How to Aeropress like a champ

The winning recipes from the 2012 Aeropress championships give me the fear. Clearly I have not been paying enough attention to this.

17 grams of coffee (light roasted fresh crop washed Sidamo from Heart roasters)

fine filter grind on a Mahlkönig Tanzania

paper filter rinsed with hot water

water from Maridalsvannet (brought in glass bottles from my flat in Oslo, Norway)

inverted brewing method

preheat aeropress for 10 sec

96 Celcius pour temp (gives ca 90 C actual brew temp)

260 grams of water

no stiring

50 sec steep time

20 sec press time – slow enough to get a clean brew but also some fines (yuck) and oils (yum)

stop pressing before air comes out

wait for the fines to sink and temp to cool, then pour but hold back the last part with the fines (taste sample for yourself!)

The cup: a clean brew with floral notes and taste of sweet lemons.

Aeropress remains my all time favorite cup of joe, and my go-to method when I'm on the road.



      1. the weight of water is essentially a constant, it’s not like flour where the density/weight-to-volume shifts.

    1. OCD is least a key component for being a great barista. If you want reproducible results, you gotta pay attention to detail. I personally don’t use a stopwatch, and therefore my aeropress cups vary a bit – but within a margin which I consider to be reasonable.

  1. You should try the V60 by Hario. I’m a barista and make tons of these every day and I’ve found I can make a better cup of coffee with the V60 than any other method. It’s got a slightly bigger learning curve but ultimately gives you more control. 22g fine ground, 55g water at 208 F “bloom”, then 150g poured fast, then 150g poured slow. I can’t make a better cup. Most people would rather leave this to the barista, but for the coffee drinker who demands the best in their own home, this is what I’d choose.

        1. I’ve used the toddy system many times for cold brew. It’s really solid, but I’ve gradually switched to the Japanese iced method as I’ve heard it called. My recipe is 260g of fine ground coffee brewed in a large drip brewer, nothing fancy. The hot coffee drips onto 1500g of ice. It’s SO much faster than the toddy method and tastes, I think, a little better because of freshness.

          1.  Thing is for me brewing coffee hot carries a lot more acid with it, leaving the toddy to my advantage. I’ve always loved those big glass Japanese brewers though…

      1. I’ve had the sous vide a couple of times but never made it myself. It was really good both times, but with unfamiliar coffees. I’ve never had the Gale Boetticher method.

  2. I know floral notes are popular but it’s just sour to me. I like coffee to be rich, deep, dark and roasty, not sour and lemony… I like coffee to taste like coffee. It’s the difference between putting on a nice warm jacket and getting a punch in the face.

    1. Call me a wuss, but I’ll take an imperfect cup of coffee over a punch in the face every day but Sunday.

  3. i’ve burned myself a couple of times brewing inverted with the aeropress. be careful with that…

    1. It’s getting there.  

      I’m glad people are taking interest in their comestibles and preparation of same, but this whole twee fetishization of food and drink is getting a little out of hand.  

  4. I have never understood the point of the ‘inverted method’ with an aeropress. I’ve tried it once or twice, and never noticed a difference, except for some extra hassle. I may be a coffee snob, but I’m a pretty lazy one. 

  5. I’ve been using my Aeropress for a couple of years now; it did not occur to me to experiment with the process!

    What are coffee “fines”? Preliminary web search is, erm, less than helpful (no, there are no financial penalities if I get my pour wrong, silly!).

    1. It’s the “grit” that lefts over/pushed through the filter that ends up in your cup.  I use a french press and when you get down to the last cup (or only make one) you’ll get a decent amount of them in there.  They taste bitter to me (so I make extra and just don’t use it all, so little to no fines), but like the article said the oils are worth it.

  6.  Yep. That happens. In my case, I wasn’t paying attention. I tend to stick to the default orientation now.

  7. Love my Aero press because A, it makes coffee, B, it leaves little waste and C, it is uber-easy to clean.

  8. I dearly love my Aeropress, and one nice thing about it is that it consistently makes really good coffee even without transporting water in glass bottles from Oslo.

  9. amazingly perfect Norwegian lass aside, this heavily borders on hipster pretentiousness That’s an amazingly long word to type as drunk as I am. . 

  10. I’m on my 2nd Aeropress and use it twice a day. Problem is I find the rubber bung inevitably loses it’s elasticity. And differential heating of the perspex leads to fine surface cracks on the inner surface. The end result is that you don’t get a proper seal and having the plunger slip during the press process really sucks. I’ve found inverted  makes the Aeropress last longer and reduces the chance of slippage. But then they’re cheap and getting a year’s life out of one is ok. I also think you can get the rubber bung as a spare part so maybe that’s a way out.

