Are you looking for step-by-step instructions to use your new AeroPress coffee maker for travelers? Or maybe you’re an old hand at this but need to spice up your usual brewing methods?
No worries then, this article will give you all the help you need!
We’ll be showing you the tried and true original method, the riskier inverted method and the refreshing cold brew method. We also have award-winning recipes tried and tested by professional coffee makers at the World AeroPress Championship.
These are hands down some of the best recipes you’ll want to try out for yourself both at home or while traveling.
Let’s get down to business with the original method so you can start getting the best out of your AeroPress travel coffee maker immediately.
Instructions for the AeroPress Coffee Maker: The Original Method
This guide will help you through the standard way of brewing your cup with this incredibly portable product.
Getting the AeroPress to work is a simple task using the original method, but to get it to taste exactly how your taste buds like it might take a couple of tries.
First of all, the AeroPress Coffee Maker works by pressing down, so some force is needed and so is a level surface. Keep these two things in mind as you read the following instructions:
1. Put a micro-filter over the filter cap of the AeroPress and screw that cap onto the chamber (the thicker tube).
2. Measure 17 grams of coffee beans by filling the spoon provided to the brink and then grind the beans.
3. Pour the ground coffee into the chamber and rest the chamber on top of your cup.
4. Heat up water to 190⁰F (or 88⁰C) and pour it slowly into the chamber containing the coffee, stirring the coffee gently with the stirrer or spinning the chamber for a gentler stir.
5. Let the coffee rest for at least a minute.
6. Take the plunger (the slimmer tube) and place it inside the chamber.
7. Press down on the plunger so that the coffee goes through the filter in the chamber and into the cup. Stop when you hear a hissing sound indicating there’s no more coffee left in the chamber.
And you’re done! It won’t take you long to go from setup to sipping on your cup.
So maybe you’ve mastered the original method and you’re ready to move on to a more challenging, but equally satisfying, technique?
Have a look at the next method to spice up your life.
The AeroPress Inverted: The Upside-Down Method
The inverted method is the more daring technique for those of you who like a challenge when you’re making coffee. This method flips things upside down not once, but twice.
Have a look:
1. Find yourself a level surface.
2. Fit the plunger into the chamber and place the AeroPress Coffee Maker on the level surface so that the plunger is holding the AeroPress up. This is why this is called the inverted method: the plunger seals the chamber and holds it upside down.
3. Measure 17 grams of coffee beans by filling the spoon provided to the brink and then grind the beans.
4. Pour the ground coffee into the upside-down chamber.
5. Heat up water to 190⁰F (or 88⁰C) and pour it slowly into the chamber containing the coffee, stirring the coffee gently.
6. Let the coffee rest for at least a minute.
7. Put a micro-filter over the filter cap and screw it onto the chamber as carefully as possible.
8. Here comes the tricky part: place your cup upside down on the chamber and holding the chamber in one hand and the cup in the other turn the whole structure right-side up.
9. Press down on the plunger so that the coffee goes through the filter in the chamber and into the cup. Stop when you hear the hissing sound.
I guess you’re wondering why someone would subject themselves to the extra work that the inverted method requires. In the following section, we look at some very obvious and some not so obvious answers to this question.
The Original Method vs The Inverted Method: What’s the Difference?
Besides the evident right side up and upside down differences between the original method and the inverted method, there are less conspicuous reasons to employ one method over the other.
Some of these reasons are apparent to all coffee lovers, while others are only noticeable to those practiced in the art of coffee.
When using the original method you might noticed a few more drops fall into your cup as you’re fitting your plunger into the chamber. These drops are nothing to worry about, but they’re made up of under-extracted coffee. This means these drops aren’t really that tasty and, however small they are, they point at a slight technical flaw in the system. This flaw is completely avoided when using the upside-down method.
What coffee lovers call “the bloom” is a thin layer of foam rich in flavor and aroma that can be found on top of coffee grounds as you pour hot water on them. It is basically the tastiest, most aromatic part of your brew. Well, when pressing down on the plunger using the original method the bloom gets trapped in the used coffee grounds and isn’t really pushed out through the filter and into your cup.
However, when using the inverted method, as you turn the AeroPress Coffee maker right side up the bloom that was sitting at the top of the brew is mixed in with the rest of the coffee. The bloom is then pushed out along with the rest of your coffee into your cup. This makes for a tastier cup of joe overall, one barista the world over would be proud of.
In a nutshell: the original method is a quicker, less complicated way to press your coffee; while the inverted method is a slower, riskier way to make your favorite brew with the added flavor the bloom affords you.
