AeroPress delivers a strong cup of espresso style coffee. But it definitely isn’t espresso. The reason for this is that no matter how hard you press the plunger, the AeroPress can’t generate the 9 bars of pressure required to brew genuine espresso.
That all being said… I don’t care that AeroPress doesn’t make ‘real’ espresso. What it does do is produce a very tasty espresso style coffee that, when combined with a milk frother, can be used as a base for any number of different drinks including latte, cappuccino and dozens of others.
When is espresso not espresso?
When you brew your coffee using my preferred method (11 grams of coffee and XX mls of hot water) the AeroPress will deliver 70ml of strong, great tasting coffee. What it doesn’t deliver is espresso.
Espresso is made by forcing hot water through compacted coffee grounds at around 9 bars of pressure.
To put this in perspective I would very much doubt that most people will be able to generate more than 2 bars of pressure no matter how much of their body weight they put into pressing the AeroPress plunger.
Using the AeroPress normally will probably produce around 1 bar of pressure.
This is why the coffee produced by AeroPress tastes differently to espresso. AeroPress coffee isn’t as strong but is milder and sweeter. To be honest I find it preferable to espresso.
Using AeroPress to make different coffees
By adding more water to your recipes you can use your AeroPress to make a standard cup of coffee or a brew such as an Americano.
However, for me the real value of an AeroPress is how it can be used to make a whole range of frothy (milky) coffees.
Latte, cappuccino and other milky (foamy) coffees all use espresso as a base. In other words, the espresso is brewed, added to the cup and then heated and frothed milk is added to create the finished drink.
If you do drink espresso on its own then yes, you need an electric espresso maker which will generate the pressure needed to make ‘real’ espresso.
But, if you prefer frothy coffees such as lattes or even non-milky log coffees like American – the AeroPress is the ideal solution for you.
For most coffee lovers looking for a single brew coffee maker I would heartily recommend the AeroPress.
Does AeroPress make crema?
The two types of coffee look very different. If you compare AeroPress coffee to espresso you will see the trademark crema on espresso is missing from the coffee you brewed with your AeroPress.
Crema is created by high pressure and adds texture to an espresso. However, despite what some claim, crema makes absolutely no difference to the taste of the coffee. The quality of beans, freshness, the roast, and the grind are what gives coffee its flavour.
A nice layer of crema is visually appealing but doesn’t add anything to your drink. So, you’re not missing out on anything because the AeroPress doesn’t make crema.
Let’s wrap this up
Not to belabour the point but if you want an espresso maker the AeroPress is not for you. AeroPress cannot make real espresso – it’s simply impossible to generate the high pressure required by manually pushing down the AeroPress plunger.
However, if you want a coffee maker to produce espresso style coffee that is sweet and tasty on its own and that can be used as a base for numerous other coffees then yes you should buy an AeroPress.
For less than £30 / $30 it’s a great value device and millions of users can’t be wrong.