We all love an AeroPress brew, but we feel that its potential is often limited, as many have a tendency to use it to produce the same old cup of coffee day in, day out. Our aim here is to shine a light on its potential for a fantastic range of coffee serves, and so prove once and for all that the AeroPress is easily the most versatile coffee maker on the planet.
Below, you’ll find recipes to brew 9 different styles of coffee – which vary in everything from 40 millilitres of espresso, to a big batch of black coffee, served either cold or hot, and brewed in one minute or 12 hours – all of which can be achieved with your AeroPress. Before you head back to your makeshift stay-at-home-office, try shaking up your next coffee break with one of these new methods.
Throughout each of the recipes, we will be using 14 grams of coffee, which is more or less the amount in an AeroPress scoop. But as you know, it’s better to use scales if possible.
And, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can use these ideas as a platform for your own AeroPress recipe innovations. I don’t even think anybody has unlocked all the secrets of the AeroPress’s potential brew styles yet.
1. The Espresso Style Brew (The Original Recipe)
When Alan Adler invented the AeroPress, he wanted to provide a cheap coffee maker that could produce espresso-style coffee in less than a minute. Here is how to do it the way he first had in mind.
- Take 14g of coffee, and grind it fine (close to espresso grind size – that’s around 8 clicks on Comandante).
- Add 50 – 60g of water (pour it up to about mark one).
- We’d recommend using water at around 85°C (but you will be fine if it’s closer to 90°C). Then stir for 10 – 15 seconds and press gently.
In total, this shouldn't take you more than a minute; it’s really a quick brew! And you’ll end up with about 40mm of drink in your cup.
You can drink it as it is, or you can dilute with hot water to your taste. It’s similar to ordering an Americano in a coffee shop. Or, you can add milk too (if you want to learn how to steam milk and do latte art at home, check out our how-to video).
You could also make the coffee as a double or triple shot, just by multiplying the servings – you may also need to adjust the grind size a little bit to suit your taste.
If you want to add more pressure to your brewing, with the Prismo attachment from Fellow you can experiment with the AeroPress espresso even more!
2. Espresso via Cold Extraction
Last year, we made a video about brewing AeroPress with water at room temperature. Although it’s presented as a cold brew coffee, this is really more like a cold extracted coffee that you can brew in about a minute. The main benefit is that you don’t need to use hot water!
The responses to this recipe were surprisingly positive; many of our friends reported good results even for slightly older coffee beans. Here is how you do it:
- Use 14g of coffee, and grind it fine (close to an espresso grind size – but this time we will go even finer, with 6 clicks on the Comandante).
- Add 50 – 60g of room temperature water (this would usually be at around 20°C). Now, stir for about 30 seconds. This additional agitation will help to extract the coffee, even at a lower temperature.
- Then press gently, it should take a little over a minute.
3. Classic Black Coffee
When the specialty coffee community got their hands on the AeroPress, they didn’t think that the best way to brew would be with by-pass or dilution. They preferred to brew a full cup of 200 – 250 millilitres, and one of the first recipes in Europe was developed at Tim Wendelboe’s cafe in Oslo. It goes like this:
- Use 14g of coffee and a medium grind size (we use about 16 clicks on the Comandante).
- Add 200g of 93°C water. Quickly stir, and then add the plunger to stop it dripping.
- After roughly one minute, take out the plunger, stir again and then press it gently. Overall, it should take you around 90 seconds.
If too much water passes through the coffee before you start pressing, check the following factors:
- That the coffee bed is level and water doesn't run through the filter without saturating the coffee.
- Whether you inserted the plunger properly so that the vacuum is created to stop dripping.
- Or that your grind size isn’t too coarse.
4. The Inverted Method
Still, some people wanted more control over the brewing process, so the inverted method was created. By not placing the AeroPress directly on the cup, you had total control over all the brewing variables.
The funny thing is that many people, including myself, actually learnt this method first. Here is how to do it:
- Place the AeroPress into the inverted position.
- Add 14g of coffee of a medium grind size (we use about 16 clicks on the Comandante).
- Then add 200g of water at 93°C, and wait for one minute. In the meantime, rinse the filter and close the AeroPress with a cap, then exceed the additional air.
- After one minute, carefully rotate the AeroPress on the cup, and press. Once again, the total brew time should be around 90 seconds.
