Only recently has the AeroPress gone from obscure coffee contraption that only dedicated coffee lovers knew about, to a device many people now have in their homes to make their favourite brews. There are even international and national AeroPress championships. Why? Because brewing a good cup of coffee with it is not as simple as it seems.

In light of our partnership with Network Cafe, a Dublin-based cafe that is sending out coffee kits which include beans and an Aeropress (among other things, read more here!) as a result of having to close their doors due to the coronavirus crisis. Together with our mates at Network Cafe, we’re here to teach you how to brew coffee with an AeroPress. For a full tutorial on how to brew coffee with an AeroPress, Network Cafe is doing one-on-one Zoom calls to teach all coffee kit owners the steps and skills required. Once you’ve got those down, we’re here to introduce you to some fun AeroPress coffee recipes and techniques to get more out of your device!

Network Cafe in Dublin, Ireland

AeroPress Cold Brew

Normally, when making a cold brew, cold water is in contact with the coffee ground for 12 to 36 hours. If you’ve ever tried making a cold brew with a normal pour-over filter, you’ll notice that it almost instantly gets clogged. However, using an AeroPress, because of the air pressure you can actually filter it quite easily. Here’s how:

  1. Add 35 grams of extra course coffee to 500 grams of water in a bottle.
  2. Leave it unrefrigerated for 5-10 hours
  3. Pop it in the fridge overnight
  4. The next morning, pour the mixture into your AeroPress, using either a paper or a metal filter (your preference, but we recommend a metal one as you can re-use it!)
  5. Plunge over some ice cubes. (Rinse and repeat, if you have more mixture left).
  6. Enjoy a well-balanced, refreshing cold brew!

AeroPress Espresso…or…AeroPresso 😉

The AeroPress is most commonly used to make black coffee, just like for example the French Press or filter coffee. However, the connection between AeroPress and Espresso seems rather obvious: both utilize air pressure. However, you’ll never get the layer of crema you’ll see on an Espresso by brewing coffee with an AeroPress. This is because the air pressure in an AeroPress is used to separate the grounds from the brewed coffee, whereas an espresso machine forces water through finely-ground coffee grinds at an ideal pressure of 9 bars. Even when pressing like a madman, the Aeropress only reaches about 0.35 bar- 0.70 bar.

Despite all of this, you can still create an espresso-like experience with an AeroPress. The key is to grind your beans extremely fine and stirring vigorously rather than only applying pressure. Here’s how:

  1. Place the brewer in the inverted position. Insert the plunger halfway pressed through, so there is less room in the chamber
  2. Grind 20 grams of coffee as fine as possible.
  3. Pour in 80 grams of either hot or cold water.
  4. If you used hot water, stir for 20 seconds, and let the coffee steep for 1 minute. If you used cold water; stir for 40 seconds, and steep for 1 minute.
  5. Add the filter cap, flip, and press.
  6. Enjoy a beverage similar to an espresso

The Long Brew

AeroPress brewing rules always advocate for short brewing times, but as you have probably noticed by now, you can break the rules, and still make a great coffee. A few benefits of this slow brewing recipe include that it can bring out unexpected flavours. Some aroma compounds take longer to extract, so by giving the coffee extra time to brew these new flavours can be unlocked, especially with beans that would usually lack sweetness. You can also increase your brew ratio up to 1:18 for this recipe. This means you use fewer beans for the same amount of coffee, so it’s less wasteful and cheaper! Here’s how to make it:

  1. Put the brewer in the inverted position and add 14 grams of coarsely ground coffee. 
  2. Slowly pour 250 grams of 200 °F water.
  3. Put the filter in the cap, attach it and wait four minutes. 
  4. After the four minutes, stir 5 times and let the crust break, then put the cap back on.
  5. Wait 8 minutes. Invert and plunge slowly. 
  6. Now your long-brew drink is ready to enjoy

The Yet-To-Be-Named Brewing Method

So this one is very alternative but absolutely brilliant. The first time it was ever used was by Eldric Stuart of the now-defunct Aubade Coffee in Vancouver. Ever since, this approach was used by several AeroPress championship winners. The method is very counterintuitive at first, and involves doing several extractions and mixing them up for the perfect brew. In the first extraction, you pull out the most potent and citric flavours. After that, you remove your plunger, add water, and continue to brew a second time. However, this time you add more water to create the bulk of the brew. Then you adjust the taste of it by adding the sour acids from the first extraction spoon by spoon. It gives you ultimate control of the final flavour. When you think about it, this approach makes a lot of sense, as sweetness and acidity are extracted at different times in the brew cycle. In this way, you can balance them perfectly. Here’s how:

  1. Use your AeroPress in the normal position, preferably with a metal filter
  2. Grind 21.5 grams coffee coarsely
  3. Add 60 grams water at 94°C/201°F
  4. Plunge for 20 seconds (without the hiss at the end) and set sour acids aside
  5. Add 140g water at 94°C/201°F
  6. Skim the scum off with a spoon
  7. Plunge 1:45 to 2:45, no hiss
  8. Add around 30g water at 70°C/158°F
  9. Add ~11g sour acids, to taste
  10. Enjoy your perfectly balanced brew

Brew away!

We hope that these alternative AeroPress brew recipes will bring you joy, comfort, and ease during these strange times! Check out our podcast for more information on Network Cafe and our partnership!

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