AeroPress Vs Chemex – Which Is Best For You?

Coffee has evolved. Gone are the days when the countertop coffee machine drips average coffee into the large pot.

Even single-cup machines, the most popular being Keurig, are out of style.

Now, there are so many options for the expert brewer, and coffee lovers are demanding a better brew.

Two of the most popular machines on the market right now are the AeroPress and the Chemex. But which one is right for you?

In this article, I’ll give you an in-depth comparison and highlight the features of each one.

By the end, I guarantee you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

It’s AeroPress Vs Chemex time. Let’s get to it!

What Is The AeroPress?

Before we can compare and contrast the features of each, let’s look at how each of these coffeemakers work.

The AeroPress is quite an ingenious little invention. It’s the brainchild of Alan Adler, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University.

The AeroPress works by simplifying the science of espresso.

You make espresso by exerting lots of pressure on water as it passes through grounds.

Of course, this is an oversimplification. But who wants an advanced physics lesson right now?

In contrast, a variety of electric coffee makers use gravity to pass hot water through grounds.

The AeroPress uses hand pressure by using a plunger to force the hot water through the grounds.

The process couldn’t be simpler:

  1. you put the filter in the cap,
  2. twist the cap onto the chamber (a cylindrical tube),
  3. put the chamber over your mug or cup,
  4. add your ground coffee,
  5. add your water,
  6. stir,
  7. put the plunger on top through the chamber and press gently.

It only requires the pressure of one hand, and voila! Your perfect cup of coffee is ready in about a minute.

 

What’s So Special About Chemex? Is it Hard to Use?

The Chemex has been around a lot longer than the AeroPress, since 1941. This advanced coffee maker is made out of glass.

It has a sleek hourglass shape with a wood collar that you can leave out on the countertop.

It’s so beautiful, in fact, that it has a home in the Corning Museum of Glass in New York.

The hourglass design isn’t about looks, though. It’s part of the science behind the amazing coffee it produces.

It’s also why some other modern coffee makers have copied the Chemex design.

To make coffee with the Chemex:

  1. insert a filter (according to instructions) into the Chemex,
  2. add grounds to the filter,
  3. pour the appropriate amount of water over the grounds,
  4. toss out the filter, and
  5. enjoy your perfect cup of coffee.

It takes a bit longer than the AeroPress because of the slow pour. But we’re talking a difference of seconds, not minutes.

The main thing that makes Chemex unique, besides its method (which is essentially drip coffee with more control and care), is its filter.

It’s 30% thicker than normal coffee filters. That means that it filters out even more of the “stuff” that adversely impacts the taste of coffee.

That said, buying the right filters is going to be very important to getting the most out of your Chemex.

 

What Kind of Coffee Can They Make?

AeroPress

The AeroPress is very versatile. It can make regular hot coffee (drip), cold brew, and espresso-style.

Chemex

The Chemex can also make iced coffee. Although you’ll still need hot water for the brewing and actual ice in the body of the Chemex.

You can also make espresso-style. You use espresso beans and less water.

What Do You Need to Work Them?

This is an important question if you plan to take your beloved coffee maker on the go.

Particularly if you plan to take it camping. Lots of outdoors-men and women like their coffee models to come with them on the trail.

AeroPress

The AeroPress doesn’t need electricity.

If you want to make hot coffee or espresso, you’ll need a way to heat your water.

But if cold brew is fine with you, you don’t need anything but a mug or cup.

 

A close-up of making coffee in a Chemex coffee maker.

Chemex

The Chemex is like the AeroPress in that you don’t need anything but hot water and a filter to work it.

But, given that it’s made of glass, it doesn’t travel well (even though it is thick, durable glass).

That said, the Chemex is much more visually appealing, so storing it in plain sight is more palatable.

Its glass might also be more durable in the long-term than the plastic AeroPress.

What About Environmental Concerns?

Great question! A lot of us are trying to reduce the footprint we make on the earth.

AeroPress

The AeroPress requires disposable, one-time-use filters.

That said, you can buy a metal filter that you can use over and over instead. Though good ones cost almost as much as the AeroPress itself.

Which Chemex filter is best?

The Chemex uses paper filters, but you can also buy a reusable Chemex filter.

Although you want to make sure it has the same filtering degree as the disposable ones. That’s part of what makes Chemex unique.

In the end, it’s best to buy your filters from Chemex because the filters are such an important part of the process.

Another added environmental bonus of the Chemex is that it’s plastic-free.

Many people work hard to reduce plastic in their lives, even reusable plastic. If that’s your thing, Chemex fits the bill.

 

Some of the things you need to complete one fo the Fellow Prismo recipes - an AeroPress with Fellow Prismo, coffee cup and coffee scoop sitting on a kitchen bench.

Maintenance

No matter where or when you’ll use your new coffeemaker, I doubt you’re looking to do a lot of clean-up.

AeroPress

The AeroPress is very easy to clean.

You only need to rinse each of the parts. No soap required.

Sometimes, you may want to take the end of the plunger off and clean it.

And the chamber may need a deeper clean every once in a while. But other than that, it needs minimal maintenance.

Chemex

In some ways, the Chemex is easier to clean, since it’s only one piece after you discard the filter.

Remove the wooden collar and wash with soap and water, or you can put it in the dishwasher.

 

A Chemex coffee maker with coffee dripping through the paper filter.

How Much Will They Set Me Back?

AeroPress

The AeroPress retails for about $30. But they can run a bit more depending on if you buy a model that comes with accessories or a carry case.

Also, you’ll need to keep buying disposable filters, which aren’t that expensive. When bought from AeroPress, they cost about $5 for 250 filters.

Chemex

The Chemex isn’t much more expensive. The standard three-cup model retails for just under $40.

The filters are pricier, though. Most retail for just under $10 for 100 filters.

Neither AeroPress or Chemex sell reusable filters on their websites. But they are available from other retailers, including Amazon.

For the AeroPress, they start at around $10. But given that this isn’t an item you want to skimp on, the better models run around $20 to $25.

A good reusable filter for Chemex is more expensive, around $30.

 

AeroPress and all accessories laid out on bench

Chemex Vs AeroPress – Which One Makes the Better Cup of Coffee?

This is what you came here for in the first place, isn’t it?

With the AeroPress, you get an delicious, smooth cup of coffee. It boasts low acidity and guarantees no grit (a common complaint among French press users).

The Chemex isn’t much different in those regards, actually.

Chemex coffee is also free from grit and has low acidity, due to its extra-thick filter.

The filter also removes other properties such as oils, giving the coffee a pure taste.

 

A view of the top a Chemex coffee maker with wet coffee grounds sitting in filter.

That said, some people like the depth those oils provide, in which case, the Chemex may not be their best choice.

As an added flavor bonus, you can refrigerate leftover coffee and drink it later. Either cold or reheated, it will keep its flavor.

Some people might notice a flavor difference because of the materials used.

Plastic does have the chance to impart added flavors to the coffee, making it less pure.

The AeroPress is made from plastic that’s completely BPA- and phthalate-free.

But some will still insist that nothing but glass can impart a clean, pure taste.

AeroPress Vs Chemex – Which One Should You Buy?

AeroPress versus Chemex: which will it be?

As you may have anticipated, the right coffee maker comes down to your needs.

Do you have an active lifestyle and want to take your coffee maker on the go with you?

Then AeroPress is the obvious choice.

It might also be better for coffee addicts in more chaotic settings, such as a house with kids or a college dorm.

Since it’s made of plastic, it won’t break as easily.

Homeowners who prefer elegance and a simple-looking design may favor the Chemex.

It makes a beautiful addition to any kitchen and is sure to impress guests.

If lifestyle isn’t enough to help you make up your mind, consider personality!

Are you an innovative, cutting edge individual who always knows about new technologies?

Do you impress your friends with the latest gadget?

If so, AeroPress may fit the bill better.

Or, do you prefer classic design and tried and true methods?

Would some call you a purist?

Is your home inviting yet elegant?

If so, then the Chemex would make a perfect addition to your sleek kitchen, not to mention lifestyle.

Have you tried both of these coffee makers? Did you have a different opinion about either of them?

Let me know in the comments below. Stay caffeinated!

Best Coffee Makers For Camping – My Memorable Top 5

There’s no reason to skip your morning cup of coffee when camping. In fact, the smell of coffee brewing out in the wild is one of the best parts of a morning in nature.

But what’s the best way to make coffee at your campsite? There are so many options for making coffee when camping.

Let’s look at some of the best coffee makers for camping available right now.

I’ll break down some of the pros and cons of five of the top options and finish off with my recommendation.

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

What Are The Best Coffee Makers For Camping?

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

 

AeroPress

The AeroPress is a favorite among campers for many reasons. It’s very small, compact, and lightweight, weighing less than a pound.

This makes it a perfect option for backpacking, as well. It’s easy to use and makes delicious coffee.

So you don’t have to be an expert on how to make coffee when camping to get your morning (or afternoon or evening!) caffeine fix.

The grounds don’t sit in the water for long (as they do with a French press), so the coffee generally tastes less bitter.

Users also rave about the flavor of AeroPress coffee.

The AeroPress makes coffee by the cup, so you don’t have to worry about making too much.

And everyone can make their own custom brew to their taste and strength preferences.

It’s versatile, too, since you can also use it to make espresso-style coffee besides regular coffee.

While made out of plastic, it’s BPA free, and very durable. It stands up to dents and does not break easily, perfect for a long hike or a lot of use.

It’s easy to clean: the used grounds are compacted into a disk that you can usually discard at your site. And just need to rinse the AeroPress.

The AeroPress comes with paper filters. But there are also reusable metal filters available that are better for camping. This is because you don’t have to worry about producing waste.

You’ll need something to boil water in to use the AeroPress. But in some ways this makes it even more versatile.

This is because you can use any cooking vessel that you’re already bringing with you. And don’t have to worry about carrying heavy or bulky equipment.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, durable and compact
  • Easy to clean
  • Can use a reusable metal filter

Cons:

  • Not most suitable for large groups
  • Need to boil water separately

Hario V60

The Hario V60 is a consistent favorite camping coffee maker for many reasons.

First is the taste of the coffee it makes—many campers love the smooth flavor.

And the manufacturer describes it as “umami,”. This is that elusive element of flavor best described in English as savory.

It’s also easy to customize your cup of coffee. You can pour the water over the grounds quickly for a lighter taste, or more slowly for a deeper, stronger brew.

That way, everyone in your party can have a customized cup of coffee.

It’s also one of the most inexpensive options on this list. And it’s very lightweight, weighing less than a pound.

It’s small, although its shape is a bit awkward for carrying. Like the AeroPress, the Hario V60 requires a filter. And some users note that they have to be specially ordered.

That said, you can buy a reusable cloth filter, though that won’t be the easiest item to clean while camping.

