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Can You Really Make Espresso with the Aeropress?

Espresso Brew

The Aeropress makes its claim that it is in fact a coffee AND espresso maker. This fact can and is argued by coffee purists. Espresso fanatics are quick to point out that while the Aeropress makes a strong, concentrated coffee blend, it is not quite an espresso brew by definition.

Aeropress Coffee vs Espresso

So what makes coffee a true espresso brew?
Traditional espresso is defined as a 1-2 oz coffee shot brewed from roughly 1 tablespoon of finely ground coffee. Espresso features a layer of foamy cream called crema which is generated because the coffee is brewed under a high pressure.

Espresso shots can be consumed in many ways. Many prefer the straight espresso taste, but espresso is also used to make drinks such as  a latte, mocha, macchiato, cappuccino, or americano.

How does the Aeropress brew compare?
The Aeropress satisfies most but not all of the properties of an espresso brew. The missing property of the Aeropress espresso is the  crema which an espresso maker generates. The Aeropress normally doesn’t brew with a comparable pressure to an espresso maker which is the main reason it normally doesn’t create creama.

Are you an Aeropress fanatic and want a solution to this issue? Don’t worry! There are solutions to the no-creama issue that the Aeropress sees – more on that later.

So what does this mean for Aeropress users?Aeropress Espresso Brew

As was pointed out before, it seems that espresso purists might make the biggest fuss about the true definition of the Aeropress brew. That being said, no matter the coffee drinker, the coffee the Aeropress creates is widely loved!

Call it what you want – its still a great brew!
Go ahead and call the coffee whatever you want; an espresso, a coffee shot, or a strong bit o’ joe. At the end of the day the coffee is delicious and can be used in the same way that espresso can. Want to use your Aeropress to make a coffee shot? Do it! Want to create a delicious cappuccino? Use your beloved press.

We don’t judge how our coffee is brewed as long as it tastes delicious! We love the coffee that the Aeropress creates, and we love the coffee that an expensive espresso maker creates. We hope you do too!

Crema from the Aeropress

If you are a serious Aeropress user then you surely would love to be able to make delicious crema from your press. We have done some research on the subject and gathered our findings in our article on creating crema with the Aeropress.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr/Demion

French Press

Aeropress vs French Press

We took a good look at the french press and the Aeropress. Yes they both press, but is one better than the other? Read to find out.

What is a French PressFrench Press Parts

A french press is a uniquely simple coffee maker. It is comprised of a carafe, or a container which holds your grounds/water, and a press which us usually attached to a lid. A frame holds the carafe and the lid/plunger sit on top.

Coffee is brewed by adding coffee grounds and hot water are directly mixed and left to steep for a few minutes in the carafe and then pressed. The pressing separates the grounds from the liquid leaving you with delicious coffee.

The first french press was patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani in 1929. The french press is also known by other names such as a coffee press, press pot, coffee plunger, or a cafetière. A french is an inexpensive way to make high-quality coffee (see latest prices for our recommended model on Amazon.com).

What is the AeropressAeropress Coffee Maker Parts

The Aeropress is a unique press style coffee maker that allows accurate control over your press coffee brew. It is known for brewing some of the most delicious coffee that a press can make.

The Aeropress is made entirely of BPA free plastics. The parts are a plunger with a rubber seal on the end. This fits into the top of the chamber. The chamber has a screw on cap which holds a paper or metal filter.

To brew with an Aeropress, you insert a filter into the cap and screw it tight onto the bottom of the chamber. The chamber is then placed over a coffee cup. You then fill the chamber with coffee and pour hot water into the chamber. You mix the grounds and water letting steep for roughly 15-45 seconds. Lastly the mixture is pressed over 20-30 seconds down through the cap pushing the coffee out the bottom of the Aeropress. The Aeropress not only makes great coffee but it is also easy to clean, pretty rugged and portable (see latest prices for the Aeropress at Amazon.com).

Comparisons

  • Both the Aeropress and a French Press both deliver delicious coffee.
  • The Aeropress is more likely to deliver a cleaner cup of coffee, free of any coffee grounds.
  • The French Press is able to make more coffee per brew.
  • Brewing on the Aeropress is slightly quicker because of shorter steep times.
  • With the Aeropress, you are able to brew espresso and even can create crema with care.
  • The French Press does not need paper filters. (There are also options to buy metal Aeropress filters, although they come with paper filters when you buy a new Aeropress)
  • Both systems are quick to clean, the Aeropress being just slightly quicker.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you really can’t go wrong with either a french press or an Aeropress. Based on our comparison, choose the type of coffee maker which better suits your needs. Either way you will be able to brew a delicious cup of coffee which will leave you satisfied.

