AeroPress
The AeroPress (left) next to the AeroPress Go (right)
ClassificationCoffeemaker
Used withCoffee
InventorAlan Adler
ManufacturerAeroPress, Inc. (formerly Aerobie, Inc.)[a]
Related

The AeroPress is a manual coffeemaker invented by Alan Adler, founder of AeroPress, Inc. It consists of a cylindrical chamber, and a plunger with an airtight silicone seal, similar to a syringe. Ground coffee beans and water are steeped inside, then forced through a filter at the bottom of the chamber by pressing the plunger down through the chamber. It is capable of brewing highly concentrated coffee, which the manufacturer describes as "espresso style", but can also be used to brew filter strength coffee, or cold brew coffee.[2]

History and design

The original AeroPress made of clear plastic with its accessories. Not to be confused with the new AeroPress Clear product
The original AeroPress made of clear plastic with its accessories. Not to be confused with the AeroPress Clear.

The AeroPress was invented by retired Stanford engineering lecturer Alan Adler. Adler began developing the brewer in 2004, with the intention of reducing acidity and bitterness in his daily cup of coffee.[3] Adler had tried brewing with an espresso machine, pour-over brewer, and french press, but expressed dissatisfaction with each brewer's limited control over parameters such as brew time, water temperature, and grind size.[4] He first began prototyping the AeroPress in his garage.[3]

The brewer consists of a translucent cylindrical chamber, and a plunger with an airtight silicone seal, similar to a syringe. A filter cap is screwed onto the end of the chamber, to hold a small round paper filter in place. The AeroPress comes bundled with several accessories, including a scoop and funnel for loading ground coffee, a stirring paddle, a tote bag, and a plastic holder for storing the included 350 filter papers. Metal filters are available directly from AeroPress as an additional purchase.

The chamber and plunger are moulded out of translucent plastic, tinted a grey colour. Early AeroPress models used polycarbonate, but in 2009 switched to BPA-free copolyester, then in 2014 to polypropylene.[5] The company claims that in lab testing, no BPA leached from these early models into brewed coffee.[5] The lettering changed color several times, but the brewer's design was otherwise unchanged between these versions.

In 2019, AeroPress, Inc. released the AeroPress Go, a travel-sized model with a reduced chamber capacity, smaller accessories, and a mug with a lid. In 2023, AeroPress, Inc. released the AeroPress Clear. This is constructed of a new material called Tritan, and comes with only the measuring spoon, stir stick, and 100 paper filters.[6]

In 2021 the company received an investment from Tiny (holding company), a Canadian holding company.[7]

Reception

Release

The device was officially unveiled in November 2005, at the CoffeeFest trade show in Seattle.[3] In the years after its release, it gained a cult following among coffee enthusiasts, who praised it for its flexibility and consistency in brewing.[8]

World AeroPress Championship

The World AeroPress Championship is an international fan-led AeroPress brewing competition. The event is a multi-round, elimination tournament, in which competitors have five minutes to brew coffee. It was first held in Oslo, Norway, in 2008, with only three competitors, but grew in popularity each year after. The 2018 competition attracted 3,157 competitors from 61 countries.[9] The 2020 championship was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[10] The championship resumed in 2021, with both in-person events and a new online format, in which competitors create and submit their recipe remotely.[11]

Operation

Brewing a pot of coffee with the AeroPress

Traditional

Fresh coffee produced from the AeroPress

According to the instructions, fine-ground coffee is placed in the bottom of the larger cylinder on top of a paper microfilter. Hot water at approximately 85 °C (185 °F) for dark roast coffee or 79 °C (175 °F) for lighter roast [2] is then poured over the coffee; this mixture is stirred for approximately 10 seconds before being forced through the microfilter by pushing the plunger downwards.[12] In the different coffee competitions worldwide (World Barista Championship, Brewers Cup), the coffee is more often ground slightly finer than 'filter grind', and the dose is between 14 and 20 g (0.49 and 0.71 oz), with about 200 to 230 ml (7.0 to 8.1 imp fl oz; 6.8 to 7.8 US fl oz) of water at 80 to 92 °C (176 to 198 °F) and a steeping time of 30 to 60 seconds.[citation needed]

Inverted

Baristas and coffee drinkers have also developed methods of brewing using the AeroPress with an inverted brewing technique.[13][14]

In inverted brewing, the plunger is placed into the column from the beginning, close to the "top" of the column, and the entire AeroPress stands upside-down, resting on the top of the plunger. One or two scoops of ground coffee are added, followed by water, and the entire mixture then stirred. While that brews, a filter is placed into the filter cap and moistened to help it stick in place then the AeroPress cap is placed on top of the column and screwed into place. Lastly, once the desired brewing time is complete the AeroPress is either turned right-side-up and plunged normally or held at an angle and plunged horizontally.

This method is more similar to the French press, particularly the extended brewing time in which the grounds and water sit together. This makes it useful for using grinds that wouldn't be optimal in the official method such as coarse grinds that might be used in a French press.

Traditional method coffee properties

Contrasts with other immersion brewing methods

The AeroPress uses finely ground bean, has a short brewing time of 30 seconds and, similar to espresso, uses pressure to extract flavor. French press (cafetière) uses a much coarser grind and has a much longer brewing time of 4–5 minutes; it uses a metal filter and the coffee is brewed without pressure. Siphon brew uses intermediate fine grinds and has a 90-second brewing time, using a cloth filter without pressure. Espresso runs high temperature water at very high pressure through very finely ground coffee.

Third-party reusable metal mesh filters are available for the AeroPress, but AeroPress does not recommend them, saying that coffee made with paper filters has tested better for taste.[16]

Notes

  1. ^ In 2017, the rights to the Aerobie flying ring were sold to Swimways, a subsidiary of Spin Master, and the company was renamed to AeroPress, Inc.[1]

References

  1. ^ "About AeroPress, Inc. And Alan Adler". AeroPress. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  2. ^ a b "FAQs for the AeroPress Coffee Maker". Aeropress. Archived from the original on 4 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Gayomali, Chris (2014-04-17). "The AeroPress Inventor's Secret To A Perfect Cup Of Coffee". Fast Company. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  4. ^ Strand, Oliver (2010-10-28). "Ristretto | AeroPress". T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  5. ^ a b "Materials used in the AeroPress coffee maker". Official AeroPress Announcement
  6. ^ Stanley-Foreman, Zoe (30 August 2023). "Exploring the evolution of the AeroPress". Perfect Daily Grind. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  7. ^ "Tiny Invests in AeroPress, Inc". www.businesswire.com. 10 August 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  8. ^ Hallock, Betty (2011-03-17). "AeroPress coffeemakers brew loyal fans". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  9. ^ Prinsloo, Mitch (2019-03-13). "The History of The AeroPress, From Concept to Championships". Perfect Daily Grind. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  10. ^ "Response to COVID-19". World AeroPress Championship. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  11. ^ "WAC Is Back In '21". World AeroPress Championship. 2021-04-12. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  12. ^ "Aeropress story". aerobie.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013.
  13. ^ "Aeropress Champion Marie Hagemeister's Winning Brew Method". Sprudge. 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
  14. ^ "Tasty Delicious Coffee Making Recipes". Brew Methods. Archived from the original on 5 February 2011.
  15. ^ a b Inventor brews a faster cup of good coffee Archived 2013-01-16 at the Wayback Machine Knight Ridder Newspapers
  16. ^ "Do you recommend using a metal filter in the AeroPress?". AeroPress. Aerobie.