Like the AeroPress, you need a separate contraption in which to heat the water. It’ll also need to be something that is easy to pour from.

This is because the rate at which you add water to the Hario V60 has a great deal to do with the flavor of the coffee. This makes it a bit less easy to use compared to the AeroPress.

Pros:

  • More control over the brewing process
  • One of the cheapest options
  • Small and lightweight

Cons:

  • Need to carry filters
  • Need to boil water separately
  • Need some knowledge of correct technique

Bialetti Moka Pot

Newer isn’t always better, and the Bialetti Moka Pot is testament to that fact, on and off the trail.

The Bialetti Moka Pot is a great option for campers. And it’s an especially versatile item, since you can use it every day, at home and at the campsite.

It’s available in a variety of sizes, from one cup all the way up to 12 cups, perfect if you have to supply a crowd. But the smaller model is usually better for camping since it’s easy to carry.

This is especially important if you’re camping somewhere that isn’t accessible by vehicle.

As a camping coffee maker, the ease of use is especially important. It doesn’t need any measuring, and it’s fast.

If taste is important to you, the Bialetti might be your best option. It’s great for preserving the flavor notes of the beans you use.

Its simple cleaning process also makes it good for camping.

All byproducts are completely biodegradable and earth-friendly. This is something the Bialetti company prides itself on.

What’s more, it only requires water to clean. In fact, you’re not supposed to clean your Bialetti with soap.

The more you use it, the better it tastes, and that makes it a simple camp coffee maker.

You’ll need some kind of heat source for the Bialetti. But it’ll work on whatever stove or cooktop you use for anything else while camping.

While it makes espresso, you can use fewer grounds for regular coffee.

Pros:

  • Good option for small or large groups
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Larger models aren’t compact
  • Takes longer compared to other options

GSI Percolator

Want a classic camping coffee percolator? The GSI is a great option.

One of the best things about this product is actually the way it looks.

It’s blue with white speckles. And you might recognize it from countless movies and classic shots of campers.

It isn’t only the look that makes this a great option for campers. The GSI is hardy.

It’s made of steel and the enamel finish is kiln-fired, making it resistant to chips and scratches.

At the same time, it’s lightweight, weighing only about a pound. Although it’s much less compact than other models on this list.

How’s the coffee? Pretty darn good, actually. One of the best things about the GSI is the even heating, for a consistent, delicious cup of coffee.

Because of the even heating, you can use the GSI on many heating sources, from camp stoves to a grate on an open flame.

It’s also fast, so you can get your day started quickly.

Pros:

  • Iconic style and appearance
  • Chip and scratch resistant
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Bulky and not very compact
  • Takes longer compared to other options

Wacaco Nanopresso

The Wacaco Nanopresso is a unique little gadget used to make espresso on the go.

Don’t let its size deceive you. This camp coffee maker produces divine espresso, complete with perfect crema. Every single time.

If taste matters more to you than anything else, the Wacaco Nanopresso might be your best bet.

It’s so delicious that you may even replace your home espresso maker.

One of the best features of this product is its size and shape. It’s tiny, only about six inches long; it fits into the palm of your hand.

Unlike some of the other options on this list, its compact shape makes it easy to stick in your backpack. It weighs less than a pound, too.

One of the neat things about this model is that it’s hand-operated, so you don’t need batteries or a power source.

It does need a little muscle, although newer models are easier to use than in the past.

One of the downsides of the Wacaco Nanopresso, though, is that it has a lot of little parts that you have to clean.

Needless to say, this is less than ideal at camping grounds, and they can be easily lost.

It’s also one of the most expensive options on this list. So you’ll want to do your research and make sure it meets your needs before purchasing.

Pros:

  • Claims to create enough pressure to make genuine espresso
  • Very compact and lightweight
  • No electricity needed

Cons:

  • Need to clean many little parts
  • Expensive compared to other options
  • Needs strength for creating pressure

What About A Coffee Grinder For Camping?

The easiest solution here is to travel with coffee that’s already ground, either in the store or at home.

But for those of us that need fresh-ground coffee, there are portable options.

There’s several on the market. But for the best hand coffee grinder for camping, look for something lightweight and durable.

You don’t want anything with a lot of little parts or that’s too bulky or large. You also may want to consider whether you have control over the grind itself.

Take a look at my post on the best hand coffee grinder for camping here.

Conclusion

So, which is the best coffee maker for camping?

In large part, that depends on your needs. Consider how often you camp, how many people you’re brewing for, and other personal factors.

All in all, though, the AeroPress is one of the most popular and is the favorite on this list.

A man in the wilderness pressing an AeroPress, one of the best coffee makers for camping.
It checks so many boxes, since it’s lightweight, compact, durable, and travels well.

You can use it to make coffee for a crowd or only for one. Most importantly, it makes a mean cup of coffee.

Whichever camp coffee maker or camping coffee percolator you choose, don’t forget the most important thing.

Enjoy your time in the great outdoors!

As always, use extreme care and caution whenever you use fire or a heat source.

Have you tried any of these camp coffee makers when you’ve gone camping? Do you have a different suggestion for the best coffee maker for camping?

Let me know in the comments below. Stay caffeinated!

AeroPress Vs Espresso – An Intriguing Comparison

There are so many ways to make amazing coffee. For example, you can use a traditional drip pot, a single-cup brewer, a Moka Pot, or an AeroPress.

But there’s only one true way to get authentic espresso, and that’s with an espresso machine. Or is there?

In this post, I’m going to cover how AeroPress coffee stacks up against espresso coffee.

That’s right. It’s time for another almighty battle royale: AeroPress Vs Espresso. Keep reading to see how they compare!

How Does an Espresso Machine Work?

If you’ve ever been to a coffee shop, you know what an espresso machine looks like. The espresso machine was built around 1884.

Since it was dreamt of and brought to life in Italy, espresso is a very common drink in many Italian cities.

A commercial espresso machine inside a coffee shop.

 

Thankfully, Italy didn’t keep this beautiful creation all to themselves.

In an espresso machine, hot water’s forced through the portafilter containing the espresso puck. The water’s pushed through the coffee grounds by a mechanical lever.

The person making the coffee presses this down. It can also be done through steam, pistons, pumps, or air.

Espresso machines also heat the water for your beverage for you. They can have a tank where cool water is stored or they can connect to a cold water line.

The cold water line connection is the most common in commercial operations.

Could you imagine if the barista had to get a pitcher of water to refill the machine after every few shots? People would be rioting, and I’d be one of them!

What Are The Differences Between AeroPress And Espresso?

The main difference between the AeroPress and the espresso machine is how the coffee’s prepared.

Espresso

Firstly, espresso beans have to be ground shortly before they’re used. Using pre-ground espresso beans often results in a milder, or even bitter, flavor.

The ground coffee is inserted into the portafilter. Then you have to take a tamper to compress the grounds.

I’m not talking about a few taps to make sure that it’s even. You’ve got to put some elbow grease into tamping down the grounds.

Close up of a man using a coffee tamper to tamp espresso grounds in an espresso machine portafilter.

Why Do You Need To Tamp Coffee?

Tamping is important in the production of espresso.

When espresso grounds are well compressed, it slows down the rate that the water flows through the grounds.

A slower flow will result in more oils and flavor being pulled from the grounds and landing in your glass.

If you don’t tamp down the coffee grounds, the water could flow through the grounds too fast. This doesn’t extract as much flavor and caffeine from the grounds.

This would result in a “dead shot,” which is an amusing way to say subpar espresso.

Espresso machines also tend to come with a steaming wand.

A steaming wand is essential for steaming milk for drinks such as lattes and flat whites.

AeroPress

Now that I’ve mentioned how an espresso machine works, I’m realizing that the two machines work in a similar manner.

An AeroPress is a handy coffee maker that utilizes your brute strength to produce a hot cup of coffee.

With an AeroPress, there’s one chamber. This chamber contains a filter, usually made of paper, and a plunger.

To use it, it’s very simple:

  1. put your coffee grounds in the AeroPress after inserting the filter.
  2. fill the chamber up with hot water.
  3. once the hot water is in there, insert the plunger into the chamber.
  4. with the plunger inserted, press down on the plunger.

This forces the hot water to pass through the coffee grounds. After a short push on the plunger, you’ve got a nice, hot cup of coffee.

Close up of a latte glass with some coffee with a bit of crema inside.

 

Lovers of the AeroPress enjoy that the coffee has a smoother taste than if they used a drip or single-cup brewer.

I agree, but I also love that I can have a cup of coffee in no time.

A lot of the “fancier” pour-over coffee methods take so much time to set up and get right. I can’t deal with that.

When I wake up in the morning, I need my caffeine coursing through my veins as soon as possible.

Does AeroPress Taste Like Espresso?

No, but that’s because the recommended coffee beans used in each method are different.

Coffee beans meant for espresso are roasted longer. This gives the the brewed coffee a strong flavor.

Traditional coffee beans aren’t roasted as long. This results in a smoother and milder flavor compared to espresso.

Can I Use One In Place Of The Other?

So the AeroPress and espresso machine have similar methods to create hot coffee.

But can you use an AeroPress to make espresso? Or use an espresso machine to make traditional coffee?

To make the battle of AeroPress Vs Espresso complete, I’ll need to investigate this further.

If you’ve already got an espresso machine, you might be wondering if you can make traditional coffee with it.

A standard espresso machine makes two one-ounce espresso glasses worth of espresso.

If you were trying to make regular coffee with an espresso machine, you’d have to run the machine about four times. This would fill an eight-ounce mug.

On the flip side, you could use your AeroPress to make espresso if you did it right.

Using Your AeroPress For Espresso

Is AeroPress good for espresso? While that’s not its intended use, a lot of AeroPress users say that their coffee tastes like a cross between brewed coffee and espresso.

Espresso Beans

One of the most important parts of making espresso is to get the beans right.

Some people say: “If you use standard coffee beans, you’re making coffee. If you use espresso beans, you’re making espresso.”

But it’s not actually that simple. Espresso is a brewing method, but you don’t have to use espresso beans when brewing espresso coffee.

We want to make espresso in our AeroPressSo let’s try to get some espresso beans. This will make it taste as close as possible to espresso.

Espresso beans are sold about everywhere coffee is sold.

If you can’t find any at the grocery store, stop by a local coffee shop. They often have bags of espresso and coffee beans for sale.

Grinding Your Beans

As mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t grind espresso beans until they’re ready for use.

This keeps all the beautiful flavor and aroma inside of the bean and streamlines it into your cup.

Ideally, you will grind the beans at home right before you use them.

If your coffee grinder is adjustable, use the finest setting possible. You want to turn your beans into dust.

If you don’t have your own coffee grinder yet, I highly recommend investing in one.

I reviewed several hand coffee grinders that work best with the AeroPress recently. You can read my post about it here.

If you don’t have a grinder available and it isn’t in your budget to buy one, you can buy pre-ground espresso beans.

