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How To Use An AeroPress – Brewing Guide & Instructions

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how to use an aeropress

This may look like an infomercial contraption, but check out how it works first before you write it off. 

There are many advantages if you like to experiment with your coffee. Using different grinds is just the tip of the iceberg. With an AeroPress, you have complete control over all the variables, which is very cool. 

Changing the water temperature, steep time, and method of use with the AeroPress itself can turn every morning into a new experience. Even if you make a mistake, it only makes one cup at a time, so you’re not wasting too much coffee or time. 

Its clever design means it’s not confined to the kitchen. This makes a great addition to any camping trip since it’s small and durable. 

If you really love coffee, you owe it to yourself to check out this cool coffee gadget.  

How Does It Work?

Alan Adler invented AeroPress in 2004. Its purpose was to give coffee drinkers more control over the flavor and bitterness through different grind sizes and brew times. In its simplest form, it works just like a syringe. 

Your favorite coffee grounds are loaded into one end. Pour in your desired amount of coffee and let it steep. Once ready, place the top on and push down to force the water through your coffee and the fine paper filter into your mug. 

With the AeroPress, you can create a myriad of flavors. It’s most known for creating a similar taste to authentic espresso. The flavor is notably clean due to the fine paper filter because it removes almost all sediment.  

Methods Of Operation

There are now two ways to use the AeroPress, and it’s up to you to decide which works best. 

Traditional

This is the method that made AeroPress famous. From bottom to top; 

1. Set the bottom half of your AeroPress on your mug

2. Insert a paper filter and pour in your finely ground coffee

3. Add your desired amount of hot water and give it a quick stir

4. Let it steep for as long or as little as you like

5. Push down on the top of the AeroPress to filter your hot coffee into your mug

Inverted

This method is used by a more astute coffee drinker who wants to control all variables. 

1. Place the top of your AeroPress in the bottom half but do not push down

2. Flip your AeroPress over, so it’s standing on the top-half

3. Pour your coffee grounds in the bottom half, which is now the open top-end

4. Add hot water, stir, and let steep

5. Add a paper filter to the screw cap and wet with hot water, so it adheres

6. Screw on the filter and place your mug over it. Your mug will be upside down at this point

7. When ready to serve, CAREFULLY flip your AeroPress by keeping one hand on the mug and one hand on the opposite end

8. With your mug now sitting upright, push down on the top to filter your coffee into your mug

What Grinds Work Best?

aeropress grinds

I could go on for days talking about the different grind sizes, but for the AeroPress, it’s pretty simple to break it down. 

Fine Grind — While not recommended, you can still make a great cup of coffee with a fine grind. It takes a bit of practice, but a fine grind will help you brew a strong cup of coffee that’s more akin to an espresso. This is an advantage to the AeroPress for long-time users.  

Medium Grind — The best way to enjoy your AeroPress is with a medium-fine grind specifically. It works best with the paper filter and provides the optimal surface area of the grinds. 

Coarse Grind — Course doesn’t work well with the paper filter. There is not enough surface area to maximize extraction, so you end up with a very watery and bland-tasting cup of coffee. 

What You’ll Need

The AeroPress system is a device like a French press, so you will need a few other things to create a great cup of coffee. 

First, choose a mug large enough to support the size and weight of the AeroPress even when it’s full of water. You want it stable enough to be safe while your coffee is steeping, and it also needs to be sturdy enough to withstand the action of pushing down on the top. 

Your coffee grounds play a vital role with the AeroPress, as you’ll need a way to grind them to the perfect size. I never recommend electric ones as they are too inconsistent. A manual grinder will give you much more control over the size and produce more consistent grinds. 

The AeroPress kit comes with all the components ready to use.

  • 2-piece AeroPress device
  • 1 scoop for accurate measuring
  • 1 stir stick 
  • 1 grate that houses the paper filter 
  • 1 funnel
  • 1 grate holder for your countertop
  • 350 micro-filters

The only thing missing now is some hot water, and you’re ready to go.

Insider Tips

  • With your coffee grounds loaded, pour some HOT boiling water on to allow them to bloom. This will open up a new flavor profile before adding the rest of the water. 
  • When using the traditional method, always plunge sooner rather than later. You don’t want to lose too much coffee dripping through the filter.
  • Invest in a good grinder. Having control over your grinds is essential for creating different flavor profiles. It’s also very useful with an AeroPress

Summary

The AeroPress is an excellent addition to the coffee-making world. I’ve found many uses for it that go beyond a morning cup of joe. It’s pretty versatile while still being quick and easy. Being made of plastic was a concern at first, but it’s very thick and made from 100% BPA-free plastic, which is recyclable. 

It’s a great piece to have in your collection, and the more you use it, the more proficient you become at making a great cup of coffee. 

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Author
Clint's skills as a barista have made it easy for him to transition into writing about coffee. With so much personal experience and passion, he is able to shed light on all aspects of coffee to ensure you can enjoy this delicious beverage as much as he does.