My Favorite Aeropress Recipe

A couple of years ago, my lovely and thoughtful wife gifted me an Aeropress Go.

The Go is a slightly smaller Aeropress whose components all nest together in a neat little package — perfect for travel. I started experimenting with it and wound up loving it so much that I relegated it to the camping-gear box and bought a full-size Aeropress for home use. Ever since, I’ve been using it nearly daily for my afternoon cup.

Photo by Alex Chernenko on Unsplash

If you’re unfamiliar, the Aeropress is a quick, easy, and remarkably affordable way to make terrific coffee. It’s also a great way to experiment with coffee strength, flavors, and extraction.

All coffee brewing methods use basically the same variables to make a unique cup (add pressure for espresso), but with the Aeropress, it’s particularly easy to isolate:

  • Coffee grind size
  • Water volume
  • Water temperature
  • Steep time

The coffee beans you choose play a huge role in the final cup, but I’m focusing on the brew process itself here, so these are the main four you can tinker with. More on that below, but first:

My favorite Aeropress recipe

  1. 20g coffee, ground medium-fine, added to inverted Aeropress
  2. Nearly fill the chamber with 205-degree water
  3. Wait 30 seconds, stir a few times to fully mix, then finish filling the chamber with hot water
  4. Wait 1.5 minutes (2 minutes total brew time)
  5. Add filter + cap, carefully flip it over, and gently press
  6. Dilute with 100g hot water (optional)

Notes:

  • I prefer light or medium roast beans for Aeropress. If you’re in the Bay, I love Red Bay King’s Prize, Bicycle’s medium roast, and pretty much anything from Philz.
  • Grind size: Medium-fine is about 8 clicks on my Hario Skerton Pro grinder. The grind looks like 4.5 or 5 on this guide.
  • Water temp: I use a Cosori electric kettle with preset temp settings, but you can also measure with a thermometer or just turn it off a bit short of boiling. (Don’t fill the chamber all the way up at first or you won’t be able to stir it without spilling.)

What I love about this recipe:

  • It’s strong and flavorful. This is probably not for those without a moderate to high tolerance to caffeine. If you’re looking for a milder recipe, James Hoffman’s “daily driver” is very popular.
  • You don’t have to measure any water for this. This recipe yields about 200g of brewed coffee, so you can simply eyeball how much you want for dilution (or not — it’s good undiluted too).
  • Thanks to the inverted method, none of the coffee escapes early, under-steeped.

A few more thoughts/tips about Aeropress:

  • All of the variables can have a big impact. The two I play with the most often are grind size and steep time.
  • I’ve moved my grinder up or down just one or two clicks and noticed significant difference. I got the hipster burr grinder for consistency and uniformity of grind, but went with the cheaper hand-crank version because electric burrs are stupid expensive. How you grind is up to you, but freshly ground beans are a must. (I use a regular old drip maker for my bleary-eyed morning cup, but even that is freshly ground in a blade grinder.)
  • The gooseneck kettle also came from falling down the Aero rabbit hole. Beware all who enter here!
  • Choose the vessel you press into carefully — don’t use glass unless it’s tempered/treated. I’ve heard horror stories.
  • Also be careful with the inverted method. If you don’t put the plunger in far enough, or if you accidentally bump it or lift it the wrong way while brewing, you could have hot coffee and grounds everywhere.

Other recipes to try:

There are zillions of different, delicious recipes to try, including some from the Aeropress world championships (yes, a real thing), professional baristas all over the world, and roasters like Stumptown.

Enjoy! ☕️

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