AeroPress Coffee Maker Review: Staff Pick
The Aeropress Coffee Maker is one of the more unique coffee brewing vessels on the market today. It’s compact, easy to use, inexpensive, and yields amazing flavor.
Its popularity has skyrocketed in the last few years, and craft coffee lovers everywhere are gathering behind the Aeropress as their preferred method of brewing coffee.
But why is Aeropress coffee so special? How could such a funny-looking plastic tube make such a good cup of joe?
We’ve put together a comprehensive Aeropress review that gives you all the answers you'll need when it comes to these questions. We hope that this detailed look into the Aeropress Coffee Maker can help decide if this is a purchase you want to make.
What Exactly is an Aeropress?
The Aeropress Coffee Maker is a small, single-cup coffee maker that uses a plunger movement similar to that of a french press.
Although it has gained more awareness in the last couple of years, its origins actually date back to the early 1990s.
Successful inventor Alan Adler wanted to create a device that made excellent coffee and was easy enough for anyone to use, and from this the Aeropress coffee maker was born.
The Aeropress is made up of three main parts: one plastic cylindrical piece that acts as the base, another cylindrical plastic piece with rubber at the bottom that acts as the plunger, and a filter lid that screws into the top of the device.
We’ll dive into more detail about the individual parts of the Aeropress and what materials are used later on in this review article.
Benefits of the Aeropress Coffee Maker: Small, Compact, and Lightweight
The small size of the plastic tubes may be one of the more beloved characteristics of the Aeropress coffee maker. It’s small enough to take on the go, so it has become a favored technique for brewing coffee on vacation, on the road, or at your favorite campsite.
The three pieces come apart which makes it easy to pack, and the Aeropress comes with a compact travel bag as well.
It’s made with BPA-free, durable plastic and only weighs around 8 ounces, making it the most lightweight method of brewing coffee.
The size and weight of the Aeropress coffee maker truly set it apart from other methods of brewing coffee, as well as the delicious coffee that it produces in the process.
The Taste of Aeropress Coffee
The quality of coffee that is made from an Aeropress coffee maker probably surprises most people. If you just look at the Aeropress, it seems to be nothing special.
It’s plastic and small, and honestly resembles a science experiment more so than a coffee maker. But what has put the Aeropress on the forefront of the craft coffee market, along with its compact size and convenience, is the high-quality coffee that it yields.
The boldness of Aeropress coffee lands somewhere in the middle of a cup of french press coffee and a pour over/Chemex. It’s smoother than the coffee you get from a french press but bolder than the light, silky pour over.
When Adler first invented the Aeropress coffee maker, he had the best tasting coffee in mind. He thought of the pressurization that occurs in an espresso machine and wanted to figure out how to replicate that in a handheld device.
The Aeropress’ design of submersion and pressurization creates coffee that is strong, versatile, and holds the flavor of your favorite coffee beans. It’s versatile because you can create concentrated coffee for espresso style or more diluted coffee for drip.
Aeropress coffee truly is some of the most flavorful, easy-to-make coffee you'll ever taste.
In an automatic drip coffee pot, the hot water drips onto the coffee grounds in one central spot, which almost always over extracts the grounds and makes the coffee bitter.
That is why you’ll find that it’s harder to taste the flavor notes of coffee in this type of brewing method. But with an Aeropress, you’re carefully submerging the grounds in hot water.
You'll then extract the Aeropress coffee at the perfect amount of time, leaving you with a smooth and bold flavor that lacks bitterness.
It may come as a surprise to most people when they first see the Aeropress, but they'll soon learn that it has more power than most coffee makers.
What is the Aeropress Coffee Maker Made of?
(Image credits: aeropress.com)
Sometimes people hesitate when they hear that a coffee maker is made of plastic. Can’t that be harmful to my body? What about the environment? Can it melt when I make hot coffee?
Thankfully, the Aeropress coffee maker is made from three different plastics that are all BPA-free. This means that it is 100% safe for your body.
