffee tastes are very much down to personal preference.

And I guess that’s the most important point. I’d recommend a medium fine grind BUT don’t be afraid to experiment. Use the different settings on your grinder and you’ll eventually come up with the best grind for your taste.

If buying ready ground coffee or having a seller grind your beans for you; always ask for medium fine and you won’t go far wrong.

3 – Try the inverted AeroPress method

While the traditional method of using an AeroPress is favoured by many, some people like to mix it up and try the inverted method which is a slightly different brewing process. But what is the AeroPress inverted method and how do you do it?

Simply put, the inverted method involves turning the AeroPress upside down. The reason for doing this is that you can brew the coffee grounds in the water for longer. Moreover, you have greater control as none of the water will filter through until you want it to.

How is the AeroPress Inverted method different?

The AeroPress inverted method rose in popularity just a few years after the AeroPress was invented. The main way that it differs from the traditional method is that the extraction is not the same.

Barista using the inverted AeroPress method

When you use the traditional method, water is pushed through the grounds whereas the inverted method allows the grounds longer in the water. It’s more similar to immersion brewing as opposed to the percolation of the traditional method.

Some people prefer this method of brewing while others swear by the traditional approach. In truth, there’s no right or wrong way, it’s really about what you prefer.

How to do the AeroPress inverted method

The inverted method is, fortunately, just as simple as the traditional method. You’re just going to literally flip everything on its head.

To begin, you’ll need to put your AeroPress brew chamber onto a level surface with the seal pointing up. Now you can put the chamber on top and push it so that the seal sits inside it.

While adding the coffee grounds and hot water into the chamber, be sure to hold everything still. It’s then simply a matter of stirring the coffee and allowing it too steep for as long as you choose. While it’s doing its thing, you can pop a filter into the cap so it’s ready to be attached.

When enough time has elapsed, put the filter cap on and screw it in place. You’ll now need to invert the AeroPress by turning it over and placing it onto your chosen mug. You’ll use the plunger in the same way that you would with the traditional method and out comes your hot, tasty coffee!

The beauty of the AeroPress is its superior speed. You can, in theory, have a steaming hot cup of coffee in front of you in as little as sixty seconds when using this equipment.

That said, you can leave the coffee to steep for a little longer. It all depends on how weak or strong you like your coffee.

4 – Steep your coffee longer

Much like any other method of making coffee, you’ll need to spend a little bit of time getting to know your AeroPress. This means a certain degree of trial and error in terms of how finely or coarsely you grind your beans, the type of coffee you use and how long you steep the coffee.

When it comes to the optimal brewing time for the AeroPress, it’s more down to personal preference than anything else. For me, two minutes is optimum and this is the time I always recommend to try first.

What’s the best brew time for an AeroPress?

Once you have added your coffee and water to the AeroPress, you will need to make sure that you stir it well before allowing it to steep. Many people opt to set a timer for just one minute and this will produce a very nice cup of coffee.

However, some other coffee fanatics leave theirs brewing for up to three minutes which gives a much stronger taste.

But if you want to get the best of both worlds, then leaving it for two minutes is the best option. But it isn’t only about the amount of time, it’s how you treat the coffee while it is brewing.

You see, the best cups of AeroPress coffee are made when you go gradually. Start your timer just before you pour in the water. It’s recommended to add half of the water first; just enough to thoroughly wet the coffee grounds. Then give it a good stir. After this, you can go ahead and add the remaining water.

When there is only around thirty seconds of your two-minute timer left, give it another good stir before you put the AeroPress filter cap on.

5 – Try the Hoffman AeroPress coffee recipe

There are lots of AeroPress brew methods and recipes out there but there’s one that coffee fans are turning to time and time again. It’s one created by pro barista, James Hoffman and we’re here to break it down into easy and manageable steps.

Who Is James Hoffman?

Born in 1979, in Staffordshire, UK, James Hoffman is considered to be one of the most prolific coffee experts on the planet!

In 2007, James Hoffman was crowned the winner of the World AeroPress Championship. His name then became well known around the world as one of the leading baristas and his fame has not dwindled since.

In fact, James now has a YouTube channel with more than 1.2 million subscribers as well as several hugely successful books on all things to do with coffee. Check out his YouTube channel here.

