You bought an AeroPress, coffee beans, and a grinder. Now what? If you’re like most people, you probably followed the brewing instructions in the manual but weren’t quite satisfied with the results.
The truth is, AeroPress is a versatile tool that can produce a variety of different coffee flavors, depending on how you use it. So to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 21 AeroPress tips and tricks that will take your coffee game to the next level.
1. Bloom Your Coffee Beans
If you haven’t heard about coffee blooming before, don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Blooming is the process of adding hot water to your coffee grounds to allow them to release carbon dioxide.
Cool, right?! Well, if you don’t understand the science behind it, it’s not that cool, I know! In simple terms, when coffee beans are roasted a process called degassing occurs.
This means that carbon dioxide (CO2) is released from the beans and escapes into the air. The first 4 hours are when the beans release the most CO2, but even after 10 days, they can still be degassing.
Coffee blooming, on the other hand, is when you pour hot water over your coffee grounds and wait 20-30 seconds before continuing with the brewing process.
This allows the CO2 to be released from the beans, so you end up with a less acidic and more flavorful cup of coffee.
How to Bloom Your Coffee Beans with The AeroPress
Once you’ve ground your coffee beans, add them to the AeroPress chamber. Then, take hot water and add a small amount to wet the grounds.
After 30 seconds, add the rest of the water to the coffee bloom, stir and wait for another 30 seconds. Finally, put the plunger on top and press down gently. The result will be a less bitter and acidic cup!
2. Use Specialty Grade Coffee Beans
This can be a little expensive but it makes a big difference. Specialty coffee beans are beans graded 80 points and above on a 100-point scale by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), or the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).
The reason you want to use specialty coffee beans with your AeroPress is that these beans are grown in higher altitudes and with more care from the farmer. But the process doesn’t end here.
Once roasters receive these specialty beans, they take extra care in roasting them to highlight the unique flavors that make each bean special. This helps extract all the natural flavors that coffee has to offer without any added bitterness.
TIP: For AeroPress, you can use any type of bean, but we recommend using a darker roast. This will help bring out the chocolate and caramel undertones since dark roast beans are roasted for a longer period and all the acidity is removed.
Get this free cheat sheet to step up your coffee game and learn about the different grind sizes!
3. Use A Thermometer
If you really want to become a professional when it comes to AeroPress coffee and coffee in general a thermometer is a must-have tool. Even the best chefs in the world use thermometers to make sure they are cooking their food at the perfect temperature.
The same goes for coffee. You want to make sure your water is at the perfect temperature to extract all the flavors from your coffee beans and not burn them.
A thermometer can help you find the sweet spot for your AeroPress brew depending on the method you are using. For example, for regular coffee you want the water temperature to be 175 degrees Fahrenheit and for espresso you want it to be around 200 degrees Fahrenheit (almost boiling water).
So, a thermometer can be a life-saver, or a coffee-saver in this case, to make sure you are consistent day in and day out with your AeroPress coffee.
4. Press Slow For Regular Coffee, Fast for Espresso
If you are brewing coffee using different methods every day you might want to adjust the speed of your press. Since AeroPress uses force to extract coffee grounds, pressing slowly will give you a more mellow cup while pressing fast will result in a more intense brew.
Think of it like this. An espresso machine forces hot water through finely-ground coffee beans at high pressure (around 9-15 bars). You can’t achieve this with the AeroPress, but you can try to replicate it by pressing the plunger down as fast as you can. This will result in a more espresso-like cup.
AeroPress produces only 0.5 bars of pressure, so if you want to make a regular cup of coffee, you should press slowly to give the coffee grounds time to steep and extract properly. The whole process should take around 20 seconds.
5. Invest in a Timer or Use Your Phone
A timer just like the thermometer is going to be your best friend when brewing with the AeroPress. It will help you time each step of the process so you can make small adjustments as needed to perfect your recipe.
Especially for the coffee bloom, timing is key to ensuring an evenly extracted cup of coffee. If you want to get really geeky about it, you can use an app like BrewTimer on your phone to track your brew times.
It’s a paid app but it does the job well and is very accurate. It has everything from AeroPress to Hario V60 and Clever Dripper. You can even add your own recipes, for example for iced coffee, or for your drip coffee maker (if you have one), and see how it stacks up against other brewing methods.
The free alternative is to use your phone and a notebook to keep track of your times. This is a bit more low-tech but it will still work just fine!