The Aeropress filter cap is made from polypropylene, the transparent part of the plunger is made from copolyester, and the black rubber part of the plunger is made from thermoplastic elastomer.
According to Driftaway Coffee, “These three plastics are all durable, creating a strong coffee maker that should last for a long time as long as it’s not improperly used. They also, by being BPA- and phthalate-free, minimize the Aeropress’ environmental impact.”
Aeropress Instructions: How to make the best cup of Aeropress coffee
The Aeropress is quick and simple to use. Along with the three main Aeropress parts, you’ll need paper filters and a stir stick.
It is also recommended that you have a gooseneck kettle for pouring, but it isn’t necessary.
There are many different Aeropress recipes you can use, which we will go over in detail later on in the article, and you can experiment to figure out which one works best for you. For now, we’ll follow a standard Aeropress recipe in this article for the purpose of explanation.
Start by taking the cylindrical Aeropress part that has the numbers on the side. You can also make the Aeropress inverted, which looks slightly different, but we'll show you how to do that later on.
Take the paper filter and lightly dampen it, then add it to the filter top. Then screw in the filter top to the Aeropress cylindrical base. Once your filter top is screwed into your Aeropress base, you can place it on top of your favorite coffee mug.
Grind 17 grams of your favorite coffee on a medium-fine grind and scoop it into the cylinder.
Heat your water to about 205 degrees. Then pour enough water into the cylinder to cover all the grounds, and wait 30 seconds. This releases some of the gases, which is also known as “letting the coffee bloom.”
After thirty seconds, gently stir the coffee with the Aeropress stir stick that comes in your online order, then pour the rest of the water until you reach the top of the cylinder.
Wait about 1 minute and 15 second and then push down on the plunger slowly, which will release coffee into your cup and hold the wet grounds inside the Aeropress.
You can enjoy the coffee as is, or you can try adding more hot water or milk.
Why is the Aeropress Grind Size Medium-Fine?
There are two main reasons that the Aeropress grind size is medium-fine, even though it is a full-submersion brewing method similar to the french press.
The first reason is that the Aeropress filters are tighter and contain really small holes. If the coffee was ground coarse like a french press, it would fall through the filter holes.
The other main reason that the Aeropress grind size is smaller is that Aeropress coffee is almost always brewed more concentrated.
The medium to fine grind size is necessary for making a more concentrated cup of coffee.
How do I Find My Perfect Aeropress Ratio?
Finding your perfect ratio for any type of coffee can be tedious, and it requires patience and a willingness to experiment!
Finding your perfect Aeropress ratio is no different. You can start with a basic ratio and go from there, depending on how bold or light you prefer your coffee. Some people are picky about the coffee they drink, and others aren't. Regardless of how you enjoy your coffee, it's good to find the Aeropress ratio that's right for you.
We like to start with a ratio of 17 grams of coffee to 200 grams of water. We feel that this produces the best-tasting cup of Aeropress coffee.
If you use this ratio and find that it tastes too strong or too concentrated, try using 16 grams of coffee instead. You can also try adding hot water to your brewed Aeropress coffee to dilute it.
If you find that you want more of a punch in your Aeropress coffee, try going up to 18 or 19 grams of coffee.
Just remember, you can play around with your Aeropress ratios as much as you want until you find what's right for YOU.
What Aeropress Accessories Comes With Your Aeropress?
Your purchase comes ready with all of the necessary Aeropress parts and tools. When you order from our site, you’ll receive the following Aeropress accessories:
- Filter Cap
- 350 paper filters
- Tote Bag for travel (when selected)
Where Can I Buy Aeropress Filters?
You can purchase Aeropress filters right here on our site! When you order an Aeropress coffee maker, you'll receive 350 paper filters in your order.
If you become an Aeropress fanatic and find that you've run out of your paper filters rather quickly, you can purchase a pack here.
There are also a few more filter options for you. If you're trying to waste less paper, you can purchase a metal Aeropress filter here.
