AeroPress recipes that every coffee enthusiast should know

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That AeroPress is on the more nerdy side when it comes to manual coffee brewing. It does not have the artisanal belief in inclination, nor the gravitas of a Moka pot, nor the proven reliability of a French press. Still, this small, plastic, piston-based coffee machine – originally designed as a way to make a cup of reliably delicious coffee in a minute – is more versatile than you might think, and more than deserves a place in any coffee enthusiast’s arsenal.

Despite the apparent simplicity, there is no one right way to make AeroPress coffee, so we’ll review a handful of recipes that have all proven their resilience over the last few years (or even more than a decade). And we’ve tested them all in our grueling test lab (a dedicated coffee table tucked away in the corner of the living room).

If you have an AeroPress at home and do not know what to do with it, this guide will tell you. And if you are already well versed with AeroPress, we hope you find at least a few interesting recipes that will change your morning routine.

Note: In an attempt to keep this list global, we will use the metric system. So the degrees are in celsius, and the weight in grams, and the water is measured in milliliters.

Before you get started

As you prepare to make your first cup, let’s first address a few frequently asked questions about brewing with an AeroPress.

What size should you grind your coffee?

This may depend on which recipe you use, but as a general rule of thumb, grind your beans to medium fine. Your paint should be finer than a pour-over or French press, but not as fine as espresso. Somewhere in the middle is the right place.

What do you need to get started?

For simple recipes, you only need an AeroPress and a kettle. You do not really need a weight. The recipes below show the coffee dosage, but you can completely ignore it if you wish. Just use the coffee spoon included in AeroPress, which will give you about 15-18 grams of coffee, which is perfect for a cup.

But if you want to make a uniform cup of coffee every time, we recommend a scale (any kitchen scale is fine) and a temperature-controlled kettle.

How important is the whole “water temperature” thing?

Again, this depends on the recipe, although AeroPress is usually quite forgiving when it comes to water temperature. Still, you generally do not want to use water that is just about to boil. Let it sit in the kettle for about 30 seconds and the temperature will drop to below 194 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimal temperature for most specialty coffees. (If you do not want to get one temperature controlled boiler, you can use any kitchen thermometer.)

Is there a “right” way to use it?

Nix. The recipe you like is the recipe you like. But the only way to find out is by trying different recipes.

So we’ll guide you through a few of them, starting with the “traditional” method. Next, we will discuss the “reverse” method and how to make an AeroPress Espresso. And remember, recipes are meant to be tweaked. While these recipes will work for most people, no two coffee drinkers are alike. So do not be afraid to change the coffee dosage or water temperature to make a brew that tastes good to you.

Understand the basic methods of brewing AeroPress

If you’re new to AeroPress, let’s spend some time understanding the basics. AeroPress can be brewed in two broad ways: Traditional and vice versa.

The traditional method

In this method, you add a paper filter to the AeroPress cap, turn it in place, and place the brewer on your coffee cup. Then you add the coffee and hot water. When the steeping time has passed, put the plunger on top and slowly press down on it, pressing the coffee (but not the ground) into the mug.

This is the original method and it actually gives a proper cup of coffee. The problem is that the water starts dripping out right away and it does not give you that much control over the brewing process.

For beginners, the traditional method is a good starting point. But if you just got a new pack of a lightly-roasted Gesha or a Kenyan coffee and you want to pull all the possible notes out of it, you should use the reverse method.

The reverse method

The reverse method is loved by the third-wave coffee community. This is what most AeroPress enthusiasts (including us) use to make their coffee every day. Here you put the stamp upside down so that your AeroPress is on the stamp itself.

Then you add the coffee and water, let it soak, moisten the filter and place it in the cap, screw it on and then turn the whole AeroPress on the cup (this part requires a little skill). You then slowly push the plunger down. (If this sounds confusing, this YouTube video should help you visualize it.)

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get to the recipes.

AeroPress inventor Alan Adler’s original recipe

Let’s start where it all began. This is the recipe that AeroPress was created for. It gives you 100 ml of coffee, which can be used as a base to make an Americano or a latte. It is a short recipe and uses less coffee. It results in a sweet, diluted cup that is good for coffee beginners.

  • Method: Traditional
  • Time: 1 minute
  • weight: Not needed
  1. Use 14 grams of medium-ground coffee.
  2. Attach the filter and cap to the AeroPress. Put the chamber on the cup and add the ground coffee.
  3. Fill with water (80 degrees C) to level 1.5 or 2. (About 100-120 ml of water.)
  4. Stir for 10-15 seconds.
  5. Put the plunger on top and dive slowly for about 30 seconds.

