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In the realm of manual brewing, the AeroPress has taken the coffee world by storm.
It’s a simple and fantastic way to brew high quality coffee and coffee for espresso based drinks.
It’s considered by coffee lovers to be one of the best coffee makers out there, and for good reason. It’s quick, easy to use, and it makes a great cup of coffee and espresso style coffee—perfect for homemade lattes.
Because of its unique brewing process, it delivers a cup of coffee full of flavor, which falls somewhere between French press, espresso, and regular filter coffee.
In this AeroPress coffee maker review, we’ll look at what makes this coffee brewer so wonderful and how you can get the most delicious coffee out of it.
What Is an AeroPress Coffee Maker?
The AeroPress coffee maker is a small, fast and portable manual coffee maker created by Alan Adler, the founder of AeroPress, Inc. Its design is similar to a syringe, having a spherical chamber and a plunger with an airtight silicone seal.
You steep your ground coffee beans with hot water inside the chamber of the cylinder, then after 30-90 seconds, you press the plunger down through the chamber. This forces your coffee through a filter and cap at the bottom of the brewing chamber.
This clever little device can make highly concentrated coffee, which is described by its inventor as “espresso style”. In addition, it can also make filter strength coffee and cold brew coffee.
Currently, you can get a better deal on the AeroPress that comes with a tote bag and 350 extra filters.
AeroPress Coffee Maker Review—What Makes It So Great?
So, what is it about this little coffee press makes it so great? Why are some coffee enthusiasts saying it’s better than French Press, drip coffee, and even pour over coffee?
Let’s have a look at the many pros of this remarkable little coffee maker…
1. Freaky Fast Fantastic Coffee
Depending on immersion times (based upon roast level, grind size, personal taste), the entire brewing process might take between 60 and 90 seconds. That’s not a bad amount of time to have a fresh-brewed morning coffee clutched between your hands. This, of course, doesn’t include heating your water up, but it’s quick.
2. Easy To Use—Hard To Screw Up
Brewing coffee with this thing couldn’t be easier, even if coffee brewing isn’t your thing. Simply measure out and add ground coffee, add water, stir, and then press the plunger down after about 60 seconds. It’s really that easy.
Even if you don’t follow these guidelines to a T, the coffee still somehow comes out pretty amazing.
3. Use Your AeroPress For Espresso Style Coffee
AeroPress coffee tastes amazing, hot or cold, giving you high quality coffee for a fraction of the price you’d expect to pay for all the equipment normally needed to brew true espresso.
In fact, it might actually be better than a cup of coffee you could expect from your local coffee shop.
This coffee maker brews a robust, but smooth, cup of espresso style coffee that’s perfect for lattes. It can pull off a fantastic and delicious cup of regular ol’ American style coffee as well.
In fact, it can even make an amazing cold brew. Just add cold tap water to your ground coffee, stir, and store in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. When you’re ready to indulge, press the plunger down and you have some fresh cold brew!
You’ve got yourself a refreshing cold brew coffee that will keep you bright and wide-eyed throughout the workday.
5. Far Less Expensive Than a Standard Espresso Maker
An AeroPress coffee maker costs around $40. Compare that to a worthy introductory espresso machine, such as the Breville BES870XL Barista Express, which will set you back close to $700.
What’s more is that it will save you money (and the environment) in the long run since it doesn’t require you to buy expensive coffee capsules and other pricey accessories for a standard espresso maker, paying for itself in hardly any time at all.
6. Cleaning An AeroPress Is Even Easier Than Brewing
Cleaning is a breeze with this little coffee maker. After pressing your tasty coffee into your cup, just unscrew the lid and “pop” the puck of used coffee grounds out into the trash or your compost collection.
Give it a quick rinse and allow it to air-dry. I honestly don’t think there’s another coffee maker that’s easier to clean.
It’s dishwasher-safe, but not even entirely necessary. All you need to do is hand wash with soap and water and you’re good to go.
7. A Great Travel Companion For Every Coffee Lover
No more settling for stale, burnt, and acidic coffee at hotel chains and gas stations.
This baby easily stows away in a tote bag, is lightweight and durable, and takes up very little room—making it the perfect mate for all your adventures.
Whether you’re going camping, boating, visiting family for the weekend, or just going on a road trip, you’ll be brewing coffee anywhere, no matter where you are (and a tote bag is still cooler than a fanny pack).
What Is the Best Aeropress Coffee Maker?
Well, there’s actually only one “AeroPress”, although there is a smaller, even more travel-friendly version, known as the AeroPress Go.
Below is a chart for comparing the key differences between the AeroPress Go travel coffee maker and the Original coffee maker:
Comparison chart showing the differences between the AeroPress Go and AeroPress Original—AeroPress Chart ® Aeropress, Inc.
