barista using AeroPress to make coffee

AeroPress Review: What is it and How to Use it

Our recommendation for the AeroPress is to try it out if you are looking for a single-cup coffee maker that you want to travel with! It makes a great companion and alternative to bringing a large coffee set-up. If you are looking for a change in how you brew your daily cup, it would be a great option!

Ever wished you could have barista-quality coffee without the hassle of complicated machines or a hefty price tag? Meet the AeroPress – a little device that might revolutionize how you think about your morning brew. In this AeroPress review, we’d like to unpack a little bit of its history, how to use it, and our general experience with it.

What is an AeroPress

The AeroPress is a versatile and affordable single-cup coffee maker. With its patented 3-in-1-brew technology, AeroPress uses immersion, aeration, and pressure to bring about an expertly crafted cup of coffee. The plunge system of the AeroPress creates a gentle pressure using air which pushes water through coffee grounds, bringing out the best flavors into your cup.

Birthed out of the master-mind of a retired Stanford University engineering instructor, Alan Adler, the AeroPress Original’s original goal was to brew a superior cup of coffee – and we think they succeeded.

Not only does the AeroPress belong on your kitchen counter, but also on the bars of the best coffee shops and in the backpacks of the most adventurous climbers. It is truly a perfect marriage of versatility and excellent coffee.

Who Makes the AeroPress

Aerobie, Inc., founded in 1984 is the original company behind the AeroPress. Aerobie, Inc. is known for its invention of the Aerobie Pro flying ring, a Guiness World Record Holder sports toy. In 2017, the Aerobie sport line was sold, and AeroPress, Inc. became singularly focused on its coffee brew-system. Alan Adler, the inventor of AeroPress holds over 40 different patents and is continually seeking to revolutionize how people drink their morning cup, but has now entrusted AeroPress to run on its own.

AeroPress Models & Cost

One of the biggest draws of the AeroPress is its affordable price, not only for the main product but for all the accessories and different models that AeroPress is now producing.

The AeroPress has been through many iterations since its original inception 18 years ago. AeroPress’s Original Coffee Brewer has had 9 different models. The overall design has remained pretty much the same, but they have tweaked the material it is made out of in order to stay current with modern health concerns over plastic. All AeroPress products as of 2009 are BPA & phthalate free.

Now they have settled on four main products:

  • AeroPressOriginal - $39.95
  • AeroPressXL - $69.95
  • AeroPress Clear - $49.95
  • AeroPress Go - $39.95

Each of these products serve a main purpose along with extending the versatility of the Original AeroPress.

AeroPress Review

For the purpose of our AeroPress review, we stuck with the classic Original AeroPress.

How to Use the Original AeroPress

The AeroPress is made of three separate pieces: a chamber, a plunger, and a filter cap. There are two big-picture ways of brewing with the AeroPress: Standard & Inverted.

Here are some supplies you will need to brew with the AeroPress:

  1. Freshly roasted and medium/fine ground coffee
  2. Fresh, clean water, brought to a boil and allowed to cool for thirty seconds to a minute.
  3. AeroPress and included filters
  4. Included stir stick or a spoon
  5. Scale with a timer
  6. Carafe or cup to plunge into

Standard Brewing Method

Standard refers to the way that AeroPress intended you to set-up their brewer. In this version, the brewer will be set-up with the filter cap resting on the carafe at all times. The standard method will have you place the paper filter in the cap and then wet it. You will then screw the filter cap into the body of the AeroPress and add your ground coffee. Then your hot water will be added on top of the coffee and stirred once it is completely added. The next move will be to insert the plunger at an angle and slightly pull it up to create a vacuum. Once your desired brewing time is reached, you will take the carafe and AeroPress of the scale and slowly but steadily plunge all of the water through. There is some debate on whether or not you should finish your plunge before or after the hiss, but in the end, we think it won’t make a huge difference.

