The Aeropress is probably the newest brewer to make its way into most speciality coffee shops – even if they are not serving Aeropress, they probably have one behind the counter. The Aeropress was designed by Alan Adler the president of Aerobie frisbee company in 2005 but has already featured in many World Brewers Cup Barista competitions.
The Aeropress looks and works like a large syringe – ground coffee is placed into the chamber and is ‘steeped’ (submerged and allowed to brew in hot water, this makes an Aeropress an ‘Immersion’ brewer.) A rubber compression ‘bung’ then allows you to push the liquid out of the chamber through a paper filter in the end of the Aeropress – the water tight rubber compression bung also allows you to exert pressure onto the coffee during extraction – this is unlike most other manual brewing methods that rely on gravity to extract the coffee, brewing coffee under pressure is also the basic principle of making espresso.
The manufacturers instructions advise that you use the Aeropress to make a strong ‘espresso like’ coffee and then dilute with water to make a drink similar to a Long Black or Americano – the manufacturers insist that they have done blind taste tests and this is the best way to use their devise … however most coffee professionals disagree and use the Aero press to make filter strength coffee without dilution.
There are hundreds of techniques for using the Aeropress, and as we’ve already said, nearly everyone ignores the manufacturers instructions! Brews methods fall into two camps, the standard method or the inverted method – this is essentially using the Aeropress the right way up or using it upside down.
Here are some nice instructions from Blue Bottle Coffee, California, for a inverted Aeropress brew:
We are also going to post Gwilym Davies, World Barista Champion and co-owner of Prufrock coffee shop in London, with his standard technique (the first coffee video I ever watched!)
‘see you on the flip side.’
(That may or may not be a frisbee related pun.)