17 Worthy Brewing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques to improve your AeroPress game
We love the Aeropress for its portability, affordability, and, most of all, for those delicious shots of rich, espresso-style coffee. But there’s no reason to confine yourself to the traditional recipe.
This list has 17 Aeropress tips and tricks that will take your brewing from good to legendary.
1. Use the microwave to get the optimum water temperature.
Aeropress instructions recommend a specific water temperature of 175 ℉, which can be challenging to achieve without a temperature-controlled kettle. But there’s a solution, and all you need is your microwave and a thermometer.
Microwave a jar of water while regularly checking its temperature and tracking the total microwaving time. Note the time when you reach 175 ℉. Now you know precisely how long to microwave for the perfect water temperature!
2. Brew in advance and dilute later.
The traditional Aeropress recipe yields a strong, espresso-style coffee. So for a standard American coffee, you’ll need to dilute it with hot water, and this can be used to great advantage by anyone on a tight schedule.
You can brew your Aeropress espresso shot at any time and allow it to come to room temperature. When you’re ready for a coffee, dilute the shot with hot water, and it will be a perfect drinking temperature.
3. You can use one Aeropress for four cups of coffee.
Many Aeropress fans wonder why there isn’t a larger version on the market, for brewing multiple cups of coffee. Little do they know, even a standard Aeropress can brew up to four cups at once!
Use more grounds, about 60 grams, when preparing your Aeropress, and fill the water up to the highest point. The result is enough concentrated coffee to be diluted to a full liter, plenty for sharing.
4. Don’t rinse the paper filter.
Even if you already know how to use an Aeropress, you may find yourself learning some new tricks as you read through these great tips. For instance, we are told to rinse paper filters with hot water to eliminate any paper taste in your final cup of coffee. However, Aeropress filters are so tiny compared with standard pour-over or drip filters that Aeropress’s inventor argues they contribute virtually no flavor to the coffee, particularly given the relatively short steeping time.
So if you want to save a little time in your coffee prep, you can skip the paper rinsing step.
5. You can use the paper filter several times.
You may not realize that the paper filters used for Aeropress are robust enough to hold up to multiple uses. You need to remove the filter after brewing, rinse it with warm water, and let it dry, after which it will be ready for round 2!
This is an excellent tip if you find yourself running out of filters, if you want to save money, or if you want to reduce waste.
6. Press gently.
Inventor Alan Adler’s most crucial advice for Aeropress users is to press gently for the most delicious coffee. Pressing gently provides the quickest pressing, and the fastest pressing is the sweetest. In comparison, pressing hard compresses the ground beans, which slows the flow of water and yields a more bitter brew.
7. Use back pressure to stop the drip.
You’ll notice after you add the hot water to your Aeropress that it will start dripping through, but this isn’t supposed to be a drip coffee maker. We want that water forced through under pressure for the best extraction.
To stop the drip, insert the plunger into the body. This creates back pressure, which prevents the flow of water. Alternatively, you can avoid the drip by brewing with the inverted Aeropress method.
8. Pre-rinse your Aeropress with warm water.
To get your Aeropress ready to brew, give it a thorough rinse with warm water. If you have time, you can even do a blind press without any coffee grounds. This gets the Aeropress nice and warm and wets the filter.
This is a great tip for nearly every style of the coffee maker. It ensures your brewed coffee is nice and hot and washes away any potential off-tastes in the brewer.
9. Use filtered water for brewing.
Now that high-quality coffee beans are commonplace, coffee enthusiasts are increasingly aware of the importance of water quality when it comes to brewing coffee. This should come as no surprise because coffee is mostly water! To get the best tasting brew from your Aeropress, make sure to use filtered water rather than take it straight from the tap.
10. Grind your beans properly.
As with any coffee maker, grind size matters for the Aeropress, so take the time to dial it in. You want to aim for a medium-fine grind that’s finer than for a typical filter coffee but coarser than for espresso.
If your grind is too fine, the coffee will be over-extracted, resulting in a bitter brew. Conversely, if the grind is too coarse, it will under-extract, yielding a weak and watery cup.
11. Pre-infuse for around 30 seconds.
Pre-infusion is standard procedure for espresso machines and pour-overs, so it’s no surprise that it will benefit your Aeropress brew as well. Pre-infusion ensures the ground coffee is adequately saturated and degasses the carbon dioxide from the fresh grounds, both of which provide more even extraction (1).
To pre-infuse in your Aeropress, add around 50 ml of just below boiling water to the container and wait 30 seconds.
12. Do not fill the Aeropress container to the top.
If you fill the Aeropress container to the top with hot water, it will overflow when you add the filter and lid (2). Not only will this ruin your coffee, but you can scald yourself on the hot water. Burnt hands and no coffee is not how you want to start your day!
Instead, use less water in your Aeropress to brew a concentrated coffee shot, then dilute it with warm water afterward to your designed brew strength.
13. Do not plunge the full distance.
While it might be tempting to try and squeeze every bit of flavor out of your ground coffee, you’re doing yourself no favors by pressing the plunger to the bitter end. You’re likely over-extracting and making the coffee more bitter.
To avoid this, make sure to listen carefully as you plunge. The best-tasting brew is ready when the Aeropress emits a hissing sound.
14. Use the inverted method.
Many Aeropress coffee fans swear by the inverted method, which was invented by baristas to make this brewer even more flavor efficient.
The basic idea is to set up your Aeropress upside down so that the hot water and coffee have time to steep before any under-extracted coffee starts to drip through the filter. For a step-by-step guide to the process, check out our whole article on the inverted method.
15. Add an extra filter on top and more coffee.
Professional barista Andy Sprenger took first place in the 2013 U.S. Aeropress Championship with this method, so although it takes a little more effort, you can trust it delivers a great brew (3).
While the details are complicated, the essence of his method, which was also awarded “most innovative,” was to use a second filter sandwiched between two doses of ground beans during the pre-infusion process.
16. Use colder water if you want to drink your coffee ASAP.
This tip comes from another prize-winning barista, Lukas Zahradnik, who won the 2015 Aeropress World Championships (4). He advises using relatively cool water when brewing with an Aeropress, which allows you to drink your coffee immediately after pressing.
Lukas’s recipe, which relies on the inverted brewing method for maximum flavor, recommends adding water to the chamber at 174 ℉, with 25 seconds of steeping time and another 75 seconds to press.
17. Get creative!
Did you know you can make ten different kinds of coffee with your Aeropress? Now that you know the fundamentals, why try some new recipes?
We’ve already covered the regular and inverted methods. Still, there are also recipes specific to different types of coffees, whether low-acid chocolatey dark roasts or light and fruity light roasts, and you can even use your Aeropress to make cold brew. The sky’s the limit with this versatile brewer!
A great brewing tip can simplify your life, save you money, or improve your coffee. If you found some useful pointers in this article, be sure to share it with the Aeropress lovers.
Do you have a favorite Aeropress tip that we missed? Let us know in the comments. You can also check out some tips from the Aeropress masters themselves right here.
- Lee, J. (2017, April 28). Espresso-Making Skills: What’s Pre-Infusion? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/04/espresso-making-skills-whats-pre-infusion/
- Andy Sprenger’s Winning Aeropress Method. (2013, April 13). Retrieved from https://sprudge.com/andy-sprenger-aeropress-36015.html
- Carlsen, Z. (2015, April 10). Lukas Zahradnik Is Your 2015 World Aeropress Champion. Retrieved from https://sprudge.com/lukas-zahradnik-is-your-2015-world-aeropress-champion-75152.html