A quote right on the outside of the box says “The best coffee maker I’ve ever owned.” So, if that’s the standard that the AeroPress is setting, then, that’s the question this review must address.
The AeroPress comes in a box plastered with adulating quotes – some from noted coffee authorities, and some from regular, coffee-drinking people. Upon opening the box, one finds an array of plastic parts. The owners manual explains what the major parts are, but some parts are not described (such as a piece that apparently holds the stack of paper filters, and a funnel piece) and the user must figure out the role that they play.
The AeroPress is basically a press where the filter goes on the bottom of a tube, the coffee grounds goe on top of that, followed by the hot water, and then a piston fits inside the tube and forces the hot water though the coffee grounds and directly into your coffee cup. The instructions do a decent job of describing the process, and it’s not a very hard process.
The process begins by heating the water to 175F degrees (much lower than the usual 195-200F), grinding the coffee to a slightly-finer-than-drip-grind size and inserting a filter into bottom of the tube. With the scoop that is provided, put 1-4 scoops of ground coffee into tube, Each scoop makes the equivalent of a single espresso shot or 5 oz. of Americano coffee.
Pour the hot water into the coffee grounds inside the tube, and then stir for 10 seconds with a stirrer that is included. Next, insert the smaller-diameter tube inside of the larger tube. Slowly press down and force the water through the coffee grounds. Correctly done, this step should take 20-30 seconds.
The coffee ( or at least the espresso shot) is now made. For an Americano, add some more of the hot water to the coffee. For a latte, add steamed milk. Enjoy.
Clean up is very easy with the AeroPress – simply unscrew the bottom of the tube and press the filter and grounds out of the bottom of the tube and into the garbage. Filters can be rescued, cleaned and reused if you want.
How is the coffee? It’s very good at the least, and quite possibly the best I’ve ever had. The low brewing temperature keeps the coffee from being acidic, but the coffee is not sour like most low-temperature brews. The way that the water is forced through the coffee extracts lots of flavor and body (without bitterness) into the finished product.
Altogether, the AeroPress is very impressive, and highly recommended. I have found that it’s great when you just want to brew a cup or two – such as in the afternoon or evening.