the ultimate guide to the aeropress

By Asser Christensen

Licensed Q Grader, M.A. Journalism

The Aeropress has gone from being an obscure coffee brewing contraption to a cultural institution in just a few years.

Today there are national and international championships, countless crowdsourced recipes, and even viral phenomena like the #milehighaeropressclub 

(check it out on Instagram, if you want to see how creative coffee people can be).

But there’s also a dark side to the Aeropress… one you usually don’t hear about in the glossy barista magazines.

The truth is that a lot of amateurs, as well as professionals, couldn’t brew a proper Aeropress, even if their life depended on it.

I have had quite a few friends confess to me that the brewer ‘just didn’t do it’ for them.

And to be honest, I’ve even been there myself.

A TREATISE ON… COFFEE BREWING

The Aeropress can be used in a multitude of ways. But that also means that you can mess it up in even more ways.

In this article, I’ll zoom in on every little detail of this fascinating brewing device — from the history to the latest trends at the World Championship as well as advanced Aeropress instructions.

I will also give you my take on the five most common brewing errors.

If this article had been published 150 years ago, it should probably have been called a ‘treatise’ or something grandiose like that. But since we live in the postmodern internet world, I’m just gonna call it the ‘Ultimate Advanced Guide.’

As such, it’s not meant to be digested in one sitting, so you might want to bookmark it and return when you’re thirsty for more caffeinated knowledge. Enjoy!

NB: This is the updated version of an article that was first published on the site back in March, 2017. The update includes even more tweak, hacks & insights. Even if you have already read the first version, there are probably some new things for you to glean here.

HISTORY OF THE AEROPRESS

Like most awesome things in the world, the Aeropress started out as a slightly crazy idea inside the head of an unusual man.

Alan Adler, an inventor, and mechanical engineer didn’t set out to create a commercial product. Rather, he was just looking for a way to simplify coffee brewing.

Before then Adler’s main claim to fame was that he had invented the ‘Aerobie Flying ring’ – a revolutionary kind of flying disc that could be thrown much farther than a traditional frisbee. 

But in 2003 Adler began experimenting with coffee brewing. One of the first things he started to look into was water temperature. Adler preferred coffee brewed with a temperature around 175°F/80°C and so did most of his subject. This goes against a lot of traditional coffee wisdom, where the water is closer to a boil.

At that time, Adler was mainly brewing pour over coffee, and he realized that something might be gained if the brewing could be speeded up using air pressure.

Adler made a bunch of different prototypes for the pressurized coffee maker. He even made one powered by a bike pump. 

Eventually, he invited the general manager of Aerobie, Alex Tennant, to have a sip from what would eventually become the final Aeropress.

Back then, the company only produced flying discs and various toys. But the executive immediately saw the potential. (source)

“Alan, we can sell millions of these,” he blurted out upon tasting the brew. It took another two years before the product hit the market in 2005. But since then, the direction has only gone one way for the Aeropress.

Spontaneous competition

The first international championship took place in Norway in 2008. Not because Adler and his company created it, instead it happened organically. Norwegian coffee-guru Tim Wendelboe was one of the main initiators. The first world championships just had three participants but in the following years it quickly grew into something much larger.

Adler admits that he was surprised by the spontaneous coffee competition. 

“I never anticipated it. It’s funny, too, because prior to the AeroPress I was in the business of designing sporting devices, and sporting devices are frequently used for competitions. But it never occurred to me that anybody would compete with food preparation.”

At age 78, Adler decided that it was time to retire. In 2017 he sold off the toy-making division of Aerobie. The coffee department was for sale for a while, but eventually Adler and his wife, Irene, decided to retain ownership. In late 2019 Aerobie is planning to release the first new product in years; the AeroPress Go, which is a travel version of the coffee maker. 

Different prototypes of the Aeropress (Screencapture Credit: Aeropress Movie)

basic aeropress techniques

The Aeropress was Alan Adler’s way of being able to control more of the parameters compared to using an espresso machine. But in fact, he created a brewing device with more options than any other out there.

You can literally do everything with an Aeropress. Let’s take a look at some of the more common techniques.