Don’t worry; the coffee gods won’t strike you down if you use pre-ground coffee! But you won’t have as rich of a flavor to your espresso.

Brewing With Your AeroPress

Now, take your ground espresso beans and pour it into your AeroPress.

You’re going to need one AeroPress scoop (18 grams) of fine ground espresso coffee.

Before adding any water at all, insert the plunger. Force the plunger down until it makes contact with the coffee grounds.

Give the plunger a few firm pushes to tamp down the coffee grounds.

Once you’ve tamped down the coffee grounds, pull the plunger out of the chamber. It’s time to add the water now.

Since you’re making espresso, you won’t need as much water as you would if you were brewing a cup of coffee.

Close up of a coffee cup with some coffee with a slight crema present, after following one of the Fellow Prismo recipes.

 

The Final Step

Pour two to four ounces of almost boiling water into the AeroPress. With the hot water in place, insert the plunger into the AeroPress.

Now, this is usually where we put all our strength and might into forcing the plunger down. Today, we’re taking a different procedure.

Allow the hot water to sit on the grounds for about a minute.

I know that when you’re craving caffeine, a minute feels like a lifetime. But I promise you that you can hold out for 60 seconds.

Once the minute is up, begin pressing your plunger downwards. You want to use steady pressure, but you don’t have to slam the plunger down.

You may notice the liquid coming out of your AeroPress is more syrupy than usual. And that’s great.

After you’ve pushed all the water through your ground coffee, you now have espresso made at home.

Can you make espresso without a machine? You just proved you can!

AeroPress Vs Espresso – The Verdict

So you’ve proven that you can make espresso without an espresso machine. Now I bet you’re thinking that you can live without one, right?

But there is one thing that an espresso machine has that no other coffee maker does: a steaming wand.

If you want your home-made lattes to taste anything like you get in a coffee shop, you’re going to need a steaming wand.

Close up of an espresso machine steaming wand.

 

Steamed milk isn’t just hot milk.

When you add steam to the equation, it makes the warm milk lighter and more airy. This is how you make foam or froth when steaming milk.

Close up of an espresso machine steam wand being used to heat up milk in a metal milk frothing jug.

 

If you’re crazy about lattes, cappuccinos, and flat whites, I say go with the espresso machine.

The price point is higher than an AeroPress, but you’re getting that invaluable steaming wand.

And let’s face it. Nothing’s going to make better espresso than an espresso machine, right?

If you’re more of a straight espresso or Americano drinker, go with the AeroPress.

The AeroPress makes top-notch espresso-style coffee if you follow the procedure above.

Or if you love coffee any way it’s made, why not splurge and get both?!

How do you find the AeroPress compares with the espresso machine? Do you prefer one over the other?

Let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!

AeroPress Vs Moka Pot – Which Is Best For You?

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

Are you looking to make mind-blowing coffee from home? Have you found that your home coffee is mediocre at best?

Now imagine brewing the most delicious tasting coffee with all the delightful aromas. All from the comfort of your own home.

I assure you that it’s not only possible, it’s almost effortless.

On my coffee-making journey, I’ve been experimenting with different coffee brewing methods.

Recently, I’ve fallen in love with the AeroPress. But there may be a new contender for the best way to make coffee: the Moka Pot.

Keep reading to find which coffee maker will win in the battle of AeroPress Vs Moka Pot.

Text: AeroPress Vs Moka Pot. Image: A moka pot sitting on a kitchen gas stove with a jar of ground coffee behind it.

AeroPress

If you haven’t heard all the buzz surrounding the AeroPress, allow me to clue you in.

The AeroPress produces delicious coffee through the science of manual pressure. It’s pretty simple.

All you need to do is:

  1. place coffee grounds in the body of the press,
  2. fill it up with hot water to the desired level,
  3. put the plunger in, and
  4. apply pressure downward on the plunger.

The plunger forces the water to pass through the coffee grounds and into your desired cup. The result is a quick and delicious cup of coffee.

 

Now what about the Moka Pot?

Moka Pot

The Moka Pot is a tad more complicated than the AeroPress.

Instead of applying pressure by hand, the water boils upward through the grounds. This produces coffee that is similar in taste and color to espresso.

The pot has two chambers. One for the water and one for the brewed coffee. There’s also a filter that holds the ground coffee which sits inside the bottom water chamber.

Let me give you a quick rundown of how to use a Moka Pot:

  1. pour water into the bottom chamber,
  2. place the small filter with your ground coffee on top of it,
  3. screw the top chamber on,
  4. place the Moka Pot on the stove over medium heat.

As the water heats up and boils, it will propel the water upward through the coffee grounds. This water then bubbles up into the storage chamber.

 

This process takes a little less than 10 minutes. The result is a heavenly and flavorful coffee with a light layer of crema on top.

What Is Crema?

 

Close-up of a ceramic cup with coffee inside with crema on top.

Come on, you’re telling me you’ve never heard of crema? Crema is the aromatic froth that rests on the top of an espresso shot.

The reddish brown foam forms when water filters through fine ground coffee beans. Crema is seen as an indicator of quality espresso.

Can You Get Crema From A Moka Pot?

Yes, you can get crema from a Moka Pot. The Moka Pot produces crema every single time it brews.

The crema makes the coffee so smooth. It’s enough to get you addicted to the Moka Pot.

Can You Get Crema From An AeroPress?

Unfortunately, the AeroPress does not produce crema every time.

To make crema with the AeroPress, you have to follow a very specific technique. If you want to know how to make crema with an AeroPress, I’ll tell you how.

  1. First things first, you need the right coffee beans. Dark roasted beans are more capable of producing crema than light or blonde roasts. You could even select espresso beans if you’re trying to create that contemporary café vibe.
  2. Now that you’ve got your chosen beans, you need to grind them. To make crema, you want a fine grind. Fresh ground beans are the best contender for making crema. The super fine grind makes the water pass through the grounds slower. Coffee ground for drip brewers is often of a coarser grind. This is part of the reason why drip brewers can make you a whole pot of coffee in under 10 minutes.
  3. The correct water temperature is key for making crema as well. Water for your coffee should be around 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius). Water that is too cold will not produce crema. And water that is boiling or hotter will produce bitter, burnt coffee.
  4. Part of producing crema is the speed at which the coffee passes through the grounds. To slow down this process, use extra paper filters, an Aesir filter, or a fine metal filter. This will slow down the rate at which the water passes through the coffee.
  5. Finally, you have to apply a lot of force to the plunger. Get in there and apply that elbow grease if you want to produce some crema.

If you’re still struggling to get the results you’re after, don’t panic. You could try some different methods found here or watch this short video.

 

How Much Coffee Does Each Need?

AeroPress

aeropress sitting on top of cup

To make coffee in the AeroPress, you’re going to need about 17 grams of ground coffee.

That equals about 1½ tablespoons if you don’t use the scoop that comes with the AeroPress.

Moka Pot

When you’re using a Moka Pot, the amount of coffee you need depends on the size of your Moka Pot.

Each different sized model comes with a different sized filter. You’ll want to fill the filter to the top with coffee grounds.

While technically you could fill the filter with less grounds, it’s not recommended.

You should consider which size Moka Pot would best suit you and your needs before you buy.

How Much Coffee Do They Make?

Moka Pot

Moka Pots come in a variety of sizes. They can make one, three, four, six, nine or twelve cups of coffee.

That’s up to 22.7 ounces of freshly brewed, rich coffee. That’s definitely enough to caffeinate your guests when you’re hosting a get together.

Or you can spice up your life by drinking the whole pot’s worth yourself!

AeroPress

The AeroPress has a small brewing chamber, and it can produce up to eight ounces of coffee at a time.

When you’re looking to make a bulk serving of coffee, the AeroPress is not your friend.

Of course, the AeroPress produces coffee quickly, so you can make another cup in no time.

Playing host to guests is exhausting enough. I’m not sure you’d want to also hand press each person a cup of coffee.

Which One Is Better – Moka Pot Or AeroPress?

Like anything else in life, coffee is personal.

What you like, what you dislike, how much work you’re willing to put in for a cup of black gold varies from person to person.

But we’re talking about AeroPress Vs Moka Pot. There are a few qualities between the two that will help you decide which is best for you.

Effort

In the category of effort, AeroPress definitely wins. This is because it requires the least amount of effort and time.

But, the coffee brewer might not be able to effectively push down on the AeroPress. This could be because of missing limbs or arthritis, for example.

This wouldn’t make it a practical option.

Heat

Both methods of brewing coffee need hot water to produce the beverage.

Your kitchen space may be limited, or you mightn’t have a stove because you’re on the road.

AeroPress

The AeroPress can make your coffee without the use of a stove. But you would need to use an electric kettle or microwave (no! no! no!) to heat up your water.

Moka Pot

A side-view of a Moka Pot with a hand holding it up and some trees in the background.

The Moka Pot requires that you place the pot over a heat source to heat the water in the lower chamber.

The easiest way to do this would be to heat the pot on your stove or stove top cooker.

There’s also induction stove-top Moka Pots, which also come in a variety of sizes.

You can also heat up your Moka Pot over a campfire if you’re the outdoorsy type. Then you could create something close to Cowboy Coffee, which is actually pleasant to drink.

Both options are more portable than a plug-in coffee maker, so that’s a huge plus no matter which method you choose.

Time

I know I’ve already mentioned how the Moka Pot takes more time to brew coffee than an AeroPress. This is because it’s a critical factor.

Fast coffee is like fast food, it’s quick and convenient, but it doesn’t taste as good as the real thing.

If you have the time to spare, the Moka Pot can produce an exquisite and flavorful cup of coffee.

It will gently caress your taste buds as you sip it.

The Moka Pot may not be suitable for the hustle and bustle of your morning routine.

But imagine waking up late on a Sunday morning. All you want to do is unwind and savor the weekend.

I highly suggest you carve out the time to brew a cup worth savoring.

Cost

The most important factor for many consumers is the cost. How much does each cost? Will you save any money investing in this?

I can tell you that brewing your own coffee at home will save you money.

If you stop by your local coffee shop on your way to work every morning, you could be spending around $30 a week for coffee.

The average AeroPress and Moka Pot are only $30 each. So it’s a no-brainer!

Is Brewing Coffee At Home Cheaper?

You’ll save money brewing your own coffee at home. Guaranteed.

There are fancy versions of the Moka Pot that can run a little higher.

But the price difference is minimal when you realize that it’s around the cost of your coffee per week.

In one month, you’ll have saved $120 by not going to the coffee shop.

Twenty dollars of that can go toward one bag of premium ground coffee. Or you can buy some of the inexpensive stuff at around $5 a can.

The money you save brewing your own coffee will more than make up for the initial investment.

AeroPress Vs Moka Pot – The Verdict

As someone who has tried both methods of brewing coffee, the decision is yours.

