By a considerable margin, the Aeropress is one of the simplest of all coffee brewing devices to get to grips with. Even if you’ve never brewed a cup of coffee in your life (which is highly unlikely), it’s almost impossible to go wrong with an Aeropress.
Or at least, in terms of operating the thing and making a cup of coffee, it’s pretty much fool proof.
Still, the same cannot necessarily be said for brewing genuinely outstanding coffee every time. As is the case with all coffee brewing gadgets, there are various factors (and human errors) that can and will affect the quality of the coffee you brew.
On the plus side, each and every one of the following mistakes is extremely easy to correct. After which, you’ll be enjoying the most amazing coffee you’ve ever put together at home, courtesy of one of the simplest and most satisfying gadgets on the market right now.
Here’s how to step up your Aeropress coffee game, by identifying where you’re going wrong and making amendments accordingly:
Right off the bat, the freshness of the coffee you use can and will make all the difference. Even if you opt for the highest-quality artisan coffee money can buy, it’s all for nothing if it isn’t fresh. Where possible, pick up beans in smaller batches that have only recently been roasted. At all times, only grind the exact amount you need for each cup you brew. Once you’ve tasted genuinely fresh coffee, there’s no going back.
The quality of the water you use in your Aeropress will also make a big difference. There’s not a great deal you can do about the hardness or softness of the tap water in your area, but you can always switch to filtered or bottled water if the stuff that comes out of the tap isn’t particularly pleasant. Give it a try and you might be surprised how big of a difference it makes.
Generally it is recommended plunging your Aeropress for between 30 and 45 seconds. However, you’ll also find some people who enjoy coffee that comes from a 20 second press, or a 60 second press. There’s no right or wrong approach - it’s all about experimenting and seeing what works for you. In any case, it’s worth acknowledging the fact that the duration of the press will impact the flavour and consistency of the coffee.
For obvious reasons, you can’t expect even the most advanced Aeropress to transform low-quality coffee into a glorious cup. You’ll only ever get out what you’re willing to put in, so stick with the good stuff where possible.
Last but not least, the coarseness of the coffee grounds you use will also have a big impact on the flavour, fragrance and consistency of the resulting cup. Course grounds need more prolonged contact with the water for full extraction to take place, though finer grounds can result in a cup that looks and feels ‘muddy’ and bitter. Experiment with a good manual coffee grinder until you find the perfect coarseness for your taste.
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