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Gifted Gourmet

The AeroPress Coffee Machine

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Just read the article at Gizmag about The AeroPress Coffee Machine: a new concept in an ancient art.

several years of research by Stanford University mechanical engineering lecturer Alan Adler (the inventor of the Aerobie flying disk which holds the world throwing record of more than a quarter mile) appear to have found a better coffee machine. Independent reviews suggest the new Aerobie AeroPress delivers the smoothest, richest, purest and fastest cup of coffee (under 30 seconds) you’re likely to find and the bonus is that the AeroPress costs just US$30. And while it might look like a French Press because both use immersion and pressure, it works quite differently. Adler’s numerous brewing experiments demonstrated that proper temperature, total immersion and rapid filtering were the keys to obtaining excellent flavour.

Is this something anyone has bought and tried? Can you tell us about it? :rolleyes:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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AEROPRESS coffee is micro-filtered. It so pure and particle-free that it can be stored for days as a concentrate. The concentrate can be drunk as espresso, mixed with milk for lattes, or diluted to make American coffee. French presses cannot make espresso or lattes.
We tried various combinations of water temperature, grind, and time to press. In the end we got what we wanted with 176 degrees F water, 30 seconds of mix time, and around 35-40 seconds of press time using a Pete's Coffee or the illy dark espresso pre-ground coffee.

These two statements alone make me unlikely to plunk down $30 although I remain intrigued. I have yet to ever hear of any coffee extraction method (other than Toddy or Filtron which are both cold methods) that properly extracted at any temp much under 200 degrees F. And a 30 second mix with a 30 second extraction?

And it's true that you can't make espresso with a French press but you also can't make it with anything other than a real espresso machine.

This device was briefly mentioned on the Nalgene Bottle as a Press Pot? thread. Reviewing those comments it appears to be better than I was thinking it could be but certainly up to the claims made by the manufacturer.

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I have been intrigued by this item too, but I'm so offended by the fluff and smoke in the claims the company makes that I can't bring myself to buy it. A goodly portion of coffee flavor is in the aroma, which breaks down and dissipates after heating, so how can this 'concentrate' be good for days? Besides, the statements "so pure and particle free" are ridiculous, and the bit about French presses not making espresso or lattes has no bearing on this item at all. The Aeropress also does NOT make those items. Only an espresso machine can make espresso. And only espresso can make a latte. Why even mention French presses? Smoke and mirrors, I say, and as a descendant of some grand masters of smoke and mirrors, I'm particularly sensitive to the presence of such. For me, it percolates down to this: if the product actually is terrific, why write so much nonsense into the claims?

What I conclude is that this is another kind of press, it makes a richer cup than a drip machine, but it is no miracle worker, and the company is run by folks who actually don't know coffee as more than your average consumers. Now, if they'd hire an expert and a decent copywriter, maybe I'd bite.

PS: I see that Mr.O has also stated the obvious, "...And it's true that you can't make espresso with a French press but you also can't make it with anything other than a real espresso machine..." so, I'm just seconding that!


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if the product actually is terrific, why write so much nonsense into the claims?

While I completely agree with this and, as the proud owner and regular user of two fantastic ways of making coffee (I make regular coffe for my wife in a Cona vacuum pot and espresso for me in a La Pavoni) I too am intrigued. But I also have a secondary goal. I need a way to make coffee when we are travelling. This may be the ticket! So I ordered one. As such I will be very happy to report back to this forum once it arrives. Wonderful coffee? Snake oil? Stay tuned.

Ken


Edited by kbuzbee (log)

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I do have one of these.

I don't have much to say beyond what I put in the nalgene thread.

I didn't end up bringing it along to the holidays. My wife thought it would be too weird for us to sit in our bedroom brewing coffee. We brought Peet's coffee along and Mom was good about making a slightly stronger pot for just us.

I haven't really ended up using it all that often. Mostly, I think because you can only make what amounts to 4 "cups" at a time. We drink 7 or 8 "cups" of coffee a morning, so I would have to brew twice to make enough coffee for us with the aeoropress.

I do think the coffee you get from the aeropress gives better expression to the smell of your cup of coffee than any other I have tried.