There’s pros and cons to both brewing methods, but you’ll have to make the call now.

AeroPress

I can say that the AeroPress is best suited for people who look to coffee for the caffeine.

People with busy lives that don’t have the time or the patience to brew their coffee on the stove should go with the AeroPress.

It’s quick, affordable, and the upkeep is as simple as giving the press a quick wash after each use.

Moka Pot

The Moka Pot is the obvious choice for anyone who enjoys coffee for its flavor.

By a landslide, the Moka Pot produces a more flavorful cup of coffee. The science behind this brewing method makes it so.

The effort is definitely worth the reward for anyone who wants a smooth cup of coffee that is worthy of their favorite mug.

Have you tried the Moka Pot and the AeroPress? How did you find they compared? Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay caffeinated!

AeroPress Vs V60 – A Surprising And Legendary Showdown

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than a delicious cup of coffee. It warms the body and gives me energy to tackle the day.

Recently, I’ve been trying to liven up my coffee drinking experience. I experimented with different flavored syrups, different roasts of coffee. They were all fine.

I still felt kind of stuck in my ways, though. Next, I decided to completely change the way I brew my coffee to see if that could jazz up my morning routine.

In this post, I’ll be comparing the AeroPress to the Hario V60. It’s a legendary showdown: AeroPress Vs V60!

infographic of aeropress vs v60 - explaining some of the differences between to two brewing methods.

All the Ways to Brew

It feels like there are a million different incredible ways to brew coffee.

In my younger years, I used a simple old coffee maker left to our family by my grandmother. You load up the back of the pot with water, put some grounds in the filter, and turn it on.

I felt so fancy and established when I purchased a single cup brewer. Now, I could have a delicious single cup of whatever flavor coffee I wanted without brewing an entire pot.

Recently, I’ve been thinking I need to go back to my roots and use a more traditional form of brewing coffee.

A Hario Buono gooseneck kettle pouring water into an AeroPress, sitting on top of a coffee cup, with the text "AeroPress Vs V60" and "See more tips, tricks and reviews on our website!"

 

So many options

French press coffee makers have been around since the 1800’s. I was amazed to learn that! While the technology is so simple, it feels far too sophisticated to not be a recent invention.

In an AeroPress coffee maker, you insert a filter and your desired coffee grounds. Pour in hot water, and press the plunger down.

The force of the air in the vessel makes the water pass through the coffee grounds. This takes all its delightful flavor and much needed caffeine with it.

The pour-over method feels much more traditional than the scientific French press. But it was actually invented after the press came into the world.

In the pour-over method, you pour hot water over grounds situated in a filter. Gravity drags the water down as it passes through the coffee grounds. This makes a delightful and warm cup of coffee.

For either method, you should definitely buy a gooseneck kettle. It makes pouring much easier and is ideal for the slow pour needed for pour over coffee.

I couldn’t decide which to turn to, so I bought both an AeroPress and Hario V60.

AeroPress

It isn’t hard at all to find an AeroPress. Many stores that sell cookware have them on their shelves.

And online retailers make it so easy to buy a new way to brew your coffee without ever leaving your couch.

They’re inexpensive as well, costing around $30. With a price tag that low, I didn’t have to wait until a major sale or clearance event to buy one.

Not like with a single serve brewer.

 

AeroPress Functionality

The AeroPress doesn’t need a particular brand of coffee or shape of K-cup to function. That was a huge plus for me.

There’s one major difference between the AeroPress and a traditional French press. An AeroPress isn’t designed for full immersion.

Full immersion means every single coffee ground gets wet. This allows for an even brew and no wasted coffee grounds.

You can of course use the inverted method or an attachment like the Fellow Prismo. You can learn more about the Fellow Prismo here.

Using the AeroPress

I was a bit worried that the AeroPress would be complicated to use. I’d never pressed my own coffee.

Forget about completing a difficult task before getting your daily dose of caffeine. The results would be disastrous.

I was shocked at how stupid-simple it was to use the AeroPress.

  • Add a filter and screw the lid onto the body.
  • Add your ground coffee into the extraction chamber.
  • Pour in hot water that you’ve prepared in your kettle.
  • Give the water and grounds a good stir to make sure all your coffee grounds are taking a nice hot bath.
  • Insert the plunger and press.

With my AeroPress resting on top of my favorite mug, I applied an even pressure to the plunger. Rather quickly, coffee came trickling into my cup.

AeroPress Results

The smell was heavenly. I felt like I was at a fancy little coffee shop but in my pajamas.

The amount of coffee produced didn’t fill up my whole mug. I decided to have a taste of what I created.

The strength of that brewed cup was out of this world. I should’ve been sitting down, because it almost knocked me over. As strong as it was, there was no bitterness to the drink.

I was tempted to sip on this black gold, but I figured I didn’t need to be bouncing off the walls at 7 am.

I poured in some of the hot water that was left in my kettle, and I had my very own pressed cup of coffee.

aeropress and all accessories laid out on bench

 

Cleaning an AeroPress

After I’d finished sipping on my delightful cup of coffee, I figured a clean-up was in order.

I was preparing myself for some ghastly ritual. Something like taking the appliance apart and scrubbing each tiny part of it.

You cannot imagine the shock I felt when I read the user manual. I realized all I had to do was take the plunger out and rinse the press.

I paid extra attention to the bottom of the machine where the coffee came out. But the aftercare couldn’t be any less complicated.

Even though I was excited about the new brewing method I’d found, I still felt like there was more to discover.

V60

Pour-over coffee feels so traditional to me. I’m sure many people would agree it’s a lost art. It’s not completely lost, though.

A recent resurgence in coffee has made many people shy away from their single serve cup brewers. They’re returning to older methods of brewing their brew.

When I researched pour over coffee methods, I was a little intimidated.

So many articles described so many variations and things that can go wrong with your coffee. I’m sure you’ve found the same thing.

 

V60 Functionality

I was completely discouraged until I found the Hario V60. This wonderful piece of ceramic resembles a teacup sitting on a saucer.

Looking at it from an aerial view, you can see it’s definitely not suited for sipping tea out of.

The sides of the vessel have swirling ridges that empty out into a hole in the bottom of the cup.

The swirly bits help the coffee travel down the sides, ensuring an even brew. The coffee drains out of the ceramic body and into your coffee server pot.

The saucer-like edges at the bottom help the brewer remain stable while resting on top of your coffee pot.

Hario V60 Ceramic, Glass or Copper

The Hario V60 ceramic brewer is cheap on its own. If you’re looking for a bargain, here it is.

This brewer does need special filters. But with the money you saved on the apparatus, you can fit the filters into your budget.

I went with the Hario filters to keep things on an even playing field.

If you enjoy watching the magic of coffee brewing, the V60 also comes in glass form. Glass manufacturing is what Hario is known for, but I like the look of ceramic myself.

A glass Hario V60 sitting on a glass Hario coffee server with coffee inside.

 

It gives a cozy, inviting feeling to the process. It reminds me of holidays where family members all brought a variety of ceramic cookware.

There’s also the option of a copper Hario V60. It’s a bit pricier, but it looks quite glamorous.

It has improved thermal conductivity compared to the other options, so you can expect a warmer coffee. Also, its less likely to break compared to the glass or ceramic options.

Using The V60

The set up for this brewing process was more than easy.

  • Switch on your kettle to boil your water.
  • Put the V60 brewer on top of your coffee pot.
  • Place your filter inside the V60.
  • When your water gets boiling hot, lightly pour the water around the filter. This makes sure it sticks to the inside of the brewer.
  • Add your medium-fine coffee grounds. A few tablespoons will do the trick.
  • Slowly pour the hot water over your coffee grounds in circles, making sure to get every single ground wet.
  • Stop when you’ve reached the desired amount of coffee in your pot.

This brewing process wasn’t as simple as the AeroPress or turning the coffee pot on. But it was far from difficult. In about three minutes, I had a nice, hot cup of coffee ready for me.

This brewing process yielded a cup that was mild, but beyond delicious. I could detect subtle notes of other flavors in the coffee that I hadn’t noticed before.

A Hario V60 sitting on a coffee pourer with a Fellow Stagg gooseneck kettle pouring in water, with the text "AeroPress Vs V60" and "See more tips, tricks and reviews on our website!"

AeroPress Vs V60 – How Do They Compare?

In a cage match of AeroPress vs V60, there’s no clear winner. At least not in my opinion. The biggest difference between the two was the coffee produced.

If you need a cup of coffee that will put some hair on your chest in the morning, you should go with the AeroPress.

The press is also a great option if you enjoy lattes and Americanos over a traditional cup of coffee.

You can make espresso-style coffee with the press. Yet without investing thousands of dollars in an espresso machine.

The Hario V60 produces coffee that people who truly enjoy coffee will like.

Much like tea, a nice mild cup allows you to enjoy and savor the flavors of your coffee. While strong brews tend to annihilate your taste buds.

The slower extraction time of the V60 also allows more flavor to be extracted from the ground coffee. This is different compared to the speedy process of the press.

Both methods of brewing are travel friendly, even the V60 with its glass model. You can place it in your weekend bag and take it wherever. The same for the press.

Conclusion

The method you choose to go with is up to you, your tastes and your preferences.

If you think of coffee as your fuel, go with the AeroPress. You’ll be able to produce robust cups in less time.

If you think of coffee as a delightful beverage to savor, go with the Hario V60. You won’t be disappointed.

How have you found the AeroPress to compare with the V60? Have you had a different experience? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!

What Grind For AeroPress? 5 Grinds For 5 Simple Methods

Have you been brewing mediocre AeroPress coffee? Does something seem a little off but you can’t quite figure it out?

Now imagine having a friend visit you and how awkward you’d feel serving them a sub-par coffee. Not exactly what you want, is it!

It could be the grind that you’re using. Making sure you use the right grind for the right brewing method isn’t important. It’s essential.

In this post, we’re going to look at:

  • What grind for AeroPress Fellow Prismo method
  • What grind for AeroPress Prismo maximum crema method
  • What grind for AeroPress PuckPuck method
  • What grind for AeroPress standard method
  • What grind for AeroPress inverted method

We’ll also then look at some different brewing methods you can use with the AeroPress.

Let’s get to it!

What Grind for AeroPress Fellow Prismo Method?

fellow prismo unwrapped from plastic laid out on paper with filter next to it

Do you struggle with the inverted method? You may have the fear of spilling it everywhere and I don’t blame you. It’s not very safe.

If you’ve struggled at all with the inverted method, this method’s for you. Why not give your AeroPress superpowers using a little-known attachment for the AeroPress?

Introducing the Fellow Prismo.

Features of the Fellow Prismo

One feature of the Prismo, is that you can make amazing full-immersion coffee without using the inverted method. Learn all about the Fellow Prismo and why you should own it here.

