As a coffee connoisseur who cannot get through the day without multiple cups of coffee consumption, Aeropress had always been a curiosity for me.
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This is why I wrote this Aeropress review for people like me out there.
As a university student, owning a good quality and bulky big coffee maker was never an option. So, like every other hapless student, I usually made do with whatever coffee I could manage out of cafeterias and trips to cafes off-campus.
But, the Aeropress Coffee Maker was a gift from my family during one Christmas and has been a treasured possession ever since. There are many things to recommend about this coffee maker, along with a few features that might be deal-breakers for some users.
While most people will swear by it, some are staunch disbelievers. So, who do you believe when it comes to the quality of brew offered by this machine?
If you are a regular coffee consumer then it is likely you have heard talk of this coffee making appliance. In case you have never used this machine but are considering buying one, then you will come across contradictory views on the internet. Some proclaim that it has too much hype while others think that it deserves all the props that it gets.
These contradictory views are probably due to personal preferences and preconceived expectations that users hold without doing proper research. So as someone who has used it regularly for a while, here is my Aeropress review based on my personal experience with it.
Read along and make up your own mind as to whether your coffee making preferences line up with what this product offers.
A Brief History of the Aeropress Coffee Maker
The Aeropress coffee machine was invented and designed by Stanford professor and renowned inventor Allan Adler. While initially his company Aerobie was mostly known for selling a type of Frisbee, Adler soon applied his problem-solving skills to coffee making.
A commonly faced problem at the time was not being able to brew a single cup of coffee with the machines available. Most coffee makers yielded 6-8 cups worth of coffee for every brew which led to quite a bit of waste.
Coming up with a coffee maker that would provide an output of only a single cup of coffee for solitary coffee consumers required a bit of effort on Adler’s part.
He set about achieving it by first playing around with the different types of coffee making methods that existed at the time. In 2005 he finally arrived at the solution, inventing the Aeropress coffee maker.
He believed understanding the current methods would also be the key to figuring out their deficiencies and improving upon them. This process included analyzing the mechanics of the automatic drip makers as well those using the pour over method, along with the French Press or the Melitta cone favored by the professionals.
The Designing Process
Allan Adler designed the Aeropress device in his garage, which doubled as a laboratory.
The body of the coffee maker comprises of a Melitta cone that is positioned on top of a cup containing a filter. Water is poured into this contraption. When you apply pressure on the plastic-tube plunger, it compresses the cone which contains the coffee bean grind.
The longer the duration of time afforded to the compression process, the more bitterness is leeched out of it. While at first Adler put the amount of time required for coffee preparation at 5 minutes, he continued to work on the contraption to reduce the prep time.
He also prioritized the output of brewed coffee that tasted good which was often elusive with most coffee machines at the time.
He relied on tinkering with the air pressure to manipulate the taste and reduce the preparation time to his liking. The plastic tube on top of the Melitta cone works to compress the flavors out of the coffee ground and into the cup placed underneath it. He continued to tinker around with his device, including both size and shape, for an entire year until the yielded brew was to his liking.
What is an Aeropress?
Overall Aerospace can be summed up as a portable coffee maker that is easy to carry around but also brew good quality coffee with. It has a simple construction comprising of a plastic tube with a filter at the bottom and a cup attached underneath.
You pour the coffee grind into the tube and then some hot water, which you then push down through the compressor tube which gives you a brew of coffee in the cup underneath.
Unlike the other types of coffee makers at the time, you can make espresso with Aeropress that is exactly the amount you want at the moment and no more. This quality made the product instantly popular across the country upon its introduction to the market. Since then its popularity has only increased, helped along by a great deal by the annual Aeropress championships.
With people all over tinkering with the device to come up with their own innovative brews and recipes, the company has come up with a way to keep interest alive. Every year since 2008, they have held an international competition that is open to users in over 50 countries around the world.
The recipes for the best brews in terms of taste and innovation are on their official website. This gives users an opportunity to continue innovating to come up with newer techniques.
How Exactly Does an Aeropress Device Work?
The working of the Aeropress device is quite simple and involves combining the principles of compression and immersion simultaneously.
To get the perfect brew of coffee with an Aeropress coffee maker all you have to do is put the coffee ground on top of a filter in the plastic cone. The next step involves pouring heated water onto the cone and giving it a good stir for a few seconds.
Lastly, you push the plunger into the tube.
This leads to the air pressure compressing the water through the coffee beans. This results in the extraction of the flavors and the essence of the coffee along with the water which drips through the filter into the cup attached to the contraption underneath. The coffee thus extracted does not contain the bitterness or acidity that regularly brewed coffee often carries.
Furthermore, while coffee prepared in this manner is pure as comparable to espresso brews, the strength can be managed by adding water to the brew. The water poured in during the process also works to clean the appliance while it is in use.
Thus, brewing coffee with the Aeropress not only lends you a good quality brew but does so in under a minute. This combined with the easy cleanup afforded by the use of water during the brewing ensures that your entire coffee making experience is very convenient and hassle-free.
Do you really need one?
The Aerospace coffee maker is for coffee purists who like to have their coffee in its purest essence. The strength of the coffee brewed with this manual coffee machine is equivalent to that of espresso while the taste achieved is devoid of the acidity of regular coffee. So if you love a high quality coffee that does not compromise on taste then this is the appliance for you.
