Review: Aeropress Go, the best travel coffee you'll ever brew
I've been writing about the Aeropress coffee maker for years, an ingenious, compact, low-cost way of brewing outstanding coffee with vastly less fuss and variation than any other method. For a decade, I've kept an Aeropress in my travel bag, even adding a collapsible silicone kettle for those hotel rooms lacking even a standard coffee-maker to heat water with.
That said, Aeropresses are not the perfect travel-coffee maker. The biggest problem is that you need a rigid cup with a wide mouth to press your coffee into -- this is even more unwieldy to pack than a kettle, and while you can pack a folding, rugged plastic cup, even these sometimes catastrophically unfold themselves while you're pressing, spraying you with hot, staining coffee just as you're trying to get out of the hotel room.
Enter the Aeropress Go, the first major change to the Aeropress since its invention in 2005 by the delightfully eccentric Alan Adler.
The Aeropress Go downsizes the original Aeropress to make it easier to pack, and adds a rigid cup that the press fits inside of along with its measuring scoop and a folding plastic stirrer, as well as a small case for packing a dozen or so paper filters.
By adding a cup, the Go solves the biggest problem facing travelers, and the downsized press also frees up precious cubic inches in your travel-bag.
I just took my Aeropress Go on a long family holiday -- three hotels in two cities with more than 20 different relatives and friends joining us at various times and places -- and made coffee for myself and dozens of other people over the course of weeks. Having done so, I'm prepared to pronounce the Go a real improvement over the regular Aeropress.
If you're the sort of person who has an extra Aeropress for traveling, that extra press should be an Aeropress Go. It can also replace your home Aeropress, though there's not really any reason to keep a cup and its lid around, and you will have some storage issues (see below).
Now, onto my quibbles. The Aeropress Go is nearly perfect, but it has two glaring defects I hope they'll fix in future models:
1. The cup seals completely when you add the silicone lid. That means that if you don't carefully dry each of the several pieces of the press before putting it away, you'll end up with a damp, stinky, mouldering mess the next time you take it out of your bag (the water can also get into the filter case, soaking your paper filters and making them harder to use without tearing them). If you're traveling hard, you don't want to have to dry a bunch of pieces of plastic every time you pack up to move on (and if you've just come back from a long trip, you don't want to have to take apart and clean your press before putting it away). This could have been easily solved by putting some aeration holes in the lid.
2. The folding stirrer -- while cleverly designed -- is inexplicably long enough to tear the filter while you're stirring. One of my favorite things about the original Aeropress is that it comes with a stir stick that is just short enough that it won't reach the filter and tear it, ruining your cup of coffee. For reasons I cannot fathom, the Aeropress Go's stirrer is about a quarter of an inch too long. Again, this is a really easy fix (just make it shorter!), and I hope they'll fix it in future models.
Both of these problems are relatively minor, and I wouldn't even note them if I hadn't been conditioned by Aeropress to expect thoughtful, simple design. Neither of them are deal-breakers. The Aeropress Go is a traveler's best friend, and a perfect bon voyage gift.
Aeropress Go [Aeropress]
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