Coffee Adventures with an Aeropress

Mateo Pinzon

Are you down for a quick coffee adventure?

Unless you are a coffee geek or lover, you must have replied something like what the heck are you talking about.

I know that for the majority of regular coffee consumers, drinking coffee doesn’t inspire an adventurous mood. It is more a ritual about boosting your energy, taking a relaxing break, or having a pleasant conversation. 

Though, trust me on this one. Today’s adventure is all about brewing a quick yet delicious coffee with an Aeropress. 

It is just the tip of the iceberg of what the coffee world can offer. I hope after this journey, you will be craving for more of these short adventures. 

History of the Aeropress

The Aeropress in essence is a small (compared to other brewing machines) plastic device with a plunger / huge syringe look. For the majority of coffee geeks, it produces one of the best cups of coffee in the world. 

Created by Allan Adler, a renowned inventor and retired Stanford University engineering instructor. In 1984, he established the Aeropress Inc. Company to manufacture and sell his revolutionary sporting goods inventions, including the Aerobie Pro flying ring, which set a Guinness World Record for the longest throw.

In 2004 Adler began studying the coffee brewing process and analyzing coffee maker designs to create a truly innovative device that would brew a superior single cup of coffee. 

The idea came from a dinner with members of his company. A wife to one of the sales managers suggested that she was always having problems when she just wanted to brew a single cup of coffee. This is when he accepted the challenge of creating this unique device.

After about 35 prototypes, Aerobie (Adler’s main brand at the time) debuted its breakthrough Aeropress coffee maker at a coffee industry trade show in November 2005. A trade show where Adler challenged Specialty coffee professionals, by asking them to blindly taste coffee cups made with the Aeropress and a Mazorco espresso machine. The experts were asked to distinguish the brewing method utilized in each cup. The result surprised and enraged some. Some chose the cup made with the Aeropress as the one made with the espresso machine. It was a strong and direct message to a skeptical industry about his revolutionary invention. 

It took the brand some years to establish credibility in the coffee world. Mainly because of the various brand changes and Adler’s lack of recognition in the industry. In 2017 Aerobie was sold to Swimways Corporation and Aeropress Inc. was created. After that sales of the Aeropress increased among serious coffee lovers across the USA and in over 60 countries. Its early adopters had a lot to do with its sales. In 2008, a group of coffee enthusiasts gathered in Oslo, Norway to solve the problem of not knowing how to use this interesting device. They made a fun competition among them to see whose recipe would make the best cup. Today this small gathering was the foundation for the creation of the World Aeropress Championship, which in 2019 gathered more than 68,265 eager spectators and 3,157 competitors.

How to Aeropress?

Besides being able to brew one single espresso-like cup, with almost no effort and no need for a huge expensive machine, one of the most valued features of the Aeropress is that during the coffee extraction process it tends to magically clean itself. Its only defect seems to be that it doesn’t look as spectacular as other coffee brewing machines on the market.

The Aeropress is also quite easy to handle. Let’s explain it step by step. 

The Aeropress consists of three main parts made of plastic. The chamber, the cap, and the plunger. The chamber is cylindrical and at its base, there is the perforated small-cap, where you insert a paper filter, that you twist onto the chamber. The cylindrical plunger is slightly smaller in diameter than that of the chamber, in which it is inserted.

Everyone has its way to brew coffee with an Aeropress. For the sake of making it less complicated will summarize the process. Yet, if you are curious about how to properly brew coffee with the Aeropress, go to this link from the Blue Bottle Coffee Company with great instructions on how to proceed. These are ideal for a more coffee geek audience, yet easy to follow for our coffee newbies. (I highly recommend you to research others and even experiment on your own)

  1. First, find a coffee blend ideal for your taste profile. To find the right one take our coffee taste test
  2. Boil 7 oz (200 g) of water. Weigh out 15–18 grams of coffee. Grind to a texture slightly finer than sea salt. No problem if you have already bought ground coffee.
  3. Place a filter together with coffee grounds in a plastic tube. 
  4. Then proceed to pour hot water and then stir for around 10 seconds. 
  5. Insert the plunger into the tube, and then press down slowly. 
  6. With the help of air pressure in the tube, the water will be forced through the grounds and drip into your coffee mug, which is positioned below. 

This extraction made with pressures is what makes the cup almost resembles the flavor given by an espresso in terms of strength.

If you prefer a longer cup, easily the coffee can be diluted with the addition of water, without negatively affecting the brew. 

Then the awesome cleaning feature comes. When you plunge the tube, the device cleans itself. 

Even though Adler claims this happened out of luck, its still a feature to love. The Aeropress allows people to brew coffee in a much faster way. The process takes about 1 minute, 4 minutes less than the shortest of its counterpart.

What about the flavor?

The Aeropress’s versatility gives it a major advantage in finding diverse flavor profiles. People have created hundreds of recipes by adjusting variables like grind size and brew time, resulting in a wide range of unique cups. 

As mentioned before the Aeropress can make coffee cups similar in taste to espresso. It is the perfect brewing device for curious coffee drinkers and experimenters.

Some claim that it gives a great balance of body and clarity. Others that it makes a nice strong cup and it can extract more flavor from the coffee grounds. 

The bottom line is that it is a versatile brewing machine that allows you to discover a unique flavor ideal for your taste profile. This is why it is hard to say that the Aeropress favors a specific coffee #Character. Yet, in my personal opinion is ideal for a #Fascinating or #Cheerful because it provides stronger body cups. Though, it depends on the twist you put on the brewing. 

As I said at the beginning of the article, this coffee adventure is just the beginning of a much bigger and tremendously fascinating world that is ready to be explored. 

I would like to invite you to try your own Aeropress recipe and give us your opinion about the whole experience.