If you want to get a delicious crema with the Prismo, you’ll need to use an ultra-fine grind. This helps to build up pressure when pressing the coffee through the Prismo metal filter. This also helps to produce a crema.

Instructions

Here’s the step-by-step method:

  1. Insert the metal filter into your Fellow Prismo.
  2. Screw the Prismo onto your AeroPress chamber.
  3. Pour 1 scoop of ultra-fine grind into your AeroPress chamber.
  4. Pour 50mls of boiling water into your AeroPress chamber.
  5. Stir your coffee for 20 seconds.
  6. Leave your coffee to steep for 1 minute.
  7. Place your AeroPress onto your coffee cup.
  8. Insert your plunger into the AeroPress chamber.
  9. Press HARD until you reach the coffee grounds.
  10. Be amazed at the crema you have produced!
  11. Drink as is, or add hot milk and sugar to taste.
  12. Enjoy your coffee!

Now you’re familiar with the incredible Fellow Prismo and the basic recipe. Fantastic! Next, let’s look at the Maximum Crema method.

What Grind for AeroPress Prismo Maximum Crema Method?

A close up of a latte glass with some coffee with lots of crema inside.

If you want to get maximum crema from your AeroPress and Fellow Prismo, a fine grind will do. I’ve explained this method in full detail on my post “How To Get Crema From An AeroPress – 3 Secret Methods”.

If you’re looking to achieve jaw-dropping results like this, read it now!

What Grind for AeroPress PuckPuck Method?

Close-up of the AeroPress with the PuckPuck on top with the water vessel attached with 100 grams of ice and 400 mls of water inside, with the lid on the water vessel.

Cold brew is delicious and one of the best ways to enjoy coffee. The only thing is that it takes several hours to brew, which isn’t always practical.

Have you often found yourself wishing it would brew faster? Have you experienced remembering that you meant to make some cold brew the day before but forgot?

Luckily for you, there’s the PuckPuck! The PuckPuck is an innovative AeroPress cold brew attachment that makes slow-drip cold brew coffee. But in about 3 ½ hours. Super fast!

For brewing with the PuckPuck, you’ll need a medium grind.

Instructions

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process:

  1. Place a paper filter into your AeroPress filter cap and screw it onto the AeroPress chamber.
  2. Sit your AeroPress on a jug or suitable container. It needs to be large enough to hold at least 400ml.
  3. Pour 38g of medium grind into your AeroPress chamber, then give a gentle shake or a tap to level the grounds.
  4. Gently drop your PuckPuck splash filter into your AeroPress chamber. Make sure it’s sitting flat on top of the grounds.
  5. Attach your PuckPuck water vessel onto the PuckPuck. Place the PuckPuck onto your AeroPress. If you didn’t buy the water vessel with the PuckPuck, you can use a compatible water bottle instead.
  6. Place your PuckPuck and water vessel onto your AeroPress chamber.
  7. Pour 100g of ice into your PuckPuck water vessel. Pour 400ml of water into your PuckPuck water vessel.
  8. Slowly adjust the drip rate of your PuckPuck to about 50 drips per minute. Do this by holding the bottom section of the PuckPuck and turning the top section anti-clockwise. This can be a bit tricky to get the hang of, but you’ll get it. Start very slow until you see drips coming out of your PuckPuck.
  9. Check your PuckPuck from time to time, making sure the drip rate isn’t speeding up or slowing down.
  10. Wait until all the water has dripped through the water vessel. Remove the AeroPress and PuckPuck combo from your jug or container and place in your kitchen sink for cleaning.
  11. Pour some of your delicious cold brew into a large glass or mug with ice.
  12. Add sugar or milk to taste.
  13. Enjoy your delicious cold brew coffee!

If you’d rather make the guaranteed and reliable coffee that the AeroPress instructions recommend, take a look at this next method.

What Grind for AeroPress Standard Method?

top view of aeropress with water added and stirring with spoon

This is the proven method that you started with when you first got your AeroPress. It’s the standard method that you’re provided in the AeroPress instructions. For this method, you’ll want to use a fine grind.

This is because brewing with this method has a minimal brewing time. If you were to use a coarser grind, you wouldn’t extract enough of the goodness.

Instructions

The step-by-step method is:

  1. Insert a paper filter into your AeroPress cap.
  2. Screw your AeroPress cap onto the AeroPress chamber.
  3. Place your AeroPress onto your cup. Pour in one scoop of your fine grind coffee into the AeroPress chamber.
  4. Pour hot water into the AeroPress chamber up to the number 1 on the chamber.
  5. Using the included stirring paddle, stir the coffee for about 10 seconds.
  6. Insert your AeroPress plunger into the chamber and lightly press, until all the coffee is in your cup.
  7. Add milk or sugar to taste.
  8. Enjoy your coffee!

Now we’ve covered the standard method, let’s take a look at a different popular method.

What Grind for AeroPress Inverted Method?

The inverted method is a popular brewing method with the AeroPress. Brewing with this method makes a full-immersion brew, which you can leave to steep as long as you like.

Think of it as more like a french press brew.

I should warn you though, this method is not recommended by Aerobie. It does have the potential to leak or spill if not done correctly, so be careful!

Unlike the standard method above, you’ll want a fine-to-medium grind for this method. If you use a too fine grind, it could lead to over-extraction because of the longer steeping time.

The setup for this method is a little different, too. Insert the AeroPress plunger into the chamber up to the number 4. Now turn the AeroPress upside down and use the AeroPress plunger as a stand for the AeroPress.

The AeroPress is now ready to add your fine-to-medium grind and hot water.

Instructions

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Insert your AeroPress plunger into the AeroPress chamber up to the number 4.
  2. Turn your AeroPress upside-down, using the AeroPress plunger as a stand.
  3. Pour in one scoop of fine-to-medium grind into the AeroPress chamber.
  4. Pour 50mls of hot water into your AeroPress chamber and stir for 20 seconds.
  5. Leave your coffee to steep for 30 seconds.
  6. Pour hot water to the top of your AeroPress and then leave for a further 60 seconds.
  7. Place a paper filter into your AeroPress cap and wet the filter so it sticks to the cap.
  8. Screw the cap onto the AeroPress chamber.
  9. Turn your coffee cup upside-down and place it on top of the AeroPress.
  10. Holding both your cup and the AeroPress, turn them both the right-side up in one smooth motion.
  11. Gently press your AeroPress plunger into the chamber until all the coffee is in your cup.
  12. Add milk or sugar to taste.
  13. Enjoy your coffee!

So how did you go with that one? I’m sure you nailed it without any struggle!

Conclusion

So there you have 5 different grinds for 5 different AeroPress methods. Now you’re armed with some powerful info to get out there and make the best brew that you can!!

Have you got another AeroPress brewing method to suggest? Have you tried one of these methods and not achieved the results you were hoping for?

Let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!

AeroPress Vs French Press – A Detailed And Bold Comparison

Seeing as you’re here, I’m guessing you’re probably aware of what an AeroPress coffee maker is (or you’ve at least heard of it), and given that, I’m going to presume you also know what a french press (or coffee plunger, coffee press, press pot, or cafetière) is.

You’ve probably also found yourself wondering what the differences between them are. How do they compare? Well then, you’re in the right place!

In this article, we’re going to look at:

  • How they work
  • What’s included when you buy them, and
  • The differences between them.

It’s time for a detailed and comprehensive matchup – AeroPress Vs French Press. Let’s jump in!

How does it work?

AeroPress

An AeroPress sitting on a kitchen bench with its box in the background.

The AeroPress works by pressing the brewed coffee through a paper filter, which sits at the bottom of the AeroPress, directly into your cup. This differs from the french press, which instead presses the filter through the coffee and is then poured into a cup.

The coffee brewing process is simple:

  1. Unscrew the filter cap at the end of the chamber.
  2. Place a paper filter inside the filter cap and screw it back onto the chamber.
  3. Add the desired amount of ground coffee to the chamber – one scoop for an espresso equivalent and up to a max of four scoops.
  4. Sit the chamber on top of your coffee cup.
  5. Add hot water to your desired level.
  6. Stir the coffee for about 10 seconds.
  7. Insert the plunger at the top of the chamber and gently press the plunger down until the plunger reaches the coffee grounds.
  8. Take the AeroPress over to your rubbish / compost, unscrew the cap and push the plunger over your rubbish / compost to eject the used grounds.

Watch this 1 minute official video on how to use the Aeropress and check out my AeroPress review.

French press

A stainless steel coffee plunger sitting on a table.

If you’d like to know exactly how a french press works, I recently wrote a post about called How do coffee plungers work? Again, it’s a pretty simple process, but the brewing time is substantially longer.

  1. Remove the plunger from the canister.
  2. Add the desired amount of ground coffee into the canister – this will vary depending on the size of your canister.
  3. Add hot water to the canister, filling it to below the spout.
  4. Stir the coffee for about 20 seconds.
  5. Sit the lid on the canister, but don’t press the plunger yet.
  6. Leave it for four minutes to steep.
  7. Slowly press the plunger down into the canister.
  8. Slowly pour the coffee into your coffee cup.

What’s included?

AeroPress

An AeroPress box sitting on a kitchen bench.
I decided to recently purchase an AeroPress, as I had been using a french press at work, but I accidentally dropped it and it smashed… I immediately saw the silver lining, as I had been strongly considering getting an AeroPress for some time.

This was my chance. A crisitunity! I’d used my friend’s one on several occasions, so I was aware of how they worked and that they make a great cup of coffee.

I ordered one and had it in my hot little hands within a week. Let’s take a look at what I got:

  • The AeroPress itself – this includes the main canister where you brew your coffee, the filter cap which screws onto the bottom of the canister and the plunger.
    An AeroPress sitting on a kitchen bench with its box in the background.
  • 350 paper coffee filters – considering you can reuse these papers at least once, it’s a pretty hefty supply. Almost two years worth!
  • Coffee filter holder – a convenient little holder for your coffee filters that protects them from damage.
    An AeroPress paper filter holder with filters inside sitting on a kitchen bench.
  • Stirring paddle – used to stir your brew, it has a very wide handle which I’m guessing is to remove the chance of accidentally dropping it into the canister.
  • Coffee scoop – one whole scoop per standard brew is enough for me.
    An AeroPress scoop and stirring paddle sitting on a kitchen bench.
  • Funnel – placed inside the canister, this can help you to avoid spilling your coffee grounds on the bench when scooping them into the canister.
    An AeroPress pouring funnel sitting on a kitchen bench.
  • Instructions – these come in six different languages: English, Spanish, French, Japanese, German and Chinese. They include some recipes, how to get started with your AeroPress, cleanup and storage and some general tips and safety information. Online versions also include: Italian, Portuguese, Korean and Turkish.

French press

French presses are pretty readily available, but you’ll find that the quality of them can vary quite dramatically. It’s always best to find one that meets your needs and also has good customer reviews.

