I can still remember a few years ago when I ordered my first-ever cup of pour over coffee. It was at Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley—somewhere around 2011/2012—and I was instantly charmed by their shipping container location and pseudo picnic area vibes, not to mention their equally adorable ice cream shop neighbor.
I ordered the “angel” blend from Central America and was quickly corrected to call it “An-hell” with the proper Spanish pronunciation.
*D’oh. What snobs. * 🙄🙄🙄
Even though that barista made me feel as small as a coffee bean, what she eventually served me ultimately inspired a newfound quest to drink as much pour over coffee as possible, everywhere, as often as my levels of caffeine shakes would allow.
And that quest continues somewhat even now, but honestly, there’s a new brew method that I’ve come to love even more. Step aside long wait times, Kalita Wave, and Chemex. It’s time for the AeroPress coffee maker chapter.
What makes AeroPress coffee great
My AeroPress coffee review can be boiled down to six things I love:
- It’s quick and easy once you learn how to brew AeroPress coffee
- You can make a single serving of coffee
- It’s not messy
- You can take it just about anywhere
- It’s affordable
- I think the founder is cool
1. It’s quick to brew
I differ from David in the fact that I don’t always have the time to make a ritual out of brewing a slow drip coffee. When my alarm goes off between 5-5:30am (like most days), I’m not trying to give up a few minutes of precious sleep to be able to stand patiently next to a dripper while it slowwwwly does it’s thing. So the quick and easy brew time gives the AeroPress coffee maker big points for me.
2. It doesn’t make too much coffee
David laughs at me because I generally struggle to finish an entire cup of coffee (I always lose interest in hot beverages before they’re consumed completely). To that end, I like that the AeroPress coffee maker brews a single serving of coffee that runs about 8-10oz in size—juuuust right. The cup is fresh til the last drop and I’m not left with extra stagnant, stale coffee, like when you brew in the French press or a bigger coffee pot.
3. Clean up is a breeze
Dealing with entire filters full of ground coffee is a thing of the past. The AeroPress is a cinch to clean up, and dare I say even fun? I kind of love those little coffee hockey pucks that I’m left with.
4. Portability, baby!
Since traveling is one of my all-time favorite past times and I spend a ton of time on the road, I also love that the AeroPress coffee maker is portable. It’s so small and sturdy that I’m never worried about it cracking in my backpack or getting smashed inside my gear. It’s great for camping (we took it on a backcountry hut trip in the Colorado State Forest in January—so awesome) and is a fun party trick when you’re staying at friends’ houses (Hi Katie & Brian 👋). We even have one in the cupboards at the GoAbroad offices where I work. (It was my #1 mission to rid the office of Folgers + drip when I started).
5. It won’t break the bank
The cost of an AeroPress on Amazon is less than $30 and is available for Prime. Granted, you’ll need a few potential other tools to get the best coffee out of your AeroPress coffee maker (like a solid burr grinder and an electric gooseneck kettle — here’s our review of our favorite kettle), but for the most part, you’re good to go with the single package.
6. The founder also makes toys
Lastly, and this isn’t that important, but I still think it is fun… I love the story of the founder of the AeroPress. He’s a kind older gentleman who lives in California and the inventor of both a home brewing coffee method AND a flying disc, called the Aerobee. He’s like a genius wizard scientist who can make a disc go crazy-long distances and make a coffee inside a vacuum. How funny is that?
What comes in an AeroPress kit?
When you buy an AeroPress online from Amazon, you get more than just a single piece of equipment—you get a whole kit of parts, each with their own unique role in bringing you the best cup of home brewed coffee possible. ☺️
- A scoop. For beans Einstein. 🤣
- A plunger & base. You can tell which is the plunger by it’s little rubber guy on the end, and the fact that it’s smaller than the base. The base has a neat hexagonal shape + a spot for you to twist on the filter cap.
- A filter cap. This is what strains the coffee from the vacuum into your favorite coffee mug.
- A stir paddle. Helpful for making sure all of the ground coffee is moving about in the hot water, or for agitating the coffee prior to extracting.
- A funnel. Sometimes you want to brew your coffee straight into your portable coffee mug—this can help.
- A filter holder. Sadly, the filter holder doesn’t usually come with filters unless you buy it special that way.
You’ll also need the following to make low key-snobby AeroPress coffee. 😉
- Filters. They make special paper ones specific for the AeroPress. If you hate waste, consider buying a metal reusable one.
- A coffee grinder. Our favorite.
- A hot water kettle. Our review of our fave.
- Tasty, fresh beans. My Fort Collins favorite.
If you want to spoil yourself and/or have a friend in your life who’s also an AeroPress-nut, score them this fun Bamboo Caddy to keep all of those AeroPress parts neat and organized. 😄
How to make coffee with AeroPress
Here’s my go-to recipe for how to make AeroPress coffee in nine easy steps!
- Turn on your electric kettle—set it to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it start warming up the water as you grind your beans and get your AeroPress all set up.
- Weigh your beans. We use a digital kitchen scale to measure out 15-16 ounces of coffee beans (typically from our favorite local roasters in Fort Collins, but sometimes we treat ourselves to Blue Bottle or Counter Culture!).
- Grind ‘em up. I’ve talked at length before about the benefits of using fresh ground coffee, so hopefully your kitchen is stocked with a grinder you love. I’m really happy with the Kona Manual Burr Coffee Grinder I picked up a few weeks ago, but when we’re home, I set my Baratza Encore to ~14 grind size. Your AeroPress coffee grind should be a little more coarse than table salt, but not nearly as coarse as a French press and not nearly as fine as espresso. A nice middle ground.
- Set up your AeroPress. I typically use the inverted method when brewing AeroPress at home because I don’t like the water dripping into my coffee mug before I tell it to. Bear with me as I try to describe this with words instead of making a video like David would. 🙂 You will put the thinner plunger piece into the wider base piece and evenly press the plunger until it’s ~½ inch below the edge. Flip the elongated piece so that the plunger is upside down and sitting on top of the countertop.
- Add the coffee and the water. Pour your freshly ground coffee into the base (so it lays on top of the plunger) and add your hot water. The amount of water you use can vary based on your taste/strength preferences (I always fill to the top!).
- Give it a quick stir. You don’t want any rogue coffee grinds missing out on this party, do you? 😝 You can let the coffee beans sit for anywhere from 10 seconds to one minute—I wouldn’t recommend going over 60 seconds though.
- Add the paper filter to the filter cap and seal it tight. Some low-key coffee snobs that I know might highly recommend that you wet the paper first. I don’t feel like this makes a big enough difference in this home brewing method.
- Flip ‘er over on top of your coffee mug. If your coffee mug rim isn’t large enough to accommodate the hexagonal shape, use the funnel. Push the plunger slowly down the cylinder and watch the coffee drip-drip-drip into your mug. MMMMMMM. Almost there.
- Add the fixins & make it YOURS. Cream, sugar, milk, agave? MINT? Go wild. Or drink it black. The AeroPress coffee flavors are crisp and clean (thanks to the filter and freshly ground beans), giving you a smooth, simple cup of coffee in five minutes or less.
Get your own AeroPress to brew at home
Join us in the AeroPress coffee fan club!! Amazon is by far the easiest spot to pick yours up, but you can also find generic versions at stores like Wal-Mart, or maybe even your local roaster.