Quality Coffee with an Aeropress?
By foodiesarefun on April 21, 2011
I can't drink low-quality coffee. You will NEVER-EVER see or hear of me drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee... unless it's one of their Latte's.
From what I know, the coffee they use for their espresso drinks is superior to their regular...and in my opinion waaayyyyyy too acidic, coffee. I am under the impression that the beans they use in their regular coffee are not of a high enough quality to make a proper espresso drink.
Ummmm, shouldn't that be a sign to people that, maybe their regular beans are, sub-par?
Never mind. This is not about how bad their coffee is...I just found myself on a rant my brother and I have all the time cause he LOVES (...really?) DD coffee.
He drinks, like, a pot or two a day. More if he's working on a car in his garage.
So, If the above makes me a coffee snob,
so be it.
But... I don't drink that much coffee anymore.
One cup in the morning during the week, andmaybe two on Saturdays or Sundays...
The second one usually being a bit "spiked" But...anyways...
Just because I don't drink a lot of coffee anymore doesn't mean that I don't want what Ido drink to taste and smell and feel good. That being said I have at least 4 different systems at home for making coffee and I have "loved" every one of them for a certain amount of time.
Then... Meh. They fall out of favor with me.
The newest...and I think most pure way, for me, to make a great cup of coffee is to use the Aeropress.
I can't remember where I heard about it, but the BF and I discussed it at length...
how he thought that the acts of having to boil water, pouring and stirring, then pressing and pouring more hot water (for coffee, opposed to drinking the espresso it initially makes) would be a major pain in the ass for him. And to be honest...it would for someone who is a, press-a-button-and-Voila-I-have-coffee, kinda person. This would not be a good fit...no matter how affordable it is.
Anyways...he only makes coffee at home on weekends. During the week, coffee drinking begins at the office.
But for someone, like me, who is used to a bit of structure, if not ceremony around coffee making in the morning to get them moving and able to speak in more than monosylabic-like grunts, this is easy.
I set everything up the night before.
Takes like 30 seconds.
You can also make an espresso the night before and then heat it up with hot water the next morning and...BAM! You have a good cup of coffee. But for me, it wasn't quite hot enough and it seemed like it wasn't as rich as when you make it fresh so I am going back to the "ceremony" of groggily making it in the morning.
Like I said earlier, it helps to set everything up on the counter the night before. I even put the sugar in my cup so the hot extruded coffee mixes with it instantly, melting it into the espresso.
Put your pot in the stove the night before with water in it. You don't need the exact amount, just more than you need so you don't have to add more to the pot and reheat. Also, you can add the coffee to the filter tube. That cuts down on the amount of thinking you need to do in the morning.
Math and measuring are not my forte's early in the morning.
After you stumble into the kitchen, turn the burner on and heat your water to around 170F. This is where a digital thermometer waiting on the stove helps.
Water that is too hot (as in, how most of us make coffee) creates a bitter and acidic cup. Even high-quality coffee will impart some of it's inherent bitterness if prepared improperly. You will notice the difference when you brew with this contraption.
It doesn't take long to get to 170F.
If your water gets too hot, just take it off the burner and let it sit for a minute or so. It should cool down sufficiently pretty fast. Give it a stir or 20 if you want to make it cool down faster.
After a bit of experience you will be able to know when to pull it off the stove right around 170F.
While the water is either heating or cooling set the press/ funnel on your cup. Then put 2 scoops (scoop included) of coffee in the press if you didn't do it the night before. When ready, put the press on the funnel like below. Make sure your stirrer (included also) is handy as is the rubberized plunger. It sucks when you have the coffee and water in the press and it starts to seep through the filter and you are frantically tripping over the cat in your NFL PJ's while looking for the parts of your press.
The amount of water you pour is up to you. If you want to make espresso, then pour between the 2 and 3. If you want to make coffee pour between the 3 and 4 and add hot water after brewing to taste. As for filters...they are reusable! Seriously...they really are.
To the left is a fresh filter at the bottom of the press. The bottom of the press screws on securing the filter in place.
To the right is a reused filter. This one was used twice before this shot.
I'm a big fan of reusing and conserving what I can in the kitchen. I reuse ziplocs, use kitchen towels (no washing till needed) as napkins...you know. Stuff like that.
Now it's time to stir and plunge.
Once the water is in, like I said earlier, stir for 20 to 30 seconds. Place the plunger in the press and press down forcefully but very slowly. Mind you...this is no french press. Air is not released from above the press as well as below and that's why it's surprising the first time you use it. It seems like it's stuck the first time you use it. Or at least that's what I thought the first time. But if you think about it, it makes sense. An espresso machine forces hot water through a round of compressed coffee with pressure released only when the espresso comes out and when the process is done.
Same here...although I don't think I can create as much pressure as an espresso machine. But the idea is the same.
...press the grounds a bit but don't force them when done.
And after all that-which actually lasts 3 minutes from start to finish from the point you turn the burner on-you are left with...
Like I said before, I drank this, this morning having made it last night.
All I did was heat up some water, to 170F, and pour in.
But I did say earlier that it didn't seem as rich.
The mouth-feel was gone.
It also wasn't as warm as I like it...although I don't like it as hot as the BF.
Now that I'm thinking about it, I could have put hotter water in this time.
The problem with using water that is too hot is that it leeches out the undesirable qualities from the grounds. Well...at this point, all the oils and essences have been extruded. Using a hotter water won't make it bitter or acidic cause the brewing is all done.
All adding water hotter than 170F would do is make a hotter beverage.
Hmmmmmm...maybe another experiment for tonight.
I'll let you know how it comes out.
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