Type: French press
Capacity: 1 – 3 cups
When we talk about Aerobie Aeropress, we have to point out that it is not exactly a French press for those who do not know it. However, we decided to include it in this category because it uses a very similar system. We were not going to create a new subset of coffee machines just for one model.
The Aeropress is a very popular coffee machine from the Canadian firm Aerobie, which has been on the market since 2005 – Alan Adler invented it – and which uses a new extraction method of its own, which has nothing to do with any of the well-known ones. As we have already said, it can be compared to the system of the French piston coffee machines or presses, but there are even world championships of Aeropress!
How does the Aeropress work? Review
The Aerobie Aeropress works as follows:
As you see in the pictures, the coffee maker consists mainly of a plastic tube and a smaller cylinder that serves to press the coffee during the process (that’s where its similarity to the French press lies).
The system is physically similar to that of a syringe. At one end of the main cylinder (the end where the coffee comes out), a filter lets the drink through, but not the sediment.
First of all, the Aeropress has to be filled with hot water. The recommended temperature is about 80-82°C. And always better mineral water than tap water. Keep in mind that if you use warmer water, the coffee will be more acidic, even bitter if you go too far. The technical explanation is that the hotter the water, the faster the coffee cells will break, and the coffee will be extracted faster.
Then we pour in the ground coffee – if possible, finely ground – which is then infused into the water for 10 to 50 seconds. It is usually recommended to grind 16-18 grams of coffee, depending on taste.
After this time, we activate the second cylinder and force the coffee to pass through the filter located at one end of the tube. To do this, we press the plunger downwards, and the coffee is “squeezed” against the filter, coming out with pressure into our cup, more or less like a syringe. At this point, the air pressure does all the work.
This process results in a strong drink, similar in intensity and concentration to espresso, with little bitterness and low acidity. However, its exact qualities vary depending on the infusion time. The longer the brewing time, the greater the intensity of our coffee.
As a reference, we can say that the coffee is similar to the espresso at the highest level of intensity (it can never be a real espresso, as high pressure is needed to extract an espresso). The result would be similar to American or filter coffee at the best grade- short brewing time.
For more information, click here: User manual of the Aeropress.
Two methods of preparation
When using the Aeropress, two extraction methods are usually used: traditional and inverted.
The traditional method has the small disadvantage that by pouring the water over the coffee, a slight downward pressure can be formed, which passes through the filter, and in this way, a few sips or a small part of the coffee is wasted.
The inverted method consists of just turning the Aeropress (the coffee outlet upwards). Then you pour in the ground coffee, shake it a little so that the coffee settles and levels out, and pour the hot water over it. Don’t forget to turn your Aeropress over again so that you can pour the result into the cup!
This inverted method allows the user to control longer brewing times (more than two minutes) and increases the risk of unwanted hot water spillage from the top.
Naturally, the taste and qualities of the coffee also vary depending on the method used. As this taste is very personal, we recommend you try both and decide for yourself which coffee you like best.
The Aeropress coffee machine is distinguished by its versatility and because it allows the most expert users to obtain different types of espresso by varying some extraction parameters.
- For example, you can obtain a more acidic coffee by using warmer water.
- You can get a softer coffee by using filters.
- You can get a stronger coffee by using a coffee with a finer grind.
Aerobie Aeropress: different and very practical
In total, the capacity of the Aeropress gives to elaborate between 1 and 3 cups of coffee in each process. This is not much, although the truth is that the extraction is fast, and if you have to do it several times, nothing happens.
The two cylindrical tubes that make up the coffee maker are made of polypropylene and are dyed grey (or brown, depending on how you look at it) for no other purpose than aesthetic. They do not carry any component or external agent that could transmit chemical particles or foreign substances to the coffee.
In addition, the Aeropress comes in a complete package with a dispenser, instruction booklet, a set of 350 disposable filters, and even a nylon bag that serves to store or transport our Aeropress comfortably. Super complete set.
