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Best AeroPress Recipes: How to Brew Like a Pro

AeroPress

So, you want to brew like a pro? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will teach you how to craft delicious specialty coffee using the AeroPress. There are many ways to make great coffee, but the AeroPress stands out as one of the most versatile and effective brewing methods and is regularly featured in barista competitions.

The beauty of the AeroPress is its simplicity, but don’t let that fool you. AeroPress coffee can be nuanced and complex if you know how to coax the most out of it, and that’s precisely what we’re going to teach you in this article. We’re going to cover two specific methods that form the basis of most AeroPress recipes and also give you some general tips and tricks along the way. Let’s get started!

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The Original Method

Pour ground coffee into AeroPress

We should start with the original, intended method for brewing coffee with the AeroPress. This AeroPress recipe is probably the best to get started with. Before the AeroPress became popular and baristas started creating their own methods, this is the one everyone used. It’s simple, effective, and a great introduction to AeroPress.

This recipe makes a “fauxspresso” style coffee more akin to regular espresso than filter coffee.

AeroPress Instructions
AeroPress coffee is easy to make, but it's not necessarily intuitive. Here are simple AeroPress instructions. You'll be brewing perfect cups of concentrated coffee before you know it!
Try this delicious recipe!
How to brew delicious AeroPress coffee

What You’ll Need

  • An Aeropress
  • Kitchen scale
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Grinder (optional, but important)
  • Aeropress filters
  • 15 g of your favorite coffee
  • Your favorite coffee mug
  • 85 g water
  • About 5 minutes

Steps

  • Heat your water to about 175ºF (80ºC). If you don’t have a thermometer, bring the water to a boil and let it sit for about 1.5 to 2 minutes. This should get you close to the proper temperature.
  • Grind your coffee on a fine setting. Slightly coarser than espresso-grind is a good rule of thumb.
  • Place a paper filter into the filter basket and screw the basket onto the Aeropress. Rinse the filter with hot water to remove any papery taste.
  • Rest the Aeropress on your mug. Make sure the Aeropress is level and not sitting on the lip of the mug.
  • Pour 15 g of coffee into the Aeropress. Zero your scale.
  • Add water until the scale reads 85 g. If you don’t have a scale, fill the Aeropress until the water reaches the “1” printed on the outside of the Aeropress.
  • Insert the plunger into the Aeropress and plunge with even pressure. The entire plunging process should take about one minute. If you finish the plunge in less than one minute, you plunged too fast. If it takes longer than one minute, you plunged too slowly. A few seconds here or there is fine, but try to get as close to one minute as you can.
  • Stop plunging when you hear a hiss. This means all the water has filtered through the coffee.
  • Carefully remove the filter basket once it has cooled and use the plunger to pop the coffee puck into the garbage. Rinse all pieces thoroughly.

This recipe makes one concentrated, espresso-like cup of coffee. You could drink it straight, add one equal part of water to make an Americano-like drink, or add milk to make an imitation latte. You can think of this drink as espresso and use it as a substitute in any recipe that calls for espresso.

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Inverted Method

Upside down AeroPress brewing

The original recipe is good, but we actually like this recipe better. This recipe gets its name from the orientation of the AeroPress during the brew.

Rather than rest the AeroPress on top of a mug – as the original designer intended – some enterprising baristas decided to turn the recipe on its head, literally.

This method starts by inserting the plunger into the empty AeroPress and turning the device upside down, so it rests on the top of the plunger. Then you pour the coffee in and add water, treating the AeroPress like a mini French press. This coffee comes out bold and flavorful, like in a French press, with the added benefit of the paper filter and high pressure you can only get from an AeroPress.

AeroPress Inverted Method
There are so many ways to brew using an AeroPress, but this is one of our favorites. Flip your AeroPress upside down for more consistent extraction and control over your steeping time! Here’s the simple inverted AeroPress brewing method.
Try this delicious recipe!
Upside down AeroPress brewing

What You’ll Need

  • An Aeropress
  • Kitchen scale
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Grinder (optional, but important)
  • Aeropress filters
  • 20 g of your favorite coffee
  • Your favorite coffee mug
  • 300 g water
  • About 5 minutes

Steps

  • The ideal temperature of water to use in the inverted method is 205ºF (96ºC). If you have a thermometer, great! If not, boil your water and let it sit for about 30 seconds.
  • Grind the coffee slightly finer than you would for pour-over coffee.
  • Just like in the original recipe, place the paper filter in the basket and rinse it with hot water.
  • Insert the plunger and flip the Aeropress over so it’s standing on the top of the plunger.
  • Put 20 g of coffee in the inverted Aeropress.
  • Slowly add water until you reach 60 g. Give the coffee a quick stir, making sure all the grounds are wet evenly.
  • After 30 seconds, start to pour the remaining water until you reach 300 g total.
  • Once a total of 2 minutes has elapsed since you started pouring, carefully flip the Aeropress over onto your mug.
  • Press the plunger down with even pressure until you hear a hiss.
  • Remove the Aeropress and enjoy!

Beware: flipping over an AeroPress full of boiling coffee is as dangerous as it sounds, and we’d be lying if we said we never made a tremendous mess with this method. It’s not overly difficult, but you can have a bad experience if you’re not careful.

aeropress_inverted
Image Credit: Abi Porter, Flickr

We use the inverted method to make our morning cup of coffee fairly regularly and find we get more use out of it than the original recipe. If you’re a hardcore espresso fan, you might not like the original “fauxspresso” coffee much, but if you’re a drip coffee enthusiast or like French press coffee, the inverted method is definitely in your wheelhouse.

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Conclusion

The AeroPress is one of the most versatile and forgiving brewing methods we’ve ever used. These two recipes are our two favorites, but there are literally hundreds of other recipes out there to try. You can draw inspiration from the Brewers Cup or World Aeropress Championship since these competitions showcase the best recipes of some of the greatest coffee minds in the world.

Whatever recipe you decide to try, make sure to pay attention to the grind size and coffee to water ratio. These are the most important details, and getting them right makes the difference between delicious, robust coffee and a bitter, sludgy mess. If you don’t have a scale or a grinder, we strongly encourage you to invest in both. Your coffee will thank you.

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Featured Image: CC0 Public Domain, Piqsels

Sean Brennan

Sean’s obsession with coffee started when he received his first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, his love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets he owns – has grown considerably. A scientist by training, there is no stone he has left unturned in the never-ending quest for the perfect cup of coffee. He has spent many hours tuning his pour-over technique, thinking about how to best compare grind quality, and worrying about whether the Nicaraguan or Kenyan beans will make the best cold brew.These days he favors the Hario V60, and starts each day by hand grinding his coffee before enjoying a cup prepared with care and attention to detail.

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