Best of American Beer and Food

Aerobie Aeropress

What is the AeroPress

For me, the AeroPress has to be one of biggest breakthroughs in coffee making history since Achille Gaggia gave birth to the modern day espresso machine. I’m not the only one to think these coffee makers are great, a group of coffee professionals where so inspired that they started the World AeroPress Championship (WAC).

Aeropress coffee makerWhat makes the AeroPress so good is that it makes fantastic coffee; smooth, bright, full-flavoured and without bitterness. And they’re so simple to use that just about anyone can make tasty coffee.

The AeroPress was designed by the same person who brought us the Aerobie Frisbee (you know the frisbee that can travel a quarter of a mile – not a lot of good for playing in the back garden though!) – Alan Alder. His aim was to design a brewer that made coffee that was less bitter and less acidity (so it would be easier on the stomach for those who suffered from acid reflux). After much experimenting he came up with the AeroPress.

It’s funny to think that when Alder was designing the Aeropress, he was probably looking at these two problems separately. But recent research has shown that the two problems maybe interlinked. It’s a particular group of acids know as chlorogenic acids that are thought to cause acid reflux and these acids also add bitterness to coffee. The AeroPress avoids extracting this mischievous group of acids as the brewing process is too quick for them to dissolve fully into your cup.

Luckily the Aeropress doesn’t remove all acids from the cup. As I’m sure many of you are aware, the flavour of coffee actually comes from some of the acids it contains.

Aeropress Recipes

Part of the reason why there is a WAC is because the brewer is so versatile. Everyone who takes part in the championship has their own special recipe, varying the: amount of coffee, water temperature, steep time etc. So I thought it only fair to post some recipes here (none which I can claim to be my own).

WAC Recipes

2010 Winner – Marie Hagemeister

  1. Pre-soak paper filter with hot water
  2. Invert AeroPress (i.e. insert plunger part a little way into the main chamber and turn upside down so the top of the plunger is resting on the worktop)
  3. Add 20 grams of coffee – ground slightly finer than filter grind
  4. Add water at 80°C until the main chamber is almost full
  5. Stir for 10-12 seconds
  6. Secure filter
  7. Turn the AeroPress the right way up and plunge slowly – stop before you hear the pssss!

2009 Winner -Lucasz Jura

  1. Pre-soak paper filter
  2. Invert AeroPress
  3. Add 19.5-20 grams of coffee – ground slightly coarser than filter grind
  4. Add 200ml of water at 75°C
  5. Stir 4 times
  6. Secure filter
  7. Turn AeroPress the right way up 15 seconds after adding the water
  8. Plunge and serve