I originally bought this for my wife, as she enjoys the taste of coffee but the acidity bothers her stomach, making it difficult for her to share in my hobby/obsession. Having read up on it, and the claims of reduced acidity, I decided to take the $40CDN plunge. Bottom line? She likes the coffee that comes out of it, and it is significantly easier on her stomach. However, I'm writing this from my point of view and I'm less sold on it.
First of all, this thing does not produce espresso. I was skeptical of the claims, and it turns out I was right. It is closer to a moka pot brew than an espresso or french press, but it's a different flavour entirely. I brewed some freshly roasted Costa Rican Terrazu in the aeropress, my moka pot, a drip filter, a french press and my espresso machine and did a flavour test.
The aeropress was the "smoothest" of the bunch, but also by far the simplest. The bite of the coffee was gone, but so was the flavour complexity. While in the espresso I could pick out different notes, the aspects of the coffee, the aeropress was a homogeneous mixture of all of them, while muted. It was like listening to an orchestral performance in a concert hall (Or a nice pair of Sennheisers) followed by an mp3 rip from an ipod with the stock headphones. The different instruments, volumes and locations all squashed into one distorted mess. It was sad, the real coffee flavour was gone!
Over the next few days I tried the aeropress with different waters, temperatures, coffees, water ratios and anything else I could think of. Yes, there were differences, but the true flavour of the coffee always felt constrained. It was trying to get out, it was right there.... but it just couldn't make it past the little paper filter. I even tried a redeye, pulling a shot and pouring it into an aeropress americano. It didn't do justice to the shot, and it ruined the one thing that the aeropress has, the reduced acidity.
So what does this all mean? If you have someone who likes coffee but can't stand the acidity, they may like this brew. If you like having a smooth cup to change things up every once in awhile, you'll probably like it. If you're an espresso addict? This won't do it. It does what I wanted it to, but it couldn't do what I wish it could.