Review: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker (video demo and photo tutorial)
My Aerobie AeroPress with a latte
For a while now, I have wanted to be able to make coffee for an occasional treat or to serve to guests (we're not regular coffee drinkers). I assumed we'd eventually end up getting a drip coffee maker -- maybe a small one that wouldn't take up too much counter space.
Unknown to me, Joshua started researching how to make the best coffee. (I love it when he does all the research for me!) Drip coffee makers, while convenient, just don't make the best coffee. A French Press can be a good option, but leaves some sediment and can make bitter coffee.
I was pleasantly surprised when Joshua gave me an AeroPress coffee and espresso maker for a birthday gift this year! It is really easy to use and makes a perfect cup of coffee. I am picky when it comes to coffee, but the AeroPress makes very good coffee -- even with a novice like me making it.
A quick overview:
The Aerobie AeroPress can make espresso or Americano coffee, and only takes a few minutes, start to finish.
A finely ground coffee is used, and it is brewed quickly to avoid bitterness. The paper filters produce a coffee with no sediment in the bottom of the cup.
What's in this review:
Photo tutorial showing how to use the AeroPress (includes cleaning instructions)
Compact. (I love small appliances that do great things!)
Re-usable paper filters. (Just rinse and lay flat to dry.)
Foam/crema. (That's due to the oils present in the beans, and air being pressed through.)
Manual. (Nothing to plug in!)
Easy to customize. (I like to be in control of brewing time, strength, etc.)
Easy to use! (Our first cup tasted great.)
Made in the USA.
I asked Joshua to take a video of me using the AeroPress. This 7-minute video explains how the AeroPress works and shows how to use it, including the cleaning process (which is very easy as well!).
I've taken photos of how to make coffee with the AeroPress, from start to finish. If you prefer a photo tutorial to a video demonstration, this part is for you! :)
Here are the AeroPress parts: Coffee scoop, AeroPress chamber and plunger, screen/cap, and small round filters (in holder). There is also a funnel (not pictured, but shown in the video) for transferring your freshly ground coffee from your grinder to the AeroPress, and a stirrer (also not shown) for stirring the coffee.
To start, place a paper filter into the screen/cap. This photo shows a new filter, but the filters can be re-used. (We'll get to that part near the end.)
Screw screen/cap onto the AeroPress chamber, and set atop a mug or coffee cup. I'm using a clear mug so you can see everything that happens (although this mug holds about 16 ounces, much more than needed).
Fill the AeroPress chamber with coffee grounds. You can use 1,2, 3, or 4 scoops. (I'm using 2 in these photos.)
Use hot water: 175 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for great-tasting coffee from the AeroPress! Use 185 degrees if you're making a latte. (See the tips below for ways to easily make the perfect hot water.)
Slowly pour hot water into the AeroPress chamber, until water level matches the number of scoops of coffee you used.
Gently stir for 10 seconds with the stirrer (comes with the AeroPress). Some coffee may drip through, especially if you're using a coarser grind, but that's okay. :)
Wet the end of the plunger (I dip it in my pitcher of hot water) and place it on top of the AeroPress chamber.
Gently press the plunger down, taking about 20-30 seconds to press the coffee and air through the filter. If your coffee is ground finely (just a bit above espresso setting), the gentle pressure should take about that long to push the coffee and air through.
This is the foam that is pushed through at the end. Some coffees make more foam than others, so just experiment and find what you like.
Now, I have a double espresso (2 scoops of coffee). Before I finish my coffee, I'm going to clean the AeroPress. It takes about 30 seconds! Here's how:
I head over to the kitchen sink. Unscrew the screen/cap.
When you take off the screen, this is what you'll see.
Peel off the filter, rinse under running water, and set on a clean towel. Filters can be re-used 10-15 or more times!
Push the plunger the rest of the way through the AeroPress, pushing the coffee grounds into your compost bucket, trash can, or sink garbage disposal. Rinse the end of the plunger and chamber under running water.
The inside of the chamber will not need cleaning, as the tight plunger pushes everything through. Yes, really! I was doubtful at first, but I believe it's true! :)
Set the rest of the parts to dry on a clean towel. Here you can see the stirrer, plunger, chamber, screen, and used filter. You can go ahead and screw the wet filter back into the AeroPress and let it dry in there for next time!
Okay, back to the double espresso I just made!
I can add more hot water from my pitcher, and make Americano coffee.
Or, I can add hot milk for a latte. (Or add cold milk and microwave the mug until hot, for the latte.)
Or I can freeze the espresso into little ice cubes for making homemade iced/blender coffees.
Or add ice to the hot espresso I just made, for iced coffee.
And the whole process takes UNDER 5 minutes! Three minutes heating water while assembling the filter/coffee, 45 seconds to make the coffee, and 1 minute of cleanup. I don't think it could be easier! :)
A delicious hot latte, made with the AeroPress
Tips for making great coffee using the AeroPress:
The best water temperature for coffee is 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Use 185 degrees if you're making a latte.
Aside from using a thermometer to check your water temperature each time you make coffee, here are a couple shortcuts to getting the perfect hot water:
Using a tea kettle: Measure your water (use the same amount each time), time how long it takes to boil (use the same heat setting/burner each time), and then heat water for 3/4 of that time to achieve 175 degrees. Alternately, use a thermometer and time how long it takes to get to 175 degrees and heat for that length of time.
Using the microwave: Use a glass pitcher (shown in video and photos above) and measure water (use the same amount each time). Heat in microwave until boiling. Use 3/4 of the time it took to boil, and you will have water that is 175 degrees. (For 2 cups of water in our microwave, it's 3 minutes.) Alternately, use a thermometer and time how long it takes for the water to reach 175 degrees, and heat for that length of time.
The one thing I wish the AeroPress included was a saucer of some sort, for placing the stirrer and/or parts on while making the coffee. Use a small plate or clean paper towel if needed. I also usually keep a clean towel out on the counter, which I set all of the rinsed parts on.
I have washed the AeroPress in hot soapy water, but I really haven't noticed a difference between washing and just rinsing (as long as you're working in a sanitary kitchen!). :)
A scoop of beans = a scoop of ground coffee, for those of you who grind your own coffee.
Freshly roasted coffee beans make the best coffee! Watch those expiration dates and get the freshest and best coffee possible. It does make a difference!
You can also read over 700 reviews of the AeroPress on Amazon.com. Obviously, I'm not the first person to rave about the AeroPress! I'm just a little late to the coffee scene. ;)