But wait, it’s not over yet! The AeroPress is such a versatile product that there’s yet another method for you to try.
The AeroPress Cold Brew Method: A Cool Guide
There are so many recipes for making a cold brew with an AeroPress, about as many recipes as there are taste buds in your mouth! Due to the limited space, we’re going to give you the outlines of two different recipes and you can experiment with them until you hit on a method of your liking.
The first recipe involves putting your already ground coffee in a bottle and soaking it in room temperature water. Leave your bottle on the counter away from direct sunlight for 5 to 10 hours. Then stick the bottle in the fridge and leave it there overnight. Your brew will be ready in the morning. Take it out of the fridge, pour the mixture into an upright AeroPress and press it into your cup. Alternatively, press it over ice cubes for an even colder brew.
The second recipe takes a little longer. Don’t use a bottle for this one. We’re going to make the coffee grounds steep right in an inverted AeroPress. We’re also not sticking the AeroPress in the fridge after 5 to 10 hours on the counter; leave your inverted AeroPress on the counter for a total of 24 hours instead. After the 24 hours have passed, you know what to do: put the paper filter on the filter cap and screw it onto the chamber, flip the AeroPress and press your coffee over ice and enjoy.
There are even more ways you could be enjoying your cup of coffee. But don’t take it from me, take it from the pros themselves!
The Best Brews: Recipes from World AeroPress Championship Winners
The World AeroPress Championship is a yearly event taking place after 60 countries hold their own country-wide tournaments. The winners of said tournaments go on to face each other at the World AeroPress Championship. The panel of judges is made up of some of the most knowledgeable coffee tasters around; the competitors are dedicated and fierce; the MCs are lively and fun; while the crowd takes it easy with their own cups of coffee. It’s a pretty serious affair, but it also has the informal feel of a friendly gathering.
What follows are some of the winners’ best recipes you could be making for yourself at home. They are mostly accessible, as most ingredients can be found online, but you could tweak them to match your tastes if you prefer your own filters, water and/or beans. Have a look:
2019 World AeroPress Championship winner
The latest (2019) World AeroPress Championship winner, Wendelien van Bunnik from The Netherlands, uses:
- Coffee: 30g
- Grind: 7 (1 being very fine, 10 being very coarse)
- Water: 100g Spa Blauw water (30PPM) at 197.6⁰F (92⁰C)
- Method: Inverted
- Filter: Aesir Filter (rinsed before use)
- Total brew time: 60 seconds
Her spectacular coffee is made by:
- Pouring 100g of water on the coffee in 10 seconds.
- Stirring firmly 20 times in 10 seconds.
- Putting the filter cap with the rinsed filter on the chamber and gently pressing out any excess air.
- At 40 seconds, flipping the AeroPress Coffee maker and pressing out all the coffee. This should give you about 60g of extracted coffee.
- Adding 100g of water to the extracted coffee.
- Tasting and adding more water until the desired strength. She ended up with a 120g dilution at the championship.
- Cooling the brew down to 140⁰F (60⁰C) by stirring and decanting.
- Enjoying the brew!
2018 World AeroPress Champion
Let’s have a look at one more recipe, this time coming from the 2018 World AeroPress Champion Carolina Ibarra Garay from the USA. She uses:
- Coffee: 34.9g
- Grind: 8 (1 being very fine, 10 being very coarse)
- Water: 160g at 185⁰F (85⁰C), 40g at room temperature.
- Method: Inverted
- Filter: Paper
- Total brew time: 90 seconds
The winning coffee was made by:
- Setting the water temperature to 185⁰F (85⁰C).
- Preparing the filter paper by rinsing it with hot water.
- Grinding the coffee.
- Pouring 100g of water on the coffee for 30 seconds.
- Stirring vigorously but carefully with a wooden pair of chopsticks for 30 seconds.
- Putting the filter cap on.
- Flipping the AeroPress and pressing into a glass server for 30 seconds.
- Not preheating the serving vessel.
- Topping up the brew with 60g of water at 185⁰F (85⁰C) and 40g of room temperature water.
- Enjoying the brew!
As you can see, these are not massively complicated cups of coffee, which is one of the beauties of this competition: literally anyone who has the time to train their palette and practice brewing could win!
I hope you’ve all learnt something about your AeroPress Coffee Maker today and you’re looking forward to trying a new method or two. Remember the recipes are there to be tweaked to your specific liking according to what filters, beans and even water you have on hand.
Get practicing and, who knows, maybe you’ll turn into a pro in the near future.
If you have any questions, make sure you comment below!