How To Use an Aeropress: Step by Step
The Aeropress is beloved by many caffeine addicts, and with good reason since there’s really no brewing method quite like it. Aeropress coffee is strong with a bold flavor that resembles espresso, but this device costs a mere fraction of what an espresso machine costs.
Once you’ve purchased an Aeropress, how to use it becomes your next goal.
If you haven’t used one of these portable coffee makers yet, don’t despair. It’s a surprisingly simple concept, plus you’ll have the ability to brew coffee anywhere, as long as you have access to hot water and ground coffee beans.
With a few minutes of your time along with some patience, you can master your Aeropress and avoid the common pitfalls of this device.
What is an AeroPress?
Whether you’ve never heard of an Aeropress, or you just want to see what all the fuss is about, I’ve got you covered.
An Aeropress is a relatively new type of coffee maker that falls somewhere between an espresso machine and a French press coffee maker. The Aeropress relies on immersion brewing to produce a rich and bold beverage that resembles espresso.
This compact and portable coffee maker sits atop your cup or travel mug and brews one to three espresso-sized cups of coffee directly into your cup of choice. With an Aeropress, you can make hot or cold brew coffee, the brewing time for hot coffee is just a minute and for cold coffee, it’s two minutes. Drink your coffee straight or add milk, sugar, and cream as you like.
The Aeropress made its debut in 2005 and rapidly became a new favorite brewing method for coffee lovers worldwide.
To learn more about this nifty coffee maker, read our full Aeropress review.
Why You Want an Aeropress
The Aeropress coffee maker is extremely popular, so it’s probably not going to take much to convince you that you want one! But if you’re still on the fence about this innovative coffee gadget, here are a few of its special selling points:
- It’s lightweight and ideal for camping or hiking, or, throw it in your bag on your next business trip. The great thing about Aeropresses is that they can go anywhere!
- No electricity required. For Aeropress coffee, you need just water and ground beans.
- Versatile. An Aeropress is not limited to just one beverage. Sure, the hot espresso-like coffee is wonderful, but it can also create other drinks. Instructions are included for making cold brew, lattes, and American coffee.
- Hot or cold coffee. Love cold brew one day and hot coffee the next? The Aeropress does both equally well.
What You’ll Need To Follow This Tutorial
Before you start brewing Aeropress coffee for the first time, make sure you have everything needed close at hand:
- The Aeropress
- Aeropress filter and funnel
- Digital scale or Aeropress scoop
- Hot water
- Coffee beans or pre-ground coffee
- Spoon or stir stick
- Coffee cup or travel mug
How To Use an Aeropress: Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: If you’re using whole coffee beans, you’ll need to grind them first. A fine or espresso grind is recommended for Aeropress use, but coarse grinds are also okay. You can skip this part if you’re using pre-ground coffee.
Step 2: Heat the water to approximately 175 degrees Fahrenheit. The most common way of doing this is with a kettle, which also makes it easy to pour the water into the Aeropress’ chamber. If you’re making cold brew coffee, skip this step and continue to the next step.
The Brewing Process
Step 3: While holding your Aeropress, push the plunger out of the chamber.
Step 4: Place a filter inside the filter cap, and twist that filter cap back onto the chamber.
Step 5: Collect your cup or travel mug and stand your Aeropress on top of your cup. Place one rounded scoop of ground coffee into the chamber. Alternatively, you can use a digital scale to measure out approximately 17 grams of ground coffee.
Step 6: Shake the chamber gently to level the ground coffee.
Step 7: If you’re brewing a hot beverage, add hot water until it reaches Level 1 on the chamber. When making cold brew coffee, use tap water to the same level.
Step 8: For hot brew coffee, stir about 10 seconds. For cold brew, stir for approximately one minute.
Step 9: Carefully insert the plunger into the chamber and push down gently. You should feel some resistance. You may pause when that happens, but continue pushing down until the plunger reaches the grounds. Your coffee will flow into your mug beneath the device.