If you want to try a special Aeropress filter that creates a bit of froth at the top of your Aeropress coffee, you can try the Fellow Prismo here.
What Are the Best Aeropress Filters to Buy?
Figuring out the best Aeropress filters to buy is a decision that depends on a couple of things!
If you want Aeropress filters that are the easiest to use and produce the cleanest tasting coffee, we suggest using paper micro-filters. With these, you filter out the most coffee grit, leaving you with the smoothest Aeropress coffee.
They're also the easiest because you can just toss them in the garbage after one use, and you don't have to worry about cleaning an extra Aeropress part. You can buy a pack of 350 for $6.99.
If you're looking for an Aeropress filter that is more environmentally friendly and makes coffee that resembles the bold, robust flavors of a french press, we recommend the metal Aeropress filters.
With the metal filters, you don't have to worry about wasting paper. Because the mesh has slightly bigger holes than the paper filters, you'll get some of the natural coffee oils in your cup of Aeropress coffee.
This adds to the bold flavors that some people love. You can buy a pack of 2 for $9.99.
For a fun, creative way to enjoy your Aeropress coffee as espresso, try the Fellow Prismo. It works as a pressurizing valve that builds enough momentum to produce creamy, frothy crema at the top of your Aeropress coffee, just like a double espresso you'd order at a cafe.
You can purchase a Fellow Prismo for $25.
Aeropress vs French Press
The Aeropress and french press are often compared because of their names, appearance, and brewing methods. But in the Aeropress vs french press discussion, there are more differences than we may realize.
For one, the Aeropress coffee maker is quicker. Although the process of heating the water, grinding the coffee, and setting up the coffee maker might be the same as a french press, the brew time is shorter.
Aeropress coffee takes about 1 1/2 minutes to brew, whereas the french press usually brews between 4 and 5 minutes.
Another difference is the flavor between the two. The Aeropress uses finer ground coffee, while the french press uses very coarse grounds.
Because of this, Aeropress coffee tastes smoother and more concentrated, whereas french press coffee is bolder, more oily, and sometimes bitter.
The Aeropress coffee maker is also a bit easier to travel with. You can still travel with the french press, but it's heavier and more fragile. The Aeropress was created with transportation in mind, which is why it's so light, durable, and compact.
Aeropress vs Pour Over
These two methods of brewing coffee are largely different. When talking about Aeropress vs Pour Over, it's hard to find many similarities aside from them both being coffee makers!
The Aeropress coffee maker uses a brewing method of submersion, meaning the coffee grounds sit in the hot water over a period of time. This creates a strong, concentrated, bold flavor that can be compared to espresso.
The Pour Over resembles a drip coffee pot in a lot of ways. Because you're pouring hot water over the coffee grounds, the coffee that you're yielding will be smooth and mild, similarly to that of drip coffee.
It's also good to remember that the Aeropress coffee maker is the easiest to travel with. Traveling with a pour over coffee maker would be difficult because it's easy to break.
Aeropress vs Chemex
In the Aeropress vs Chemex comparison, you'll notice most of the differences between the two resemble the differences we discussed between the Aeropress and the pour over.
This is because the Chemex and the pour over are very similar brewing methods. They both use cone-shaped vessels and require you to slowly pour hot water over the coffee grounds.
The major difference between the Aeropress and the Chemex is that the Chemex can make a larger number of cups at a time.
The Aeropress is really only designed to make one cup of coffee per brew, whereas the Chemex can brew up to 10 cups of coffee at once.
Pros and Cons of the Aeropress Coffee Maker
The Aeropress is a popular choice among coffee drinkers, but that doesn’t mean it comes without flaws. We’ve prepared a few pros and cons in order to prepare you for making a purchase.
- It's inexpensive: You can purchase the Aeropress coffee maker for just $29.99, or $34.99 with the travel bag included.
- It's easy to use.
- The Aeropress produces high-quality, delicious coffee.
- It's perfect for traveling.
- The Aeropress' aesthetic isn’t great and might not look as awesome on a countertop as the Chemex or french press.
