If you’ve been around specialty coffee for long, you’ve probably seen a dozen or more Aeropress recipes. Everyone has their preferred way of brewing with this incredible device, and each method is a little different.
When we were deciding which Aeropress recipe to use at the coffee shop I managed, we did test runs with over a dozen. They were all good, but one stood out from the rest.
The brew from this standout recipe was fruitier, brighter, and had a heavy creamy body than coffee from the other recipes. It was very different, and we knew we had to choose it.
It’s since become my personal favorite Aeropress recipe. I use it all the time!
I think you’ll love it too, but I have to warn you. It’s a weird one.
You’ll see what I mean.
Oh, So About The Water
This recipe isn’t like others. It’s… odd. The main difference is the water temperature that’s used.
Normally, I'd suggest 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit for your water temperature. That’s the world-recognized ideal range for brewing rich, balanced coffee.
But those are not the only temperatures that you can use to brew coffee. You can go lower, but you have to make adjustments in another area to re-balance the coffee flavor.
See, the hotter the water, the more quickly it extracts stuff from the grounds. In the case of this recipe, the cooler water doesn’t extract as rapidly, so you’re going to adjust a few other variables to bring back that balance.
Here’s the water temperature you’re going to use.
Are you ready for it?
176 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yup, it’s quite low for brewing hot coffee. Nearly 30 degrees lower than normal. But it’s the key to this whole delicious recipe, so we’ll work around it.
To counteract the slower extraction from this water temperature, we’ll do 3 things:
- Grind the coffee finer so it’ll take less time for the grounds to brew
- Use a little extra coffee to add some extra punch to the flavor
- Swirl the brewing slurry to quicken the extraction by quite a bit
And don’t forget about the element of pressure. When you press down the Aeropress plunger, you create up to 0.75 bars of pressure. This also aids in speeding up extraction.
The end result will be worth the effort - I promise! And once you’ve done it a time or two, it’ll be easy.
Now that I’ve warned you about the strange recipe you’re about to try, let’s get started.
Step-By-Step Recipe Guide
For this recipe, you’ll be using the inverted method. Slide the plunger just barely into the brewing chamber and leave the filter cap off. Set the Aeropress upside down with the plunger down and the open filter area up.
Now collect the rest of your tools and ingredients.
- Fresh Roasted Coffee
- AeroPress Coffee Maker
- 176 Degree Hot Water
- Burr Coffee Grinder
- Kitchen Scale
The fun is about to begin.
Weigh out 20g (about 4 tablespoons) of freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans and grind them at a medium-fine setting. This should be a couple notches finer than your regular Aeropress grind setting to make black coffee.
Use a thermometer to make sure your water temperature is hovering right at 176 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as you’re within 2-3 degrees, you should be fine.
Go ahead and place a filter in the AP and rinse it with hot water. Then rinse the entire AP also to warm it up, then dispose of the pre-heat water. Throw the grounds into your inverted Aeropress.
Start a timer and very quickly fill the Aeropress up ⅓ of the way with hot water. Quickly set down the kettle and grab the brewer.
Carefully and rapidly move it in a little circle to get the brewing slurry to swirl. Do this until you reach 15 seconds. Please don’t spill - it could hurt.
At 00:15, set the Aeropress down and make sure your mug is ready and your filter is rinsed.
At 00:45, quickly fill the Aeropress up all the way with your hot water.
At 01:00, flip the Aeropress (careful!) onto your mug and slowly press the plunger. You’re not sprinting here - go for a patient marathon press. Slow pressing keeps you from accidentally squeezing out bitter tannins from grounds.
At 01:45, press out the last little bit of coffee and stop before you hear the wheezing sound made when there’s no more liquid coffee left in the grounds.
Boom. You did it!
Give your coffee just a second to cool (it won’t need as long as normal) and give it a sip. You should experience Aeropress coffee that’s fruitier and creamier than ever before.
Here’s How It Worked
Different water temperatures tend to extract different things from coffee grounds. Water at 200 degrees is grabbing things from the beans at a pace we know as normal. However, water at 176 isn’t hot enough to snag those bitter tannins as quickly.
Your final result should be less bitter than normal (not that bitterness is always bad).
Also, the lower temperature tends to pull out some acids slower than others. This gives a chance for some of the earlier-extracted acids to shine, like phosphoric acid.
Phosphoric acid gives your coffee a nice pop no matter how you brew, but in this case, it’s not being overshadowed by some later-arriving acids. You can actually taste the flavors that come alongside this acid. They’re usually quite fruity and especially reminiscent of berries
And it all works because you balanced out the low temperature with...
- Finer grind size
- A little more coffee
… to bring back some balance and strength. Nice!
Keep in mind, however, that the magic of this recipe can only be experienced when you start out with freshly roasted, well-grown coffee beans. Those bags from the grocery store won’t do you any good here - they’re stale as soon as you open the bag.
Always stay stocked with uber-fresh coffee from the best farms in the world with our JavaPresse Coffee Subscription. We source beans from quality-forward and eco-friendly farms, roast them in San Diego, and have them shipped to you the very next day.
There’s no better way to experience this incredible, and odd, Aeropress recipe. Check out the beans!