How to use an AeroPress coffee maker
Read coffee expert Celeste Wong's guide to perfecting AeroPress coffee at home, including best equipment to use and insider barista tips
Want to know how to use an AeroPress? Looking for the best AeroPress coffee maker? Read our guide from coffee expert Celeste Wong below, then check out how to use a moka pot, how to make pour over coffee, and how to use a French press. Looking for artisan beans to make your AeroPress coffee? Try Celeste's tried-and-tested list of the best coffee beans.
AeroPress coffee is no-fuss, easy to make and tastes great. A foolproof method that should work for most coffees, it's fast and you can make a strong coffee using it – but you are limited to a set maximum volume capacity.
AeroPress coffee involves using air pressure in a cylinder chamber to push water through the coffee to extract. The coffee is pushed through a filter at the base of the AeroPress. I find an AeroPress coffee has more body than a pour over coffee, so it's great for a strong and fuller mouth-feel in your brew. Pour overs in comparison are a little more delicate.
AeroPress has released a travel-sized version called AeroPress Go that is more compact and slightly smaller in volume by about 2oz. The below method uses original-sized AeroPress. Both products come with some extra pieces of equipment to help with brewing.
What do you need to make an AeroPress coffee?
- 15-20g freshly ground coffee – pick from my favorite coffee beans and grind with these tried-and-tested coffee grinders
- AeroPress – try the classic AeroPress coffee maker (£28, Pact), or this handy on-the-go AeroPress (£31, Pact). An AeroPress also comes with a measuring spoon so you don’t need digital scales.
- AeroPress funnel (optional)
- Coffee mug
- AeroPress filter papers (£5.99, Amazon), or a reusable metal AeroPress filter (£17.99, AeroPress)
- Hot water
As you can see you don’t need much to make an AeroPress coffee which makes it great for travelling or camping – because it’s also light and hard to break.
How to make AeroPress coffee
- Place a paper filter inside the perforated black cap and secure it onto the base chamber of your AeroPress.
- If using the funnel, place this on top of your mug and place the AeroPress base on top of the funnel. If not using the funnel, place the AeroPress base directly on top of your mug.
- Pour some hot water over the filter to get rid of any paper residue particles, then discard this water from the cup.
- Tip your ground coffee into the AeroPress.
- Start a timer. Slowly start pouring in hot water until the ground coffee is completely submerged. It should reach up to approximately the labelled number two in the AeroPress. Let the coffee bloom for a few seconds (this process lets the ground coffee release CO2 gas, and improves the flavour of the final drink).
- Use the AeroPress spatula to lightly stir the coffee. You are agitating the coffee grounds here to make sure that all the coffee grounds are evenly saturated.
- Continue to slowly pour in the hot water until it reaches the number four at the top of the AeroPress.
- Place the rubber stopper into the top opening of the chamber over the coffee. This stops the coffee from dripping through and extracting.
- Once your timer reaches 1 minute 30 seconds, the coffee is ready to press. Press down gently, slowly and smoothly – you should feel a good even resistance. Aim to take about 15 seconds to press the coffee fully.
- Stop just when it starts to 'wheeze' or 'fizz' – it means all the water has been pushed through the coffee and it is ready to drink.
- To discard the used coffee, unscrew the perforated screen and push the coffee puck out into the compost bin.
Top tips for making AeroPress coffee
- Metal filters are a reusable, convenient alternative to paper filters that give a fuller bodied flavour to the coffee. However, they do not catch the oils or very fine grinds. If you’re using your Aeropress daily, a metal filter will work out cheaper over time.
- If you’re using paper filters, you can use two to three filter papers for a cleaner brew. It will create slightly more resistance when pressing but it will provide a cleaner cup of coffee.
- If you find the coffee too strong or weak, adjust the ratios by adding more coffee or reducing the amount of water for stronger coffee, or vice versa for weaker.
- Using an AeroPress funnel adds extra security to the placement of the AeroPress, great when you’re starting out. Once you are more familiar with the AeroPress you may not need to use the funnel.
- Ideally you want your water to be just off the boil, around 93-96C. Using a thermometer or temperature-controlled kettle lets you set the temperature exactly, but if using a regular kettle, boil the water and open the lid for about 30 seconds to a minute to let it cool down before using.
Celeste Wong, has gained a stellar reputation in the coffee industry, regularly speaking at events and reviewing coffee-related gadgets.
Want to learn more about becoming an expert at-home barista? Read our guides here:
Celeste Wong's guide to becoming an overnight coffee expert
Celeste Wong's guide on how to make iced coffee
Celeste Wong's best moka pots
Celeste Wong's best coffee grinders
Celeste Wong's best decaf coffee to try
Celeste Wong's best gooseneck kettles to try
Celeste Wong's best coffee beans to try
Celeste Wong's best cafetières to buy
Celeste Wong's best coffee bags