Both are very portable, easy to use, and make excellent coffee—although the travel mug that comes with the AeroPress Go might come in handy for storing and carrying it around while on the move.
I’ve used my AeroPress Original coffee maker while camping for a few years now and I’ve never said, “I need the AeroPress Go!” Well, not yet anyway.
How Does An AeroPress Work?
It works similarly to a syringe.
You screw the cap (or Fellow Prismo attachment) to the bottom of the outer shell (a.k.a. brewing chamber), then you place your freshly ground coffee inside of that.
Pour your water on your grounds, let it steep to the desired time, then place the plunger inside of the brewing chamber and push down. The extracted coffee is forced at a reasonable pressure through a paper filter and cap and into your cup.
French Press vs AeroPress—Differences In Brew & Taste
Both are full immersion coffee presses that make a great cup of coffee, but that’s about where the similarities end. Major distinctions between the two are:
French press uses a coarse grind — AeroPress uses a fine grind
FP utilizes a metal screen filter (retaining the coffee oils) — AP uses paper filters (unless you buy an aftermarket filter for it)
Because of the coarse grind, FP immersion times (4-5 minutes) are much longer than AP immersion times (30-120 seconds)
The French press ends up having more body and a heavier mouthfeel. Whereas, the AeroPress coffee will produce a smoother and brighter taste, but still keep a boldness to it.
Other AeroPress Coffee Makers
There are a few different bundles offered on Amazon for the original AeroPress, some of which come with extra filters and/or a tote bag.
However, you can expect both the AeroPress Original coffee maker and AeroPress Go coffee makers to come with a filter holder, coffee scoop, stirrer, and filters.
AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press—Compact and On the Go
AeroPress Go—Even MORE travel friendly than the original AeroPress – Photo by Dylan McLeod
As briefly discussed above, the AeroPress Go is a great option for coffee lovers who are constantly on the go.
Since it’s even smaller than the Original coffee maker, you can easily take it with you and serve up a tasty cup of AeroPress coffee wherever the path may lead you.
Push It To The Limit—Cool Gadgets and Accessories
If you’re looking to take your coffee brewing with the AeroPress to the next level, there are many accessories that may intrigue you.
The popularity of this coffee press has prompted many manufacturers to release compatible products that push its capabilities even further.
You can find useful accessories that: organize, help you create an even better espresso style coffee, brew cold drip coffee, and more:
In this AeroPress review, we also talk about any potential cons. To follow are a few things to consider when purchasing:
I’m sure we can all agree that speed is important when it comes to your morning coffee. Although brewing high quality coffee is quite fast with the AeroPress, there are still probably faster methods. Coffee makers such as the Nespresso or Keurig can probably throw together a cup of coffee even faster.
However, they can't compete with the taste of the AeroPress coffee maker.
Another downfall for some might be how much coffee the AeroPress makes at a time (1 to 3 cups).
Personally, I’m fine with it. It’s easy and fast enough to rinse and brew up a new batch for whomever else is ready to experience the magic that is AeroPress.
Although not completely necessary, you may have a little extra cost wrapped up in additional equipment (I know I do).
A good burr grinder is never a terrible investment, especially if you want to take full advantage of the AeroPress. There are also very good manual grinders available on the market at a reasonable cost.
The source of your hot water is also something to consider. While the very best gooseneck kettles aren’t exactly cheap, they make an easier task of pouring into the AeroPress.
If you’re on a tight budget, there are stovetop kettles (like the Barista Warrior) that work great.
Even better, if you already own a Keurig, you can also just use the water from it until you’re ready for an upgrade to a kettle.
How do you use an AeroPress Coffee Maker?
If you want an easier-to-digest explanation with pictures, visit our definitive AeroPress instruction guide. It will walk you through both AeroPress recipes from start to finish, demonstrating both the traditional and inverted brewing methods.
Otherwise, read on.
Standard AeroPress Recipe (Traditional Method)
The traditional, or standard, method is when you use the AeroPress as it was originally intended.
You screw the filter cap and paper filter on at the bottom of the brew cylinder, where it stays for the duration of the brewing process. The filter cap (and filter) hold your coffee grounds and water in (mostly) as your grounds steep.
After you pour your hot water over your grounds, stir it into a slurry, and let your grounds steep for 30 – 90 seconds, depending on your roast level, grind size, and personal tastes.
After you’re finished steeping your grounds, you “press” your tasty brew into your cup with the plunger (like a large syringe), forcing the liquid (coffee) through the filter but keeping the grounds in the AeroPress’ brew cylinder.
The problem with this method, however, is that as your grounds steep, some of the extracted coffee makes its way through the filter and into your cup. Many coffee lovers would agree that this results in a poor extraction.
The inverted method, though, allows full immersion of your grounds for as long as you like with no coffee prematurely entering your final cup, resulting in a more even extraction of your coffee grounds.