The disposable filters, by the way, do not need to be replaced every time you use them, as is the case with the paper filters in the drip coffee machines. The Aeropress filters can be used several times – without going over – before the next one, so the 350 included with the coffee machine give many, many months of use.
Its small size, together with the simplicity of use and the fact that it does not require electricity to operate, make it a perfect coffee machine to take with you on trips, excursions or any outdoor outings.
Aerobie Aeropress: Differences with the French press
The Aeropress coffee maker, although it has obvious similarities and even shares some qualities, has obvious differences with the traditional French press system. Let’s summarize them in five points so that you are clear about what each thing is:
- A traditional plunger coffee machine uses a metal filter located at one end of the plunger. The Aeropress uses replaceable paper filters, which are much finer. It means that they allow less sediment and solid particles to pass through. However, for the Aeropress, there are also permanent metal filters that can be purchased separately.
- The total time it takes to extract coffee in a French press is about 4 minutes. With the Aeropress, it takes much less.
- The Aeropress uses the air pressure – hence the name – to improve the coffee aromas’ extraction and enhance the taste.
- A basic difference is the grinding: The French press needs a coffee with coarse grinding. The Aeropress needs to use a fine grind, not as fine as the espresso machines, but finer, for example, than the one in the Italian coffee machines.
- The French press has an almost fixed brewing time (the four minutes mentioned above) and few variations. In contrast, the Aeropress allows the coffee to be brewed for more or less time to obtain different qualities in the final drink.
Aerobie Aeropress: Main characteristics
- It includes a nylon bag with a zip to store it or take it on a trip comfortably.
- It is made mainly of polypropylene, free of BPA and any substance transmitted to the coffee.
- A reference scale is drawn on the main cylinder with the approximate number of cups we can obtain with the coffee maker’s amount of water.
- Capacity: maximum of 3 or 4 cups of espresso (very short) or 1 or 2 cups of coffee (long)
- It includes various accessories, such as a dispenser for ground coffee or a packet of 350 disposable filters.
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 12.5 x 29 cms.
- It weighs no more than 400 grams.
Advantages of Aerobie Aeropress
- It’s very cheap!
- The personalised bag is included for transport and detailed, no doubt.
- The 350 disposable filters come as standard.
- It’s easy and fast to clean, as the filters are disposable and the coffee maker has only two plastic tubes.
- It is the most versatile coffee maker on the market: it allows you to obtain almost any type of coffee (short, long, strong, soft, etc.) by properly combining the parameters involved in the process—amount and temperature of the water, the thickness of the grinding, infusion time.
Disadvantages of Aerobie Aeropress
- It is not very big, and there are no models with different capacities either.
- Of course, it takes practice at first until you know how to get the coffee you like.
Aerobie Aeropress: Videos
A coffee machine as peculiar as this one needs videos to support our explanations. So, there you go! First, a tutorial that tells us how to make coffee with our Aeropress using the traditional method:
Secondly, another different tutorial (you know that the Aeropress allows you to practice other extraction methods) from a user who claims to have found the perfect coffee key after many tests and hours of practice:
Why buy an Aerobie Aeropress?
There are many reasons to buy an Aerobie Aeropress. The main one is the good criticism and the favourable opinions, practically unanimous that the Aeropress obtains in the world. And it’s not by chance: it’s a clean, fast, cheap (no energy consumption) and flexible enough method of coffee extraction to satisfy various tastes.
It has one drawback, of course, and that is that it is a new and different system from any other. So you have to learn to use it from scratch. It just takes some practice to find the right key and know how to prepare the coffee according to the result you want to achieve. The advantage of making a coffee 100% to our taste in a completely manual way is that it is priceless. In the long run, it pays off.
As alternatives, it is difficult to recommend another model because the operation of the Aeropress is completely different from the rest. As we have already said, the closest thing is the traditional French presses in the segment of manual coffee machines.