Mastering Aeropress: 7 Expert Brewing Tips From Champions

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Mastering Aeropress: 7 Expert Brewing Tips from Champions

Mastering Aeropress: 7 Expert Brewing Tips from Champions

Thinking of switching from your Aeropress because your coffee could taste better? Think again.I reached out to seven coffee experts for their top Aeropress brewing tips. From experimenting with filters and using Aesir filters to adjusting temperature and grind size, their insights convinced me that there’s always room for improvement.

Sara Al Khoori – UAE National Aeropress Champion

Sara Al Khoori, a cafe owner and two-time Abu Dhabi Aeropress Champion with a background in engineering, shares her scientific approach to brewing:

“For your recipe, start simple and play around with grind size (contact time), then test other parameters like ratio, water temperature, etc.”

Sara’s method emphasizes a systematic approach to finding the perfect cup. By starting with a basic recipe and methodically adjusting variables one at a time, you can pinpoint exactly how each change affects the flavor. This scientific approach allows for precision and repeatability, ensuring you can consistently brew a cup that suits your taste.

Nicholas Yamada – Perfect Daily Grind

Nicholas Yamada, with experience across the specialty coffee industry and now a writer for Perfect Daily Grind, says:

“The inverted method is my favorite; however, I enjoy experimenting with different grind sizes and water quantities, like brewing it as a cold brew. The Aeropress is the most versatile brewing method out there.”

The inverted method involves placing the plunger at the bottom of the chamber, flipping the Aeropress upside down, and then adding coffee and water. This technique gives more control over steeping time and prevents premature dripping, which can result in a more flavorful extraction. Experimenting with grind size and water quantity can further tailor the brew to your preferences, offering endless possibilities for customization.

Holly Kragiopoulos – North Star Coffee Roasters

Holly Kragiopoulos, co-owner of North Star Coffee Roasters and a member of the international jury for the Cup of Excellence, offers this advice:

“Although the standard Aeropress brew guide suggests using one paper filter, adding an additional paper filter, or using a metal filter extension, can totally alter your experience. An additional filter allows for a variety of brews, from heavy-textured drinks with a metal filter to light, high-clarity brews with two paper filters.”

Filters play a crucial role in the Aeropress brewing process. While a single paper filter is standard, adding another paper filter or switching to a metal filter can change the coffee’s texture and flavor profile. Metal filters allow more oils and fine particles into the cup, resulting in a richer, fuller-bodied brew. In contrast, using two paper filters can produce a cleaner, lighter cup with higher clarity.

Gwilym Davies – World Barista Champion

Gwilym Davies, a coffee shop owner and 2009 World Barista Champion, emphasizes:

“The main issue with the Aeropress is ‘channeling’ when pressing the plunger. This leads to uneven extraction and more bitterness. To avoid channeling, press the plunger slowly and avoid grinding too fine. A coarser grind allows better water flow but requires a larger dose of coffee to extract sufficient flavor. Experimenting with different paper filters can also make a significant difference.”

Channeling occurs when water finds the path of least resistance through the coffee grounds, leading to uneven extraction. This can cause some parts of the coffee to be over-extracted (bitter) while others are under-extracted (sour). Pressing the plunger slowly helps mitigate this issue, as does using a coarser grind, which allows water to flow more evenly through the coffee bed. Adjusting the grind size and pressing technique can significantly improve the quality of your brew.

Alexis Gagnaire – Kawa Coffee

Alexis Gagnaire, CEO and founder of Kawa Coffee and 3rd runner-up in the 2020 Aeropress World Championship, recommends:

“Choose Aesir filters for a cleaner cup. Adjust the temperature according to the roast color; the darker the roast, the lower the temperature should be.”

Aesir filters are known for their ability to produce a cleaner cup with enhanced clarity and flavor. They are designed to minimize sediment while allowing the essential oils to pass through. Adjusting the brewing temperature is also crucial; darker roasts generally benefit from lower temperatures to avoid extracting too much bitterness, while lighter roasts may require higher temperatures to bring out their complex flavors.

Alan Adler – Inventor of Aeropress

Alan Adler, who invented the Aeropress in 2004, provides a straightforward tip:

“Use water at 175°F (80°C) and press gently.”

As the inventor of the Aeropress, Alan Adler’s advice carries significant weight. He suggests using a lower water temperature than the standard 200°F (93°C) recommended for most brewing methods. This lower temperature helps reduce bitterness and highlights the coffee’s natural sweetness. Pressing gently ensures a more even extraction and prevents over-extraction, which can result in an unpleasantly bitter cup.

Asser Christensen – The Coffee Chronicler

Asser Christensen, a journalist turned specialty coffee blogger at The Coffee Chronicler, advises:

“My best tip is to use the special Aesir paper filter instead of the original one by Aerobie. It results in a cleaner, more flavorful cup. If you don’t want to invest in those, you can also use two or three filters in the cap to achieve more clarity.”

Asser highlights the benefits of using Aesir filters or multiple standard filters to enhance the clarity and flavor of the coffee. By filtering out more fine particles and oils, these methods can produce a cup with a cleaner taste and more distinct flavor notes. This approach is particularly beneficial for those who prefer a lighter, more refined coffee.

Mastering Aeropress: In Summary

We’re incredibly grateful for the feedback from these experts. Despite their diverse backgrounds in the coffee industry, common themes emerged in their Aeropress advice:

– Switching up your filters: Experimenting with different types and numbers of filters can significantly alter the coffee’s texture and flavor.
– Using the inverted Aeropress method: This technique provides greater control over the brewing process and can enhance the coffee’s flavor.
– Optimizing grind size: Adjusting the grind size to match your brewing method can improve extraction and overall taste.
– Pressing gently: A slow, even press helps prevent channeling and ensures a more consistent extraction.

With these tips and some additional hacks, you’re ready to brew like an Aeropress pro. Whether you’re a seasoned barista or a home brewing enthusiast, these expert insights will help you elevate your coffee game. Experiment with these techniques, and don’t be afraid to tweak your process to find what works best for you.

Be sure to share this list with your network to spread the joy of delicious coffee. The Aeropress’s versatility and potential for experimentation make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to refine their coffee brewing skills. Happy brewing!

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