As others have noted, it isn't french press coffee and its not espresso.

You've got a brief steep of ground beans at regular brewing temp. Then the air and coffee are expelled from the syringe-like chamber using pressure. You end up with a highly aromatic and concentrated cup.

If I get a chance this weekend, I will try and photograph a little show and tell session.

BTW, I saw some toddy filters at the store last weekend, and I'm pretty sure that is exactly what is used in the aeropress.

-Erik


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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You've got a brief steep of ground beans at regular brewing temp.  Then the air and coffee are expelled from the syringe-like chamber using pressure.  You end up with a highly aromatic and concentrated cup.

If I get a chance this weekend, I will try and photograph a little show and tell session.

That would be great, Erik! Looking forward to your explanation since you own one of these... and a highly aromatic cup of coffee sounds truly wonderful...


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I do have one of these.

I don't have much to say beyond what I put in the nalgene thread.

I didn't end up bringing it along to the holidays.  My wife thought it would be too weird for us to sit in our bedroom brewing coffee.  We brought Peet's coffee along and Mom was good about making a slightly stronger pot for just us.

I haven't really ended up using it all that often.  Mostly, I think because you can only make what amounts to 4 "cups" at a time.  We drink 7 or 8 "cups" of coffee a morning, so I would have to brew twice to make enough coffee for us with the aeoropress.

I do think the coffee you get from the aeropress gives better expression to the smell of your cup of coffee than any other I have tried.

As others have noted, it isn't french press coffee and its not espresso.

You've got a brief steep of ground beans at regular brewing temp.  Then the air and coffee are expelled from the syringe-like chamber using pressure.  You end up with a highly aromatic and concentrated cup.

If I get a chance this weekend, I will try and photograph a little show and tell session.

BTW, I saw some toddy filters at the store last weekend, and I'm pretty sure that is exactly what is used in the aeropress.

-Erik

Thanks Erik, looking forward to it. We ALWAYS seem to want a cup or two before we're ready to leave the hotel room. Nice to have that capacity. I usually bring a french press but this might be a better option.

I had a Toddy for a while. It uses a fibre pad as a filter. Is that what this uses??

Thanks!

Ken

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Sorry I haven't put up my show and tell yet. If I can get my camera to cooperate, I promise to do it this weekend.

Ken, I'm not sure what you mean by fiber filters. Pretty much all filters are fiber of some sort, aren't they? I'm not sure what the material is. Definitely more durable than paper drip filters. I made the toddy comment because I was at Cost Plus and they had a pack of what was called "Toddy Filters". On casual glance they appeared to be exactly the same size as those used by the AeroPress. Also, in the AeroPress instructions, it sez you can wash out the filters and re-use them.

-Erik

fixed some errors.


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I got my ibrik a lifetime or two ago. It's fabulous, and it makes a great rich cup of coffee. No filter, very environmentally friendly. If anyone ever wants to come over for a taste test and a lesson in the finer bits, pm me. BTW, got a few of those Senseos to test from Philips last week. Why they're still testing them out in the consumerarena is anyone's guess. A bit of an oily texture to my taste. There is a slight sort of crema at the top of the cups that is very attractive, and feels nice on the tongue. Better than percolated or drip, though I can't see why you would want this over a mokka pot or an ibrik or french press. In my mind, the mokka is a better cup. The Senseo has a large footprint on the counter for a machine that makes 2 cups maximum at a time, too. Plus, it could just be the pods that they sent me, but the coffee had a bit of a stale taste. No dates on the pods, either. Very offputting. I've seen a new product in Europe for making your own pods, it's a plastic 'pod' that you put your own grind into. That would be an improvement.

Well, back to the topic at hand, I can't wait to hear about the aeropress!


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Ken, I'm not sure what you mean by fiber filters.  Pretty much all filters are fiber of some sort, aren't they?  I'm not sure what the material is.  Definitely more durable than paper drip filters.  I made the toddy comment because I was at Cost Plus and they had a pack of what was called "Toddy Filters".  On casual glance they appeared to be exactly the same size as those used by the AeroPress.  Also, in the AeroPress instructions, it sez you can wash out the filters and re-use them.