6. Add 2 Filters for Espresso
If you want to get a more concentrated drink, try using 2 filters instead of the usual one. This will result in a less watery cup with more body. You can do this by placing one filter as usual in the AeroPress cap, and then placing another filter on top of the coffee grounds before you start brewing.
You can also tamp your coffee grounds a little bit before placing the filter on top to make sure that the coffee is more evenly distributed and doesn’t end up with any weak spots.
7. Invert Your AeroPress
The next tip is for the inverted AeroPress method. If you haven’t heard about this brewing method, it simply means that you brew your coffee with the AeroPress upside down.
Why would you want to do this? Well, it allows you to immerse the ground coffee with water for a longer period, resulting in better extraction overall. Also, the process is super simple once you get the hang of it.
You can read our whole guide about the AeroPress inverted method here, but we’ll give you a quick rundown of what you need to do.
First, place your AeroPress upside down (with the plunger at the bottom) on your scale and add your desired amount of coffee grounds.
Then, pour in hot water until you reach your desired ratio. Once the water is in, stir the coffee and let it bloom for 30 seconds. After the bloom, continue to add more hot water until there is no more left.
Finally, screw the filter cap on and turn the entire thing right side up. Gently press down on the plunger until you hear a hissing sound, indicating that all the air has been let out.
And that’s it! Pretty straightforward, right?
8. Always Aim for The Crema
And now the hardest of them all! The crema! A quality crema on top of your brewed coffee is always a good sign that you’ve done something right. It’s also a great way to make your coffee look more appealing, especially if you’re serving it to guests.
Achieving an espresso-like crema with the AeroPress is no easy feat, but it’s definitely possible with a bit of practice (and the right beans).
The key to getting a quality crema is to use a metal filter like the Joepresso and to use a very fine grind. This is only a small part of it though. The other (and probably most important) part is to be really confident with what you are doing and how you are using your AeroPress.
You can check our article with 5 proven methods to achieve an espresso-like crema with the AeroPress.
9. You Can Use The Paper Filter Multiple Times
Have you ever brewed coffee with the AeroPress and after you’re done, you notice that the paper filter is still pretty much intact? Well, good news! You can actually reuse that filter.
After you made your coffee, go ahead and remove the filter from the filter cap and rinse it with water. Then, dry it gently with a towel or you can use a hairdryer on low heat. Once it’s dry, put it back in the filter cap and you’re good to go.
You can reuse the paper filter multiple times depending on how much coffee you’re making and how fine the grind is. One other good thing with paper filters is that they are compostable, so after you’re done with them, you can just toss them in your compost bin.
10. Grind The Beans with a Burr Grinder
When we talk about coffee brewing equipment and accessories we always think of grinders first. A good quality grinder is always going to save the day (and your coffee). It’s one of the most important pieces of equipment that you need, whether you’re using an AeroPress or any other brewing device.
A burr grinder is better than a blade grinder because it provides a more consistent grind. You will have more control over your grind size and the grind will be more uniform, which is important for coffee brewing.
You can get a manual burr grinder if you don’t have the budget for an automatic one. Just make sure that it’s a quality grinder that will last you a long time.
11. If You Are a Beginner Rinse The Paper Filter with Water
You don’t need to rinse the paper filter with hot water, but if you are a beginner and you mess things up a bit, it is a good idea to do it. This will help you maintain the temperature of the water and it will also help you remove any paper smell from your coffee.
A lot of coffee aficionados say that because the paper filter of the AeroPress is very thin, there won’t be any paper smell in your coffee. But, if you want to be on the safe side, go ahead and rinse the paper filter with hot water to be sure.
12. The Darker The Roast The Lower The Temperature
This tip applies to all brewing methods out there (except for cold brew) and it’s especially important when you’re using the AeroPress. The darker the roast, the lower the brewing temperature should be.
If you want to avoid over-extraction and bitter taste, make sure to use a temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit, which is around 80 degrees Celsius.
Important: This is also the recommended brewing temperature Alan Adler, the inventor of the AeroPress, uses. Although, he uses this temperature for all roasts. You can read our article about the whole history of AeroPress and Alan Adler here.
13. Wait Before Pressing
This is something we covered a little bit in a previous section, but it’s important enough to mention it separately. After you’ve added the coffee grounds and the water inside the chamber you need to wait for 30 seconds to a minute before pressing.
Except for coffee blooming, this will also help with the extraction process. By waiting a bit, you give the coffee grounds time to absorb water and expand. This way, they’ll be in the perfect state for brewing when you start pressing.
