Let me start off by saying that I am, in no sense of the word, a coffee “expert.” Heck, I didn't even start drinking coffee until my 30's. I can’t tell you the difference between a Guatemala bean, a Uganda bean or a Kona bean. A French roast or an Italian roast. But I can tell you this; when I thoroughly enjoy a cup of coffee, I know it. And today I'm going to tell you about my experience with the AeroPress coffee maker and if it can truly make the "perfect cup of coffee."
My coffee routine usually consists of waking up in the morning and while still half asleep, grinding some beans and haphazardly putting them in my Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker, then drinking. Now, I think we can all agree that the main purpose of that first morning coffee is a quick injection of caffeine. Nothing more. Nothing Less. Taste is a distant second. Which explains exactly why, after all these years, Folgers is still a thing.
But that afternoon or evening coffee, now that’s a different story.
At this point in the day, I’m fully alert. I’m working at peak performance and that drip coffee just won’t cut it. Taste is what I want. Enjoyment is what I'm looking for. Which brings me to the AeroPress.
I’ve played around with different coffee makers in the past; I’ve had a Keurig, a French press, espresso maker, and even dabbled with a Chemex pour over, but none of those have met all the things I’m looking for and it wasn’t until I was introduced to the AeroPress, that I was able to check all my boxes.
The Aero Press has essentially 2 parts that are the business end of the coffee making; the “Chamber” and the “Plunger” (It also comes with a funnel, a stir paddle and scoop).
At this point I must confess that I’m fortunate enough to live upstairs from an amazing coffee shop called "Mapps." Now I'm sure you’re asking yourself "why wouldn't you just go downstairs and buy a cup of coffee?" Well, I’ll tell you. I’m on a budget. But I digress. I do buy bulk beans from said coffee shop and I’ve settled on my favorite to be Mapp’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. I don’t really know what that means, but it’s described on the bag as being spicy, nutty and has hints of chocolate. And I truly believe all of that, but clearly my pallet is not refined enough to confirm those tastes, so what I can tell you is that they are good.
The first step is to heat up some water. I use a janky old tea pot on a cook top stove that serves me just fine, though I’m sure your run of the mill coffee snob would scoff at my heating element, it works for me.
While the water is heating, next comes the most important part (or so I’m told) the grind. I’ve found that a fine to medium-fine grind works best for an AeroPress, and I tend to agree. For this, again, I have an old Kitchen Aide grinder that at best gets the job done and at worst, takes far longer than it should.
Now that you’ve got your ground beans and your hot water, you’re ready to make some magic.
The simplicity of the AeroPress is really what turned me on to it.
There’s really just a few more steps to go before you’ll be enjoying the best cup of coffee you’ve ever made at home.
- Place the chamber on top of a sturdy coffee mug
- Put the grounds in the Chamber
- Pour about half of the water into the chamber and let the coffee “bloom” (I think it’s called bloom) for about 10 seconds.
4. Pour the rest of the water into the chamber and press the plunger all of the to the bottom.
That’s literally it. You’ve just made the perfect cup of ‘at-home’ coffee you can make
I normally add a little bit of half and half to my coffee, but I’ve found the smoothness of the AeroPress coffee I can drink it black and not get the acidity that I would get from drip.
Overall, I’d say the AeroPress meets all the things I was looking for in an at-home coffee maker.
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
So there you have it. Let me know in the comments below if you have a favorite coffee maker or if you have suggestions to improve my steps with the AeroPress.