The pursuit of that perfect cup of coffee to start your day can, more often than not, require sacrificing precious time. The AeroPress, on the other hand, can deliver a smooth, delicious brew in just under two minutes.
While there are numerous fun and creative ways you can use the AeroPress to brew a fantastic cup of coffee, the recipe shared below is a great place to start.
In this article, we not only walk you through how to make AeroPress coffee but also provide a list of the necessary equipment and ingredients you’ll need, along with some different ways you can add variety to this already amazing brew.
Table of Contents
What Is AeroPress Coffee?
The AeroPress is one of the more unique coffee brewing methods, as it combines elements of steeping and pressure to create an incredibly smooth and flavorful cup of coffee.
Although the AeroPress is relatively new to the coffee brewing game (it was developed in 2005), it has grown rapidly in popularity. To the point that thousands of people compete annually in the World AeroPress Championship.
The device consists of a brewing chamber, a filter cap, and a plastic plunger. The brewing process involves steeping medium-fine ground coffee beans in hot water for approximately one minute and then using the plunger to force the brewed coffee through a paper or wire-mesh filter.
The AeroPress differs from other brewing methods in both its function and the type of brew it produces. Although it uses pressure, similar to an espresso machine, it doesn’t produce a concentrated espresso shot. In contrast to the longer steeping time when making French press coffee, which produces a more robust brew, the AeroPress delivers a smoother cup of coffee with low acidity, bitterness, and no sediment.
Equipment & Ingredients Needed to Make AeroPress Coffee
Before jumping into how to make AeroPress coffee, we first need to make sure you have all the necessary equipment and ingredients. The good news is, outside of the actual AeroPress itself, making AeroPress coffee doesn’t require a bunch of expensive or specialized equipment.
Below, we’ve provided a list of everything you’ll need to brew the perfect cup of coffee, as well as included links to some of our favorites.
- Whole Coffee Beans: Whole beans are fresher and retain more of the coffee’s natural flavor and aroma compared to pre-ground coffee. Additionally, we recommend using a light roast or specialty coffee beans, as the AeroPress is more effective at highlighting their complex and subtle flavor profiles.
- Filtered Water: Regular tap water often contains excessive amounts of minerals, chlorine, and other impurities that can affect the taste of your coffee. An easy solution is to use spring or bottled water instead. However, if you really want to elevate the quality and taste of your coffee-brewing water, we highly recommend using Third Wave Water.
- Electric or Stovetop Kettle: A kettle is essential for heating your water to the appropriate brewing temperature. While most electric kettles have built-in temperature settings, we recommend pairing a stovetop kettle with a thermometer to ensure better temperature control. Choosing between these two types of kettles typically comes down to price and how much you’re willing to spend.
- Burr Grinder: A burr grinder produces more consistent and uniform grounds than blade grinders. This ensures even extraction of flavors and prevents the bitter taste that can often result from using unevenly ground coffee. If investing in a burr grinder isn’t feasible at the moment, you can always purchase whole coffee beans from a local coffee shop and ask them to grind them for you.
- AeroPress: The AeroPress comes in three different sizes, with the “Original” being the most common. Each includes the brewing chamber, filter cap, plastic plunger, a small supply of paper filters, measuring scoop, and plastic stirrer, giving you everything you need for proper measurement and brewing.
- AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap (optional): This extra accessory can be used in place of the provided filter cap. It eliminates drip-through during brewing and allows for more flexibility when experimenting with your AeroPress (this is what we use when making our AeroPress coffee).
- Funnel: A simple funnel with a larger mouth can make adding the coffee grounds to the AeroPress brewing chamber easier and much less messy.
- Timer: A timer ensures the precise brewing time and helps to avoid under or over-extraction. A simple kitchen timer or the timer on your phone will work perfectly for this.
- Mug or Small Pitcher: A basic coffee mug or small pitcher is necessary to capture the pressed coffee and provide stability during the pressing process.
- Scale (optional): Although the AeroPress comes with all the necessary measuring tools, a scale can provide more accuracy and consistency when measuring coffee-to-water ratios. If you decide to use a scale, be sure to choose a digital scale capable of measuring in grams or ounces.
How to Make AeroPress Coffee
The AeroPress not only produces a quick cup of coffee but delivers an amazingly smooth, flavorful brew as well.
