The Aerobie Aeropress is a coffee brewer that came on the scene a couple of years ago. Invented by Alan Adler of Aerobie Flying Disk fame (yes, the same man behind the “Frisbee” like thing that flew the length of two football fields). What happens when a brilliant mind turns toward answering the question of how to create a better, faster, more convenient cup of coffee?
Wa la! The Aerobie Aeropress.
That said the initial reception from the Specialty Coffee crowd was lukewarm at best. It may have had to do with the “As Seen on TV” like packaging and it’s promise of brewing “espresso,” something it most certainly does not. This confusion merely takes away from what it does do and do well – brew a sensational cup of coffee.
This simple fact has elevated its status to hold an esteemed position as a single cup brewer among those passionate about such things. At progressive cafes you can now order coffee brewed with an Aeropress and there have now been two consecutive years of a World Aeropress Championship. Really.
It hasn’t however migrated into the homes of regular folks in the same way and that’s a shame – hence our little chat here today.
What do I love about it? A couple of things.
First, the Aeropress is the most complimentary method of brewing a coffee. The brewer seems to show off a coffee’s best side if you will. In particular it magnifies the coffee’s inherent sweetness more than any other brewer/brew method I’ve tried. The effect is uncanny.
Now this is “me-time” coffee. A brew method that presents a cup with layers and encourages a little reflective consideration. Drink it black to really appreciate the inherent sweetness in the coffee, it’s cup structure, the persistence of the finish and it’s clarity as it dances like a line of Vegas showgirls across your tongue. Add to that the fact that it’s fast and easy to clean and your French Press may never again see the light of day. Are you feeling me? I like these things.
Now I’ll try and keep this a simple as possible but you’re going to have to reach a bit. Method wise, there are a ton of variations. Everyone has, what they believe to be the de facto best way to brew using an Aeropress. I’d like to present two.
First is the method used by the winner of the 2010 World Aeropress Championship, which you can find here (http://worldaeropresschampionship.wordpress.com/recipes/).
You want Marie’s method. Good enough to win the Worlds, what more can be said?!
Secondly, for the tweakers who always want to try something different, I humbly present my own preferred method – admittedly an amalgam of stuff I’ve read, stuff I’ve tried and stropped to a fine edge with a TDS meter.
If you haven’t read this blog post, please do. It was the important qualifier ‘cause here we go. To some this level of detail might be eye rolling. As an analogy, you might recall what was spoken by the Second Brother in the movie “Monty Python and The Holy Grail” with regards to the use of the Holy Hand Grenade.
“Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.”
The take home message here is that some precision is important and required, “Five is right out.”
Measure 14g of coffee and grind slightly finer than for a Cone filter
Bring water up to 175F (note: this is cooler than what traditional coffee wisdom recommends. Go with it)
Draw out the plunger to the level of 4; invert the Aeropress and place on a scale. Tare.
Add 240ml of water (1mL=1g), so you’ll see 240g on the scale.
Give 10 quick stirs of the slurry.
Wait 60 seconds.
Attach the cap with a filter in place to the chamber. A few drops of water in the cap will hold the filter in the cap while it’s upside-down.
Gingerly flip your Aeropress over and press the brew into your cup.
Makes about 8oz of coffee
My hope is that this will be a gateway to brewing coffee that tastes better than you ever thought possible. I’m ambitious, what can I say? At the very least you owe it to yourself to give this one-cup wonder a try.