Thursday, January 3, 2008

AeroPress Update

I have found an improved way to make coffee with my AeroPress that also saves on the amount of coffee one uses.

The recommended method is to use about 1 AeroPress scoop (36-38 ml versus a typical 30 ml (2 TB) coffee scoop) of beans per serving, put the ground coffee in the large tube, add the appropriate amount of water, plunge, and then fill your cup with water to make a full cup of coffee (i.e., ~6 oz. liquid coffee total per AeroPress scoop).

A method that seems to extract more flavor and hence uses less coffee (but it's only good for one cup at a time*), and also results in a better-tasting cup of coffee, IMO**, is to plunge all the water through the ground coffee. I.e.:
  1. Using a bit less than 1 AeroPress scoop of beans, grind it fine (espresso grind) and put the ground coffee as usual in the large outer tube that is on your empty cup while you're heating your water.
  2. Pour enough hot water into the inner tube/plunger to fill it (8 oz. all the way to the rim).
  3. When the hot water is at the desired temperature (165-175° or whatever you have come to like), pour it slowly at first (to moisten and expand the grounds) and then completely into the outer tube.
  4. Stir with the paddle for 10 seconds or so as usual.
  5. Plunge for 20 seconds or so as usual.
  6. Drink and enjoy!
If you use a full AeroPress scoop, you will likely find that you will have to add a couple more ounces of water to the drink, either to the outer tube in addition to the 8 oz. from the inner tube/plunger before you plunge, or into the cup after you have plunged the coffee, or the coffee will be too strong.

* If you want a larger cup, then use 2 shallow AeroPress scoops ground a bit coarser than espresso in the outer tube, and reserve 16 oz. of the heated water in, e.g., a 2-cup measuring beaker. When it's the right temperature, pour slowly as much of the water as you can into the outer tube until it's almost at the top, and stir it for 10 seconds or so with the paddle. Since some water/coffee will have dripped into the cup, top off the outer tube with more water just before you plunge, and then after you have plunged the coffee, use what's left of the 16 oz. measure of hot water to fill your cup, and stir. You will still have plunged most of the water through the coffee, so you'll have the extra-taste benefits this method produces.

** The new instructions for the AeroPress say:
If I am just making a single cup, can I push all the water for the cup through the press? Yes, but when you push a full cup of water past the grounds it extracts bitterness. Diluting your espresso-sized pressing with hot water makes a much smoother brew.
This has not been my experience, however. YMMV.

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