Here’s what you get with a french press:

  • Canister – This is generally glass, stainless steel or ceramic. Each has different benefits. They can range in size, but most common sizes are 1 litre (3 cups) and about 350 mls (1 cup).
    one of my coffee plungers
  • Filter – This is usually three individual parts held together: a metal filter, a fine mesh metal filter and a filter base.
  • Lid – This sits on top of the canister and will often have an opening to pour the coffee. Some can also be turned around to keep the heat in while your coffee is brewing. There will also be some kind of knob in the centre of the lid, which controls the plunger.
  • Plunger rod – This connects the lid to the plunger filter and attaches to the knob on top of the lid on one end and the plunger filter on the other end.
  • Additional filter – Some French Presses come with one or more additional mesh filters that you can replace with the existing mesh filter.

What’s the difference between an AeroPress and a french press?

There’s some definite similarities between them, such as they both use a plunging action and they can both brew using the immersion method, but the cup of coffee you end up with does vary.

Some of the differences between an AeroPress and a French press are:

  • Grind size
  • Filtering method
  • Brewing time
  • Capacity
  • Clean up
  • Durability

What grind size should you use?

AeroPress

For an AeroPress, it’s recommended to use a fine ground, the same as you would use for an espresso coffee. This is because the extraction time is brief, so a fine ground will give you plenty of flavour without over-extracting.

If you’re making two serves, a slightly coarser grind may work better. This is because it can be difficult to press two serves worth of fine coffee at one time.

If you do find that it’s difficult to press your coffee, try a slightly coarser grind, like for drip coffee, and see if that helps.

When I first started using mine I was using a coarse grind, as I had already ground my coffee to use with my french press that broke.

I did have some issues with too much water coming through the filter before pressing the coffee, which was likely due to the grind size.

When I did eventually try a fine ground, I noticed an instant decrease in the amount of water passing through the filter before pressing.

French press

For a french press, you should use a medium coarse grind. This is a major difference between the AeroPress and French press.

The reason for a coarse grind, is if a fine grind is used, too much of the coffee grounds end up in your cup. This is mainly due to the filtering method, which I’ll discuss more in a moment.

This also means that the coffee will need to steep for about four minutes before serving, as coarser grounds take longer to extract the flavour.

Basically, a coarse grind stops more of the grinds from ending up in your coffee.

What’s the filter method?

AeroPress

The AeroPress filters coffee by using a paper filter. This is placed inside the cap, which is unscrewed at the base of the chamber.

A new AeroPress Coffee Maker filter inside the filter cap
A new AeroPress filter.

Once this is screwed back on to the AeroPress, you can pour your ground coffee in, sit your AeroPress on your cup and add your hot water.

As you push down on the plunger, the coffee is pushed through the paper filter and into your cup. This is a major difference when compared to a French press.

According to the AeroPress website, you can re-use your paper filters once, which I have been doing since reading that, and I haven’t noticed any loss of quality to my brews.

A used AeroPress Coffee Maker filter inside the filter cap
A used AeroPress filter.

There are also reusable metal filters of various types available for purchase.

I purchased a reusable metal mesh filter, but I have gone back to using the paper filters, as I was noticing an increased amount of coffee sludge at the bottom of my cup.

close-up of an aeropress metal mesh filter

While some people prefer this, personally I don’t. As soon as I reverted to the paper filters, this disappeared and I was again able to drink all the way to the bottom of the cup.

It’s possible that this was due to the quality of the metal filter I purchased, though. I have seen other options which look like they would be much better quality and produce a better result. For instance, the type of metal filter that comes with the Fellow Prismo pressure-actuated attachment works great.

French press

A french press filters coffee a different way. It’s generally a metal plate at the bottom, then a metal mesh filter and then a metal plate filter on the top. It’s all held in place by the plunger rod that connects the filter to the lid screwing into it.

a close-up of a coffee press filter

The plunger is removed from the canister and you add your coffee and hot water. After steeping for about four minutes, you press the plunger down through your coffee.

This allows the coffee liquid to pass through the filter, while trapping the coffee grounds underneath it. Once fully pressed, it holds the coffee grounds at the bottom of the canister.

When you pour your coffee into your cup from the french press, you will likely get some coffee grounds in your cup that have passed through the filter.

This is why you should use a coarse grind when brewing with a french press, as regardless of the size or quality of the mesh, a fine grind will likely pass through the filter.

What’s the brew time?

AeroPress

When brewing with an AeroPress, the entire brew time is about 1 minute, which is a reasonably short time.

It’s about:

  • 20 – 30 seconds to pour in the hot water,
  • 10 seconds to stir the coffee, and
  • about 30 seconds to press the coffee.

No steeping time required. For the quality of the brew that it makes, it’s definitely time well spent.

French press

The entire brew time for a French press is about 5 minutes, which is substantially longer than the AeroPress.

Some of the times can vary due to the variety of sizes of French presses. It’s much easier to be specific with the AeroPress, as there’s only one type (not including the AeroPress Go).

It’s about:

  • 20 – 30 seconds to pour in the hot water,
  • 20 seconds to stir the coffee,
  • 4 minutes to let it steep,
  • 5 – 10 seconds to press the coffee, and
  • 5 – 10 seconds to pour it.

As you can see, most of the time (4 minutes) is taken up by letting the coffee steep.

What’s the capacity?

AeroPress

The AeroPress comes in one size (not including the AeroPress Go) and is often referred to as a “single-cup coffee maker”. Its capacity is about 250mls.

It’s perfect if you only want to make a coffee for yourself, but not the greatest if you’re hosting a dinner party and need to serve multiple guests.

You can always add more ground coffee and water and press it into multiple cups and then top the cups up with hot water.

Doing this is definitely easier and less messy with the Fellow Prismo. It’s a third-party attachment that has a pressure-actuated valve that stops the flow of coffee into your cup unless you are applying pressure, giving your AeroPress superpowers.

You can read more about it in an article I wrote called Fellow Prismo attachment for AeroPress.

Otherwise, you could press it into a small jug that has a pouring spout.

French press

French presses come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 350mls for one cup, to 1 litre for three cups.

You should consider how you’ll be using it before purchasing one. Is it just for you at home or work? Or will it be for multiple people at one time?

If you purchased a 1 litre option, for instance, would you be leaving the coffee sitting there for a while before drinking it all?

While the ceramic and stainless steel French presses can keep your coffee warm for some time, leaving it sitting in the French press can lead to over-extraction and not such a pleasant coffee drinking experience.

It’s worth keeping this in mind.

How do you clean it?

AeroPress

The AeroPress is super easy to clean. It’s definitely another clear advantage over the French Press.

All you need to do to clean the AeroPress is:

  1. Remove the filter cap from the bottom of the chamber.
  2. Push plunger all the way to eject the used grounds “puck” into your rubbish or compost.
  3. Rinse the rubber gasket in your sink.
  4. Remove the plunger from the chamber and rinse everything, including the filter cap.
  5. If you want to reuse the paper filter, rinse both sides of it, put it back into the filter cap, screw the filter cap back onto the chamber.
  6. Leave everything to dry.

Every few times, you can use a soft sponge and some soapy water, but it hasn’t really been necessary every time in my experience.

Although you could put it in the dishwasher (on the top rack only), at the risk of causing damage to it, I wouldn’t recommend it.

French press

If you want to give your french press a super clean, you can read how to do that in the article I wrote called How do coffee plungers work.

For a regular clean:

  1. Remove the plunger and leave it in your sink.
  2. Take the canister over to your rubbish or compost and scoop out the used coffee grounds.
  3. Rinse the canister and plunger with hot or warm water in your sink.
  4. Put some dish soap on a sponge and gently wash the canister, the underside of the lid and the plunger rod.
  5. Gently pull back the mesh filter while holding the plunger under running water to remove any grounds that are stuck between the mesh filter and the bottom filter plate.
  6. Rinse all the parts with hot or warm water and leave to dry.

How durable is it?

AeroPress

Durability is one of the greatest features of the AeroPress. This is because of the materials that it’s made from.

It’s currently made from BPA-free polypropylene. I say currently, because there has been a steady evolution in the materials used.

When it was first introduced to the world in late 2005, it was made from polycarbonate.

Then in mid 2009 they changed to copolyester. And finally in mid 2014 they changed again to polypropylene.

There have also been some subtle changes in its appearance over the years, and some other not-so-subtle changes, such as the colour changing from clear to a grey tint.

You can read more about the evolution of the AeroPress here.

The materials that are used to make it mean that it is extremely durable. You never need to worry about accidental breaks from dropping it and you could quite easily store it in your luggage when travelling.

The only part of it that I can ever see myself replacing is the rubber gasket that sits on the end of the plunger. And that’s only if I really have to.

French press

Each french press is going to be different, so it’s a bit difficult to be too specific about this, but I’ll do my best.

The four most common types of plungers are:

  • Stainless steel,
  • Combination of metal and glass,
  • Combination of plastic and glass, and
  • Ceramic.

Stainless steel is the most durable option, as the other three can all potentially be broken from an accidental drop. They could, however, still be dented or have parts bent, like the plunger rod or the spout.

The durability of ceramic plungers would vary depending on the individual manufacturer. They could break if dropped, but they might survive.

If you’re considering purchasing one, make sure you read the user reviews to see if they mention anything about this aspect of their quality.

Obviously, anything with glass would be quite fragile. However, if you’re keeping it in one place and don’t intend on transporting it anywhere, this shouldn’t be a concern.

If durability is important to you, I would definitely go with an AeroPress instead of a French press.

Next, would be a stainless steel french press. They’re pretty much the only type of french press that come close to the durability of the AeroPress.

So Which Is Better? – AeroPress Vs French Press!

While they both have their pros and cons, I do have a preference. Overall, the AeroPress ticks more boxes for me that make it the better choice.

I appreciate the portability, durability, brew time and cleaning time. It makes a pretty decent cup, too!

Which option ticks more boxes for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!

What Is An AeroPress? – An AeroPress Coffee Maker Review

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

If you’re like me, you probably first found out about the AeroPress Coffee Maker when you visited your friend’s house and they offered to make you a cup of coffee.

After watching your friend brew your first AeroPress coffee, there’s no doubt in my mind that you would have continued to think about it on occasion, all the while knowing that one day you would have your very own.

But perhaps you’re not like me and have no idea what an AeroPress is, how it works, it’s benefits or even who made it.

Well you’re sure in luck then, as those are some of the very points I’m going to cover in this AeroPress Coffee Maker review.

What is an AeroPress? – An AeroPress Coffee Maker Review

An AeroPress sitting on a kitchen bench with its box in the background.

The AeroPress coffee maker is an innovative device used to brew coffee. The coffee is steeped for about 10 to 50 seconds in the coffee maker, but the time may differ depending on the strength and the texture of the grinds.