    Like most other coffee methods it’s all inconsistent and you only get the perfect “god shot” once in a while. Which perhaps explains the Michelin starred restaurant using Nespresso. But an Aeropress for single cups and a plain old coffee filter machine for bulk is reasonably repeatable.

    Favourite brew is Algerian Coffee shop (London, Old Compton st) Formula Rossa and Velluto Nero, and Lavazza Black Expresso when that runs out.

    1. Do you store your aeropress with the rubber part still inside the tube?
      I noticed that a friend’s aeorpress was basically unusable because the rubber gasket no longer sealed properly, while mine (about the same age/use) was as good as new. 

      The difference was that after making coffee they would leave the plunger partway down the tube for extended periods of time. I make sure to push mine all the way out. 

      1. I try not too. It’s never stored like that but occasionally it does get left for 5 minutes before emptying the coffee grounds. I can’t imagine why they would store it part assembled. It’s natural to either push it all the way though or leave it in two pieces.

    2. “Problem is I find the rubber bung inevitably loses it’s elasticity.”

      I hear there are exercises for that.

  11. Our aeropress is going on 3 years with no issue, so idkwtf I’m doing right.

    But what I really came to say, is that I like my coffee like I like my women…

  12. I like how she refers to tap water as “water from Maridalsvannet (brought in glass bottles from my flat in Oslo, Norway)”

  13. I’m surprised to see their steep times so long…30 seconds to a minute-and-a-half….the aeropress instructions say to steep for only 10 seconds, which is generally what I do any my cups come out heavenly.  Maybe I should have a go at a longer steep, but I thought the whole point of the aeropress was pressure-extraction vs. typical heat-extraction?  

    1. There’s actually hardly any additional pressure in an aeropress. Even if you push it down really hard, say with 50 pounds of force, you’re maybe getting 0.7 bars of pressure.

      Instead the quicker extraction from the aeropress comes from the fact that the better filter (and some pressure) lets you use more finely-ground coffee than your drip pot, so the hot water extracts the flavor much faster.

      In any case, that doesn’t address the time question. The instructions do say to steep for 10 seconds. I’ve found that I prefer it steeped longer myself, around 30 seconds with maybe a 30-second push, but I think it’s just individual preferences.

      1. Since you used what sounds like science in your well-reasoned response, I am inclined to believe you.  I’ll try a longer steep tomorrow.  I don’t know how one gets a 30-second push, though….I feel like even if I just set my cell phone on there it would be depressed by 15 seconds or so.  Maybe my rubber seal is clubbed.

  14. 1) Turn on computer.
    2) Locate a mug left around the apartment that is reasonably clean.
    3) Add water from locally-based tap, swirl three times, discard water onto uncleaned dishes, then refill with 1cm space left to the top of the mug.
    4) Heat exactly 120 seconds in microwave device imported from Liaoning region of China.
    5) Insert exactly 1 heaping teaspoon (of whatever size teaspoon found on countertop) instant coffee sourced from locally owned second-hand food store and stir 5 times.
    6) Add 0.035 oz Splenda and milk in the range of 0-3% fat until cup cannot be carried to computer without spilling some on floor. Once seated at computer, restir 3 times
    7) Computer has finished booting. Process complete.

  15. The only real way to tell if all this is pretentious BS would be to have a blind tasting with all this stuff done outside the tasting room and no connection to who makes what.

    I would not be at all surprised if done that way, no one can tell which is what rather like the tests done by putting $10 plonk in a $250 bottle and serving:  Even so-called professional wine snobs were fooled.

  16. I’m having real trouble imagining the “inverted” method. If I invert mine, I’m pouring water through the filter, into a tube full of coffee grounds. Then when I press down, it turns into a coffee fountain that spills all over the counter. If what is meant is actually to let it brew upside down, then turn it rightside up for pressing, I don’t get the point.

  17. This is incredibly pretentious. It lacks Shakti stones and magnets.

    BTW, Maridalsvannet is just the tap water source for the city of Oslo. I know it sounds foreign and exciting, but jeez.

  18. i call mine the linebacker.  i steam 1% milk with the faema steam wand, and i pour that (instead of water) through a mix of fine (from the gaggia burr grinder) and medium (from a cheapie blade grinder) dark guatemalan (from hamley’s in barrie) that is level with the 1 on the side of the aeropress.  i preheat the mug but not the aeropress, and i use a steel filter that i bought online.  i DO stir, i don’t steep very long (maybe eight seconds?), i use the upright method (rather than inverted) and i plunge as fast as i can.  no water, all milk makes for a strong, balanced milky coffee.

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