Bigging Up The Aeropress

 
It’s time to talk coffee.   This post is coffee-centric.   More particularly, I would like to focus on one specific coffee gadget.   And even more particularly than that, I want to focus on the Aeropress.

In addition to other delicious polycarbonate accessories which brighten up my life, the Aeropress is the single most useful coffee gadget I’ve ever had.   It’s

  • inexpensive
  • small
  • portable
  • lightweight
  • durable
  • runs on elbow grease and hot water
  • requires minimal cleaning and maintenance
  • easy and cheap to use
  • makes fabulous coffee

 
 
This is my method of making one mug of Aeropress coffee.   For Aeropressing for more people, have a look down the bottom.

To be honest, I really made this guide so that kvetch could make me coffee the way I like it.   He hasn’t really got the hang of all this Aeropress business yet.

I’ll let you know how he gets on.   :)
 
 

Contentosity

 

 
 

Aeropressing

 
Things You Will Need
 

  • Coffee beans ground for a filter machine
  • A kettle, with water in it, set to boil.
  • Fresh water for rinsing
  • A bin for the used coffee grounds
  • The Aeropress and all of its constituent parts

 
 
First Things First
 

  1. Put the kettle on.
  2. Orient the Aeropress vertically so the black perforated filter screw cap is topmost.
  3.  
    The Aeropress coffee maker.  Even upside down it's amazing!
    I left it like this the last time I made coffee.   Yum.
     
     

  4. Carefully and gently unscrew the black filter cap counter clockwise, watching to ensure no spillage of coffee grounds (if any are present from prior use).
  5.  
    The Aeropress - this may look pretty, but the flavour cognoscenti seem to agree that re-using coffee grounds really isn't a good idea.

        See?   Grounds.

     
     

  6. If the round paper filter is outside the filter holder and stuck to the grounds, carefully remove it and set it to one side.
  7. The Aeropress filters are perfectly suitable for many re-uses  (until they tear or perforate).
     
    Even though the Aeropress filters look and feel like newspaper, they are surprisingly durable, and survive many rinses and coffee makings.
    And the sun came out as I was doing this.   :)
     
     

  8. Take the Aeropress over to the bin and invert it so that the coffee grounds are now aimed downwards.
  9. Grasp the Aeropress very firmly  (your hands and the Aeropress will both need to be dry)  –  carefully push the plunger to evacuate the grounds into the bin.
  10. The plunger can be stiff to start and can move very suddenly when dry!   Take good care to keep fingers and skin clear of being pinched between the plunger and base.
     

  11. Leaving the plunger fully plunged, rinse the end of the plunger and the end of the base.
  12. Separate the plunger from the base and set both pieces to one side.
  13. If there was a paper filter in the Aeropress from prior use, rinse it well, and rinse the black perforated filter cap.
  14. Put the wet filter  (or a new one)  in the filter cap
  15.  
    The Aeropress filter and filter cap look like this when you peer really close and stick text labels on.

      There’s the filter, and there’s the cap.

     
     

  16. Screw the filter cap firmly clockwise into the base of the Aeropress.
  17.  
    My favourite 'I need therapy' mug, and the disassembled parts of the Aeropress.
    My favourite mug  –  a present from kvetch.   :)
     
     
    Creating Your Beverage
     

  18. Ensure your mug of choice is sitting securely on a non-slip surface.
  19. Orient the Aeropress vertically with the filter cap at the bottom.
  20. Place the base of the Aeropress on top of the mug.
  21.  
    Coffee Jar, Aeropress Scoop, Mug And Aeropress.  The circumference of this mug is too small for the base of the Aeropress to fit comfortably, but it still works, even if the whole thing is a bit crooked.  Maybe just a teensy bit more got spilt than was otherwise going to.
    This is a good visual demonstration of what will happen if you use a mug which is just the teensiest smidge too small for the base of the Aeropress.   It still works, though.   Note the benefits of using a generously sized mug.
     
     

  22. Fill the scoop with coffee grounds, leaving approximately 0.5cm gap at the top.
  23.  
    The Aeropress scoop, filled with coffee, and a label indicating the recommended gap at the top.

      Fill the scoop with thiiiiiiis much.