After steeping, you need to press the plunger through the tube and the coffee is forced through a filter. The primary filters used on this coffee maker are the AeroPress paper filters or disc-shaped filters made using thin metals.

The AeroPress comes with two cylinders, and the one with a flexible airtight seal fits inside the larger cylinder.

The material used to make the cylinders is polypropylene, which is grey tinted in colour. However, the first machine to be invented had cylinders moulded using clear polycarbonate and clear co-polyester, which later was tinted.

When Was the AeroPress Coffee Maker Invented?

The AeroPress coffee maker was invented in 2005 by Alan Adler, who is the President of Aerobie.

One day, Adler was having dinner with members of his company. Then the wife of one of the sales managers said she was having problems brewing a single cup of coffee.

At that time, coffee machines made 6 to 8 cups of coffee per brew. Adler studied the pre-existing coffee makers, and he found gaps.

After a year of research and designing, he filled those gaps with AeroPress. It was highly appreciated because this meant no more coffee going to waste.

AeroPress – What’s in the Box?

The box has:

  • the AeroPress tube and piston,
  • a stirring wand,
  • coffee scoop,
  • coffee funnel,
  • the plastic filter holder,
  • 350 paper filters and
  • a filter cap.

A manual to help you put the parts together is also included in the box.

The AeroPress coffee maker is gaining popularity nowadays because it is convenient, compact and makes great coffee. Other than giving you your preferred amount of coffee, it is healthier for your body as it is less acidic.

If you want a reliable coffee maker, you should definitely consider buying an AeroPress.

aeropress and all accessories laid out on bench
AeroPress – what’s in the box. Click this image to see it on Amazon.

How to use an AeroPress –  inverted method Vs regular

Two methods of brewing are possible using the AeroPress coffee machine: regular and inverted methods.

Regular method

The conventional process of brewing involves:

  1. placing ground coffee on top of a paper microfilter that is put in the bottom of the larger cylinder,
  2. pour hot water at 79 or 85 °C (175 or 185 °F) over the coffee,
  3. stir for about 10 seconds,
  4. push the plunger downwards to force the coffee through the microfilter.

Most baristas that use this method use fine grounds, and they often use a dose of 14 and 20gm with about 200 to 230 ml of water.

Inverted method

In the inverted brewing method, the formula is reversed:

  1. place the plunger into the cylinder from the beginning of the process,
  2. the entire machine stands upside down, which means that the plunger is close to the top of the column,
  3. add the coffee grinds depending on your preference, followed by water and then stir the mix,
  4. place the filter on the filter cap, and moisten it to help it stick,
  5. the AeroPress cap is placed on top of the column and then screwed in place,
  6. when brewing is done to your desire, you should turn the AeroPress right side up and then plunge it like in the traditional brewing method.

Also, some people don’t turn the machine right side up but hold it at an angle and plunge it horizontally.

Watch the following short video to see the inventor, Alan Adler, take you through how he makes a cup of coffee with the AeroPress.

Can AeroPress Make Cold Brew?

Yes. Cold brew is made in an AeroPress using room temperature water. However, you need to use fine ground coffee, and you may have to stir the mixture for long, which is about one minute, as opposed to the ten seconds when making a hot brew.

Also, you can add ice or cold milk if you want to add flavour to your cold brew.

If want to take your cold brew to the next level, you can even purchase a third-party attachment called the PuckPuck. The PuckPuck attaches to the top of the AeroPress and allows you to make slow-drip coffee, which is perfect for cold brew.

You can purchase the PuckPuck with a 500ml water container, or on its own for slightly cheaper. If you do decide to buy it on its own, you will need to screw your own suitable-fitting water bottle into the PuckPuck instead.

It’s also possible to make cold brew using a 12-24 hour steep using the Fellow Prismo. If you’re not sure what that is, I recently wrote a review on the Fellow Prismo attachment for AeroPress.

I also recently wrote a post about cold brew.

Can You Use AeroPress for Tea?

The AeroPress machine can be used to make tea. However, you can only use the inverted brewing method when making tea.

  1. First, insert the plunger into the machine’s column and let it stand upside down.
  2. Put the preferred amount of your favourite tea grinds on the column and then add nearly boiling water.
  3. Stir the mixture for sixty to ninety seconds.
  4. Add a filter to the AeroPress cap and let the machine stand upright. Flip the coffee maker over a cup and then press the plunger through the cylinder until all the tea is extracted.
See price on Amazon

Can You Reuse AeroPress Filters?

Yes. After you have finished pressing, peel the filter from the coffee puck, rinse it, and then place it in the filter cap to dry in position. This filter is eligible for use during your next pressing.

Also, you can decide to get the metal filter that you can reuse many times. Metal filters are advantageous as they allow microscopic coffee grounds to get into your mug, which adds flavour to your coffee.

Also, they allow coffee’s natural oils into your cup. These oils are responsible for coffee’s smoothness and flavours. Besides, it is more suitable for travelling with a metal filter since all you need to do is wash it and pack it.

A new AeroPress Coffee Maker filter inside the filter cap
A new AeroPress filter.

A used AeroPress Coffee Maker filter inside the filter cap
A used AeroPress filter.

Can AeroPress go in the Dishwasher?

Yes, the AeroPress coffee maker is safe on the top shelf of the dishwasher, but it’s not really necessary for it to go in the dishwasher. This is because the machine doesn’t usually get extremely dirty, as the plunger does a great job of cleaning the system as you press.

So while your AeroPress can go in the dishwasher, if you don’t like the smell of soap afterwards you can always use Bar Keeper’s Friend, a cleaning agent that lacks soap taste or smell.

This agent is an abrasive, and therefore you should not scrub. Rinse it by hand using hot water, and you will love the results.

Why is AeroPress Coffee Less Acidic?

Due to the shorter filter time and lower temperature used on the machine, the coffee produced is always less acidic. The water temperature used in AeroPress is approximately 175 or 185 °F (79 or 85 °C).

This low temperature has a low strength of releasing high amounts of acids from the grinds. Moreover, ten seconds of stirring is a short time for the grinds to release high amounts of acid.

Consequently, the coffee yielded usually has low levels of phosphoric acid. Also, AeroPress allows you to use coarser grinds, which produce coffee that has low levels of phosphoric acid.

Conclusion

So there you have it. I know I haven’t answered all the questions about the AeroPress, but I do hope that I’ve left you with a little bit more insight into it than you arrived here with.

If you have a question or something to add to this AeroPress Coffee Maker review, let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!

Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II em3820 Review

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

While I don’t own the Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II em3820 myself, my brother has one, which I’ve used several times, and he enjoys it for its simple functionality.

In fact, he and his wife wore their first one out, so he’s on to his second machine. They bought the exact same machine again, which is enough to tell you they are happy with it.

The Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II does what it says it does, and doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. Some of the features include:

  • Thermoblock fast heating system for quick heat up,
  • 15 bar Italian pump,
  • Italian crema system,
  • removable 1.7 litre water tank,
  • warming plate for pre-heating cups,
  • 12 month replacement warranty.

What are the specifications?

sunbeam_cafe_espresso_ii_em3820

Included accessoriesMeasuring spoon/tamper
Portafilter
one cup & two cup portafilter baskets
500ml stainless steel jug
Dimensions31.2 x 21.5 x 26.0 cm
Weight6.16 kg
ColourSilver
Construction materialsPlastic & metal
Power1300 Watts
Capacity1.7 L
Pump pressure15 bar Italian pump
Warranty12 month replacement

 

If you want to check out the product manual, you can find that here.

What are the features?

First up, this is a semi-automatic espresso machine. No super-automatic here (not that you’d be expecting that with the relatively low price tag), but there’s still plenty of features that could make this simple machine what you’re looking for.

Let’s take a look.

Accessories:

Included with the machine are a few accessories:

  • A portafilter and two different sized portafilter baskets for brewing either one cup or two cups of coffee
  • A measuring spoon for your coffee grounds that doubles as a tamper
  • A 500ml stainless steel jug for steaming or frothing your milk

Warming plate:

This warms to a moderate temperature once the machine has been turned on and is located on the very top of the espresso machine.

Simply leave your coffee cup or glass resting upside down on the plate to warm it up, so that it retains the espresso aroma and rich taste of your brew.

Removable drip tray & grill:

This can be found directly underneath where your cup sits when brewing coffee. Drip trays in this area are common and helpful, for unexpected spills or catching the drips once you’ve moved your cup away after a fresh brew.

Being fully removable helps for easy cleaning, too.

Removable water tank:

This is where you need to add clean water for brewing coffee and steaming/frothing milk.

It’s located at the very back of the machine and while this water tank can be removed to refill with water, I shy away from removing the one on my coffee machine at home unless I really have to, or perhaps to give it a thorough clean.

The reason for this is to not wear out the mechanism that allows water to flow into the machine. Simply pour water into the tank while it’s connected to the machine, instead.

Just a thought.

Steam wand with silicone cover:

The steam wand, used to steam/froth milk, is located on the right-hand-side of the machine. The silicone cover allows you to handle the steam wand without getting burnt.

There’s a cleaning pin included that you can use to clean the steam wand. This can be found by opening the water tank and is stored on the inside of the water tank lid.

15 bar Italian pump:

While 9 bars is considered the ideal pressure for brewing espresso coffee, this machine has a pressure relief system to limit it to a maximum of 15 bars, which helps to protect from over-pressure.

Unfortunately, there are no gauges on this machine to show what the pressure being produced is, unlike some of the more expensive and commercial models.

Thermablock fast heating system:

The Thermablock fast heating system ensures that the water is heated to 92ºC, to avoid burning the coffee grounds. This is important, as espresso coffee is made with hot water, but not boiling water.

As a result, the correct amount of oils are extracted from the grounds and it reduces the chances of producing a bitter coffee experience.

Simple design and interface:

There’s no denying that the Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II em3820 has been designed with simplicity in mind. The controls are minimal, which greatly reduces the chances of any errors when producing an espresso.

It’s pretty difficult to get it wrong, when your only options for both brewing coffee and steaming milk are “on” or “off”.

To brew a coffee, simply turn the dial clockwise to the right. To steam/froth milk, simply turn the dial anti-clockwise to the left. Easy, right?

However, it also means that this machine is most likely not suited to experienced people that prefer to have more control over their brew.

Cleaning and maintenance

If you’ve used the milk steamer, you should wipe down the steam wand with a damp cloth and then run the steam for a burst or two, to clean out any milk that may have entered the steam wand.

You can also use the cleaning pin that I mentioned above, but you probably won’t need to do this after every use.

The nozzle of the steam wand can be removed by twisting it, for extra cleaning (just make sure it’s not too hot to touch), if you want to run some water through it or clean it with the cleaning pin.

The cleaning pin can also be used to clean the underside of the portafilter basket, ensuring there are no blockages in any of the holes.

