In preparing to review the Aeropress, we downloaded recipes from the World Aeropress Championship Website http://worldaeropresschampionship.com/recipes/. After trying many of the recipes, both the fine grind and coarse grind versions, we came away wanting more, wanting a method that would satisfy our questions, and flavour & taste receptors. We wanted to know if it was possible to make an espresso-like drink with the Aeropress, mostly because we are a deeply curious bunch, but also we wanted a tasty method for our non-electric cabins that we were living in for 3 months...We were very pleased by the results.
|Press has hard as possible
- Pre-heat plunger
- Pre-soak the paper filter
- Grind 27 grams of coffee using a Porlex hand grinder (or roughly the entire contents from a toped up Porlex)
- Use 90 grams of 95 Celsius water (or fill only to the #2 mark on the Aeropress)
- 10 seconds of stirring
- Plunge as hard as possible
Details: Place the plunger and chamber in a cooking pot and pour boiling water over it and let it sit for a minute to warm up. Place the paper filter in the filter cap and hold with tongs while pouring boiling water through the paper filter for 10 seconds to wash away the papery-smell. Put together the filter cap and chamber. Fill the chamber with 27 grams of fine grind coffee. Fill the chamber with 90 grams of 95 degree Celsius water and stir for 10 seconds avoiding contact with the filter paper. Once you reach eight seconds make sure to rotate the stir stick to mix all the coffee grounds. Then plunge with all the strength you have...
|Smiling with anticipation
We were able to produce a coffee at a calculated 2-2.5 bar pressure. There was no crema, but generally we produced a higher viscosity and richer mouthfeel than generated using many recipes we tried from the World Aeropress Championship Website: somewhere between a filter coffee and espresso. We used for our three-months of experiments a wide assortment of quality beans roasted with a portable Gene-Cafe. In addition, we would try various excellently roasted single origins from the New Zealand firms, Coffee Lab (Wairau Valley, Auckland) and Ark (Takapuna). We determined that even a 2 degree variation of temperature can significantly effect the flavour profile and mouthfeel. Of course it is quite possible that different origins and roastings will require slight changes to the water temperature we used and by individual preference. Grading sheets similar to ones used by the SCCA for cupping were used 2-3 times per day to help both with roasting feedback and for modifying the Aeropress method.
|Note the viscosity of the coffee
Our results were very satisfying: a simple, inexpensive device that can make great coffee. And the coffee produced had excellent ranges of aroma and flavours.