Aeropress is BPA Free

What is BPA?

BPA or Bisphenol A is a chemical which behaves similar to hormones in your body such as estrogen. BPA is used in the manufacture of products such as water bottles, baby bottles, dental fillings, medical devices, dental devices, eyeglass lenses, DVDs/CDs, sporting equipment and electronics.

Bisphenol A is classified as an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors are substances which interfere with the body’s natural hormones. BPA is considered hazardous because it can imitate the body’s natural hormones in a way that could be hazardous for health. Babies and young children are known to be at the highest risk to the effects of BPA.

BPA Free LogoThe Aeropress is BPA Free!

You may have seen the BPA Free logo on other products used to store liquids for consumers, and the Aeropress is no different. On Aug 1st, 2009 Aerobie, the makers of the Aeropress issued an alert that they had previously used BPA in the production of their product. After Aug 1st 2009, all Aeropress units were manufactured with BPA free materials.

What Plastics are Used to Manufacture the Aeropress?Aeropress Aerobie in Action

The Aeropress is built from 3 different types of plastics.

  • The clear plastic used on the chamber and plunger are made of copolyester.
  • The black rubber used to create the plunger is made of a thermoplastic elastomer.
  • The hard black plastic used to make the filter cap, stirrer, funnel, and measuring scoop are made of polypropylene.

All of the plastics used to create the Aeropress system are FDA approved for use with food and drink, and all of them are BPA free.

Thermometer

Best Water Temperature When Brewing with Aeropress

Thermometer

This may seem like a picky issue to some, but to those who are looking for the best brew they can get from their Aeropress (or even any other alternative coffee maker) the water temperature used to brew is important. The temperature of the water determines the quality of the coffee extraction from the beans, and ultimately determines the taste.

Best Water Temperature for Brewing Coffee

So you want to make sure you make the best cup of coffee? Lets talk temperatures then. The Specialty Coffee Association of America and the National Coffee Association have come to a conclusion that the best temperature for brewing the perfect cup of coffee is between 197.6 – 204.8F.

Too low a temperature and you will experience under extraction. The acids in the beans are the first to dissolve, and without adequate temperature you will experience heavy acids but low flavor. This results in a weak, but sour taste. If the water temperature is too high, over extraction will occur and the coffee will taste bitter.

What Water Temperature We Recommend

The makers of the Aeropress recommend you brew your coffee with water between 165F – 175F. As you can see this is a bit low when compared to the recommended temperatures upwards of 195F. We saw the difference here and did some testing. After countless brews and taste tests we have come to the conclusion that the Aeropress recommended  temperature is a bit too low.

As you brew your coffee your water is cooling as soon as you take it off the heat and begin pouring and stirring. We found that upping the water temperature between 190F – 195F you can achieve a much better tasting coffee. You also have a higher starting temperature so as you brew it doesn’t matter if the water temperature drops a bit.

Gain Control of Your Brewing Temperatures

So you want the best cup of coffee you can have right? Give yourself the control you need to brew with the correct temperatures with a temperature controlled electric kettle. We have all the information you need and a few top recommendations for you on our page:

Discover Temperature Controlled Electric Kettles

How to Brew with the Aeropress

how-to-make-coffee-with-aeropress

Brewing with the Aeropress is so simple and easy that anyone can do it. The idea is that coffee grounds are placed in the chamber of the Aeropress where hot water is added. The mixture is then plunged, leaving the grounds behind and extracting a wonderfully brewed cup of coffee.

Update 5/28/13This guide can be considered the ‘standard’ method for brewing with the Aeropress. For the best coffee possible we recommend the upside down or inverted brewing method.

For full information and step by step instructions on our suggested brewing method, please see our Inverted Aeropress Guide.

Step By Step Aeropress Brewing Instructions

  1. Start by setting your water to boil – find out the best water temperature for brewing in our article on the subject.
  2. Place a filter in the cap and screw the cap into the bottom of the chamber.
  3. Scoop ground coffee into the chamber using the included scoop. 1-4 scoops equates to 1-4 shots.
  4. Place the filled chamber over the top of a coffee mug.
  5. Pour boiled water into the chamber, filling to the corresponding number (1-4) based on the number of scoops of coffee you used.
  6. Stir the water and coffee mixture for 10-15 seconds.
  7. Insert the plunger into the top of the chamber and slowly and steadily plunge the coffee out into your cup.
  8. Clean by unscrewing the cap over the garbage and pushing the ground coffee puck and filter into the trash with the plunger. Rinse the parts and separate to dry or reuse.
  9. Enjoy your coffee!

Featured image by Olgierd Rudak