Inverted Brewing Method

The Inverted Method was birthed out of coffee drinkers wanting to innovate and use the AeroPress slightly differently. See, after adding the coffee and water into the AeroPress there is some water that will drip through before you insert the plunger to create a vacuum. In order to avoid this, you can change the set-up of your AeroPress to where the plunger is resting on the scale, and the body is inserted onto the plunger with the filter cap facing up. The brewing would be almost identical except that before you plunge, you will have to flip the AeroPress over onto a carafe.

Choosing between Standard or Inverted brewing with the AeroPress is really a matter of preference.

Learn more: How to Brew AeroPress Inverted Method + Recipe →

Ease of Use

The AeroPress may be one of the most versatile brewers available on the market because you have endless options and variables to play around with. From changing the way the brewer is set-up, to coffee-to-water ratios, to grind size, to brewing time, there are a lot of recipes that work well to highlight coffee brewed on the AeroPress. There is even a website dedicated to the many ways of using the AeroPress

Pros & Cons

What we love:

  • Flavor: The AeroPress can produce a wide range of flavor, from fuller-bodied to more tea-like all depending on how you use it. The AeroPress brewer is one of those coffee makers where the ratio of coffee to water will really come through in the final product. The AeroPress shines above other single-cup brewers because of the high quality you get out of each cup. A lot of single-cup brewers are not the most efficient at extracting delicious flavor out of your coffee, but the AeroPress can do it in a very short amount of time.
  • Portability: The AeroPress is easy to transport, clean, and store once you are done brewing with it. This brewer really is ideal for those wanting to take a coffee set-up on their travels.
  • Experimentation: The versatility of the AeroPress may be a draw for coffee enthusiasts who want to play around with a lot of variables and dial in their new coffees. There are many recipes you can follow with the AeroPress ranging from espresso-esque to your standard cup of coffee, or even cold brew.
  • Durability: The AeroPress does a few things great, including its versatility and ease of transport. The versatility of the AeroPress allows you to tweak your brew in many different directions. There is a wide range of notes you can pull out or even hide with the AeroPress. The AeroPress is also really easy to transport, clean, and store once you are done brewing with it. Along with this, the AeroPress will hold up through years of brewing, not being made of ceramic or glass that breaks easily has allowed the AeroPress to be more durable.

Thing to consider:

Some things that could be held against the Aeropress are:

  • Limited cup size: Although there are some recipes that allow you to brew multiple cups at a time using the Aeropress, it can only really produce 8 oz of coffee at once (This may be a reason for you to look into the AeroPress XL!) Through the use of more coffee and dilution, AeroPress claims to be able to make three 8 oz cups at once.
  • Steep learning curve: The AeroPress is not alone in its class, but it is a unique brewer which will take some time getting used to using. Most home coffee makers don’t involve both infusion and immersion, so this will be a different world for many consumers. It is not really a brewer you can pull out of the box and get the cup you want on the first try, because of how many variables you can manipulate with it.

Quality of Coffee

The AeroPress is a harmonious combination of infusion and immersion style of coffee brewing, allowing the user to enjoy a tasty, full-bodied, and complex brew. Depending on the recipe you decide to follow, you can tweak your brew with the AeroPress to be full-bodied or more tea-like.

Discover the perfect coffee roast for your AeroPress recipe →

Alternatives to AeroPress

The AeroPress is a rather unique coffee brewer as it combines immersion and infusion brewing, which to an extent, puts it into its own class. However, there are a few alternatives people may choose, such as the Delter Coffee Press, the Trinity Zero Mini Coffee Maker, and the Cafflano Kompresso. If you do not want to dabble into the world of single-cup coffee-press brewers, the traditional French Press or another Pour Over device such as a Hario V60 may provide the larger cup size some people are looking for.

Learn more: AeroPress vs. French Press: What's the Difference?

Should You Buy One

Our recommendation for the AeroPress is to try it out if you are looking for a single-cup coffee maker that you want to travel with! It makes a great companion and alternative to bringing a large coffee set-up. If you are looking for a change in how you brew your daily cup, it would be a great option!

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