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AeroPress Instructions: Make Amazing Filter Coffee in 7 Simple Steps

So you picked up an AeroPress and its 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.

A Brief Summary

The process we're exploring today is known as the standard Aeropress brewing method. There's another AeroPress brewing technique called the 'inverted method' which we talk about in this article. You can also use your AeroPress to make espresso and cold brew coffee, 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.” - Leonardo Gonçalves, 2017 Brazil AeroPress Champion

What You Need

what you need to brew with the aeropress

The bare essentials

  • Hot water (just off boiling: 175-205°F)
  • Coffee beans (ideally a single origin)
  • A burr grinder (hand or electric)
  • Timer
  • A mug
  • Aeropress scoop (or tablespoon)
  • Aeropress paddle or spoon
  • Paper or metal Aeropress filters

The above items are the essentials, and since the Aeropress is so popular with travellers most people generally carry the bare minimum. If you're brewing at home, here are a few extra tools that will help you achieve an even better brew. The optionals:

  • A coffee sifter 
  • Thermometer 
  • Coffee scales

If all you have is the essentials you'll still be able to whip up a great brew. If you're brewing from home, using the extras (such as a coffee sifter, and a thermometer) will help you in create even better cup of coffee. With these extra tools you can even emulate some of the recipes featured in the world Aeropress championships.

If you want to take your Aeropress brewing to the next level, focus on consistency and read these guides:

AeroPress Instructions: 7 Steps to Make Your Coffee

Now, let's look at these AeroPress instructions in greater detail...

1. Measure and grind coffee

adding coffee beans to grinder


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 for drip coffee (2).

medium fine coffee grinds for aeropress instructions

Aim for medium-fine grounds

“Grind size is the greatest factor and dictates time; temperature and turbulence are secondary factors.” - Ben Jones, 2016 US Aeropress Champion

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.

wetting aeropress chamber


Wetting aeropress filter


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. ​

adding coffee to aeropress in preperation of brewing


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.

how to make aeropress coffee - adding water


If you're using a scale: aim for 220grams of water. If you're using the cowboy method, add water up to or above the number 4 on the Aeropress chamber. 

5. Stir, plug, and wait

stirring coffee slurry

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.

adding aeropress plug

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. 

aeropress brewing

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. 

6. Stir and press

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.

brewing aeropress coffee while pushing

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.

7. 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. 

8. 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.

Cleaning the Aeropress

The satisfying Aeropress cleanup!


Final Thoughts

Final words of wisdom come from Alan Adler, the AeroPress inventor. Watch him using his invention to make a cup of coffee and talk you through his tricks and tips for that perfect brew. 

Now that you know how to use the AeroPress click here and find another brew guide to master.

FAQs

How much caffeine is there in Aeropress coffee?

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.”

How do I clean the Aeropress seal?

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.

How is the AeroPress different from the French press?

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 interested you:

Are Aeropress coffee filters compostable?

Aeropress coffee filters are compostable along with the coffee grounds, meaning its impact on the environment is minimised.


References

  1. Killbride, D. (2018, April 02). 5 AeroPress Lessons I Learned From 4 Champions (& Their Recipes). Retrieved July 3, 2019, from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2018/03/5-aeropress-lessons-i-learned-4-champions-recipes/
  2. 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 July 3, 2019, from https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-right-grind-setting-for-Aeropress-Chemex-other-methods-when-using-a-Hario-Mini-Mill-Slim-Grinder
  3. World AeroPress Champion Recipes. (n.d.). Retrieved July 3, 2019, from https://aeropress.com/championships/wac-recipes/
  4. Sales, A. T. (2019, June 11). How to Brew Coffee With an AeroPress. Retrieved July 3, 2019, from https://www.aeropress.co.uk/blogs/news/brew-coffee-aeropress
  5. FAQs for the AeroPress Coffee Maker. (n.d.). Retrieved July 3, 2019, from https://aeropress.com/faqs/
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  • Alex
  • August 12, 2019
Alex
 

Alex is the Founder and Editor of Homegrounds.co. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee at home, and teaching others to do the same.

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