Step 10: Take off the filter cap, and while holding the chamber over a trash can, push the plunger completely through to eject any used grounds into the trash. Rinse the seal with water.
It’s Ready, Now What?
Step 11: If your goal is espresso-style coffee, you’ve accomplished that already and can enjoy your joe. You can also use the coffee you made as a starting point for other drinks. The Aeropress manual supplied with your coffee maker comes with directions on creating those, too.
- To make American coffee, add enough water to the cup until you have a total of eight ounces.
- For a latte, use eight ounces of milk instead of water when brewing.
- To make cold brew coffee, add ice or tap water until you have a total of eight ounces.
- Stir gently and enjoy your beverage!
Aeropress Tips for Better Brewing
Despite its simplicity and ease of use, learning how to make the Aeropress work well for you can involve some trial and error.
However, there are some useful Aeropress tips that can get you started on the right foot:
- Use filtered water rather than tap water for the best beverage quality.
- If you’re brewing hot coffee, preheat your Aeropress by rinsing it with warm or hot water before brewing. This keeps your beverage’s temperature from dropping quickly.
- When you want to make more than the one to three cups that an Aeropress can brew, use more ground coffee and add water until it reaches the highest level marked on the chamber. You’ll get a stronger beverage, which can then be diluted to produce more cups.
- Don’t press too hard when plunging as that can compress the ground coffee and prevent water from flowing through it. If it takes too long to push the plunger down completely, try a coarser grind.
Aeropress Care and Maintenance
The Aeropress may be one of the most low-maintenance coffee makers out there. Unlike most machines that require periodic maintenance and deep cleaning to function properly, this device really just needs some water.
Once you’re done brewing a beverage and have ejected all the ground coffee, a quick rinse with warm water is all that’s needed to get rid of any leftover grinds. Pushing the plunger fully through the chamber effectively scrapes off any coffee remnants.
If needed, the Aeropress can be washed with soapy water, or pop it in the top rack of your dishwasher.
When your Aeropress isn’t in use, it should be stored with the plunger and seal pushed completely through. This keeps the seal from being compressed and helps your Aeropress last longer.
Wrapping It Up
The Aeropress may be one of the easiest brewing methods to master, although it definitely takes some trial and error to find your perfect technique.
Hot water is forced through ground coffee in a manner similar to that of a French press. The result is a delectable beverage that is full-flavored and strong. It’s no surprise that this innovative coffee maker has legions of fans who prefer it over other methods or even their local cafes.
Get those coffee beans from your pantry, heat some water in your kettle, and get busy brewing. When you introduce your friends to this simple machine, they’ll be converts too!
How To Use an Aeropress FAQs
How Much Coffee Do You Use for 1 Cup Aeropress?
For one cup, measure out or grind enough coffee to fill one rounded Aeropress spoon. This equals about two and a half tablespoons or 17 grams.
Which Grind Is Best for Aeropress?
Fine drip or espresso grind is recommended.
Why Is My Aeropress Coffee Bitter?
You may be over-extracting your coffee. One suggestion is to grind your beans a little more coarsely. You can also shorten the time ground coffee is immersed in water and push the plunger down on your Aeropress sooner.
Is Aeropress Coffee Strong?
Aeropress coffee is not quite as strong as true espresso, but it is stronger than drip or pour-over java because of the Aeropress’ immersion brewing method.
Can You Get Crema from Aeropress?
While you may be able to produce a small amount of crema, classic crema is only possible with an actual espresso machine. The Aeropress does not create enough pressure to generate real crema.
How Many Times Can You Use an AeroPress Filter?
Aeropress recommends that you only use each filter once, but people have reported using each filter 10 to 20 times, rinsing it with water in between uses. While we don’t recommend using a filter that many times, you can get away with using the same Aeropress filter two or three times.
Is Aeropress Plastic Safe?
Yes, the Aeropress is made from BPA-free plastic.
Can You Put Aeropress in the Dishwasher?
Yes, your Aeropress can be washed in the top rack of a dishwasher.