You Only Brew Coffee With An AeroPress? 6 AeroPress Uses You Never Knew About
It’s been awhile since anything really shook up the coffee world, but the AeroPress is here and it’s completely rebooted the way many of us make coffee. There’s nothing quite like seeing the expression of the uninitiated when they ask, “You’re going to make my coffee with that?”
But the abnormal design is more than just practical, it is also surprisingly versatile. For all you Aeroholics out there, I’ve got 6 great excuses to use your AeroPress even more than you already do.
#1 - AeroPress Espresso
A fine cup of espresso is the most well known AeroPress alternative — after all, it’s written right on the box. Yet I’m sure many of you took one glance at that absurd claim, thought “uh huh, ya right,” and then promptly forgot all about.
The truth, ladies and gentlemen, is that though it’s not as simple as the Helvetica font on the box would have you believe, the AeroPress can make espresso.
If you’ve made coffee with an AeroPress then you know that a standard Aero-cup sits somewhere between an espresso and a drip coffee. It’s neither as concentrated nor as petite as an espresso, yet it is a bit stronger than drip coffee.
There are two factors that need to be changed to take your Aero brew that extra step towards true espresso: a finer grind and more pressure.
The basic recipe goes like this:
- Start with an standard AeroPress setup.
- Grind up, and pour in 18 g of finely ground coffee.
- Tamp and add another filter
- Add 2.5–3 oz of 205°F water.
- Press as hard as you can!
Check out this video to see it in action:
You can use the normal paper filters, though it is better to use a stainless steel filter, which is similar to an espresso portafilter.
The telltale sign of a real espresso is the crema, which is a product of the intense 180 psi of pressure. Changing your grind to a fine grind is easy, but creating more pressure is a bit more complicated.
With the AeroPress, it’s a roll of the dice when it comes to crema. Sometimes you’ll get a nice layer, sometimes you’ll get nothing at all. The more pressure you add the better your chances, and you can increase your chances by using coffee beans specifically roasted for espresso.
We created a little tutorial on this method here, so check it out!
#2 - Cold Brew Coffee
If you’re a fan of cold brew coffee concentrate, you’re in luck because the AeroPress can be used to make some delicious cold brew. Making cold concentrate with this coffee maker is just as simple as making a normal hot coffee. The only difference is a (greatly) extended brew time.
All you need to make cold brew is coarsely ground coffee, a steeping vessel, and a strainer. The only thing the AeroPress adds is pressure, which won’t change your brew all that much.
To make AeroPress cold brew:
Start with an inverted setup.
Pour in 40 g of coarsely ground coffee.
Fill the AeroPress the rest of the way with room-temperature water.
Let it sit for 12 hours.
Flip and press!
Here’s another video walkthrough:
However, as any cold brew lover will know, that steep method isn’t the only way to make cold concentrate. The cold brew tower is a coffee maker many of us have wanted to try, but because they are so bulky and expensive, only the most devoted coffee shops use them.
But with a plastic water bottle and a little MacGyver-esque magic you can create your own cold brew tower with your AeroPress. Here is how it’s done:
Cut off the bottom of the water bottle.
Poke a small hole in the bottle’s cap.
Setup an inverted AeroPress with 45 g of medium-fine ground coffee.
Moisten grounds and place a paper filter on top of the grounds.
Place your AeroPress on top of your preferred container (a large mason jar works fine).
Turn the plastic bottle upside down and place it atop your AeroPress.
Fill the bottle with 200 g of ice.
Pour 300 g of water into the bottle.
Once all the water has dripped through your bed of grounds, you are ready to enjoy!
The only drawback of using an AeroPress to make cold concentrate is the long wait for a single cup, but if you just can’t wait for cold coffee then you can…
#3 - Make Iced Coffee
When I say “iced coffee” I don’t mean tossing a few ice cubes into a cup of hot coffee. I mean flash cooled coffee, a method pioneered by the coffee-craving island folk of Japan, who are known for their wacky coffee concepts.
There are a couple of reasons why you might prefer iced coffee over cold brew. For one, iced coffee can be ready to drink just as quickly as hot coffee, so there’s no need to plan far in advance like with cold concentrate. Second, iced coffee preserves more of the beans’ fruity and acidic flavors, which are all but left out with cold brew.
In the summers, it is a struggle for me to decide between iced coffee or cold brew. When I want something crisp, with a more exotic flavor, I go with iced coffee, and the AeroPress is my tool of choice.
My process is similar to making hot coffee but with a few extra steps. I start out with a standard inverted brew, which you can see more of here.
Once my brew is ready, instead of pressing it into my mug, I press it into a tall glass filled to the brim with ice. Most of the ice will melt before I’m done pressing, but it will quickly cool down my brew.
After the press, I toss in a few more ice cubes and it’s ready to enjoy!