#1: inverted or normal?

The first big question you have to ask yourself when brewing on the Aeropress is if you wanna brew like Alan Adler intended or you wanna go ‘inverted’ aka upside-down (picture on the right).

The people in the inverted camp believe that it offers better control over the extraction since no coffee is allowed to drip out. Of course it also looks pretty darn cool, when a barista flips over the brewer.

Not everybody is convinced, though. Some people don’t like the idea of the coffee resting on the rubber gasket and think it could impart a bad flavor to the coffee.

#2: low temperature

Alan Adler prescribed 175°F as his ideal temperature, but this goes against mainstream coffee brewing dogma.

For years, 200°F has been seen as the ideal – and it still is when it comes to brewing espresso or pour over.

Among Aeropress aficionados however, it is common to brew at rather low temperatures.

#3: blooming

blooming the aeropress

This is originally a technique from pour over coffee.

Blooming ensures even extraction and makes channeling less likely to occur.

It also allows carbon dioxide to escape from beans before proper brewing begins.

Blooming is simple. Carefully pour 2-3 x coffee weight; then wait for 45 seconds. 

#4: discarding the slurry

When the water is just below the ‘1-mark’, finish the brew instead of pressing all the way through.

The idea is that by pressing the coffee puck and the last brew water you may extract a lot of unwanted molecules. By not including it in the final brew you can avoid bitterness or off-flavors.

Discarding the slurry is considered best-practice today.

A lot of aero-baristas like to stop right when they hear a ‘hissing’ sound, others may use visual cues.

#5: dilution

Recipes that call for dilution are common with the Aeropress. Especially, among the world champions.

Brew an ultra strong beverage and then add hot water to create a more ‘transparent’ flavor profle. In many ways, this is similar to brewing an americano. 

lessons from the world champions

The World Aeropress Championship (W.A.C.) was held for the first time in 2008 in Oslo, Norway.

Coffee guru Tim Wendelboe and the Aussie Tim Varney, who worked for Wendelboe back then, thought it would be a fun thing to organize. 

Wendelboe had been using a Clover machine to brew black filter coffee in his coffee shop until then. 

When Starbucks acquired the company behind the Clover, it became more challenging to get spare parts. 

Wendelboe already sold the Aeropress in his shop, so it was a simple decision to start using it in the bar. But he still hadn’t found the best way to brew it. By hosting a competition, he could crowdsource the best recipe.

However, only three competitors signed up; two of them were baristas working for Wendelboe. 

different versions of the aeropress
The Aeropress changed slighly over the years.

In 2018 the ‘Aeropress Movie‘ was released by European Coffee Trip. It delves into the history of the championship. 

In the movie (which I btw highly recommend), Tim Wendelboe recounts the humble beginnings of the championship: 

“They made one Aeropress brew each”, Wendelboe recounts.

“I was standing in the store waiting for them to be finished, and then I went into the cupping room, tasted the coffees, and pointed at the best one. And that was it. It was all over in 15 minutes because they were all competing at the same time”. 

Norwegian Anders Valde, who was a frequent customer at Wendelboe’s shop, won. Unfortunately, nobody recorded the actual recipe. In the Aeropress Movie, Anders Valde, states that the winning brew was probably a bit over-extracted considering today’s high standards; however, the essence was somewhat close to Tim Wendelboe’s current recipe.

In 2009 the competition grew. About 30 people participated in Oslo. Tim Varney contacted Aerobie to have them manufacture a special trophy for the winner. They sent back the bronze, silver, and golden Aeropresses that are now a mainstay in the W.A.C. (source).

finding the best aeropress method

In 2010 the W.A.C. was held concurrently with the World Barista Championship in London. At that point, Tim Wendelboe withdrew as an organizer due to the increasing workload. 

Tim Varney took the reins from then. Eventually, he would go on and form a company to run the world championship with Tim Williams from an office in Melbourne. 

While the W.A.C. is more down-to-earth compared to the World Barista Championship, it’s still fiercely competitive. 

Today, all the competitors have to qualify by winning the national championship.

