The AeroPress is a device for brewing coffee. It was invented in 2005 by Aerobie president Alan Adler. Coffee is steeped for 10–50 seconds (depending on grind and preferred strength) and then forced through a filter by pressing the plunger through the tube. The filters used are either the AeroPress paper filters or disc shaped thin metal filters. The maker describes the result as an espresso strength concentration of coffee, but its most frequent use is more in the filter brew strength.
The device consists of two nesting cylinders. One cylinder has a flexible airtight seal and fits inside the larger cylinder, similar to a syringe.
The cylinders are moulded of polypropylene, tinted a grey colour. The first Aeropress were moulded of clear polycarbonate, then later of copolyester, clear and later tinted. The materials change away from polycarbonate was driven by the market fashion for BPA-free materials, even though no leaching of this material had occurred. Later changes were for aesthetic and strength reasons.
Methods of brewing
According to the instructions, fine-ground coffee is placed in the bottom of the larger cylinder on top of a paper microfilter. Hot water at approximately 170 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit or 75 to 85 degrees Celsius is then poured over the coffee; this mixture is stirred for approximately 10 seconds before being forced through the microfilter by pushing the plunger downwards. In the different coffee competitions world wide (World Barista Championship, Brewers Cup, World AeroPress Championship etc.), the coffee is more often ground slightly finer than 'filter grind', and the dose is between 14 and 20 grams, with about 200 to 230 milliliters of water at 80 to 92 degrees Celsius and a steeping time of 30 to 60 seconds.
In inverted brewing, the plunger is placed into the column from the beginning, close to the “top” of the column, and the entire AeroPress stands upside-down, resting on the top of the plunger. One or two scoops of ground coffee are added, followed by water, and the entire mixture then stirred. While that brews, a filter is placed into the filter cap and moistened to help it stick in place then the AeroPress cap is placed on top of the column and screwed into place. Lastly, once the desired brewing time is complete the AeroPress is either turned right-side-up and plunged normally or held at an angle and plunged horizontally.
This method is more similar to the French press, particularly the extended brewing time in which the grounds and water sit together. This makes it useful for using grinds that wouldn't be optimal in the official method such as coarse grinds that might be used in a French press.
AeroPress coffee properties
- Claimed to have roughly the same strength as espresso
- Higher pH than drip coffee
- 30-second total brewing time
Differences from French press
The AeroPress, though sharing some characteristics with a French press, is quite different:
- Uses a disposable paper filter which removes most of the coffee solids (a French press uses a coarser wire or nylon mesh filter). However, several third-party reusable metal filters are available.
- Shorter brewing time
- Uses air pressure to improve extraction of flavour.
- Uses a fine grind (slightly finer grind than drip, but coarser than espresso machines use), versus the coarse grind recommended for French presses
- Inventor brews a faster cup of good coffee Knight Ridder Newspapers
- "Micro-fine Stainless Steel Coffee Filter".
- "Metal Fabric Filter for the Aeropress Coffee Maker".
- "World Aeropress Championship Recipes".
- "Materials used in the AeroPress coffee maker". Official AeroPress Announcement
- The AeroPress Story Official AeroPress Site
- "Aeropress Champion Marie Hagemeister’s Winning Brew Method". Sprudge. 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
- "Brew Methods". Archived from the original on 5 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
- Aeropress Live! First impression CoffeeCrew
- Official website
- Official UK Aeropress Distributor
- Five star Aerobie AeroPress Review from SlinkyStudio.info
- World Aeropress Championship website, recipes
- The AeroPress Coffee Machine: a new concept in an ancient art
- Review at Dan's Data
- New York Times article
- Los Angeles Times article
- Interview with the inventor, Alan Adler in Fast Company
- Inventor portrait: Alan Adler