Please Stop Trying to Make AeroPress Coffee Complicated: Opinion

The AeroPress is a popular coffee maker that has gained popularity due to its straightforward design and simple instructions. The “How to Use” section of the AeroPress website lists “3 Simple Steps” which consist of 1) adding coffee and water, 2) stirring, and 3) plunging. This process creates a vacuum that pushes the coffee through the filter to brew an espresso-like shot that can be consumed as-is or, as the author does, add water to create an Americano. It creates an exceptional cup of coffee and takes up little real estate if you live in a tiny studio apartment like the author does.

However, after looking broadly for online information about brewing with the AeroPress, I found a wealth of surprising hacks that seemed needlessly complicated and unnecessary. The main AeroPress hack is called the inverted method, which starts with the AeroPress upside down and gives the device, filled with very hot water and coffee grounds, a quick 180-degree flip before plunging. This sounds risky, but it is necessary for the process to be successful.

The inverted method has also been competition-hardened, employed by winners of the World AeroPress Championship. However, the help section of the AeroPress website strongly discourages using this method. AeroPress CEO Gerard Meyer explains that for coffee professionals, especially those competing in the World AeroPress Championships, achieving 100% control over every variable, down to the last drip, is paramount. Many competitors have turned to the inverted method to eliminate any drip-through entirely.

When brewing coffee the normal way, you pour water onto the coffee sitting on a filter over the perforated cap, and some water drips through. AeroPress inventor Alan Alder has stated that the tiny amount of brew that drips before you press has no perceivable effect on flavor or richness. He also has a caveat about using a grind size between espresso and drip.

If you are concerned about drip but don’t want to go the inverted route, AeroPress offers a Flow Control Filter Cap. He echoes Alder’s intent, saying that drip-through that occurs during the non-inverted brew process is a normal part of the brewing process, as envisioned by the inventor, and consistently delivers an amazingly flavorful cup of coffee.

Other steps deviating from AeroPress’s simple provided instructions, most in concert with the inverted method, all have a certain…fastidiousness. Some examples include using three filters, rinsed with warm water, holding the brewer and the piston, gently swirling the brewer, removing the plunger and stirring 3 times with a spoon from front to back, adding 215 grams of water for a total of 250 grams, and directing the user to completely disregard the AeroPress recipe on the box.

In conclusion, the AeroPress is a simple and effective coffee maker that has become a favorite among coffee enthusiasts. However, there are other ways to complicate the process, such as using the inverted method or incorporating more complex methods to achieve the desired taste and quality.

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