How to Use an Aeropress (Standard Recipe Instructions)
So you picked up an AeroPress and it's time to make some amazing espresso-like coffee. but which method should you use? As you'll see, there are many ways to use this great little coffee maker.
If you're unsure how to make a cup of Joe using the stock-standard Aeropress method (or want to check you're doing it correctly), this a great place to start. We're going to break down exactly how to use an Aeropress the way it was intended.
What You Need
- Hot water (just off boiling: 175-205°F)
- Coffee beans (ideally a single origin)
- A burr grinder (hand or electric)
- A mug
- Aeropress scoop (or tablespoon)
- Aeropress paddle or spoon
- Paper or metal Aeropress filters
At a Glance
Hint: There is more than one way to use the Aeropress
The process we're exploring today is known as the standard Aeropress brewing method. There's another AeroPress brewing technique called the ‘inverted method'. You can also use it to make espresso and AeroPress cold brew coffee, or watch Steven from Home Grounds use it as a no-bypass coffee brewer in the video below. But the standard method is meant for straight-up hot black filter coffee.
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of this technique, here's a brief summary to help you follow our step-by-step instructions:
First, take your AeroPress and pop a filter into the cap and screw it in place. Then, take the cylindrical tube and position it over your mug, brew the coffee, and plunge the finished product into your cup. That's it – sounds easy, right? Even 2017 Brazil AeroPress Champion Leonardo Gonçalves thinks so (1).
Everyone can use the AeroPress; it’s a method for everyone. But the more you get to know it, the better the coffee it creates in the cup.
Please note that the beans you choose can affect the strength, taste, and aroma of your coffee. For this reason, here are the best coffee beans we recommend for Aeropress. Now, let's look at these AeroPress instructions in greater detail…
1. Measure and grind coffee
Measure out 16-17grams of coffee beans using your coffee scales. If you don't have a scale handy, measure out 2.5 tablespoons, or one very-full Aeropress scoop (a full scoop is about 16 grams)
Grind your coffee beans until they're medium-fine. By the time you've finished grinding they should be a similar consistency to table salt; the same size grounds you'd use when making coffee with a drip coffee maker (2).
Aim for medium-fine grounds
If you're using a coffee sifter like the Kruve, throw away the smallest and largest particles and keep eveything in between.
2. Pre-heat, rinse and prepare your Aeropress
Place the filter inside of the Aeropress cap, and use boiling water to wash out the filter and wet your Aeropress.
If you're using paper filters don't be tempted to skip this step. Rinsing the filter removes any lingering paper odors, tastes, and dust, that impact the overall quality of the brew and helps the filter adhere to the cap (4).
This will also pre-heat your Aeropress and coffee mug, allowing your brewed coffee to retain its temperature for longer. Just don't forget to throw out the water before brewing.
3. Heat water
Boil your water aiming for a reading between 175°F and 205°F on your thermometer. You can start in the middle and adjust the temperature based on how your brew tastes.
If you don't have a thermometer, just heat the water until its boiling and allow it to cool for approximately 30 seconds. This should get it into the ballpark (depending on your climate of course).
Water quality and temperature is essential for brewing great coffee. Coffee is 98% water after all.
PRO TIP: Carolina Ibarra Garay, the 2018 AeroPress Champion, recommends that your water is at 185°F (3).
4. Add ground coffee
Ensuring the brew chamber of the Aeropress is placed securely on top your mug, go ahead and add the coffee.
Give the chamber a shake to level our your grounds (which will avoid channeling). Now get your hot ready and get ready to pour.
5. Add Water
Add your hot water with the aim to fill your chamber within 10 seconds. Twist the chamber as pour, this will ensure you wet your grounds evenly.
If you're using a scale: aim for 220 grams of water. If you're using the cowboy method, add water up to or above the number 4 on the Aeropress chamber.
6. Stir, plug, and wait
Give the coffee slurry a quick stir
Use the paddle stirrer (or failing that, a spoon) to stir the slurry. Now grab Aeropress plunger and insert it into the chamber at a slight angle. Straighten it up and pull up a little until it creates a vacuum. This will stop your coffee dripping through the filter.
Insert the Aeropress plunger into the chamber, then straighten it up and pull it out slightly to create a vacuum seal
Set your timer and wait for 1 minute.
Now wait 1 minute
PRO TIP: For best results, stir quickly. From adding water to starting plunging, it shouldn’t take more than ten seconds.
7. Stir, press and time
Remove your pressure seal and give the whole thing another stir. Insert the plunger back into the chamber and slowly begin to press. Aim to push the plunger down fully over the course of 1 minute.
Aim for a 1 minute plunge
You should feel a good amount of pressure. If you don’t and the plunger goes down too easily, then your coffee grounds are too coarse. However, if it’s really hard to push, then the grinds are too fine. You’ll know when your coffee is brewed when you hear a hissing sound, indicating that there’s no water left in the AeroPress to push through.
Note: Interested in using Aeropress attachments? You can use the Prismo attachment to improve your Aeropress coffee. Learn more about it in our Fellow Prismo review.
8. Taste and dilute to your liking.
If you feel it needs it, add more water. You should be aware the AeroPress produces a pretty strong tasting cup of Java.
9. Clean up
The best way to clean your AeroPress is to unscrew the cap and push the plunger until both the filter and coffee grounds pop out. The harder you push, the more satisfying it will be. If you're brewing another cup, your Aeropress is pre heated and ready to go.
The satisfying Aeropress cleanup!
Now, for more tips of Aeropress brewing, here's a list of tips and some more bonus tips from the masters!
According to AeroPress (5), “Tests done by an independent researcher showed that the caffeine content of AeroPress brewed coffee is the same as comparable strength coffee brewed using other methods. People often find they enjoy their coffee stronger when it is brewed in an AeroPress because of the lack of bitterness, so that would result in more caffeine per cup.”
You clean the seal by occasionally removing the seal from the bottom of the plunger and wash it with warm water and dish soap. This stops coffee oils from accumulating in the seal. You can always use a paper towel to add a bit of abrasion when cleaning.
The AeroPress is different from the French press because the AeroPress takes roughly one and a half to two minutes brewing time, whereas the French takes around five minutes brewing time. The AeroPress provides greater control over each aspect of the brew, and It’s the pressure that facilitates a deeper extraction, allowing more coffee oils to pass into your coffee, resulting in a deeper flavor. Here are a few posts that may interest you:
French press versus the Aeropress
Chemex versus the Aeropress
Moka Pot (aka Stovetop espresso maker) vs Aeropress
Aeropress coffee filters are compostable along with the coffee grounds, meaning its impact on the environment is minimised.
- Killbride, D. (2018, April 02). 5 AeroPress Lessons I Learned From 4 Champions (& Their Recipes). Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2018/03/5-aeropress-lessons-i-learned-from-4-champions-their-recipes/
- Sill, L. (2011, May 19). What is the right grind setting for Aeropress, Chemex (other methods), when using a Hario Mini Mill Slim Grinder? Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-right-grind-setting-for-Aeropress-Chemex-other-methods-when-using-a-Hario-Mini-Mill-Slim-Grinder
- World AeroPress Champion Recipes. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://aeropress.com/pages/wac-recipes
- Sales, A. T. (2019, June 11). How to Brew Coffee With an AeroPress. Retrieved from https://www.aeropress.co.uk/blogs/news/brew-coffee-aeropress
- FAQs for the AeroPress Coffee Maker. (n.d.). Retrieved From https://aeropress.com/pages/faq
It sounds like I should try out the Aeropress – but I would like to reduce the waste from the coffee filters. Can it be used with reusable filters?