How to Make Coffee with Aeropress: An Expert Guide

Published on 02/14/2024 · 8 min readUnlock the secrets to perfect Aeropress coffee with our expert guide, featuring step-by-step instructions for a rich, flavorful cup every time.
Nate Harrison, Coffee Expert
By Coffee Expert Nate Harrison

Photo by Bublik Haus

At first glance, the Aeropress coffee maker looks as if it might have a place in a college science lab. And let’s be honest, what is a coffee bar but really just an ongoing place for daily science experiments. (Did I mention the inventor of the Aeropress was a physicist?) All that to say, the Aeropress is great for the average coffee enthusiast as well as the avid barista and could make its home in any coffee cabinet or maybe even as a mainstay on your counter. It is also so easy to travel with because of the size of it and how well it is made. I have thrown it into my backpack for camping trips as well as the random weekend getaway. It can make a good cup of coffee anywhere, and because of its ease of use and portability, this brewer has skyrocketed in terms of popularity, and might I even say, “charm.”

The Aeropress Evolution

In the last couple of years, Aeropress, the company, has announced different versions of the Aeropress brewer. The original version was created around 2012 and is the one that is most popular. The Aeropress Go was introduced in 2019, and it comes with a mug and other accessories to help make it easier to grab and make a cup of coffee on the go. This version has a smaller chamber, which decreases the amount of brewed coffee that the coffee maker can hold. Then, in 2023, clear versions of the original Aeropress were introduced, but mainly with the same design and capacity. The Aeropress XL was also introduced in 2023 and features a larger capacity brew chamber with many of the same great features as the original.

For this article and how-to guide, we are mainly going to focus on the original Aeropress. The original (or the clear version because they are the same size) is the most popular and would be the version that I recommend grabbing if you are looking to purchase one. You can do that here! At just around $50, depending on which version you select, this might be one of the best coffee brewers you can get!

One of the best things about this brewer is just how good the coffee tastes with minimal effort! It really can be as easy as just pouring hot water over the grounds and pushing the water through the coffee bed. It can also be a little more cumbersome and involved than that if you so desire, so we are going to talk about a couple of different ways that you can use an Aeropress to make coffee.

What’s Needed to Brew with the Aeropress

Although the Aeropress doesn’t require much to brew with, the accessories provided in the box are something to be aware of, at least. The actual brewer comes in 3 pieces: the filter camp, brewing chamber, and plunger. It comes with a bean scoop that will hold around eleven to twelve grams of coffee beans. It also comes with a stir paddle and maybe even a custom “funnel,” depending on which version you purchase. It also requires proprietary paper filters, of which it puts a handful in the box. But, if you plan on using it much, I would suggest getting some more filters (or possibly even a reusable filter such as this).

You’ll also need a mug, hot water (water temperature around 195ºF if we are being specific), and the most important thing, good quality coffee beans. Remember that the fresher the coffee beans are, the better the coffee will taste. So if possible, have a burr grinder handy to grind the coffee right before you brew. Somewhere around medium to fine on the grind setting (same as drip coffee) is best but can be adjusted to taste. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, just have the coffee beans ground when you purchase. Tell the barista it’s for Aeropress; they’ll know what that means.

Photo by Cafe Concetto

The Easiest Way to Brew with an Aeropress

While the Aeropress might look intimidating at first, it is actually very approachable. Let’s talk through specific steps and maybe even a recipe or two on how to make coffee with the Aeropress. Ratios for coffee to water differ depending on the Aeropress recipe, but this should give you a good starting point. For this recipe, you’ll need the Aeropress, Aeropress scoop, filter cap, hot water, paper filter, timer, spoon, and a mug.

  1. Heat the water to 195ºF. If your kettle doesn’t have exact temperature control, heat the water to boil and let it sit for around a minute before using it to brew with.
  2. Prepare the filter and brewer. Put the paper into the filter cap and put it into place on the bottom of the brewing chamber. Put the Aeropress on top of the mug without the plunger on top. Pour a small amount of water into the Aeropress to rinse the filter (to get rid of any paper taste) and preheat the chamber. Once the water has drained through, empty the water out of the mug and place it back into position.
  3. Take 2 scoops (around 23 grams) of medium-fine grind coffee and put it into the top of the brew chamber. Give the Aeropress a quick, gentle shake just to level out the coffee bed.
  4. Pour the 195ºF water into the Aeropress until the water level reaches the “4” line. Start the timer.
  5. Grab the spoon or Aeropress paddle and give the water a quick stir to incorporate all the coffee grounds. (It should get a little foamy on top.)
  6. Once the timer gets to 1:30, place the plunger on top of the brew chamber.
  7. Press the plunger until you hear the Aeropress hiss. (This is the sound it makes after all of the water is expelled from the chamber.)
  8. Take the Aeropress off of the mug and enjoy your hand-brewed cup of Aeropress coffee!

Photo by Cafe Concetto

Advanced Aeropress Brewing with the Inverted Method

While there are many different ways and recipes to experiment with when using the Aeropress, one of the most common alternate brew techniques is something called the “Inverted method.” In this method, the coffee maker is placed upside-down in order to do a more immersive brew. It usually gives the user more control over the coffee brew and can help extract all of the flavors with more uniformity. For this recipe, you’ll need the Aeropress (original or clear), scoop, filter cap, hot water, paper filter, timer, spoon, and a mug.

  1. Heat the water to 195ºF.
  2. Assemble the Aeropress upside-down without the filter cap on. Make sure to only put the plunger into where the gasket is sealed (no further than the “4” on the side of the Aeropress). The brew happens in the brew chamber on top of the plunger (see picture).
  3. Put the paper filter in the filter cap and wet the filter, but do not put it on the Aeropress.
  4. Take 2 scoops (around 23 grams) of medium-fine ground coffee and put it into the top of the brew chamber. Give the Aeropress a quick, gentle shake just to level out the coffee bed.
  5. Pour the 195ºF water into the chamber on top of the coffee bed until the water level reaches close to the top. Start the timer.
  6. With the spoon or paddle, stir the water until everything is incorporated and well distributed.
  7. Once the timer gets to 1:30, gently place the filter cap on top of the chamber and secure it into place.
  8. Place a mug upside-down on the filter camp, and with one hand on the Aeropress and one hand on the mug, flip the whole thing over to make it stand upright. (The mug should now be on the bottom.)
  9. Without excessive force, put weight onto the plunger to push the water through the coffee bed and filter into the mug until you hear the hiss.
  10. Take the Aeropress off of the mug and enjoy your inverted cup of Aeropress coffee!

Photo by Pouya Hajibagheri

Aeropress Accessories

There are many different accessories that can be purchased to go with the Aeropress. One of the most popular is this flow control filter cap. It helps prevent accidental drips and creates a vacuum seal on the bottom of the brewing chamber to provide more control over the brewing process, and it can be used to help pressurize the coffee for a more intense flavor.

Aeropress Pro Tip

For more intentional control of your recipe and brew ratio, use a scale to weigh the beans that you are going to brew with. You can also weigh the water to make sure you use the exact amounts you want to use. A good place to start for the Aeropress is a 1:15 ratio of coffee beans to water. For example, use 20 grams of coffee beans to 300 grams of water.

Aeropress Fun Fact

Did you know that there is an entire worldwide tournament for people brewing with the Aeropress? It is called the Aeropress Championships and is held in different events and qualifiers around the world. Hundreds of baristas and coffee people compete for the title of World Aeropress Champion.

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