As a start to my reviews, I figure I’ll give a brief review of something I’ve owned for a year or so, but it pretty darn cool (and simple).
The item in question is the Aeropress, by Aerobie (yes, the people that make the frisbee type things).
So, I’m no coffee connoisseur. I don’t use an espresso machine (I own one, but it’s not very good). I have a very simple, quiet nice coffee maker (Zojirushi EC-DAC50 5 Cup) and a pretty good sub-$100 Conical Burr grinder (Breville BCG450XL). That said, however, I have drunken my share of coffee in my life. I love the smell of coffee, and the taste is pretty good when made with good beans, and a decent brewer.
But, after reading a review by Mark Frauenfelder (of boingboing.net and Make Magazine), and seeing the video of the Aeropress, I was intrigued. I went to the local nicer cooking/kitchen store, Hartwicks (a few notches up from Bed Bath & Beyond), and bought one.
Let me say this, it produces the best cup of coffee I have ever had in my life. bar none.
The process adds a bit of time to the coffee making/drinking process, but a cup can basically be made in about 90 seconds, start to finish (assuming you have an electric kettle for the water, and an automatic grinder). Basically, the process is something like this:
- Put about 2 cups of water in my kettle, turn it on, and set a cup out
- Hit the button on the grinder, and put the filter on my Aeropress
- About this time, my grinder stops, and I scoop (or just eyeball pour) the coffee from the grinder “catch” into the press, and then set the press on the target cup
- Kettle has hit about 190 at this point, so I turn it off, add the water to the plunger up to 1-2 cups (depending on the amount of grounds), and then pour that into the press
- Stir the water/ground mix for 10 seconds
- Insert the plunger, and take about 10 seconds to depress the plunger fully
- Remove the press, and then add enough water to make a full “cup” (basically an Americano)
If I do it all right, it takes around 90 seconds for a really delicious cup of coffee. And what do I mean by delicious? I mean, do you know the slightly bitter aftertaste that a cup of coffee can have? Even good coffee? Yes? Aeropress coffee doesn’t have that. At all. It is by far the smoothest coffee I’ve ever had, and lets you taste flavors in the coffee that you may never have tasted. Add to that the fact it’s only $25, and you have an amazing little gadget.
The only caveat I’ll give, is that I have not tried it with blade ground coffee. I’d imagine it would still be delicious, but may not have quite the subtle notes that burr ground coffee would have.
All that said, I can highly recommend it. It’s inexpensive, works wonderfully, and after you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take much more time than using a normal coffee pot, especially when you count adding water, a filter, rinsing the pot, adding the grounds, then waiting for the coffee maker to finish.
Other links of interest:
- Question of whether AeroPress poses BPA risk (short answer, probably not).
- Inverted AeroPress