AeroPress Inverted Method
To brew using the inverted method, you start off by putting the plunger a little way into the AeroPress (as you normally would), then flipping the whole thing over (inverting it).
Now, when you pour your grounds in, they will sit on top of the plunger instead of the filter/cap.
Now pour your hot water in, let it steep, THEN screw your filter and filter cap on. Now flip this entire assembly over so it hovers above your cup.
Last, you “press” down on the plunger just as you do with the traditional method. Voila, you have your perfectly extracted, smooth coffee.
Where To Buy Your AeroPress Coffee Maker
The AeroPress coffee maker is readily available on Amazon, and for the best price as well (FREE, One-Day Shipping).
If you can’t find it there, you can find it at the Official AeroPress Store or other online retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond Broke or Target.
We’ve discussed the many advantages of coffee making in this AeroPress coffee maker review.
It’s compact, inexpensive, easy to clean, and brews an absolute fantastic cup of coffee. With its hard-to-beat price tag, you’ll be making great coffee anywhere—camping, hiking, fishing… wherever.
Give it a try. You’ll be amazed at how much better AeroPress coffee tastes compared to just about any other regular drip coffee maker.
Clint Doerfler is the founder of Coffee Gear Gurus® and has been obsessed with everything coffee since a very young “growth-stunting” age. He is passionate about helping fellow coffee lovers make amazing coffee at home, no matter what their level of experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best coffee for AeroPress?
Since the AeroPress is such a versatile brewer, it accommodates just about any bean origin and/or roast level and still makes good coffee.
If you’re used to traditional drip coffee, opt for a lighter roast to avoid the overpowering, smoky, dark flavors that are indicative of dark roasts.
Light roasted beans offer a clean, light-bodied flavor profile with brighter, fruity details of the bean shining through. These types of complex subtleties are masked by darker roasts.
Alternatively, if you already know you love espresso and want to craft your own espresso-based beverages at home, then dark roasts are the way to go.
Darker roasts are great for creating a bolder flavor that’s heavy in body, forming the perfect foundation for a fantastic latte.
While pre-ground coffee can be used with the AeroPress, it’s always best to grind your own beans to achieve proper grind size whenever possible.
You’ll want to be on the finer grind end of the spectrum with AeroPress, especially with lighter roasts (they take longer to extract). Grinding somewhere between a fine grind and a medium grind will yield best results with the AeroPress.
The AeroPress will work with any coffee roast, origin, and grind size, but the best solution is to always experiment until you find the coffee, grind size, and immersion time that’s perfect for you.
Is an AeroPress worth it? Is it really that good?
A real coffee lover would say an AeroPress is worth every red cent.
This thing makes good coffee in no time. In fact, it’s probably some of the best tasting coffee you’ve ever had. I say this with absolute conviction and confidence.
It’s especially worth the small investment if you’re one of many coffee drinkers who travel often and might be on a limited budget.
Instead of asking whether an AeroPress is worth it, it’s probably safer to ask if it’s possible to get terrible coffee out of it.
Why does my AeroPress coffee taste bad?
If you’ve somehow extracted terrible coffee out of the AeroPress, you’ve probably strayed too far from the general brewing guidelines.
You may have left out a critical step (like stirring) or you may be brewing with the wrong water-to-grounds ratio (strive for a 1:15 to 1:18 coffee to water ratio for the AeroPress). Use a brew calculator if needed.
We’re going for an optimal extraction here, so consider other variables such as grind size, water temperature, and immersion (steep) times.
Your grind size should fall somewhere between a fine grind and medium grind. Finer grinds will extract your coffee quicker and coarser grinds slower.
Your steep time should be between 30 – 120 seconds, depending on the roast level of your beans and your grind size (longer steep times for light roasts, shorter times for dark roasts).
Lastly, your water temperature should fall somewhere between 195°F – 205°F. If you have a really light roast, don’t be afraid to use water just off of a boil (212°F). Hot water will extract your coffee faster than cold water.
You’ll be fine as long as you follow brew guide instructions and AeroPress coffee maker recommendations.
What does an AeroPress do to coffee?
An AeroPress is a full immersion brewer similar to a French press, but instead of filtering the grounds out with a screen, you “press” the water through a filter and cap and into your cup.
This pressurized action is slightly similar to the way an espresso machine brews espresso but with much less pressure.
The AeroPress brew method falls somewhere between French press, espresso, and regular filter coffee, making an espresso style coffee that’s rich, flavorful, and smooth.
Is AeroPress the same as espresso?
No. While the AeroPress coffee maker can brew a coffee that’s strikingly similar to espresso, it doesn’t brew under the high pressures traditional espresso coffee makers do, so it won’t be as intense or topped with crema.
However, if you use a high coffee to water ratio, you can still get a potent coffee that shares many characteristics of espresso.