     
     

  24. Empty the scoop into the Aeropress.
  25.  

  26. Hot water should be no warmer than approximately 85˚ centigrade.   If the kettle has just boiled, add a goodly dollop of cold water and swish it around.
  27. Add hot water to the grounds in the base of the Aeropress, up to approximately 1 cm from the top.
  28. Stir the water and the grounds with the T-shaped stirrer for about 10 seconds.
  29.  
    Add water, and stir with the handily designed Aeropress stirrer.
    The coffee drains even when not plunging, so that is why there is more than 1 cm of space at the top in this picture.
     
     

  30. Put the plunger into the top of the Aeropress and carefully yet firmly push the plunger down.
  31. Push the plunger down no further than 1 cm from the grounds.
  32. You will know when you are nearly there because the water will have emptied out and the plunger will produce a schhhhh – type sound.
     
    The Aeropress with the plunger plungily plunged

          mmmmmmmmmmschhhhhhhhh…

     
     

  33. Add milk, sugar, stir, or do whatever other finishing touches you may require.
  34.  
    Mmmmm, Aeropress coffee, nearly ready to drink!  I like sugar in mine.

        I like sugar in my coffee.   :)

     
     

  35. Et voilá!   Slurp and enjoy!

 
 

Extra Bits

 
Storage  –  Usually, when I’ve finished making coffee, I turn the Aeropress upside down and leave it until the next time.   Because the filter and perforated filter cap both allow air to circulate, the grounds and the filter will both dry out instead of going mouldy, so the Aeropress can safely be stored like this for some time.
 
The Aeropress coffee maker.  Even upside down it's amazing!
Easy storage  =  Energy saver  =  Environmentally friendly  =  Me less cranky
 
 
Cleaning  –  The rubbery foot of the plunger creates an airtight seal within the cylindrical base, resulting in syringe-like, wipe-clean properties when plunging.   Because of this, rinsing the bottom of the plunger and base after evacuating the coffee grounds, and rinsing the filter and black perforated filter cap is the sum total of cleaning required for the Aeropress.

Easy peasy.   :)

(My energy is a valuable commodity, y’know.   It’s worth saving.   You wouldn’t like it when I’m cranky.   The environment could get damaged.)
 
 
Sharing The Goodness
 
The above instructions are for making one mug of Aeropress coffee.   For more cups, simply

  • Add one scoop of coffee as shown for each person
  • Plunge into one receptacle
  • Divide the result equally between the required number of cups
  • Dilute each with hot water

 
It is possible to plunge directly into the appropriate number of cups and dilute each with hot water.   However, I find this difficult to measure out evenly, because the water continues to drain even when the plunger is not in place, or is in place without being actively depressed.   So I prefer to plunge into one receptacle when I’m Aeropressing for multiple people, and then divide everything out afterwards.
 
 
Bean Grindage
 
If you are grinding your own coffee beans, fill the scoop with beans to approximately an 0.5cm gap at the top for each person  (as with grounds),  before adding them to the coffee grinder.
 
The Aeropress scoop, filled with coffee, and a label indicating the recommended gap at the top.
Just pretend there’s beans in there instead of grounds, k?
 
 
Use the funnel provided with the Aeropress to empty the freshly ground coffee from the grinder into the Aeropress.
 
 
Healthosity And Safeness
 

  • Take good care to keep fingers and skin clear of being pinched between the plunger and base when plunging, especially when the Aeropress is dry.   Aeropressy pinching can be very sore.   Trust me.
  • A non-slip surface for your mug during Aeropressing will help drastically reduce the chances of a scalding accident.
  • Ensure that you depress the plunger with both hands with your head positioned directly over the mug.   This will help dramatically reduce the chances of upsetting the mug and its scalding contents.
  • Take care to keep the Aeropress on top of the mug during the pressing.   The base of the Aeropress can slip around on mugs with larger circumferences.
  •  
    A Note To The Aeropress People  –  I think that a grippy rubber surface  (similar to that of the plunger foot)  on the underside of the flange of the base might help to improve Aeropress safety in use with larger mugs.

 
 
Mind The Gap And Other Aeropressing Techniquathons
 

  • Note the gap between the end of the plunger  (the thin black ring pressing against the inside of the cylinder)  and the coffee grounds at the base of the Aeropress  (now oriented upwards).   You will know when you are nearly there because the water will have emptied out and the plunger will produce a schhhhh – type sound.

    That 1cm gap must be maintained for the best tasting coffee.   My experience is that if the grounds get squashed, the coffee will taste bitter.