The rapid cooling will create a deliciously refreshing beverage without sacrificing the coffee’s natural flavor and aroma. Whereas cold brew tastes like a different type of coffee drink altogether, AeroPress iced coffee truly tastes like cold and crisp drip coffee.
Add a little sweetened condensed milk, and you can have yourself a Vietnamese Iced Coffee. If you’re not a sweet tooth, try one of these cold brew coffee recipes that we whipped up with a big batch of cold brew - there is something for everyone!
#4 - Make Some Tea
With just about every type of coffee maker, there has been a moment when I’ve wondered, “Can I make tea with this?” Though I doubt a pour over brewer would be a great tea maker, I know that the AeroPress can make some tasty tea.
Just like with coffee, brewing tea with an AeroPress will create a stronger, more flavorful cup. You can thank the “press” aspect for that.
Normally, tea just steeps in hot water, which isn’t the best method for extracting solubles. A coffee method similar to standard tea brewing is French press or cold brew. If you compare these methods to pressure brewing or pour over, you’ll find that running water does a much better job of extracting all the flavors and aromas.
Tea is no exception. Keep that in mind before you start your Aero-tea-press, because the result is going to be more pungent than you might expect.
The good news (the best news really) is that tea brewing with an AeroPress is no different than coffee brewing with an AeroPress:
Start by getting your AeroPress ready for an inversion brew.
Using the included AeroPress scoop, add about ½ to one full scoop of your preferred loose leaf tea.
*Side Note: the exact amount will vary depending on which tea you use, and how strong you like it.
Fill it up with hot water (between 185–195°F).
Give it a couple gentle stirs to make sure all the tea is submerged.
Place a filter (a metal filter works best for tea) into the filter cap and screw it on.
Let it sit for four minutes.
Flip and press into your favorite cup!
It’s so simple and delicious that you may be forsaking all your other tea makers for the AeroPress, just like you did with all your other coffee makers.
#5 - Fruit Filters
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you replace your actual filter with a slice of fruit. I took a physics class once, so I know that wouldn’t turn out well.
What I am suggesting, however, is placing a thin slice of fruit between your filter and your bed of grounds. The point, my confused friend, is to give your coffee a little extra kick of exotic flavor.
Though fruit might not be the first thing you think of when considering what flavors to pair your coffee with, this combo just might surprise you.
For example, coffee with a hint of grapefruit: sounds disgusting, right? Wrong.
Somehow the overpowering bitterness of grapefruit is subdued by the coffee, and you get a nice hint of exotic sweetness at the end of each sip.
But grapefruit is just one example. You can try just about any combination of roasts and fruits.
Here’s how to do it:
- Place a paper filter into the filter cap.
- Cut a very thin slice of fruit and place it atop the filter.
- Screw the filter cap into place.
- Go about the rest of you brew like normal.
Using fruit in your AeroPress coffee recipe really is that simple, though be mindful of how much fruit you’re using. It’s best to start small and work your way up, because fruit will impact your coffee's flavor in unexpected ways.
A few fruits I’d recommend trying are orange, cantaloupe, and lemon, but feel free to go wild!
#6 - Fruit Press
Forcing water through coffee grounds, or through loose leaf tea, or through a slice of fruit, that’s all pretty straightforward stuff. Now it’s time to think outside the box (or tube in this case).
Forget about coffee for a moment, and just focus on fruit. It’s hard to beat a cup of fresh-squeezed fruit juice.
All the flavors are crisp and aromatic, and you don’t have any of the preservatives and added sugar in store-bought juices.
The AeroPress, believe it or not, can easily be used as a single-serving juice press. Besides a little extra muscle, using the AeroPress as a juice press is less complicated than using it as a coffee maker.
Before you go press-wild with all the fruits in your kitchen, there are a couple things to keep in mind. The most important is to make sure your AeroPress is resting atop something strong. Whether that is a thick-walled jar or a wooden stand, you want something that isn’t going to crack under the added pressure.
Second, this isn’t going to work for every type of fruit.
It’s best to use softer fruits with a high water content, like grape, orange, watermelon, and strawberry.
Fruits that have thick meat, like cantaloupe, won’t press very well, and other fruits with a low water content, like banana, will just spaghetti out the other end.
Aside from those two considerations, the rest is easy!
Just place the AeroPress on top of your container or stand, fill it up with your fruit of choice, insert the plunger, and press with all your coffee-infused might!
Like with coffee brewing, push slowly and steadily, but you’ll need to give a little extra elbow grease near the end if you want to squeeze out all the juicy goodness.
The AeroPress has changed the way many of us look at coffee. Its simple design lends itself to creative thinking, and as more and more creative people begin tinkering with it, the more unexpected AeroPress uses you can expect to see.
In the comments below let me know what you thought of the article and of any unusual AeroPress uses you know of. Don’t forget to share with your friends if you liked the article.