- It can only make a single cup of coffee at a time.
How to Use the Aeropress Inverted Method
The detailed instructions that we gave earlier in the article are a great guide to the standard method of brewing Aeropress coffee, which is good to follow for your first few times trying an Aeropress coffee maker.
Some people prefer what is called the "inverted method." This is essentially the standard method, just flipped upside down. It makes the same type of coffee, it's just sometimes easier to clean.
You'll prepare your Aeropress almost entirely the same way. Heat up your water, grind your coffee, warm up your mug.
Then, take the cylinder with the rubber at the bottom and attach it to the other cylinder. This will be your Aeropress base. Next, you'll want to put the coffee grounds at the bottom of this base so it's touching the rubber part.
You'll then pour your hot water through the top (following the same instructions for the standard method.) Once you're done pouring your water, stir and let it sit for 1 minute and 15 seconds.
Then, take the filter cap with the dampened filter and screw it in to the base as tightly as you can. Quickly flip it over so that it is resting on top of your coffee mug. Now, it's time to push down on the plunger.
Using the Aeropress inverted method is simple, just like the standard method, so it's up to you to find what works best.
How to Use an Aeropress for Espresso
The Aeropress coffee maker is more versatile than many other coffee makers, and it's one of the few at-home coffee makers that you can use to make both a cup of hot coffee and a shot of espresso.
Because you can make your Aeropress coffee so concentrated, you can brew a really nice, bold cup of espresso.
To use Aeropress for espresso, you'll want to make sure you have a Fellow Prismo attachment. This Aeropress part replaces the plastic filter cap that comes with your Aeropress.
It's designed to build pressure while you push, which mimics the pressurization in an espresso machine.
Once you have your Fellow Prismo attached, you can grind 20 grams of coffee on a fine grind. Next, you'll want to heat up your water.
Using the inverted method, set a timer and start pouring your hot water over the grounds until you reach 50 grams of water. This should take about 10-20 seconds.
Next, start stirring your coffee for about 30 seconds. Once 60 seconds is up, flip your Aeropress over and push down.
Then, enjoy a nice cup of espresso with a some creamy, frothy crema on top!
What is the Best Aeropress Grinder?
The best Aeropress grinder is the grinder that is going to provide the most accuracy for grind size. Because of this, we highly recommend that you use a burr grinder. Blade grinders are inconsistent and often times negatively affect the coffee brewing process.
For a reliable, beginner-level burr coffee grinder, try the Baratza Encore. You can purchase it here for $139.99.
If you love using your Aeropress coffee maker on the go, try a manual hand burr grinder like the Lido 3 grinder. It's compact and durable, making it a perfect travel companion for the Aeropress. You can purchase it here for $195.
If you want a reliable grinder that is more affordable, try the Hario Skerton Pro. It's not as transportable as the Lido 3, but you can definitely still take it with you. You can purchase it here for $62.99.
-Aeropress iced coffee
What you'll need:
-Aeropress Coffee Maker
-Scale and timer
Start by measuring out about 90 grams of ice in the cup you'll be pouring into. Then, measure out 18 grams of ground coffee.
Using the inverted method, brew 18 grams of coffee and 130 grams of water. Once you're done, push down on the plunger so the coffee drains into your cup of ice. Mix and drink as is, or add some milk to make it creamy!
What you'll need:
-Aeropress Coffee Maker
-Fellow Prismo Attachment
-Milk of choice
-Milk frother (we recommend the Aerolatte To Go Electric Milk Frother)
Follow the brewing instructions for using an Aeropress for espresso that we listed earlier.
Once you've brewed your delicious espresso, froth about 6 to 8 ounces of your favorite milk by using an electric milk frother. Voila, a latte in your own home!
We hope this review of the Aeropress Coffee Maker has helped you better understand the Aeropress and its qualities.
We realize it’s sometimes not enough to just hear people say good things about a product, so we wanted to give you details of the device itself and what it will be like using it.