Originally posted on December 4, 2012
I’ve been using the AeroPress for making my coffee since shortly after reading about it on Brent Ozar’s website. I tried using it as instructed but I’ve found what I believe is a much better method, getting a lot more flavor out of the grounds. I wrote it up for my friend Jes Borland and thought it might make a good blog post, especially since moving and changing jobs twice this year have me way behind on blogging. I went from Desktop Support at a small company to Server Admin at IBM to SharePoint Change Engineer at Microsoft between March and July.
The Aeropress may be the premier way to make coffee at home, if you love coffee (and yourself) enough to care to take the time to use it. Not that it takes that long, but it’s definitely not as quick and easy as just dumping water and coffee in a traditional coffee maker.
So, on to what I consider a better way to use the Aeropress than the instructions it comes with. Instead of putting a few ounces or so of water through the coffee, and then adding hot water or milk, I heat a 12 ounces of water to 175 degrees and put all 12 ounces through the filter. I put 6 ounces of water in and let all of it drain through the filter, and then press it down. I then tamp down the grounds after pulling the plunger out and put the other 6 ounces in, and then plunger the grounds after all that water has filtered through. That way I get all the flavor from the grounds. Much better than a few ounces of water, plunger it and then fill your cup with 10 ounces of water, thus diluting the liquid love. Also, I let the water filter through on its own rather than using the plunger right away.
My friend Stacy was in New Orleans on vacation recently and I had him pick up a pound of coffee from the Café du Monde for me. I followed the instructions on the can of a heaping tablespoon for each 8 ounces of water and ran it through the AeroPress; using 8 ounces of water and 4 ounces of heated milk. (Personal note, get myself a steamer for the milk). And yes, I ran the milk through the AeroPress as well making sure I got every bit of flavor from the grounds. The result was maybe the finest cup of coffee, or technically a Latte I suppose, outside of the Café du Mande itself. And I didn’t have to drive or ride 11 hours to get there. Or longer since any trip that way would require a side trip to Nashville, TN to have lunch at Jack’s Bar-B-Que on Trinity Lane.
Last but not least, the review I promised Brent Ozar last Spring of the stainless steel filter sold by Coava for the AeroPress. The filter basically replaces the paper filters that come with the AeroPress but also allows more of the oils to filter through, resulting in a bit of sediment at the bottom of the cup, but a slightly more robust flavor. Heartily recommended for the AeroPress lover even with the little bit of extra clean up required. You can’t just dump the filter and grounds into the garbage like the paper filters. You need to wait until it cools a bit and remove the filter before dumping the grounds, and then rinse it off.
In conclusion, AeroPress + Café du Monde + Coava filter makes life infinitely more pleasurable.