Here are the key steps required to make a great cup of AeroPress coffee:
1. Boil the Water
Fill your kettle with 10 oz (283 grams) of water and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and let the water cool slightly to between 195°F and 205°F (90°C and 96°C). If you don’t have a thermometer, wait approximately 1 to 2 minutes before pouring.
2. Measure & Grind the Beans
While the water is being heated, use the AeroPress scoop and measure out one heaping scoop of whole coffee beans. If you’re using a scale, this is equivalent to approximately 15-18 grams.
Grind the beans to a medium-fine consistency (if using a burr grinder, most have an AeroPress setting). If the grind size is too coarse, the dripthrough rate will be faster than desired for proper extraction. If it’s too fine, you may find it difficult to press the plunger.
Transfer the grounds to a small bowl or container and set aside.
3. Prep the AeroPress
Insert a paper filter into the detachable filter cap or the optional Flow Control Filter Cap mentioned in the previous section.
Next, carefully pour a small amount of the heated water into the filter cap to wet the filter. Additionally, pour an equal amount of hot water into your mug or pitcher and swirl it around until it’s warm to the touch. Once warm, discard the water.
Lastly, attach the filter cap to the bottom of the brewing chamber and set it on top of your mug or pitcher.
4. Add the Grounds
Using a funnel, add the coffee grounds to the brewing chamber, then remove the funnel.
5. Add the Water
Slowly pour the hot water into the brewing chamber, ensuring you thoroughly saturate the grounds.
Fill the chamber until the water level reaches halfway between the top of the No. 4 marked on the side and the top of the brewing chamber.
Then, gently stir the mixture 10 times with the stirring paddle to break up any clumps.
6. Steep the Grounds
Place the plunger into the brew chamber and pull up slightly to create a seal (this will prevent any liquid from dripping into the mug). If you’re using the optional Flow Control Filter Cap, you don’t need to perform this extra step to create a seal.
Don’t plunge just yet!
Set your timer and let the mixture steep for one minute.
7. Press the Plunger
After it’s steeped for a full minute, remove the plunger and give the mixture another couple of quick stirs.
Place the plunger back into the brew chamber and gently press down with consistent and even pressure. If the pressing feels too easy, this is a sign that your grind size is likely too coarse; if pressing is hard, your grind is most likely too fine.
Continue pressing until you hear a hissing sound. This means you can stop pressing as there’s no more water to push through the filter.
8. Serve & Enjoy
Unscrew the cap and press the plunger the remainder of the way through to pop the filter and puck of condensed grounds into the trash.
Then, transfer the brew to your preferred drinking cup, sit back, and enjoy!
How to Add Variety to Your AeroPress Coffee
While a basic cup of AeroPress coffee is a treat unto itself (it’s one of our favorites), there’s no shortage of ways to experiment and play around with your AeroPress.
Here are a few fun and easy ways to add variety to this popular brew:
- AeroPress Espresso: The only way to get a true espresso shot is by using an espresso machine. However, your AeroPress can come surprisingly close. To do so requires a few changes to the above recipe: 1) Use fresh, dark roasted coffee beans, 2) Pour hot water to the top of the No. 1 marked on the side of the brewing chamber, 3) Use the AeroPress stainless steel filter and Flow Control Filter Cap, and 4) Steep the mixture for 30 seconds before pressing. Not only will this result in a rich espresso flavor, but it’ll also produce the trademark espresso crema on top.
- AeroPress Cold Brew: While the traditional method for making cold brew coffee can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, with an AeroPress you can start enjoying this cool beverage in just under two minutes. To make, add one rounded scoop of medium-fine ground coffee to the brewing chamber. Pour room temperature or cold water up to the No. 2 marked on the side. Stir briskly for one minute. Press. Add four additional ounces of room temperature or cold water to your brew. Then add ice, milk, or your favorite flavorings, and enjoy!
- Flavor Infusions: Try incorporating spices and herbs during the steeping process. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom can add a more exotic feel. At the same time, herbs like mint or lavender can give your brew a more refreshing twist.
Pros & Cons of AeroPress Coffee
Even after just a sip, it’s easy to understand why the AeroPress has such a huge cult following. However, as with most things, it’s not without its drawbacks.