This means that we can learn quite a lot by studying the champions and their recipes. And in fact, quite a few new techniques have been introduced on the world stage at these competitions.

So what does it take to make Aeropress like the champions? Read on to find out..

Want More Aeropress History? Get 50 % discount on the Aeropress Movie with this code: COFFEECHRONICLER: Watch the Movie Here

The perfect aeropress ratio

One of the most important things when brewing any kind of coffee is the so-called brew ratio.

The brew ratio is the relationship between the amount of coffee and water used. So a 1:18 brew ratio, for example, would mean that for every unit of coffee, you’d have 18 units of water. This particular ratio is what the SCA calls the ‘Golden Cup Ratio’ (source).

Personally, I find this ratio to be a bit thin when brewing pour over, so instead, I’d usually opt for around 1: 15.

However, with most brew methods, except espresso, you’ll see that the vast majority of recipes suggest between 1:15 and 1:18.

Aeropress is unique in this regard. When you look closely at the winning recipes, you’ll see that they are all rather concentrated compared to traditional coffee brewing methods. (source

The winner of the 2018 World Aeropress Championship, Carolina Garay from Colombia, used a whopping 1:5,7 ratio. That’s closer to espresso than regular black filter coffee! 

On average the winning ratio is 1:11,5. This suggests that the Aeropress should be treated quite differently compared to all other manual brewing methods.

However, personally, I would quickly get ruined, if I were to use brew ratios like that on a daily basis. So it might be worth remembering that a competition scenario is something completely different from everyday coffee drinking. 

You can compare it to the difference between being a bicyclist and a Tour de France competitor. You don’t necessarily need blood doping and a $15K bike to get a good result as a hobbyist.

how to use an aeropress

aeropress trophy
The coveted prize.

Another pattern that jumps out immediately when studying all the past champions is that the water temperature is rather low.

On average, the winning temperature is 177 °F/80 °C. For years the official recommendation from the SCA has been 200 °F/93°C (source).

There are different theories as to why a lower temperature might be better. 

One states that certain compounds extract at around 177 °F, while more bitter and less desirable ones extract closer to a boil.

A very simple and down to earth explanation; however, is that using a low temperature makes it possible to enjoy the cup sooner rather than later.

On the other hand, the respected coffee innovator and former World Brewers Cup winner Matt Perger has long been an advocate of using boiling water. He argues that this ensures the best possible extraction. It’s also straightforward and consistent doing every time, compared to using a thermometer.

But overall, we will have to say that the jury is still out on the perfect water temperature. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence pointing to everything from 175- 205 °F. In the end, it’s probably more down to personal taste than anything else.

 One caveat that I should add, is that the low temperature at the W.A.C. should also be seen in relation the the unusually high brew ratios. It’s likely that these two parameters should go hand in hand.

Jeff Verellen 

W.A.C. Winner 2011 & 2013

On the perfect Aeropress recipe

“Initially, the way to get to the recipe was classic trial and error. Kaizen way of improvement: Every morning 2 Aeropresses, 1 ‘best’ method a standard, and 1 challenging method, if the challenging method was better than that one would be the next days ‘’best’’ method.

There are many variables to play with to make a challenging method: grind, ratio, water, temperature, time.

A few things will always improve a coffee; picking out bean defects, using better water, using a better grinder, sieving the fines, not pressing all the way through (the Ketel one technique) so that’s a given to improve these to the fullest.” (Source)

THE PAPER FILTER IS A TROOPER

One of the interesting things about the Aeropress is that it offers the users to change and tweak many small things.

For instance, there are quite a few companies that produce special filters made out of different metals.

Some people also like to experiment with using two paper filters for extra cup clarity. But in fact, every single winner of the W.A.C. have opted for a single, traditional paper filter.

When it comes to the position of the brewer, it’s hard to make any firm conclusions.

The first two winners used the inverted method, then followed four consecutive upright champions, and now the last four have been inverted.