To clean the group head, wipe with a clean, damp cloth to remove any coffee grounds left there from the previous brew and then run the machine for a couple of seconds.

Who should purchase the Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II?

This machine is best suited to someone who doesn’t want to spend too much, doesn’t care about all the bells and whistles, but wants a machine that is simple to use and that can still make a decent espresso.

The reviews over on Amazon are very positive, with most people finding it great value for the price and decent quality. Check out the reviews on Amazon now.

I hope my review was helpful. If you’ve purchased this machine, leave a comment and tell me about your experiences with it.

If you’re still undecided if this is the coffee machine for you, check out my other coffee maker reviews.

Stay caffeinated!

How Do Coffee Plungers Work? – Free Complete Guide

Seeing as you’re here, you’ve probably found yourself wondering how do coffee plungers work. Perhaps you’ve never really used one and want to know how to make a coffee with one and maybe the cleaning that’s involved.

When I recently decided that I couldn’t continue drinking instant coffee (or powdered dirt, as my workmates called it) at work for one single day more, a coffee plunger was the first alternative that came to mind.

I definitely didn’t want to be shelling out cash for an average “real coffee” five days a week from the local cafe or use the coffee machine in the lunch room that only takes coffee pods (due to the waste).

If you’re not familiar with the ins and outs and would like to know more, read on.

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

So how do coffee plungers work?

A stainless steel coffee plunger sitting on a table.

Coffee plungers work by using the infusion method of brewing, by first allowing the coffee to brew in hot water while sitting in a canister for a few minutes. Then, by pressing down the plunger / filter attached to the lid, you filter the coffee grounds, pushing them to the bottom of the canister.

Using this method you can make a simple black coffee, or you can make a flat white by adding some milk.

It’s also a flexible method, as you can make it as strong or as weak as you want, by simply adding more or less coffee grounds. This is one advantage that this method has over other methods, such as espresso, which has a set amount of coffee needed to make one cup.

What are the parts of a coffee plunger?

Coffee plungers come in various styles and sizes, but as far as functionality goes, they’re all basically the same.

They most often consist of a glass canister, but can also be found with stainless steel or ceramic canisters, a plunger with a metal and mesh filter and a lid at the top, which is connected with the plunger.

a close-up of a coffee press filter

A coffee plunger's filter

It’s also possible to get a coffee plunger travel mug that filters the coffee inside the same mug that you drink from. There’s many different styles of these available.

Some of them are insulated to keep the coffee hot, such as the Zyliss Travel French Press, and most of them have a different type of filter than the metal and mesh filter found in most coffee plungers, such as the BruTek.

It’s even possible to find some novelty coffee plungers, such as this Star Wars R2-D2 coffee plunger.

I strongly recommend reading the product descriptions and reviews of these different styles, though, as the quality and intended usage varies.

What grind size should I use for plunger coffee?

For plunger coffee, you’re going to want to use a medium to coarse grind. This is because the filtering method used allows for small granules of coffee to pass through the filter.

Having a fine grind, like that used for espresso, will result in more of the coffee grounds passing through to your drink, which I’m certain you do not want.

Having a medium to coarse grind stops most of the coffee grounds getting through the filter. It’s not perfect, but what is?

How to make plunger coffee

The process for making plunger coffee is fairly simple.

  1. Remove the plunger from the canister.
    coffee plunger with lid off sitting on bench
  2. Pour some hot water into the coffee plunger canister, swish it around and then empty it down your kitchen sink . This warms up your canister.
    swishing some hot water around inside a coffee plunger
  3. Add the desired amount of coarse coffee grounds. This will vary based on taste and the size of the canister. For a 1 litre coffee plunger, I usually use about three heaped teaspoons, which results in three cups of coffee. Accordingly, for a one cup coffee plunger, about one heaped teaspoon is enough.
    pouring a heaped teaspoon of ground coffee into a coffee plunger
  4. Add your desired amount of hot water to the canister.
    pouring hot water into the coffee plunger
  5. Give the coffee a stir with a spoon for about 20 seconds.
    stirring the brewing coffee with a teaspoon
  6. Cover the canister with the lid/plunger, but don’t press the plunger yet.
    coffee plunger with hot coffee inside and lid on sitting on bench
  7. Leave the coffee for about 4 minutes to brew.
  8. Gently press down the plunger.
    gently pressing down the plunger of the coffee plunger
  9. Pour the brewed coffee into your coffee cup.
    pouring hot coffee from the coffee plunger into a coffee mug
  10. Top up with hot water if needed, or some milk.
    coffee cup with coffee with milk inside and milk carton
  11. Enjoy that sweet, sweet freshly brewed coffee….Mmmmm….

After you make your plunger coffee, there’s only one thing left to do.

How to clean a French press

After relaxing to enjoy your freshly made plunger coffee, it’s now time to get to the fun stuff… cleaning! It’s definitely worth giving your French press a proper clean after every brew.

Luckily for you, cleaning a French press or coffee plunger is relatively easy. There’s really not a whole lot to it.

  1. With the plunger still pushed all the way down inside the canister, pour any left over coffee liquid down the kitchen sink.
    pouring left over coffee liquid down drain from coffee plunger
  2. Remove the plunger and leave in the sink for now.
    used french press canister and lid with plunger sitting in sink
  3. Grab a spoon and gently scrape the used coffee grounds out from the French press canister. You can put them in the rubbish bin, or if you’re like me, in the compost bin.
    using a teaspoon to empty used coffee grounds into compost bin from french press
  4. Rinse out the French press canister in the sink with warm or hot water
    rinsing used french press with water in kitchen sink
  5. Pour a small amount of washing detergent on your sponge and gently clean the inside of the French press canister.
    cleaning french press with kitchen sponge
  6. Rinse the plunger and filter in the sink with warm or hot water, carefully separating the filter and the metal plate at the bottom while rinsing to remove any coffee grounds that may be stuck in between them.
    cleaning filter of the french press by rinsing under water

    1. This next step is optional and may not be necessary with every clean, but something you should definitely consider doing. It involves completely cleaning the French press filter. If you don’t want to do it, you can simply skip this step and continue on to step 8. You should be able to remove the filter from the plunger rod by unscrewing it from the rod. Exactly how this is done will vary from French press to French press. This one I’m showing here, has a bolt on the bottom that you can undo, but others I’ve used have the rod screw into the filter plate itself.
      unscrewing filter of the french press
    2. If it’s a bit stubborn or hard to grip, try using a kitchen rubber glove or something similar to improve your grip on the rod.
    3. Once the filter is detached from the rod, separate the mesh filter from the metal filter and metal plate.
      separating the filter, mesh filter and metal plate from the french press
    4. Rinse each individual part in the kitchen sink with warm or hot water and use a soapy sponge to gently clean, making sure to remove any coffee grounds.
      rinsing the metal plate from the filter of the french press
    5. Once you’re satisfied that all parts are sparkling clean, place them back in order and re-attach them to the French press rod.
      screwing the filter parts back onto the rod of the french press
  7. Use the sponge to clean the lid and the rod connecting the filter to the lid.
  8. Give all the parts a final rinse and then towel dry or leave to dry on your dish rack.
    rinsing the french press canister once more

See? I told you it was easy!

Coffee plunger or French press?

You may have heard coffee plungers called different names before, especially if you’ve done some travelling. They’re all the same coffee-making device, no matter what they’re called.

Other names for them are:

  • french press,
  • coffee press,
  • press pot or
  • cafetière.

one of my coffee plungers

Coffee plunger or Aeropress?

The Aeropress is another suitable alternative to a coffee plunger, because it’s no bigger than a single-serve coffee plunger, which makes it highly transportable, and it produces a great coffee.

I recently wrote an article here comparing the Aeropress to coffee plungers and also a review on the AeroPress.

Next level plunger coffee

If you are looking to take your plunger coffee to the next level, watch this instructional video by world champion barista James Hoffman.

 

Have you got a hot tip or trick that you use when making plunger coffee? Or perhaps a secret super-quick method for cleaning your coffee plunger? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!

Stainless Steel Coffee Plungers

In this post, I’ll be covering the benefits of stainless steel coffee plungers, how much ground coffee you need and also showcasing some products available.

At my work office, we don’t have an espresso machine. There is a Nespresso pod machine, but while you can probably get a good cup of coffee from a coffee pod, I’m not really a fan.

Something doesn’t sit well with me about the waste. It’s just another bit of plastic that we’d all be better off without. As a result, I use my stainless steel coffee plunger and my AeroPress.

I realise that stainless steel coffee plungers may not be for everyone, but there’s a variety of options, which is a good thing, as what suits some, may not suit others.

If you’re wondering about the general operation of a coffee plunger, please see my other post How do coffee plungers work?

a group of different sized stainless steel french presses
French Press Frieling Ultimo flickr photo by doubleshot_cz shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

What are the benefits of stainless steel coffee plungers?

Some benefits of most stainless steel coffee plungers are:

  • Double wall insulation to keep your coffee warm
  • No glass, so no more accidental breaks
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe

The biggest reason most people choose to purchase a stainless steel french press, is that they are not easily broken or damaged, compared to a glass french press. Perhaps you had a recent accidental break or maybe are just considering your options. It was an accidental break of my glass french press that motivated me to make my purchase of an Aeropress. I definitely haven’t looked back!

The next reason for a purchase, is the ability to keep your coffee at a warm temperature for longer. Most (if not all) stainless steel coffee plungers have some type of insulation that does just that. So if you’re the type of person that likes to brew enough for a couple of cups of coffee at one time, but also likes to take your time drinking it, this may be a suitable option for you.

close up of a stainless steel french press
French Press Frieling Ultimo flickr photo by doubleshot_cz shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

 

How much coffee should I put in my plunger

How much coffee you put in your plunger can affect how your brew turns out. Add too much coffee, and you’ll feel jittery. Not enough, and you won’t get the kick you’re probably looking for. I don’t have any hard and fast rules about measuring coffee, unless I’m following a recipe to produce a particular expected result.

When I use my 1 litre stainless steel coffee plunger at work, I don’t measure a strict amount. I generally add three heaped teaspoons of medium ground coffee. This gives me and my workmates, who I share it with, one cup each. I’ve only had compliments so far, so I must be doing something right.

If I was making a brew with a one cup coffee plunger, I’d adjust how much coffee I used accordingly – about one heaped teaspoon would be enough.

Some typical examples of stainless steel coffee plungers

Let’s take a look at and compare a handful of options available.

Conclusion

Stainless steel coffee plungers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, which is a great thing. There’s plenty to choose from, which means you’ll be able to hopefully find something that suits all of your requirements.

If you’d like to see a stainless steel coffee plunger in action, watch this following video. It gives you a good feel for the look and size of a 1 litre model, and also, how to use it.

I hope this post was helpful and if you decide to purchase any of these listed products, have some experience with any of these products or have a suitable product that you could recommend, please let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!