Review: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker (video demo and photo tutorial)

Latte made with the Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
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.

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker

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:

AeroPress features I love

Video demo of the AeroPress in use

Photo tutorial showing how to use the AeroPress (includes cleaning instructions)

Tips for making great coffee using the AeroPress

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker

AeroPress features I love:

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.)

Affordable.

Made in the USA.

BPA-free.

Video demo of the AeroPress in use

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!).

Photo tutorial showing how to use the AeroPress

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! :)

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: all the parts

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.

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: place filter into screen/cap

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.)

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker ready for coffee grounds

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).

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker, filled with coffee grounds

Fill the AeroPress chamber with coffee grounds. You can use 1,2, 3, or 4 scoops. (I'm using 2 in these photos.)

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: get your hot water ready!

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.)

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: slowly pour in the hot water

Slowly pour hot water into the AeroPress chamber, until water level matches the number of scoops of coffee you used.

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: gently stir for 10 seconds

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. :)

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: Wet plunger and begin to press, gently.

Wet the end of the plunger (I dip it in my pitcher of hot water) and place it on top of the AeroPress chamber.

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: continue pressing until coffee and air is pressed through.

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.

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: the lovely foam that comes at the end of the press

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:

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: head to the kitchen sink to clean

I head over to the kitchen sink. Unscrew the screen/cap.

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: remove the screen. See the filter?

When you take off the screen, this is what you'll see.

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: the filter can be re-used. Just rinse!

Peel off the filter, rinse under running water, and set on a clean towel. Filters can be re-used 10-15 or more times!

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: you'll also need to rinse the bottom of the coffee press

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.

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: the inside is wiped clean from the plunger. Yes, really!

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! :)

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: allow the rinsed AeroPress parts to dry

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!

AeroPress coffee and espresso maker: Enjoy your espresso! Make Americano coffee, a latte, or whatever you prefer!

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! :)

My delicious hot latte!
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!

Alan Adler, the inventor of the AeroPress, has posted info and answers to questions over on the Coffee Geek forum.

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. ;)

Comments

Good review Tammy! I've never heard of that, sounds really neat. We are using a French press and would never go back to a drip coffee maker. It's nice to have options that make a good cuppa coffee and are easy to use. :) If we end up looking for a replacement for our French press (this is our third 'cuz I keep breaking them!), I'll definately be checking out the AeroPress. :) Ann'Re

Thanks, Ann'Re! This was a fun review to write. :)

I've actually not used a French press personally, but have read that many people like the AeroPress better, so definitely check it out if your French press breaks! (How does it break, anyway? I can't really imagine the AeroPress breaking, as it seems so sturdy!) :)

That is very interesting! I didn't even know that type of Coffee maker was available! Thank you so much for sharing!! I was just wondering where would I find a coffee maker like that?.

Thank you! ~Katie Ladner~

Katie, the AeroPress is available on Amazon.com for about $24 (with free shipping). That is where Joshua bought ours! :) I know, I had never heard of it before either, but I guess it's got a lot of fans! :)

Great tutorial video, I really appreciate the time you took to make it. We're a house of coffee drinkers and when you first posted about the AeroPress I was really interested in how it worked. Presently we're using a Keurig for the morning and my beloved French press after dinner. After viewing the tutorial I find the AeroPress pretty time consuming and a little messy. I've been using a French press for years and rarely do I find any grounds in my finished coffee. I think the AeroPress would be great if I only had a cup of coffee on occasion. Just wanted to thank you again, for saving me from buying a product I'd probably end up sending back. Oh and another thank you for your spiced chai latte recipe - I was spending 3 dollars a day at Dunkin Donuts until I read your recipe.. delicious!! You're the best :)

Thank you, Lucy! :) I'm glad you like the latte recipe! :)

I think in the video I probably made the AeroPress sound more complicated than it is! I guess at first we were like, "Okay, what are all these different parts?!" We have thought about doing another, shorter video... like 2 minutes or so, without explaining everything, and just making a cup of coffee like we normally would. :)

From what I've read, French Press coffee is very good! I think one of the complaints is that coffee made in the French press can get bitter if it's not drank right away (due to the fine sediment that escapes the filter). But, I haven't used a French press, so... :)

Thanks, Tammy. I have been looking for a coffee maker or thinking of getting one. Definitely DO NOT like coffee from a drip coffee maker. I was considering a percolator as they use to make really good coffee from what I remember my family said 30 years ago.