The James Hoffman AeroPress Recipe

● Start by setting up your AeroPress in the traditional style, with the brewing chamber on the bottom.
● Grind your chosen coffee beans and add these to the AeroPress.
● Before you do anything else, set a timer for two minutes.
● Now add 200ml of warm water. It shouldn’t be boiling. Make sure that you fully cover all of the coffee grounds so that they’re all wet.
● Put the plunger into the chamber by about a centimetre so that a vacuum is formed which will prevent any coffee from dripping out until you are ready.
● Now wait until your timer finishes.
● Before pushing the plunger in, pick up the AeroPress and gently swirl it around. There’s no need for stirring when you add the coffee if you make sure to complete this step.
● Now start to press the plunger down. This should take around 30 seconds so there’s no need to rush.
● That’s it! Sit back and enjoy.

Of course, you can add sweeteners or use the coffee as a base for another drink like a latte. But a lot of people prefer to drink it as it.

6 – Make a coffee second latte

According to stats, the caffe latte is the most popular coffee drink in the UK. There are millions of these drinks sold every week but it’s just as easy to make your own at home. Many people think you have to have a full-sized barista coffee machine to achieve the best results but you could make a delicious latte using your AeroPress.

Usually, I also make latte by pouring the foamed milk onto the prepared coffee base. But try this coffee second latte for something a little different.

How To Make AeroPress Latte

Making a smooth, foamy latte with your AeroPress couldn’t be easier. Here is our step-by-step guide.

Step 1

You will start by brewing your coffee using your AeroPress. In a nutshell, this involves placing ground coffee and water into the chamber, waiting for two minutes and then plunging the coffee into a receptacle. For a more detailed guide on using your AeroPress, check out this article.

Step 2

While you are waiting for your AeroPress coffee to brew, you can use this time to froth your milk. There are several ways you can do this. There are automatic electric milk frothers that also heat your milk or handheld milk frothers. But whatever method you use, make sure that you achieve a light yet rich foam.

Serious froth

Step 3

You will need to put your frothed milk into the cup you’ll be drinking out of. Latte is traditionally served in a tall glass but you can drink it from anything that feels good to you.

When it’s time to plunge your AeroPress, place it over the cup of frothed milk and dispense the coffee on top. As the two mix together, you will notice that they form two layers, this is one of the things that makes caffe latte so special. To get the best results, make sure to plunge slowly.

Step 4

If you want to go the extra mile, then you could create some latte art on the top or add some sweeteners or syrups. Otherwise, your coffee is ready to drink.

A Note About Milk Frothers

Getting a nice creamy foam for your AeroPress latte is one of the most important parts of making this drink. However, since there are different types of milk frother, you will get different results.

Electric milk frothers offer a way to heat the milk as well as frothing it. It’s as simple as pushing a button and letting the machine do its work so it’s much more convenient. However, they are a little more expensive and difficult to clean.

On the other hand, a handheld milk frother requires you to heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove and then you’ll turn the frother on and insert it into the liquid. This is just as quick a method but requires a little more input from you. That said, these devices are incredibly affordable and easy to maintain.

7 – Try different filters with your AeroPress

Let’s put something to bed straight away. It makes absolutely no difference to the taste of the AeroPress coffee whether you wet the filter paper or not. I know – at this point they’ll be plenty of people disagreeing with me right now.

But, believe me, the AeroPress filters are so thin that wetting them, or not, will make no difference whatsoever. Don’t waste your time.

However, that being said, you can swap out your filters from those supplied by AeroPress. Or at least change the way you use them and it could make a big difference.

You could try using two of the AeroPress filters together. Adding an extra filter and wetting them could make a big difference to your brew. But there are also metal filters you can buy that are made by independent manufacturers.

Generally metal filters deliver a thicker, richer body. They’re also reusable which ticks a sustainability box (though AeroPress paper filters can be composted).

As with most things about brewing coffee the use of filters is down to individual taste. Personally, a single paper filter does the job but if you’re looking for a richer brew try a metal filter along with a darker roast bean and you’ll be amazed at the difference.

8 – Make an iced coffee

Traditionally, coffee is taken hot but this isn’t to everyone’s taste. If you prefer a refreshing cold drink then you’re in luck. Cold brew coffee, iced coffee and other cool drinks are hugely popular and you can easily make them at home without having to head down to your local branch of Starbucks.