The benefit of this method is that you can use any grind size, and that the steeping and pressing phases are strictly separated, in a similar way to that of a Clever Dripper, for instance.
A tricky part is turning the AeroPress. Many of us have had funny (or not so funny) accidents, but you will quickly learn the movement, and if you do it carefully then there is no danger of spillages!
5. AeroPress On Ice
If you fancy cold coffee, but you don’t want to have to wait several hours, here is what you can do.
Here, you make a stronger brew and then press it over ice. The ice will melt almost instantly, so you can drink cold but freshly brewed coffee immediately.
- With the AeroPress in the inverted position, add 14g of coffee. We will be using a slightly finer grind than in the previous method (we use around 12 clicks on the Comandante) because we will only use 50% of the water for extraction. Then add 100ml of water.
- Let it steep for one minute. In the meantime, add about 100g of ice cubes, then rotate the AeroPress and press it over the ice. The total brewing time should be around 90 seconds, and all of the ice cubes should melt quickly after you press out the coffee.
6. An AeroPress Cold Brew
Another way to make cold coffee with the AeroPress is by using water that is cold or at room temperature, a coarse grind size, and by letting it steep over a long period of time (usually 8 – 12 hours, or overnight). This is what is known as cold brew coffee.
- Add 14g of coffee with a coarse grind size (about 30 clicks on the Comandante) and then add 200g of water at room temperature.
- Store the brew in the fridge for over 12 hours. Then, before you drink, press it over the filter to separate the coffee from the slurry.
If you need to brew more coffee, you can steep the coffee and water in a bigger jar, then use the AeroPress as a filtration tool once the extraction has finished.
Usually, cold brew coffee has less acidity and bitterness, more body and higher levels of caffeine.
7. An AeroPress Cold Drip
The last cold coffee method that you can do with the AeroPress is called Cold Drip.
Contrary to the cold brew method, here coffee is not immersed in the water for a long period of time, but instead cold water drips through a coffee bed and the coffee is slowly extracted one drop at a time.
Usually, you need to have big (and expensive) stations to successfully make cold drip coffee, but thanks to attachments like PUCK PUCK or DIY dripping stations, you can brew it relatively easily with the AeroPress. We made a video detailing it in full, but here are the basics.
- Use 19g of coffee, at a medium grind size (about 20 clicks on the Comandante grinder). Add it to the AeroPress chamber and attach the Puck Puck attachment in the closed position.
- Add 50g of ice and 200g of water (this could also be just 250g of cold water). Then set up the drip rate to 25 drops per minute, so that the resulting brew time is around 2.5 – 3 hours.
8. AeroPress in the French Press Style
When we talked about using the inverted method, we said that one advantage is that you can easily modify variables like grind size or brew time. That way, you can even mimic long immersive brewing styles, like cupping or French Press. Here is how you can do it:
- Set the AeroPress in an inverted position. Add 14g of coffee, using a coarse grind size (at about 30 clicks on the Comandante grinder).
- Add 200g of 93°C water, and let it steep for about 4 minutes.
- Then mix the brew with a spoon and let it wait for another 4 minutes. After about 8 minutes, add the cup with the filter and press all the coffee out.
This leaves you with an intense, bold cup of coffee that is much cleaner than with the French press method, thanks to the paper filtration. Also, it’s much easier to clean!
9. Supersized AeroPress Brews
One of the most common complaints about the AeroPress is that you can brew only one cup of coffee at a time. But it’s not true anymore! Our friend Asser of The Coffee Chronicler came up with a solution for brewing bigger batches of coffee, without diluting it. I doubt that many of you will have tried this method before, so let’s take a look.
- Use 23g of coffee, at a fine grind size (14 clicks on the Comandante).
- Add 350g of 93°C water, but poured in two steps, half at a time (so 175g each time). For the first stage, begin by adding about 50ml of the water, then stir or swirl the mixture for a few seconds, and add in the remaining 125ml of water.
- Now comes the tricky part – you need to push out the water without sucking in the coffee grinds. You do this by only plunging down about a centimetre, in a rotation movement. Then remove the plunger gently at an angle. Repeat this step until there is no water left.
- Then pour in the remaining 175 millilitres of water (actually, the inner part of the plunger contains exactly 175 ml) and wait for one minute, before pressing it all the way through.