Your coffee is ready in less than a minute. Alan recommends adding 150 ml of 70-degree water to get a good, balanced cup – not too sour, not too bitter.

James Hoffmann’s ultimate AeroPress recipe (customize as you like)

James Hoffmann is a coffee youtuber and the creator of many popular coffee recipes and has his own take on AeroPress. Although similar to Alan Adlers, we recommend watching the short recipe video above to capture all the nuances. (Note that he offers his water measurements in grams, but they are equivalent to ml.)

  • Method: Traditional
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • weight: Recommended
  1. Grind 11 grams of coffee to medium fine (error on the finer side).
  2. Prepare AeroPress for the traditional method. No need for preheating.
  3. Start an hour and add directly 200 ml of water (almost boiling water for a light roast, 90-90 degrees for a medium roast and below 90 degrees C for dark roasts).
  4. Place the plunger about 1 cm in the brewer to lock the vacuum. Wait for two minutes.
  5. Now hold both the cup and the AeroPress and stir gently.
  6. Wait 30 seconds.
  7. Dive slowly for 30 seconds.

The daily Inverted AeroPress recipe

If you are looking for a balanced cup of coffee, this recipe is a good starting point and it is easy to customize based on your coffee or your taste preferences. It’s a bit like brewing a pour-over inside AeroPress (there is a flowering period of 50 ml to reduce acidity).

There is plenty of room to experiment here. You can make this recipe by using as little as 8 grams of coffee, or as much as 22 grams, depending on what suits you. This recipe works well for medium-roasted, neutral coffees with flavor notes of chocolate and nuts.

  • Method: Vise versa
  • Time: 2-1 / 2 minutes
  • weight: Recommended
  1. Prepare your AeroPress in the reverse method. Place the plunger in the lower part, around level 4.
  2. Then position it upright so that the area with the screw cap is at the top.
  3. Rinse your filter with warm water and put it on the cap, but not on AeroPress yet.
  4. Add 17 grams of medium-fine coffee to the chamber (you can go all the way down to 8 grams or all the way up to 22 grams if you want).
  5. Slowly add 50 ml of water (87-99 degrees) over 30 seconds, then stir.
  6. Now add 150 ml of water, quite slowly, as if you were making a pour-over.
  7. Stir and wait 2 minutes.
  8. Put the cap on with the filter.
  9. Dive slowly for 30 seconds.

If this is a little too much coffee for you, you can dilute it further with 100-150 ml of water. One of our favorite things to do in the morning is to make an Inverted AeroPress cup, add 150ml of water and then transfer the coffee to a travel mug, which gives us a warm, balanced cup of coffee to drink over the next hour or so.

The reverse icy AeroPress recipe

If you’re a fan of iced coffee, try this version of the recipe outlined above. Here, the ratio of water to ice will depend on your taste, but we recommend that you go for 150 grams of ice and 100 ml of water for a smoother cup.

  • Method: Vise versa
  • Time: 2 minutes
  • weight: Recommended
  1. Start with AeroPress in reverse position. Rinse the filter in warm water and add it to the lid.
  2. Add 16/17 grams of medium-ground coffee to the brewer.
  3. Add 100 to 150 grams of ice to your cup.
  4. Add 50 ml of water (87-99 degrees) over 30 seconds, then stir.
  5. Add another 50 ml of water and stir again.
  6. Put the cap on.
  7. Wait 1 minute and 30 seconds, then dive on top of the ice for 30 seconds.

How to make AeroPress Espresso for milk-based drinks

If you like milk-based coffee drinks, try this recipe for an intense espresso-like shot. This recipe is designed by European coffee trip (a great coffee YouTube channel) for a flat white, but we personally found it a little too weak after adding milk. So even though the recipe recommends 14 grams of coffee, do not be afraid to use 18 or 20 grams for a punch cup.

  • Method: Traditional
  • Time: 1 minute
  • weight: Recommended
  1. Grind 14 grams of coffee on the finer side – almost as fine as espresso, and absolutely finer than you usually grind for AeroPress.
  2. Prepare your AeroPress in the traditional position.
  3. Add 14 grams of coffee and level the bed.
  4. Add 70-90 ml of water at 93 degrees (you can go hotter if you want).
  5. Stir constantly for 20 seconds.
  6. Insert the plunger and dive for about 30 seconds.

As a result, you get about 50-60 ml of strong coffee with a fruity, sour edge, like an espresso. Add about 150 ml of steamed or frothed milk (heated to about 60 degrees) to make a good latte.

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