-Erik

Erik, the Toddy filters are a thick (1/4") fibre. They feel like dense synthetic packing material. The Aeropress uses filters that are very thin and paper. Yes, also a fibre but not the same at all. I'd say the Toddy's were smaller diameter. I gave up on my Toddy and gave it away, so I can't check. You can reuse the Aeropress filters. I have during one day but it's like reusing a drip filter. It's wet and soaked with coffee oils. I don't want to reuse them from day to day. Besides, they are like $.01 each. The Toddy filters rinsed out much better and were more durable and WAY more expensive..

This was my third day with the Aeropress. The first day I ground too coarse and the cup was terrible. Yesterday and today I ground very close to my espresso grind and the cups were just wonderful. This will definately be great to have on a trip. For $30 - very recommended.

Ken


Edited by kbuzbee (log)

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If I get a chance this weekend, I will try and photograph a little show and tell session.

I was hoping it was just being flaky; but, it appears I'm going to have to send my digital camera in for repairs.

:sad:

It might be a while before I get to taking photos of the aeropress and coffee making with it.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I wish I could get one and test it for myself.

I found this site, if anyone is interested. The inventer himself made a short comment there.

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The one question I have about the Aeropress that hasn't been answered anywhere I have researched or found is something I hope anyone could assist me with.

It seems to indicate that 4 scoops of ground coffee are the ideal amount to use for brewing at full capacity.

There is no mention of even a approximate weight of coffee capacity for a scoop. Nor is there any mention if more coffee can be added to the brewing process by personal preference.

My regular method of brewing coffee is done by using 13 ounces of drip ground coffee resulting in 64 ounces of liquid after dripping thru the filter using water at about 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is a stronger brew then most are accustomed to drinking but it meets my criteria.

It would be nice to be able to use a Aeropress system to be able to brew something similar when away from home as it requires much less space then bring a conventional Militia 6 cup along with filters and a container.

Thank you,

Irwin


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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There is no mention of even a approximate weight of coffee capacity for a scoop. Nor is there any mention if more coffee can be added to the brewing process by personal preference.

My regular method of brewing coffee is done by using 13 ounces of drip ground coffee  resulting in 64 ounces of liquid after dripping thru the filter using water at about 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

The scoop is about two tablespoons (normal coffee dosage).

However, you're only making the volume equivalent of about 1 shot of espresso per "cup". If you want anything resembling American coffee you have to add more hot water.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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The standard "coffee scoop" is usually the same as the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America standard measure. Two tbsp or if the scoop is more or less leveled off - about 7 grams of coffee. That amount of coffee is generally considered appropriate for 5 to 6 oz of water depending on taste and brewing method. Some use more coffee to make it stronger on general principles and others add more coffee based on brewing method - e.g. vacuum pot and press pot usually require more coffee per oz of water.

But it's always just a starting point - especially with a new brewing method. You'll have to experiment and drink the results. Not such a bad thing.

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heh, i just noticed this thread (as i sit here sipping an iced latte i made with my aeropress)

First...the aeropress thread at coffee geek is the the be all and end all to aeropress discussion. IF you have any questions about what it can do or how to do something it is ALL in that thread somewhere. The inventor himself has replied to every question and anyone who needed help.

I use my aeropress a bit different than most coffee lovers i think, im not so much one for straight espresso or black coffee, hopefully my pallet will start to develop a taste for straight coffee i donno.

My standard nightly drink with the aeropress is an espresso blend made to the "2" mark on the aeropress. 2 scoops of espresso ground coffee 170 degree water to the "2" stir for 10 seconds, wait 5, press for 15-20. a teaspoon of sugar, ice, and then milk that ive frothed with a simple Bodem manual frother. Its a thick creamy iced latte and you can make as light or as dark as you like. Has a inch or so of frothed, almost lightly whipped milk floating on top, and everyone that tries one loves it.

Its a great little tool for experimenting. Built well and very easy to maintain.