  •  
    The Aeropress gap, with label.
    See?   This is how I left it the last time, gap and all.
     
     

  • Always unscrew the filter cap before removing the plunger from the base.   Removing the plunger is easier without the filter blocking the airflow, and anyhow such removal can damage the filter, especially when it’s wet.   The filter must be replaced if that happens.   Otherwise you will get grounds in your coffee.
  • Hot water should be no warmer than approximately 85˚ centigrade.   If the kettle has just boiled, add a goodly dollop of cold water and swish it around.   My experience is that f the water is too hot, the coffee will taste bitter.
  • Depress the plunger at about the same speed as with a cafetière.   Unlike a cafetière, there is no need to wait after stirring.

 
Aeropress coffee, in my 'I need therapy' mug.
This is what it’s all about!   Slurpworthy coffee  –  just what’s needed on those days when one is feeling especially slug-like.   Mmmmmm, a delicious extra boost.
 
 

Aeropress Visual Demonstratathon

 
And now, for a quick visual bit of helpfulness.   :)
 

 
 

Time For Kvetch To Make Coffee

 
Ok kvetch, now that you know how to make my coffee the way I like it, I’d like you to go make me some!   I sure could use a pick-me-up after schlepping through this guide.

And cake.   Mmmmmm, caaaaake…

Thank you dahlink.   *mwah*   :D
 
 

Tune In For Another Thrilling Episode!

 
Next week, kvetch learns that popcorn must be shaken, not stirred.

(with a bonus extra featurette on how to salvage pans with burnt-on stuff in the bottom)
 

About Lady Lubyanka

I am a 45 year old musician, and also a multisexual, polyamourous, Jewish, socially dominant woman within my romantic BDSM relationships.
This entry was posted in Droolworthy Stuff, Food, Me Me Me Me Me, Power Exchange, serf. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Bigging Up The Aeropress

  1. I’ll have to investigate this. Given my great love of the noble bean, I reckon it shan’t be long before I get one of these to go with my other coffee making paraphernalia.

    However my next coffee-making purchase is most likely to be a Greek coffee set and a dedicated mortar and pestle, the next time I’m in Athens. I love the idea of having to heat the pot through a tray of sand. Plus the stuff tastes damn good too.

  2. Tom Allen says:

    Dang, that seems like a lot of work. Good thing you’ve got a kvetch to handle it for you.

  3. Mr Longwidget, you may well find that no matter what other coffee making paraphernalia you get, the Aeropress is the easiest, quickest, lowest maintenance, and tastiest cup of home coffee you’ll find anywhere.   It’s really hard to beat all that.   I find that if making the coffee takes more than a certain amount of effort, it just won’t get made.   I hope your Greek set works out for you, but I personally can’t imagine going through that kind of ritual very often for my coffee fix if I don’t have to.

    Tom, I know it looks like a lot of work, but that is because I detailed the minutiae of each step in excruciatingly unambiguous detail for kvetch to follow confidently.   In fact, the whole process takes about as long as it takes for the kettle to boil.   I edited the post to add a video, so you can see how easy and quick it is.   :)

  4. Oh, and I can’t tell you how much I like the idea of a kvetch, heh.   :D

  5. MPL says:

    I have one of these. I got it when I was living in a dorm that banned appliances other than their microwaves. It does make damned good coffee.

    What do you use for coffee?

  6. Hello MPL,

    I use one third of these vanilla flavoured grounds mixed in a jar with two thirds of Lavazza Rossa.   When I run out of the vanilla stuff, I use plain Lavazza Rossa with vanilla sugar which I make myself.

    However, I’ve just invested in a wee coffee grinder thingy, so I’m investigating beans now.   :)

  7. Brian says:

    The Aeropress is a wonderful device. I am glad that it has also found its way into my life. I like the inverse method: insert the piston a 1-2cm into the cylinder then flip the whole thing over so that it rests on the top of the plunger. Fill it with coffee (I use 20g), follow it with water (100g), stir, and let it steep as long as you like (30-40 seconds). The water does not drip through the grounds into your cup the way, giving you more control over the coffee. Insert a filter into the holder, rinse it with water (which also keeps it against the holder). Screw it into place atop the device, then flip it over onto your mug and press, as normal. This method gives you more control over the brewing, along with elevating your coffee geek status. :-) I see this is not a new post… Hope you are still enjoying your Aeropress!

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