Great for coffee geeks, tinkerers, travelers and lovers of single origin coffees.
Positive Product Points
-Inexpensive -Easy to Use and Clean -Quick Hot Coffee -Nearly Indestructible -Portable -Most important...Good Coffee -VERY good for Single Origin Coffees
Negative Product Points
-Wish it came with an optional metal filter
Okay so I ran into this little item the other day at a local trendy upscale grocery store and was intrigued as it was only $30, but I wasn't sure about it as I had never seen anything like it.
Then when I was researching the $11,000.00 Clover 1s (I am from Seattle and saw a Clover at a coffee shop and wondered what it was), I ran into the following article Click Here (www.coffeegeek.com) on this site. This article by Mark Prince compares the unbelievably expensive Clover 1s with the amazingly cheap AeroPress and how they use similar brewing techniques.
Since I am not Howard Schultz and cannot afford to buy the Ballard based Coffee Equipment Company (Maker of the Clover 1s), much less afford the $11,000.00 price tag that coffee houses (such as Zoka, Stumptown, Intelligentsia & Cafe Grumpy) pay for the Clover, I instead purchased the AeroPress (by the maker of the Aerobie-how weird) as it was not a big risk at $30.00.
I just today received the AeroPress and my first cup of coffee from it, as well as the 2nd and 3rd, were great. I am looking forward to trying the suggestions from the above article and plan on buying a Gold Cone filter this week and cutting my own metal filter disk out from it so that I will not lose the oils and sediment that the paper filters out. I am a French press lover and hence like the sediment and extra oils.
The way I have prepared the coffee so far is according to Mark Prince's suggestion in the above article. I ground the coffee in a blade grinder for about 12-15 seconds (by feel slightly more coarse than for espresso), added 202'ish degree water (boiled in the microwave in a Pyrex), stirred the grounds for 10 seconds, let sit for 10 seconds and pressed for 10-20 seconds, then topped off my cup with hot water (from our companies 'Culligan' style water cooler/heater) for a very hot, rich and robust cup of black coffee. My Espresso Vivace's-Vita Blend was delicious and almost as good as the americano at their walk up location on Broadway.
I am really looking forward to tinkering with the variables and seeing the different flavors that I can get from quality coffee beans.
I used Amazon.com because it was the cheapest. I got the AeroPress, an extra 350 paper filters and free shipping for the price of the AeroPress at Sur La Table, Metropolitan Market or City Kitchens.
Three Month Followup
Still learning, tinkering and enjoying the AeroPress.
One Year Followup
I've had my AeroPress for a year now and am surprised that it has been that long. It has been a main coffee brewer since purchasing it. In fact I have used it at least 5 times a week for the past year. Amazingly it basically looks new.
For the first 10 months I used the provided paper filters and the coffee was great. This is not espresso but it is really good full flavored coffee concentrate that makes a very flavorful hot cup of coffee.
Finally wanting to play a bit more with the AeroPress (AP) I broke down and bought a gold cone filter and hand cut my own metal disk. I did this as I enjoy the oils and bit of sediment that you get from a French press, but dislike the cleaning and time it takes to brew a single cup. After tinkering a bit with the grind, the coffee needs to be fine enough to create the right amount of pressure to extract the flavors from the coffee, I have found a routine that works well for me.
My new routine is: -Place a ‘handmade’ gold metal filter into the filter basket and screw onto AP. -Place assembled (sans plunger) over a preheated 8 oz mug or coffee cup (large enough in diameter for the AP to sit on) -Grind ~40g of coffee (1 or 2 levels coarser than espresso depending on your burr grinder) and place into AP cylinder. -Boil 8-10 oz of good quality water; once boiling let water cool for 45 seconds. -Pour water vigorously into the AP until coffee and water slurry reaches the 3 on the brewer. -Let the coffee/water slurry sit for 7 seconds to bloom. -Stir for 13 seconds to thoroughly incorporate the coffee and water. - Place plunger into cylinder and slowly press the coffee into your cup (this should take about 20 seconds). -Fill mug/cup with the remaining hot water.
I would HIGHLY recommend this brewer for anyone who travels, works in an office, camps, likes to tinker…basically your average coffee geek.
This brewer is ESPECIALLY good for brewing SINGLE ORIGIN coffees as it really draws out the honest pure flavors of these specialty coffees. I would not recommend this for TRUE espresso as it does not generate enough pressure to fully extract the flavors of espresso blends, not that they taste bad on it.
I have recently brewed: Zoka’s—Organic Ethiopia Sidamo Intelligentsia’s—Agua Preta, Brazil Stumptown’s—Guatemala Finca El Injerto Pacamara Varietal
All of which shined on the AeroPress equally if not better than on my buddies Clover (his fiancé got one as part of her severance package when the CEC was purchased by Skcubrats).