But the percolators are expensive and I am not sure if they are even around? But this AeroPress is so well priced and if you say it makes good coffee that is good enough for me.

Wonderful of Joshua to do all the research.

Thanks again.

I love your blog. You always have so many wonderful ideas and recipes.

Barb

Thank you, Barb! :) I do believe percolators are still sold! (Maybe search Amazon for one?) :) I do like the AeroPress, though! Joshua does great research. :)

Barb, I have both an Aerobie (mine) and a percolator (my husbands) and the Aerobie makes far and away better coffee! My husband bought his for nostalgic reasons (his grandparents had one) and I bought mine after researching and reading reviews. We use the same coffee but they make two different tasting cups! I was able to cut the amount of sweetener I was using by half when I began using the Aerobie, smoother, less bitter coffee. Highly recommend!

I have never heard of this but it looks just like what I was looking for. I love lattes from coffee shops but I'm tired of the price (and the fact that sometimes I just want a good latte from the comfort of my own home). I recently used a friends at-home Espresso machine but wasn't very impressed by it (especially for the price!). I think I'm going to purchase this along with the Aerolatte 20 Moo Milk Frother. It also gets really good reviews on Amazon. Thank you for doing this review and video! It really helped to see how it works.

Tannis

Thanks, Tannis! :) Let me know how you like the AeroPress if you do get it! :)

I think one of the first places I saw the ingenuitea brewer for tea was on your blog. I always liked it but never thought of asking anyone to get one for me (rather short sighted of me). Imagine my surprise years later, my mom just last month gave me one as a late b-day gift! A few days ago it hit me that brewing coffee in the ingenuitea ought to work out pretty good. I tried it the other day and have to say that it is so much better than instant for sure. Have you ever thought of using it for coffee? If you still have one, could you do a taste comparison with ingenuitea and aeropress? I don't drink enough coffee to want to spend another $25 if what I have produces similar results. That and I am quite curious to hear how different or alike they are :)

Yes, I absolutely still have my IngenuiTEA! I love it! :)

We have tried using it for coffee. We tried it last summer when my parents were here and my dad drinks coffee but we didn't have anything else to brew coffee in, so I bought some coffee before they arrived and we used the IngenuiTEA.

I think it would work well, like a French press, if we had known exactly how much water/coffee/minutes. to use. It made okay coffee, but when we took the same coffee grounds with us to my brother's house a couple days later and made coffee in his coffee maker, my dad said that the coffee (Seattle's Best brand) went from okay to really good, because the proportions were right.

Now that I've been using the AeroPress, I should try some coffee in the IngenuiTEA again and see what we think! :)

Hi Tammy,
I noticed today you have a store link on the top of this page. The Aerobie isn't in there that I could see, and I was wondering if you are intending to stock it at some stage? If not, does ordering through your Amazon link do just as much for you?

Also, does your store offer international shipping? I'm in Australia :)

Thanks,
Sue

Hi Sue!

The "store" is through Amazon (all orders are placed and fulfilled by them!) but does give me affiliate earnings (so yes, it is the same as ordering through any of my amazon.com affiliate links). :)

I set up the "store" so that I could gather all my favorite products/links in one place, sorted (categories), and with my personal notes about the different items. But it is just a part of the Amazon Associates program! :)

http://bit.ly/PjBQgo According to this calculation, 12 oz water near boiling, plus 4 oz of water from the tap, will get close to 170F. I find this a bit more accurate and hands-free than timing it X number of seconds.

Just got the Aerobie and used it for the first time this morning. Afterwards, I started looking for Internet tips and saw your video.

Drats! I realized after watching you that I failed to wet the plunger before putting it in even though the instructions said to do that. I hope I didn't hurt the rubber gasket on the plunger. Hopefully, once won't harm it and your video and my resulting frustration at myself - HOPEFULLY! - will keep me from repeating that mistake. So thanks so much, who knows how long I would have gone forgetting to do that.

Greg

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