B

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Over in a discussion of French Press technique bmdaniel posted a quick comment about the Aeropress, which I had never even heard of. Long-time owners, do you still use yours, or is it sitting in a drawer someplace? How does the flavor of the coffee compare to the French Press method? Better, worse, or just "different"?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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On 10 March 2010 - 12:06 PM, Chris Hennes said:


Over in a discussion of French Press technique bmdaniel posted a quick comment about the Aeropress, which I had never even heard of. Long-time owners, do you still use yours, or is it sitting in a drawer someplace? How does the flavor of the coffee compare to the French Press method? Better, worse, or just "different"?


I still use mine occasionally. The coffee it produces is really, for want of a better word, mellow. Especially if you follow the instructions and brew it at the water temperature suggested - which I don't. All fines are filtered out, of course, and the fact that the brew period is about 10 seconds makes for that mellow extraction.

To think that it makes anything close to a real espresso is ridiculous. It makes a good cup of coffee, though.

To my mind, the greatest thing about it is that it's so portable; any time we travel, that's what goes into the suitcase.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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On 10 March 2010 - 11:06 AM, Chris Hennes said:


Over in a discussion of French Press technique bmdaniel posted a quick comment about the Aeropress, which I had never even heard of. Long-time owners, do you still use yours, or is it sitting in a drawer someplace? How does the flavor of the coffee compare to the French Press method? Better, worse, or just "different"?



I've had mine for about 4 years and still use it almost every weekday. I make 4 "shots" with the AeroPress that are split into two large mugs and topped off with hot water, Americanos basically. On the weekends, I still use the regular drip machine, because it's easier to make a larger volume. We have two French presses collecting dust in a cabinet. I was never happy with the amount of sediment in the resulting product, and the AeroPress is much easier to clean. Depending on your grind and water temp, I think AeroPress coffee can certainly rival if not surpass French Press in taste, and it blows drip out of the water. If you are an espresso lover, it's no replacement for a real espresso machine, but it can certainly play the part in some applications (I made an espresso-brown sugar syrup for cocktails using the AeroPress and it turned out just fine).


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I think AeroPress coffee can certainly rival if not surpass French Press in taste, and it blows drip out of the water.

Well, in some people's opinion...but not mine. Too many other variables that are actually more important.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

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A couple AeroPress tips:

I use my Aeropress(es) 10 to 15 times per day—yes, really!

The rubber plunger seals on both AeroPresses had shrunk making for a poor seal. :(

I considered buying new seals, but then I ran across this (his description is definitely worth reading):

 

 

 

I tried it, but in my own way—because I never follow directions properly. :$

I put the seals in a vacuum chamber pouch, added some mineral oil, sealed the pouch in the vacuum sealer, placed the whole deal in hot water from the tap to warm it all up.

Then I heated water in the microwave to boiling, poured it over the pouch—repeated this a couple times and let sit for a few hours.

It worked!!! shock2.gif

Both seals have been restored to be as if new:)

 

I also have Able Brewing Fine Filter Disks For the AeroPresses.

They work well, but plug-up after much use. :angry:

Mine were 1/2 to 2/3 plugged! :blink:

I tried to unplug them, but without much luck.

Then I read this: "Soak it in vinegar and then boil. This usually clears it up for me."

I thought that sounded like B.S., but decided to try it anyway—in my own way. :$

I soaked the disks in white vinegar for 10-15 minutes, removed them from the vinegar, heated the vinegar to boiling in the microwave (cough, cough cough) then soaked the disks in the near boiling vinegar.

Repeated soaking in the near boiling vinegar a couple times. Then I gently brushed them with a stiff bristled tooth brush.  And rinsed and rinsed.

It worked!!! shock2.gif

Both disks are now just like new!

 

Coffee is a TERRIBLE addiction! Jumpy.gif

 

 

 

 


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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1 hour ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

A couple AeroPress tips:

I use my Aeropress(es) 10 to 15 times per day—yes, really!

The rubber plunger seals on both AeroPresses had shrunk making for a poor seal. :(

I considered buying new seals, but then I ran across this (his description is definitely worth reading):

 

Coffee is a TERRIBLE addiction! Jumpy.gif

Thanks for these tips - you uses yours 13-14 times per day more than me, but I do use mine daily. What "formula" are you using- just the recommended or have you modified to something better? Asking because I feel like I can get better results if I make some changes

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