A few weeks ago I wrote my Aeropress Review, after a day or so of use. Now that I’ve been using it for nearly a month, I thought I’d expand on the review and share some tips for anyone who’s about to get one of these brilliant coffee makers.
By the way, there are two options available, but the Aeropress itself is exactly the same, it’s purely that the cheaper option (which is currently on offer at £21.30 inc. delivery) doesn’t come with the bag, where as the Aeropress and tote bag package is available for just over a fiver more (currently on offer for £27).
The first thing to say is that I am still just as sold on the Aeropress as I was in my first review, even more so in fact. It’s such a clever and versatile coffee maker, and it’s very enjoyable to use, I find.
Initially, before I began to use it, I had mentioned in an earlier post that I wasn’t overly sold on the Aeropress, I thought it looked too much like a penis enlarger (not that I’ve ever actually seen one…) to be a serious coffee maker ;-). It’s made of plastic which gave me the impression it maybe wouldn’t last too long, and I thought there were too many bits to it; I certainly wasn’t expecting it to rock my coffee world in the way it has!
When it came (I bought it from Amazon as I do with most things these days, as I have Amazon prime which means I get free next day delivery with most items, and I’m yet to ever have a single issue ordering from Amazon), I giggled at the very American salesmanship on the box which included testimonials, including one from 2012 world Aeropress champ Charlene de Buysere of Gent, Belgium, which states “If I were a robot, the Aeropress would be my arm.” 😉 I’m not quite sure how practical that would be…
On opening the box the first thing I noticed was the high grade material used, and I was wrong in thinking that just because it’s plastic it means it isn’t durable – this is not flimsy plastic, it’s incredibly robust high grade plastic capable of taking high temperature. There is very little to the Aeropress, so very little to go wrong, and all of the parts appear very well made and durable, which is very impressive for a coffee maker which costs just over £20!
Also I was wrong in my assumption that there were too many bits that I’d end up losing; there are actually only three main parts to it: the two main parts which are the chamber and the plunger, and then the filter holder. The other bits that come in the box are the filters, the scoop, stirring paddle and the funnel thingymabob. The scoop and the stirrer actually fit snugly inside the aeropress, so it’s east to store without losing these bits. The funnel I initially said in my first aeropress review I thought was pointless unless you were maybe vision impaired or suffered from impaired motor function of some kind, but I was wrong there too. The funnel thing is actually another genius part of the aeropress, it can be used for putting coffee in, which is helpful if you have ground your beans into something which isn’t very easy to pour. It is also made to fit the other side of the aeropress perfectly, which means that if you’re using it with a cup which the aeropress won’t fit into, you can use the funnel. My wife and kids, knowing how much I love coffee, got me various different coffee cups for Christmas including very large mugs which are too wide for the aeropress to fit. I found that the funnel is perfect for these mugs, and also using the funnel allows a one handed plunging operation, holding the funnel with your hand and pushing the plunger against your chest.
Another thing I wasn’t sure about was filters, I was wondering initially if the filters which came with it really are a years supply as is claimed. Actually it would appear that these claims are not exaggerated at all, on the contrary I think it comes with far more than a years supply. The Aeropress comes packaged with 350 filters, but what I hadn’t realised is that you can re-use the filters. Just give the filter a rinse and put it back onto the Aeropress in the filter holder, for the next use. I use my filters over and over again, until they look like they’re a bit worse for wear and then I take out a new one. The inventor and founder of Aerobie, says you can use the filters up to 10 times, and although I don’t think I have re-used any filters quite that many times, it’s probably not far off, maybe 5-8 times. Actually I think if you were making several coffees during the course of a day you could easily re-use the filters 10 times or maybe more, but I tend to throw mine away the next day when they’re dried out and hard, which is why I haven’t re-used one that many times.
The versatility of the Aeropress is something that I think probably came as a surprise to Aerobi, as I don’t think they were expecting it to develop such a cult following by Baristas, resulting in their being Aeropress championships. This adoption of the aeropress by Baristas as an artisan coffee maker, has resulted in various different ways to use it. Some use the inverted method, in which the Aeropress is used to actually brew the coffee before plunging; some use it with a filter below and above the ground coffee beans to make a more authentic espresso. Some have even built equipment to allow a higher pressure to be reached in order to make espresso with crema.
Personally I favour the standard technique as stated in the instructions, as it’s the fastest method (almost as fast as making instant coffee), which is to make concentrated espresso style coffee and then to dilute with water or milk depending on what kind of coffee drink you fancy. I’ve tried the inverted method a few times, but when I compare the taste of coffee made this way, to the same amount of coffee made the other way by diluting, it doesn’t appear to taste any different to me. I think the popularity of the inverted method is probably down in part to the fact that coffee connoisseurs hate the idea of diluting coffee with water, and also that for artisan Baristas, there just isn’t enough to the standard method, and they really enjoy all of the additional steps. Plus, they probably have a more defined coffee pallet than me, to be fair, so maybe they can detect the subtle differences in taste that I don’t appear to be able to currently.
I still can’t quite get over how easy this coffee maker is to clean after use – and my kids are very happy about the aeropress in this regard, not just because they also love coffee, but because of the fact I’m now constantly buying pringles (only when they’re on offer mind you, I’m not paying £2 for a box of crisps!). That is, I use empty pringles containers to fire the puck of ground coffee into from the aeropress, and when full I empty it into the compost. You might ask why don’t I just fire the used coffee grounds into the compost each time, but that would mean going outside into the garden, and at this time of year our garden is wet and muddy, and we have chickens so it also involves stepping on chicken crap, so it’s easier to just empty into the compost when the pringles box is full ;-).
So needless to say, after nearly four weeks of use, I still think the Aeropress is incredible, and it’s my new favourite coffee maker. Don’t get me wrong, I still use my cafetiere, and the V60, but more often than not at the moment, I use the Aeropress.
If you’re wondering whether you should buy one, my advice is that if you like coffee, get an Aeropress! They’re only £21.30 at the moment on Amazon, or £27 including the Aeropress tote bag.