Furthermore, due to its portability, it is perfect for office goers who wish to carry around their own coffee maker. This enables you to not have to rely on the office coffee maker which rarely ever lives up to anyone’s expectations.
The lightweight quality and slight build of the appliance, which detaches further, contribute to the ease of use afforded by it. If you are a student or someone who moves apartments a lot this coffee maker will be much more convenient for you than the regular bulky types.
An Aerospace coffee and Espresso Maker is considered a must-have by most people use this appliance, and deservedly so. In my experience of using this device, it has sped up my coffee making process and offered me more convenience with minimal fuss.
In this review, I will talk about why coffee connoisseurs across the world love this product while also highlighting the few cons that it exhibits.
The body of this Aerospace coffee and espresso maker comprises of a plunger, a tubular chamber, a funnel, and a filter holder. The kit also provides you with a scooping spoon and a stirrer for mixing the coffee and water in the tube. Additionally, you will also get a pack of 350 paper filters which will last you a while considering each filter can last for as long as 25 pressings.
The Aeropress Coffee compressor applies a total immersion brewing process that works rapidly. This ensures that the coffee brewed by this process is full of flavor. It allows you to experience the entire spectrum of flavors that your coffee has to offer without the overpowering bitterness that usually accompanies it.
One of the trademark features of this device that endears it to so many people is, of course, the speed with which it yields a brew.
To make anywhere between 1 to 3 cups of coffee you only need a single pressing that takes as little as 30 seconds to prepare. This is a huge plus if you are a student always dashing about from classes to the dorm to the library. This feature is also a favorite with those of us in professions that require us to always be on the move throughout the day.
At this point, we have covered a lot of the technicalities regarding the construction and brew quality offered by the Aeropress.
If all of that doesn’t mean much to you, then you must be wondering what extra edge this coffee maker offers that has its lovers raving about it to just about everyone. To help you understand that, we will take a look at some of the features of Aeropress and break down their advantages in layman’s terms:
- Compact body – This device weighs around 1.1 pounds or so, making it extremely lightweight. Furthermore, the Aeropress dimensions are such that even after full assembly the device does not take up much space. The storage of this item is easy given that its parts are easily detachable.
The assembling and disassembling of this device barely takes any time, contributing to the ease and minimal prep time for brews offered by this coffee maker. Thus, all this combines to contribute immensely to the portability offered by this appliance. It is the perfect coffee maker not only for your home but also for when you are on a vacation or a hiking trip.
- Types of brew – This coffee maker can be used to brew espresso style coffee that can be modified into lattes or other types of drinks based on espresso style coffee. So if you are a fan of American style espresso coffee, go for it.
- Easy clean up – The cleaning process of this appliance does not take longer than a few seconds. All you have to do is remove the disc and give it a quick rinse under running water. Hold it up against a source of light so that any remaining grounds of coffee become visible for you to clean with a scrubber.
The brewing chamber will require you to compress the plunger further into the tube to push out the extra coffee grind remnants. After this, the tube just needs a quick rinse to clear out any remaining bits of coffee and a pat down with a towel for excess water.
- Healthy and uncontaminated brew – The plastic used in the construction of this device is free of toxic chemicals that are usually common with regular plastic. The company asserts that the appliances are devoid of both phthalate and BPA components. This ensures safe consumption of the coffee you brew with no contamination.
- The device is quite affordable yet delivers a high-quality brew
- The Portability it affords makes it a good companion for frequent travelers
- Brews flavorful coffee without the accompanying bitterness
- Both the brewing and cleaning process saves time
- The plastic body may feel cheap to a lot of users
- The plastic is easily susceptible to scratches or other damage
- The quality of the espresso drinks are not as authentic
- There may be problems with leaks
A Guide on Brewing a Cup of Coffee with Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Preparing a cup of coffee for Aeropress is a matter of a few seconds. There are many different ways to brew coffee with this appliance that are all available on the internet. This is due to the multiple world championships that have been held over the years, leading to various personal innovations in coffee brewing being developed with the appliance.
One of the more popular ways to brew coffee with this device is the upside-down brew method. This involves grinding about half an ounce of coffee finer than needed for the regular automatic brewers and pouring it into the funnel. Then cool your heated water to about 200F before pouring it in with the ground coffee, with the amount of water not exceeding 235 gm.
Make the black rubber on the plunger wet to create a lubricating effect and push it into the tube below the number 4 marking. The time required to press the plunger down should not exceed 45 seconds. You will have the perfect cup of black coffee to enjoy.
It is quite evident that the Aeropress Coffee and espresso maker was a landmark innovation in coffee brewing. It enabled people across the world to have access to pure and flavorful coffee in their own homes. It’s enduring popularity and high sales are a testament to how it has survived competition over the years and continues to offer its users an unparalleled coffee drinking experience.
But, it has its fair share of naysayers with legitimate concerns. Whether to purchase one after reading an Aeropress review depends on how much you crave the advantages this device offers and how much you are willing to compromise with its few cons.
The choice must be personal and shouldn’t be based on what others recommend, as at the end of the day it is you who will use it for the foreseeable future.