A perfect cup of coffee for a perfect morning!
I have spent lazy summer days in a “Sommerhus” (e.g. “summer house”) in Denmark with my family and one thing I will share with you is the coffee I enjoyed every morning. My wife doesn’t drink black coffee, so to keep things as simple and easy as possible I brought my Aeropress and a glass of preground coffee (for obvious reasons I decided not to bring my coffee grinder, but I did use a nice coffee from Tim Wendelboe though). At home I have enough equipment to prepare coffee in a dozen ways, but none are as simple and fast as the Aeropress (well – maybe except for Nescafe, but does that count?). I would even dare to say that no other method of preparing coffee offers a better quality-price-convenience ratio!
Although it’s simple, you can still vary grind, amount of water, water temperature and extraction time, so there are plenty of possibilities for experimentation. And believe it or not – there is even an Aeropress world championship. That should give you an idea of how much variation is actually possible!
Using two measuring spoons and the suggested 30-40 second brew time gives a somewhat overdosed and underextracted coffee according to my taste (i.e. a lot of “coffee” aroma, but too little bitterness and a little flat tastewise). This of course also depends a lot on the density of the coffee – and here we’re back to why volume measurements are quite useless for dosing powders. After some experimentation however I’ve ended up with a dose around 15-20 g (ground at setting 40 on my Rancilio Rocky) and extraction times in the range 40-90 seconds. But these conditions are not carved in stone – I keep adjusting them as I get different coffees, and also enjoy how my coffee tastes a bit different every morning. You can get further input on the Aeropress recipes from previous AWC competitors.
Apart from the nice coffee, the best thing about this coffee maker is that it’s very easy to clean. Because of that it’s also the ideal coffee maker to use in the office or at work (in case there’s no good coffee available there). Here are some pictures to illustrate preparation of a cup of coffee and cleaning of the Aeropress:
Areopress upside down on countertop, loaded with coarsly ground coffee (I dialed my Rocky to around 40).
The advantage of the “inverted” method is that no coffee starts to drip before you want it to.
I stir to make sure all the coffee is properly wetted. I then screw on the filter holder with a filter paper inserted (not shown here). Also note that I fill it up all the way with water, and I usually use freshly boiled water. Some prefer to use less water and temperatures anywhere between 75-95 °C.
Oooops – not a perfect fit with the mugs in the summer house, but this did in no way affect the taste of the coffee 🙂 With the mugs/cups I use at home there’s no problem. After extraction I top of the cup with hot water.
After the filter holder is unscrewed, pressing the plunger the last few millimeters makes the filterpaper and the filtercake pop out of the cylinder. You would of course normally just pop this directly into your waste bin, not on a clean plate as in the picture …
Quickly rinse your Aeropress under running water – and you’re done!
Interesting stuff. Personally I’ve recently aquired a Presso, which has a lot of the advantages of the Aeropress, is less portable, but makes something closer to expresso.
Interesting you mention your grinder – a Rancillo Rocky? I’ve got a Krups grinder at the moment, but it’s, well, Krup. Any recommendations on slightly cheaper grinders? I believe the Rocky’s a few hundred Euro.
Yes – it’s a Rancilio Rocky. I’ve heard from coffee people that it’s not the best grinder, even for that price… But at least it’s a burr grinder 🙂
I’ve wanted to lay my hands on an aeropress for a long time. Maybe this year?
Hugh: we’ve got a burr grinder which is very good bet in terms of price vs quality. It seems to go under various brands/names. In Norway it goes by the Wilfa brand name at the moment (http://www.wilfa.no/katalog/home.php?cat=322). At Amazon it seemingly goes by the name Breville BCG450XL (http://www.amazon.com/Breville-BCG450XL-Conical-Burr-Grinder/dp/B000MDHH0Q/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1278488350&sr=8-7). This is/was Tim Wendelboe’s choice for low-price grinder.
Martin, on dosage: of course a matter of taste, but when talking to Wendelboe he said that he seeks to minimise the amount of bitterness. Of course there are various sorts and degrees of bitterness. Roasting is of course important, and Wendelboe’s trend is light roasting in order to promote complexity and fruitiness. Another brand might work well with the given dosage (American roasters ofter go for darker roasts, seemingly)
Aeropress? or aeroplasticpress?
I like everything on coffe, my blood pressure is very low, and I enjoy coffe 3 or 4 times from 7:00 up to 16:00, inclusive before siesta … but I do not like plastic cooking tools at all, and if any, only and exclusively with chilled or frozen foods.
It is not a matter on plastic materials it is because of plastifiant and added plastic substances additives for colour, shining, forming, and a very large etcetera.
Please have a look at the european law:
JL Salgado: The have actually recently changed the materials in the Aeropress due to consumer concerns:
Your recipe sounds nice. But don’t forget that coffee may be really addictive. The recipe I like, though, is the one where they add some salt. They do so in Afghanistan or somewhere else in Asia.
1st Many thanks. I have visited the link.
2nd I am very concern on food and feed, I am chemist in Spain, I work in an juice indutry –zumos– and the main issue in food are plastics, because plastics have a lot of non plastics (polymers) also contains residues of polmeriztation catalyzers, and additives.
3rd In my opinion, all plastic should have an ingredient list, like food or shoes or clothes, and description of the catalyzer used in their production, it is not enough the FDA release.
I declare in my brand all ingredient list, over 5 ppb, and it is just juice, sorry, zumo.
Err, for filter coffee what’s wrong with a small melitta filter above a mug? No assembly, filters available in any corner shop around the world and virtually no cleaning
JL Salgado: Ingredients list for plastics sounds interesting. But I doubt if it would actually help consumers much (see my post on how the name of ingredients influences the perception of their potential harmfulness).
Moscool: Yes – filter coffee is cheaper, more robust and easy to clean – but my Aeropress coffee still tastes better than my drip filter since it allows me to stop the extraction exactly when I want to.
Thanks for the recommendation — I picked one up after reading this and have been experimenting with it. I’m very happy with the results so far!