For the first time in a while, I’ve found something that no only makes it easy to over-indulge, but makes it relatively cheap, easy and convenient as well. Yikes! That’s a dangerous combination.
The Aeropress Espresso Maker is a unique coffee brewing system produced by the company that makes the Aerobie flying disk. It is designed to deliver one to four “shots” of concentrated, rich coffee of a character similar to espresso. It does this at a lower temperature than drip coffee and by forcing the brew through a fine filter with air pressure powered by your hand and a plunger.
In the short time I’ve owned the thing, which retails for about $25, I’ve been extremely happy with it.
There is no recipe here, because you just follow the instructions that came with the thing. But I’ll summarize for you. The included scoop is used to measure your ground coffee. You put a filter in the base and screw the thing together. Place on a mug. Dump the coffee in the cylinder. Dump 175 degree water into the cylinder slowly, moistening the coffee. Fill to the indicated levels according to the amount of coffee you’re making. Stir with the included paddle for 10 seconds. Put the plunger on and press down the plunger slowly for 20 seconds. Your mug is now filled with rich, strong coffee. There is often even a bit of foam that is evocative of espresso crema.
You then up-end the press to prevent dripping and rinse the thing off in the sink. Unscrew the bottom, remove the filter and eject the puck. Rinse again and the thing is now practically clean. If you like, you can even rinse the filter and re-use it (but the unit comes with a year’s supply of clean filters).
This is so ridiculously simple that I would take a 3 minute break to prepare coffee every 30 minutes if my body could handle that much caffeine. The coffee that comes out of our office water heater is just the right temperature for brewing, by my estimation.
I am no coffee expert. I am expert at making espresso. I’m not even a novice at making espresso, nor even at tasting espresso.
However, I can’t make an espresso. I don’t have a machine for it and even if I did, I wouldn’t really enjoy learning how to use it, cleaning it and maintaining it. I just want delicious coffee.
I know that espresso refers to something very specific, and this press doesn’t produce espresso. It makes something different, which may be similar. May be worse. May be better. The important question for this tradition-flouting American coffee consumer is “do I like it?” And the answer there is “yes.”
In case you’re considering getting one of these, or giving one as a gift, here’s a rundown of the points I like about this AeroPress:
None of these bother me much, but they may bother you more.
In all, I’m delighted with my Aeropress. My problem now is trying to keep from over-caffeinating myself. I have to go to the market right now to get some decaf beans.
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