Step by step – how to make iced coffee with an AeroPress

Making iced coffee in your AeroPress is just as simple as making hot coffee. You’ll have a delicious chilled drink in minutes, with hardly any mess and it’s hassle free. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Step 1

You’ll need to begin by setting up your AeroPress. This is super simple and involves nothing more than placing the plunger into the chamber up to the number 3 marking. For this recipe, we’re going to use the inverted method but you can use the traditional method, if you prefer.

Step 2

Next, you’re going to prepare the coffee. For this recipe, we’d suggest going a little stronger using 18 grams of coffee. Grind the beans to the consistency of sea salt. Now take your glass and add 87 grams of ice.

people enjoying iced coffee
Everyone loves an iced coffee

Step 3

While we are making iced coffee, you’ll need to start with hot water. Allow the kettle to boil and then leave the water to settle for a few minutes so that it isn’t scalding hot. Using room temperature water is best for this drink.

Add your coffee to the AeroPress chamber and now top it up with 30 grams of water. This should be just enough to cover the coffee grounds. Now pat the coffee grounds and wait for 30 seconds.

You can then add the rest of your water, usually around 100 grams and give the liquid a good stir. Stirring is the key to success when using an AeroPress and is part of what allows you to make coffee so quickly.

Step 4

Rinse one of the paper filters for your AeroPress and add this into the filter cap. This can then be attached to the AeroPress and screwed into place.

Step 5

Leave your coffee to brew for between two and two and a half minutes. After this, swirl the device gently to further stir the coffee. You’re now ready to plunge.

You’ll need to flip the AeroPress over so that the plunger is on top and gently push it down with the device placed over your glass – don’t worry if you hear a hissing sound its just the pressure in the vacuum. Your coffee is now ready to enjoy!

9 – Weigh your coffee

With AeroPress the instructions recommend one rounded scope which is around 13-15grams of coffee. Depending on how heaped the scope is.

Weigh it out

Let’s assume you are using 200ml of water to make your coffee. In this case, the average recommended amount of coffee is 17 grams. However, this isn’t to everyone’s tastes. The great thing about making coffee at home is that you have the option to alter it to your liking.

How much coffee do you need for an AeroPress?

How much coffee you use in your AeroPress is largely a matter of personal taste. Some people like their coffee to be quite strong whereas others want something a little less intense.

However, generally speaking, you would add anywhere between 13 grams and 18 grams of ground coffee per cup. This is of course if you’re only making a single cup at a time.

In the early days, it may be worth playing around with different amounts to see what you prefer. Once you’ve got it figured out, you’ll then be able to make your coffee without even thinking about it. Personally, I find 13 grams of coffee as I prefer a less intense flavour.

Another point to consider when choosing coffee for your AeroPress is the consistency. It’s widely accepted that a medium fine grind that’s similar to sea salt is the best option when it comes to this brewing method.

As a rule of thumb, you can use anywhere between 15 grams and 18 grams of your chosen coffee beans, depending on how weak or strong you like your beverage.

10 – Use a thermometer for the perfect water temperature

Don’t use boiling water to make your coffee. Ever. I know that if you’re making instant the usual procedure is to heap in the coffee, boil the water, and pour in on. Don’t do that. Especially when you’re brewing coffee in an AeroPress. Or any other coffee maker come to that.

Experiment to get your best temperature

If the water is too hot it will scold the beans and your coffee will be bitter. The ideal temperature is between 75-80 degrees, with 80 degrees the sweet spot. At 80 degrees your coffee will be hot, flavoursome, and ready to drink.

How much water do you need in an AeroPress?

The other key ingredient when using your AeroPress is water but this also comes with some confusion. As a rule of thumb, we would suggest adding twice as much water as you did coffee. For example, if you used 15 grams of coffee, you’ll add 30 grams of water. This is a nice ratio that works most of the time.

Also keep in mind that an AeroPress can only hold around 250ml of water so you make sure you don’t exceed this.

However, as I mentioned above, AeroPress works best when used as a single brew coffee maker. Add water up to the ‘1’ level and you’ll be fine.

Although some coffee lovers compare AeroPress to a French Press they are very different. Yes, they use a plunger but the AeroPress is more versatile and is a genuine coffee maker. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.

Still undecided about AeroPress? Read our user’s guide or, if you’re already a proud owner, check out our step-be-step guide to using AeroPress.

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