If you’re still praying at the altar of Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, we’re here to encourage you to rethink your morning joe. Behold, The Aeropress. Designed by the same Stanford engineer that devised our favorite frisbee, The Aerobie, (yes, seriously), the Aeropress combines ingenious design with simplicity of use to yield a truly outstanding cup of coffee with minimal effort and clean up. Plus it’s incredibly inexpensive. Intrigued? We thought so.
Coffee geekery has reached an all-time high, and our mornings are certainly better (or at least MORE AWAKE) for it. Shmancy coffee houses are packed with hipsters and exceptional coffees from around the globe are getting easier and easier to obtain. Perhaps you’re already brewing at home, or maybe you’re even about the French Press life, well, the Aeropress is the next evolution. The device is simple enough, a two piece plastic plunger with a simple filter attachment. By combining the best attributes of a french press and a pressure-driven system like an espresso machine, the Aeropress delivers a dense, rich cup of coffee. The inner rubber stopper creates a seal in the tube that uses pressure to push the water through the grounds and out the filter. The use of more pressure and less water yields a fantastic cup of coffee that’s somewhere in between an espresso and a traditional cup of coffee. It’s great on it’s own or it can be cut with a bit of hot water for a more standard American-style coffee. Prep is minimal, just grind your beans fresh, add them to the Aeropress, fill up with hot water, wait 2 to 3 minutes, press, and boom, coffee nirvana. Quick, efficient, and with incredible results from minimal effort. What’s not to love?
Instructional videos are everywhere on youtube but here’s an easy one to get you started:
A few tips and additional gear you’ll need…like the Aeropress itself, they’re easily obtainable on Amazon.
Bean-tastic: It might sound obvious, but your coffee is only as good as your bean, so seek out great, freshly roasted beans. Thanks to the internets we now have an endless supply of everything from porn to opinions available at our fingertips with a simple click, and coffee is no different. Just like craft beer, there are thousands of small roasters that take their job very seriously and have made their goods available via the web. Renowned roasters like Wrecking Ball (San Francisco), Stumptown (Portland), Heart (Seattle), and Intelligentsia (Chicago / Los Angeles), are great places to start. We encourage you to do some research in your local area too, there’s a great chance there’s a passionate guy with a beard lovingly roasting beans for your enjoyment right in your neck of the woods, especially in major metropolitan areas.
Mind The Grind: Investing in a proper burr grinder (not a blade grinder) and grinding fresh beans is definitely worth the effort, and the importance of this to the flavor of your brew can’t be overstated. You don’t have to invest a ton of money though, a simple, $30 hand crank version is the perfect place to start. Good electric burr grinders start at around $150. You can play around with grind sizes but generally you want to grind close to or finer than standard drip machine grind.
Go Electric: Invest in a simple electric kettle. They’re quick, inexpensive, and much easier than using the microwave. Plus they have a ton of other uses.
Become A Mad Scientist: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Play around with different brew times, grind sizes, and water temps until you find the perfect strength of coffee and flavor. Sampling different coffee regions will also yield an incredible range of flavors. Pretty soon you’ll be geeking out just like you do over fantasy football stats or vintage cars.
So there it is, the path to a better buzz. Good luck and godspeed gents, the coffee is definitely worth it.