I bought the Aerobie Aeropress coffee maker a couple of weeks back and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

Initial Impression

Is that it? The Aeropress is extremely simple.

I heard about the press through Tim Ferriss, the online entrepreneur and author of the Four Hour book series (all of which I thoroughly recommend). I got interested in really good coffee while out in Dubai opening the One & Only The Palm hotel a few years back. Being trained on the full size coffee machines by a world champion barista completely turned me around from seeing coffee making as a chore, to being an art in itself. I have a small espresso maker in the kitchen at home, and while it makes great coffee, it was a bit of a pain to wait while it heats up each time, the clean up etc, so I tended to drink more instant. No more.

Aeropress Set Up

The Aeropress is extremely simple to use, and you get everything you need in the box, you just add the ground coffee and hot water. Here’s the steps to making a brew with Aerobie:

  1. Place a paper filter into the black filter cap, and twist onto the base of the outer plunger.
  2. Measure a scoop of ground coffee with the supplied spoon and place into the plunger on top of the filter.
  3. Place the unit on top of a coffee mug (otherwise, I found the next step gets really messy!
  4. Pour the hot water into the plunger to the desired level. There are four based on what kind of coffee and how much you’re making. I use one scoop and the second water level.
  5. Stir the water and grounds with the supplied T paddle for 10 seconds (its the perfect length to stir but the T head stops you from tearing the filter with the bottom of the paddle).
  6. Insert the plunger and slowly press down, taking 20-30 seconds to get to the base.
  7. Twist off the filter cap and pop out the grounds puck into a bin.
  8. Rinse the end of the rubber plunger and the filter cap

It might sound like an involved process but assuming you don’t include the time to boil the kettle, the whole process is around 60 seconds. The coffee it truly fabulous.

The Coffee

I personally use Pact coffee with the Aeropress, which is a UK service that delivers incredibly fresh coffee to your door on a subscription service. When I say fresh, I mean it, typically when the coffee arrives with me it was roasted 2-3 days before and ground 1 day ago. In an ideal world you would grind your beans immediately before brewing, but I don’t have that luxury at this stage, though I’m looking to invest in a nice burr grinder in the new year. Until then, Pact give you the option of how your beans are ground and there is a specific option you can choose for the Aeropress, which is very handy indeed! If you’d like to try Pact Coffee, click here and you’ll get your first bag for £1!

Fresh coffee is hard to come by, in a high street coffee shop the majority of coffee is about 6 months old from the roast when you drink it. This results in dulled flavours and is often compromised also by burnt, bitter coffee on the group heads of the machine, which is why I avoid coffee shop coffee whenever possible. Pact has been excellent on every delivery I’ve had, and I’d highly recommend them.

The coffee from the Aeropress tastes fantastic. I commented to my partner, that the first cup I made with it had effectively cost me about £25, and that if I’d payed £25 for a coffee that tasted that way in some fictional super high end bar, I would have been okay with that!

The coffee tastes so smooth made from the Aeropress, it doesn’t have the kick of an espresso from the machine but it has all of the flavour, while the coffee feels like its dissolving on your tongue.

Portable

One of the best things for me about the Aeropress is that its so portable – the whole set up can be easily carried around (and some sets include a specific tote bag for carrying it) and as everything is made of sturdy plastic, there’s nothing delicate to break. It requires no electricity to operate, as long as you have access to hot water you can use it anywhere. I’ve heard a lot of baristas own one to make coffee while travelling, on the train or on aircraft. Even the clean up is exceptionally easy as the plunger’s rubber tip cleans the inside of the plunger as you make the coffee, and the grounds come out in a pretty clean puck shape that is ejected right into the dustbin with the filter, so all you need do is rinse the filter cap and wipe the end of the plunger.

Use in Bars

While the Aeropress wouldn’t be ideal for anywhere with high volumes of hot drinks going out, if you have a casual bar and you want to start offering decent coffee to the occasional client that wants one, sure, it’ll make a damn fine cup in not much time, but consider that this won’t be much use if people are ordering cappuccinos or lattes as it obviously has no capacity for steaming milk. If you just want to be able to make yourself a great cup of coffee at work of course, Aeropress is perfect!

Final Thoughts

The Aeropress is excellent. It really is convenient for coffee at the office, and its perfect for making a quality brew on a break. Its fast to use and far more simple than the vast majority of the alternatives on the market. I’m actually planning on buying a second Aeropress to keep at work, not because its a hassle to carry, far from it, I’m just worried I’ll forget to take it home one day and be stuck with instant coffee the next morning, and having been spoiled by the Aerobie Aeropress, I can’t face that any more.

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