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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 article.
What is an AeroPress Coffee Maker?
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.
How to use an AeroPress – inverted method Vs regular
Two methods of brewing are possible using the AeroPress coffee machine: regular and inverted methods.
The conventional process of brewing involves:
- placing ground coffee on top of a paper microfilter that is put in the bottom of the larger cylinder,
- pour hot water at 79 or 85 °C (175 or 185 °F) over the coffee,
- stir for about 10 seconds,
- 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.
In the inverted brewing method, the formula is reversed:
- place the plunger into the cylinder from the beginning of the process,
- the entire machine stands upside down, which means that the plunger is close to the top of the column,
- add the coffee grinds depending on your preference, followed by water and then stir the mix,
- place the filter on the filter cap, and moisten it to help it stick,
- the AeroPress cap is placed on top of the column and then screwed in place,
- 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.
- First, insert the plunger into the machine’s column and let it stand upside down.
- Put the preferred amount of your favourite tea grinds on the column and then add nearly boiling water.
- Stir the mixture for sixty to ninety seconds.
- 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.
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.
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.
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 perhaps an interesting story about how you first learnt about it, let me know in the comments below.