Understanding the pros and cons will not only help you determine if it’s the right brewing method for you but also help you get the most out of your AeroPress coffee experience.
Since its inception, the AeroPress has been praised for its simplicity and ability to produce a smooth, delicious cup of coffee. If you ask us, we’d say without hesitation that it’s absolutely worthy of all the hype! The best part is all you have to do to be rewarded with a fantastic cup of AeroPress coffee is just follow the steps laid out above.
Frequently Asked Questions
The AeroPress comes in three sizes: Original and Clear (both have the same brewing capacity), the XL, and Go. The Original and Clear can brew up to 10 oz with one press, whereas the AeroPress Go tops out at 8 oz. However, the XL can produce up to 20 oz of brewed coffee in a single press, which provides added convenience when serving more than one person.
Cleaning your AeroPress is about as simple as it gets. Since the plunger naturally wipes the brewing chamber during the pressing process, a quick rinse is all that’s needed for cleanup. However, it is recommended to perform a more thorough cleaning periodically. To do so, remove the seal from the end of the plunger and wash with warm water and dish soap. Alternatively, you can use the dishwasher as long as it’s placed on the top rack only.
How much you stir the mixture before pressing can definitely influence the flavor profile of your final brew. For example, stirring less will result in a lower extraction of the coffee grounds, giving you a lighter taste. On the flip side, stirring more can lead to a bolder, more intense cup. Whether you choose to stir or not during the brewing process and to what degree is one of the many ways you can have fun experimenting with your AeroPress.
Although coffee that’s been ground immediately prior to brewing is always best, you can definitely use pre-ground coffee when brewing with an AeroPress. However, it’s essential to make sure the coffee has been ground to a medium-fine consistency. This will ensure proper extraction and pressure when plunging.
Learn How to Make AeroPress Coffee in 8 Quick & Easy Steps
- 1 heaping AeroPress scoop whole coffee beans (2.5 tbsp or 15-18 g of medium-fine coffee grounds)
- 10 oz filtered water (283 g)
- Fill your kettle with 10 oz of water and bring to a boil. Then let the water cool slightly to between 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C). If you don't have a thermometer, wait one to two minutes before pouring.10 oz filtered water
- While the water is being heated, use the AeroPress scoop and measure out one heaping scoop of whole coffee beans. Grind to a medium-fine consistency. Then set aside in a small bowl or container.1 heaping AeroPress scoop whole coffee beans
- Insert a paper filter into the detachable filter cap or the optional Flow Control Filter Cap. Carefully pour a small amount of the heated water into the filter cap to wet the filter. Additionally, pour an equal amount of hot water into your mug or pitcher and swirl until it’s warm to the touch. Once warm, discard the water. Lastly, attach the filter cap to the bottom of the brewing chamber and set it on top of your mug or pitcher.
- Using a funnel, add the coffee grounds to the brewing chamber, then remove the funnel.
- Slowly pour the hot water into the brewing chamber, ensuring you thoroughly saturate the grounds. Fill the chamber until the water level reaches halfway between the top of the No. 4 marked on the side and the top of the brewing chamber. Then, gently stir the mixture 10 times with the stirring paddle to break up any clumps.
- Place the plunger into the brew chamber and pull up slightly to create a seal (you don't need to worry about creating a seal if you’re using the optional Flow Control Filter Cap). Don't plunge yet! Set your timer and let the mixture steep for one minute.
- Remove the plunger and give the mixture another couple of quick stirs. Place the plunger back into the brew chamber and gently press down with consistent and even pressure. Continue pressing until you hear a hissing sound. This means you can stop pressing as there's no more water to push through the filter.
- Unscrew the cap and press the plunger the remainder of the way to pop the filter and puck of condensed grounds into the trash. Then, transfer the brew to your preferred drinking cup, sit back and enjoy!
- 1 heaping AeroPress scoop of whole coffee beans equals 1 AeroPress scoop of medium-fine coffee grounds.
- We recommend using a light roast or specialty coffee beans, as the AeroPress is more effective at highlighting their complex and subtle flavor profiles.
- If you’re planning on infusing your AeroPress coffee with your favorite spice or herb, it should be added to the press with the coffee grounds in Step 5.
- Although it requires spending a little extra money, we highly recommend the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap. It eliminates drip-through and gives you more flexibility.