ADVANCED AEROPRESS RECIPES & INSTRUCTIONS

So is that all there is to having fun with the Aeropress? Of course not…

What makes the Aeropress so cool is that it’s half brewing device, half toy.

in this section, I’ll introduce you to a few cool ways to get more out of the Aeropress.

These might not be award-winning recipes, but they’ll get reactions on Instagram, and should also make delicious coffee. 

Aeropress cold brew

Have you ever tried making cold brew with a normal pour over filter? No? Well, I’ll save you for a lot of trouble and tell you to not even try it!

When making cold brew, water and coffee grounds are usually in contact for 12 to 36 hours. This gives the fines plenty of time to soak up water. That’s why it’s so hard to pass through a filter. If you pour it into a V60 it’ll clog almost instantly.

The Aeropress is a lifesaver, when it comes to cold brew. 

Because of the air pressure you can actually filter it pretty easily, leaving you with a nice and balanced cold brew in no time.

  • Add 35 grams of coffee to 500 grams of water in a bottle.
  • Leave on the counter top for 5-10 hours.
  • Keep in the fridge over night.
  • Pour the slurry into an ‘upright’ aeropress. (You can use either a paper or metal filter, depending on your preference).
  • Plunge over ice cubes. (Rinse and repeat, if you have more mixture left).

Espresso with Aeropress

Even though Aeropress today is widely considered a black coffee brewing device – comparable to the French press or filter coffee – there has always been an aura of espresso somewhere in the mix.

The connection between espresso and the Aeropress at first glance seems obvious. Both devices utilize pressure. But while the famous 9 bars are an essential part of how the best espresso machines operate, the pressure of the Aeropress is merely a way to separate brewed coffee and the grounds. 

Even though you can make espresso-like shots, you’ll never be able to get crema. 

When it comes to making a great Aeropress espresso, the key is grinding fine, and stirring vigorously, rather than just applying pressure. Flavor-wise you can get close to something resembling espresso but this has to with the concentration of the beverage, rather than the pressure.

Bonus Info: The Aeropress only reaches about 0.35 bar- 0.70 bar – even when pressing like a madman. This is quite far from the espresso range of 7-9 bars.

Pro Tip: One of the coolest things about Aeropress Espresso is that you can make it with cold water. The lower temperature brings out completely new flavors from the beans. I learned this by coincidence when I was on holiday. I didn’t have access to hot water and wanted coffee. The result was something unlike cold brew and unlike espresso. Give it a try, and let me know what you think! 

icepresso aeropress

Aeropress Espresso Recipe

  • Place the Aeropress in the inverted position. Insert the plunger halfway pressed through, so there is less room in the chamber. 
  • Grind 20 grams of coffee as fine as possible.
  • Pour in 80 grams of water. You can use either hot or cold water. 
  • If hot, stir for 20 seconds, and let the coffee steep for 1 minute.
    (If using cold water; stir for 40 seconds, and steep for 1 minute)
  • Add the filter cap, flip, and press. 
  • Enjoy your espresso-like beverage. 

aeropress gooseneck kettle

the aeropress can be used as a plunger

Here’s a nice little travel hack: Use the inside of your Aeropress plunger if you don’t have a gooseneck kettle and scale.

If you fill it almost to the top (minus 1 cm) you have exactly 200 ml of water.

The flow control is way better than a regular electric kettle.

Actually, the inventor behind the Aeropress, Alan Adler, intended the plunger to be used as a measuring device.

That’s why there were markings on the first versions of the contraption, however, he realized that most people never used it, so eventually, Aerobie did away with them.

However, if you’re in a situation where you don’t have access to a gooseneck kettle, and want to make a pour over, just your plunger. It’s practically made for it. 

The Aubade Method

I recently encountered this brilliant technique which doesn’t really have a name yet.

As far as I can tell, it was first invented and popularized by Eldric Stuart of the now-defunct Aubade Coffee in Vancouver, so maybe we should call it the ‘Aubade’ method?

The same approach has since been used to win at least a couple of Aeropress competitions.

This brewing style is unlike any other recipe out there.

The idea is that you do several extractions, and then mix them afterward to create the perfect cup.