14. Coffee to Water Ratio
Here most people like to experiment a bit to find the perfect ratio for their taste. But as a starting point, you can use a 1:16 coffee to water ratio. This means that for every gram of coffee, you’ll need 16 grams of water.
Keep in mind that this is just a starting point. For example, if you want to make espresso you need a more concentrated coffee, so you’ll have to use less water. A ratio of 1:7 or 1:8 should be good for espresso.
15. Use Filtered Water
A good cup of coffee is 98.75% water. This means that the water you’re using for brewing is just as important as the coffee beans.
If you’re using tap water, chances are your coffee is going to taste bad. This is because most tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals that can alter the taste of your coffee, resulting in a metallic taste.
To avoid this, use filtered water instead. You can get a simple filter pitcher or buy bottled water straight from the store. Just make sure it’s filtered water and not distilled water, which is bad for coffee brewing.
Important: Distilled water has no minerals in it, which means that your coffee won’t be able to extract properly and it will taste flat. Your water needs to have a mineral content of 150 parts per million. You can read more about it here.
16. Store Your AeroPress Properly
Storing your AeroPress properly is necessary to ensure that it lasts for a long time. That’s why most AeroPress coffee makers come with an extra travel bag.
When you’re not using your AeroPress, make sure to disassemble it and store all the parts in the travel bag. If you don’t have a travel bag you can find a small container that all the parts will fit in. Just make sure to keep it in a dry place, away from direct sunlight.
A kitchen cabinet is also a great place to store your AeroPress. Just make sure that the silicone seal is pushed through the chamber so that compression doesn’t occur and the plunger doesn’t get stuck.
17. Clean Your AeroPress After Each Use
Are you also bored to clean your AeroPress? I know I am. Even though I love making coffee with it, the clean-up is always a total pain. But I know that I must clean it after each use if I want to keep making great coffee. So, here are a few tips to make the process a little easier:
- Clean it with warm water and soap as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder the coffee residue will be to remove.
- Use a small brush to scrub away any coffee grounds that are stuck in the filter cap.
- And the most important is to use vinegar to remove the smell of coffee from your AeroPress. Just take the bottle with the vinegar and keep spraying like there’s no tomorrow.
I have a full guide on how to clean your AeroPress. Some tips will definitely help you get the job done quickly and easily.
18. Try Different Brewing Methods
If you made it this far, you probably know that there are many different ways to brew coffee with AeroPress. And I’m not only talking about Espresso or Americano. There are tens of different AeroPress recipes out there, each with its own unique flavor.
So, don’t be afraid to experiment and find the brewing method that you like the best. A great place to start is AeroPrecipe.com. They have a huge collection of AeroPress recipes that you can try. And it works like a forum, so a lot of people post their recipes as well.
For example, a recipe i really liked was the “13g that makes you happy” recipe, which as the name says you only use 13g of ground coffee and it works like magic!
19. Use The Scoop if You Don’t Have a Scale
If you don’t have a scale in hand, the scoop works great as a measuring tool. Just remember that 1 scoop = 2.5 tablespoons which is 11.5 grams of coffee. So, if the recipe calls for 30 grams of coffee, you’ll need to use around 3 scoops.
20. Brew in A Lower Temperature
We talked about this many times throughout this article, but it’s worth mentioning it by itself. Coffee brewing is all about temperature. And the lower the brewing temperature, the better the coffee will taste with the AeroPress.
That doesn’t mean that you have to brew at 125 degrees, but try to stay under 185 degrees. The best temperature for AeroPress coffee is between 175-180 degrees.
21. Use The Microwave To Warm The Water
Last but not least, if you don’t have a lot of time to waste, especially in the morning, you can use the microwave to heat up the water. Just be careful not to overdo it and make sure that the water is not boiling hot.
Make sure you wear an oven glove when you remove the mug from the microwave. It can get pretty hot and you don’t want to burn yourself. It happened to me once and let me tell you, it’s not fun.
This will help you make coffee faster and with less effort!
AeroPress is a great way to make coffee, and with these tips, you can take your AeroPress game up a notch. Whether you are just starting with it or you are looking for ways to improve your brewing process, we hope that these tips help you make the best cup of coffee possible.
And don’t forget that you can always get our grind size chart cheat sheet, which you can find at the top and bottom of this page. It’s a great guide to help you find the perfect grind size for your brewing method.
EvelinaEvelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.
Get this free cheat sheet to step up your coffee game and learn about the different grind sizes!
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