Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: Aeropress

I've been making coffee by using a #4 cone filter inside a stainless steel funnel. But everyone kept talking about how much better coffee could be, and the Aeropress was one of the most mentioned and reviewed tools. At $25 on Amazon, requiring no power and coming with a set of 350 filters (almost enough for a year), I bought one.

The instructions seemed easy enough. Put a filter in, put what seems like an incredible amount of coffee in, pour some luke warm water into the coffee, stir, and then press it out. I tried it, and the first cup of coffee came out strong, but oh wow, also incredibly bitter. So did the second cup. I looked online, since one of the reviews said that the whole point of using something like this was to extract flavor without bitterness, but I wasn't getting the expected results. It turns out that you're supposed to stop before the last foamy bit of coffee gets pressed out of the filter. That's the bitter part. This wasn't part of the printed instructions, or any of the videos I saw on the internet, so I'm glad I searched rather than just sending the Aeropress back.

I tried making a few cups this way, and indeed, the coffee tastes good. It's still stronger, but the bitterness was gone and it tasted very smooth. I was impressed. I didn't think that it was that much of an improvement over the cone filter inside a stainless steel funnel, however, so this morning I gave the Aeropress a pass and went back to that instead, intending to send back the Aeropress if I couldn't tell any difference with the result.

Instead, I got, "Yuck. What's this? Water with coffee flavor?" It does seem like the press did make a huge improvement, and I could no longer go back to the old way of doing things. Hence, I give the Aeropress a recommended rating. Just don't let any of the foam out of the inner tube, or you'll get a very bitter cup.

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