The first extraction creates what Eldric Stuart calls ‘sour acids.’ The idea is that all the most potent, citric flavors are pulled out in this first extraction.

After that, you remove your plunger, add water, and proceed to brew a second time. This time you add more water. This creates the bulk of the brew. Then you adjust the taste by adding the sour acids from the first extraction. Spoon by spoon. Like if you were to season a tasty stew.

The result should be the most balanced Aero-Joe you can imagine.

Eldric Stuart is also the guy behind the Aesir Aeropress filters (which I highly recommend). For the best results, you should use his filters.

I have tried this method several times, and have been blown away by the flavor clarity.

At first glance, it seems a bit weird and counterintuitive, but when you think about it, a guy like Tetsu Kasuya espouses some of the same principles in his 4/6 method. Sweetness and acidity are extracted at different times in the brew cycle and make it sense to balance them perfectly.

Try this recipe below, or check out the video above, where the Canadian coffee-YouTuber Brodie Vissers shares his modified recipe, which also works like a charm.

  • Normal position, use Aesir filter for the cleanest result
  • 21.5g coffee
  • Add 60g water at 94°C/201°F
  • 20s plunge (without hiss) and set sour acids aside
  • Add 140g water at 94°C/201°F
  • Skim the scum off with a spoon
  • Plunge 1:45 to 2:45, no hiss
  • Add around 30g water at 70°C/158°F 
  • Add ~11g sour acids, to taste

the long brew

Oldschool Aero-brewing has always advocated short brew times. But what if I told you that you can actually break the rules and get great coffee while doing it?

I call this way of brewing ‘the long brew’ and the approach is closer to cupping rather than normal Aeropress-brewing.

There are several reasons I like the long and slow brew. First of all, it can really bring out some unexpected and tasty flavors. Especially with beans that for some reason lack sweetness. Some aroma compounds take longer time to extract, so by increasing the brew time you get more body and more caramelized sugars.

Another benefit of this recipe is that you can increase your brew ratio up to 1:18. This means that you get the same amount of brewed coffee using fewer beans. So it’s actually less wasteful and at the same time you save a bit of cash. What’s not to like?

Aeropress coffee recipe

  • Put you aeropress in the inverted position and add 14 grams of coarsely ground coffee. 
    (Pro Tip: It’s important to use the best coffee grinder you can get your hands on!)
  • Slowly pour 250 grams of 200 °F water.  
  • Rinse paper filter and put it in the cap. Attach the cap and wait four minutes. 
  • When the four minutes are over stir 5 times, and let the crust break. Put cap back on. 
  • Wait 8 minutes. Invert and plunge slowly. 
  • Enjoy your slow brew. 

aeropress COFFEE on a plane

As mentioned in the introduction the Aeropress has found a very unexpected fan base: frequent travelers with a penchant for coffee!

This group is called the #milehighaeropressclub on Instagram. Initially, the idea was to brew your own on the plane instead of succumbing to horrible airline coffee. But gradually it has become a ‘thing.’ Slightly more awesome than the ice bucket challenge but not quite as cool as running with the bulls in Pamplona.

You can’t really give a recipe for aeropressing on a plane. It’s more like you need the right mindset and a bit of guidance. 

Just have the equipment ready in your hand luggage, so it’s easy to get out once you’re in the air. Ask the cabin crew for cup of hot water. Usually, they will give you one for free. 

Remember, that you will have to brew inverted since you have to press into the same cup that your water is served in.

I have tried it a few times, and it’s easier than V60’ing on a plane. Still, it’s a bit of hassle, and you are sure to get some weird looks.

AEROPRESS accessories

One of the most exciting developments in the specialty coffee community is that a whole ecosystem has appeared around the Aeropress. Similar to the way smaller manufacturers create accessories for iPhones and Apple computers, many coffee startups have designed products that can be used to expand the functionality of the Aeropress.  

Admittedly, a few of these products are gimmicks, while others are pretty exciting. In this section, I take a closer look at all Aero-ccesories available today.

puck puck cold drip

Have you ever tried making cold brew with a normal pour over filter? No? Well, I’ll save you for a lot of trouble and tell you to not even try it!

