The world-beloved Aeropress is a coffee brewer every coffee lover should own. It’s extremely versatile and can be used to make many styles of coffee. It’s possibly the most durable coffee maker in existence - and the final brew speaks for itself.
These aren’t secrets. A simple Google search or a glance at the Aeropress box informs you on how versatile it is and how durably it’s constructed.
But there’s more.
There are things more Aeropress users should be aware of, but aren’t. And I’d like to share these with you. These tips and tidbits will boost your appreciation for this incredible brewer. They may even change the way you brew on a regular basis.
Let’s find out.
Behold, five things every Aeropress user should know.
1. Stop Plunging Before The “Hiss”
I’m not sure if this one is backed by peer-reviewed science yet, but it’s well agreed upon around the world.
The “hiss” at the end of the plunge indicates when you should stop plunging immediately.
This hissing occurs when the Aeropress plunger presses directly on the coffee grounds. When this happens, you’re essentially squeezing all the “extra” stuff out of the coffee grounds. This makes your final mug bitter, astringent, and less flavorful than it should be.
If you want your coffee to be rich and balanced, stop plunging as soon as you hear the hiss (or right before, if you’re really good).
2. The Aeropress Works Literally Everywhere
The Aeropress is made with food-grade polyurethane rubber, which is extremely difficult to break or crack. This is one of the main reasons the Aeropress is more travel-ready than almost any other brewer.
You can use it on your next wilderness backpacking trip. You can use it at 30,000 feet - on an airplane (just be careful with hot water and turbulence). You can even use it in… space!
That’s right. Other brewers rely on gravity as part of the process, but this one uses pressure to for force the coffee into a mug or vessel. You don’t need gravity (and there’s none in space anyway) to drain the coffee and make delicious coffee.
Don’t be afraid to take your Aeropress on your adventures. It’ll give you great coffee anywhere.
3. That Hexagonal Funnel Has Many Uses
If you’re like me, you took one look at the Aeropress funnel, set it aside, and forgot about it. It appears to do nothing but help you pour grounds into your Aeropress, but it actually has some other pretty cool uses.
The hexagonal shape fits perfectly on the Aeropress’s filter cap side. This enables you to do two cool things:
- Brew into a mug that the Aeropress wouldn’t normally fit on safely
- Brew into a mug that’s sitting beneath a pour over stand
The funnel also makes storing the Aeropress way easier. Stack the Aeropress parts in this order: filter holder, funnel (wide side up), Aeropress (filter cap down). Place the scoop and paddle in the plunger opening.
Now you don’t have to store three items next to each other. You can create just one tower.
In review, the Aeropress funnel makes it possible to use any size mug or thermos, use a pour over stand, and store using less space.
Isn’t it so much more effective than it once appeared to be?
4. You Can’t Brew True Espresso - But You Can Get Close
Despite how it’s marketed, the Aeropress isn’t a true espresso maker. Sure, it generates pressure during brewing, but it’s nothing compared to bigger espresso machines.
Modern espresso machines generate 8-10 bars of pressure to brew espresso. The Aeropress can generate up to 0.75 bars. Yeah - it’s a HUGE difference.
It’s humanly impossible to create enough pressure by hand to pull shots the same way a full-size commercial machine does. However, there’s a trick to getting close.
Aeropress Espresso (I like to call it Aeropresso) is essentially a very concentrated black coffee. It’s rich, it’s intense, it’s balanced, and it can be consumed in shot-like form from a small cup.
It won’t be topped with a fine crema, nor will it have the heavy body of a proper espresso, but it’s about as close as you can get flavor-wise without dropping large bills on a big espresso machine.
I’ve personally used Aeropresso to make faux-americanos and faux-cappuccinos, though it’s well-rounded and sweet on its own for when I need a quick boost.
You can see the full Aeropress Espresso recipe here.
5. A Reusable Metal Filter Changes The Game
Just when you thought you had seen it all, a reusable metal filter arrives. The default paper filters are great, but stainless steel filters offer another dimension of flavor and body.
Firstly, they allow a very small amount of microscopic grounds to enter your mug. These micro-grounds attach to the acid particles and tone them down a bit. They also offer a “fuller”, more rounded flavor and add a layer of depth to the coffee’s body.
Secondly, metal filters allow the coffee’s natural oils through to your mug. These oils are highly aromatic and are responsible for many of coffee’s exotic and vibrant flavors. They also add a creamy smoothness to your coffee.
Aside from boosting flavors, metal filters also make travel brewing easier. You just rinse them carefully and pack them up - no paper waste created.
See other benefits to using stainless steel Aeropress filters here.
The Aeropress is an amazing coffee brewer - and I hope these things have made it even more amazing in your eyes.
But remember, great coffee always starts with great beans. Make sure you’re always using freshly roasted, specialty-grade beans if you want to really see your Aeropress soar.
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