When making cold brew, water and coffee grounds are usually in contact for 12 to 36 hours. This gives the fines plenty of time to soak up water. That’s why it’s so hard to pass through a filter. If you pour it into a V60 it’ll clog almost instantly.

That’s why the Aeropress is a lifesaver, when it comes to cold brew. Because of the air pressure you can actually filter it pretty easily, leaving you with a nice and balanced cold brew in no time.

Fellow Prismo ESPRESSO

The Californian brand Fellow has released an attachment specifically designed for brewing ‘aeropresso’. The new contraption is called the ‘Prismo’.

This little cap can be screwed on instead of the filter cap. It has a pressure actuated valve and an etched metal filter like a real portafilter.

I have yet to try the Prismo, so I asked one of the most knowledgeable home baristas that I know; Alvin Cheng.

I specifically asked him to compare a prismo’d Aeropress to the Cafflano Kompresso – a diminutive manual espresso maker that is rapidly gaining momentum in the specialty coffee world.

Here’s what he had to say:

Alvin Cheng

Prismo vs Cafflano Kompresso

If you already own an Aeropress, the Fellow Prismo attachment is a natural choice for making “espresso like” shots. Well, minus the crema.

It relies on high temperature, lots of agitation and some pressure to produce a drink very close to an espresso. Instructions and procedures are fairly easy, allowing better chances of producing good, drinkable shots.

Meanwhile, the Cafflano Kompresso is a fully manual espresso maker that actually makes espresso with crema. It is small and portable enough that you can bring it just about anywhere. Getting a proper espresso shot takes practice and dialing in, just like a real espresso machine.

For a quick and easy shot, the Prismo would be my choice. But for a more involved experience of making and tasting a genuine espresso, I would pick the Kompresso.

Follow Alvin @alcheng88

Aesir AEROPRESS filters

AESIR Filters

When it comes to pour over drippers, it’s well-known that the different paper filters have a huge impact on the final flavor of the brew. 

With the Aeropress, we haven’t given much thought to the paper filters until recently. 

This has changed with the launch of the ‘Aesir’ Aeropress filters. These filters have exactly the same diameter as a the traditional paper filter from Aerobie. However, they are a lot thicker and more dense. 

I was sceptical when I first tried them, but the first brew won me over right away. If you want a ‘cleaner’ and more transparent cup profile similar to a Hario V60, I highly recommend that you try these filters. 

Many national champions have used Aesir filters during the last couple of years.

Aeropress go

The Aeropress Go represents the most significant update design-wise in the history of the Aeropress.

The new model is scheduled to be released in late October 2019.

The Aeropress Go is a version created with the frequent traveler in mind. It’s smaller than the original, and it comes with a carry case that also functions as a cup.

As far as we know, however, it’s still an Aeropress, albeit a slightly shorter one. The diameter of the filter cap should be the same, so allegedly, you’ll be able to use it with the Fellow Prismo add-on.

the most common mistakes

So far we have been talking a lot about the upsides of this remarkable brewer. Now, let me focus on some of the cons. As mentioned in the introduction a lot of home baristas (as well as pros) actually have a hard time getting delicious coffee out of the Aeropress.

I have often had friends confess to me that they rarely use the brewer and that pour over seems to perform better consistently.

With that in mind, here are some typical mistakes the burgeoning Aero-barista might commit and how to fix them.

#1: PLUNGE GENTLY

As mentioned above, the Aeropress and the espresso have always had some kind of mythical connection in peoples mind. Maybe because of the names, or maybe because they both utilize pressure in some way.

For those reasons, it seems that a lot of home baristas think that pressure  is the key to a proper brew. For that reason they will lean on the press with all their weight or pump like madmen. 

However, the truth is that the air pressure isn’t an important part of the brew; it’s just a handy way to separate liquid and the puck. 

By exerting full full force when brewing, you actually ruin your coffee. Aeropress coffee brewed this way often has a weird, almost one-dimensional flavor.

What you should do instead, is to put gentle pressure on the plunger.

For the cleanest flavor, it should take close to a minute to press the plunger all the way to the bottom. This sentiment is also shared by many other Aeropress-aficionados. Even Alan Adler brews this way.

#2: MIX, AERATE & COOL DOWN

This tip might sound simple, but it’s a crucial step in making a delicious cup every single time.

If you’re pressing the Aero directly into a preheated mug, a lot of things can and will go wrong.

  • Black coffee should be brewed around 200 °F (93 °C), but it should be served and consumed around 140 °F (55 °C).
  • Furthermore, it should be mixed and aerated slightly to let all the aroma compounds blend nicely.
  • All the above things will happen automatically if you brew into a carafe or range server and swirl it around a couple of times.

On the other hand, if you brew into a pre-heated mug, like a lot of wanna-be baristas tend to do, then your brew will be subpar.

It will be way too hot to drink right away. And most of the aroma compounds will float around in the bottom of the cup.

It’s a little bit controversial, but some of the most knowledgeable people in the coffee business also claim that coffee should be aerated to live up to its full potential. Almost like wine. 

In my opinion, aeration is a crucial step of manual brewing.

#3: USE THE RIGHT WATER

A lot can be said about water and coffee. There are even books and scientific papers dedicated to this topic.

Water is what often separates a good cup of home-brewed coffee from a world-class cup one in a third wave coffee shop.

This is one of the most challenging parts to get right, though. On the surface, all water pretty much looks the same. So you need knowledge or perhaps even special equipment to get it right.

But for now let me give you some brief advice: Avoid tap water. Most people on this planet, don’t have tap water suitable for coffee brewing. (This is true even if the water tastes good).

Instead, use a relatively soft water like Volvic or use reverse osmosis water in conjunction with added minerals from the company Third Wave Water.

Ideally, you want to use water that has a TDS between 70 and 140 with equal amounts of calcium and magnesium.

If you want to invest time and effort, try my recipe for perfect brew water.

Third Wave Water Mineral...

#4: USE TWO FILTERS

Brewing with a single filter isn’t really an error per se – after all, it’s what all the world champions do. 

Still, I have to say that I often get better results using two filters instead of a single one.

Recently, I have even heard Matt Perger state the same in a keynote speak (“Yehh, mate, always bettaaa with two filters,” were his exact words as far I recall.) 

If you’re into pour over like Hario V60 and Kalita Wave, then you should definitely try this little hack. It tends to make the cup clearer and more balanced, while also promoting acidity. 

Just put both filters into the cap, rinse, and brew like you’d normally do. If you want, you can wash the filters off after use and recycle up to 3 times. Just treat them as one entity, when washing and let them dry inside the filter cap to retain shape.

#5: CLEANING

This is another common error that is caused by old school Aero-propaganda.

“This device doesn’t need cleaning – just press the plunger, and shoot the puck into a bin,” the instruction claims.

Yeah, right – The Coffee Chronicler doesn’t quite agree.

Let me tell you this frankly. If this is the only kind of cleaning you do, your coffee is going to taste awful within a month or two.

Once in a while, give your Aeropress a nice bath in hot water and baking soda. Make sure to take off the rubber gasket too.

It is removable, but many people have no clue. A lot of nasty oils will gather in the crevices if left to itself and that will impact the flavor.

Don’t trust the sneaky coffee salesman on this one. It’s a cool brewer, but like all other items in your kitchen, it needs cleaning once in a while.

Let me repeat: Remember to take the gasket off every two weeks for a thorough cleaning! 

OVER TO YOU

If you have read all the way to the end, you already know a lot about this fantastic brewing device. I encourage you to experiment and test every little piece of advice. Keep what you like and discard the rest.

In the end, you can brew Aeropress in any way you like – the most important thing is that you enjoy it.

The inventor of this brewer made toys before he got into coffee, with that in mind I think we should always focus on the playful aspect of the Aeropress.

about the author

about the author

Hey, I'm Asser Christensen from Denmark – the founder & editor of this site.

I have been crazy about caffeine for almost as long as I can remember. Today, I'm a licensed Q Arabica Grader and full time coffee writer.

Learn More