Aerobie AeroPress Manual Coffee Maker

The AeroPress portable coffee maker makes great coffee in minutes, cleans in seconds and saves you money

Aerobie AeroPress Manual Coffee Maker

I recently bought an AeroPress online. It makes great coffee in five and a half minutes, cleans in 15 seconds and saves you $51.10.


It won’t turn you into a barista, but none will be the wiser.

What do I know about coffee? I enjoy a good cuppa, but I’m no coffee cognoscente.

We were visiting a couple one afternoon. They lived down by the lagoon in a cozy double storey apartment. The husband asked if I wanted a cup of coffee. I said yes, expecting chicory. Didn’t want to be rude though. They were lovely folks.

He pulled out this funny cylindrical plastic contraption and a bag of ground coffee. A smile formed on his face. I frowned. He boiled water, twisted, scooped, poured, stirred and poured some more. In no time I was sipping on my very first cup of AeroPress coffee.

His smile made its way onto my face.

I hadn’t been looking for a coffee maker per se. But after that intro I had to have the AeroPress.

The AeroPress made drinking good coffee a must.

I was sold. So I bought one.

It changed my coffee life forever. My instant junk consumption plummeted and my intake of quality caffeine skyrocketed.

Here was a tool that allowed me to make great coffee, without me having to become a brain surgeon. Besides, it required hardly any effort to use or clean.

I developed a slight air from using the AeroPress. This, after only a few weeks. It had me believing that I’m a coffee connoisseur. (Idiotic, I know, to feel superior because you now make good coffee, and that after only a few weeks.)

It’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It demystified the making of great coffee.

Why you’ll like it

In my opinion, the AeroPress is one of the best buys I’ve ever made. Here’s why you’ll love it.

It makes delectable coffee

The AeroPress makes the same quality coffee you’ll find at any coffee shop. Even better.

But it’s more sensible to buy an AeroPress than it is to spend all your dough at a coffee shop.

Making coffee now becomes more than dumping granules into a cup and overdosing on sugar. You start experimenting with coffee. You start creating your own favourite coffee.

It makes clean coffee

The AeroPress filter blocks 90 percent of the coffee grounds (I’m being liberal; it’s more than that). Compare this to a French press, which has you chomping dirt at the last few sips when tasty coffee is critical.

Some coffee experts claim that a French press is a terrible option if coffee upsets your stomach. It lets through more than the flavour and some coffee grounds.

The AeroPress filters out most of the bad stuff, leaving you with clean coffee.

The beauty is, you’re not sacrificing taste. You get a full flavoured coffee without the grounds.

It’s quick

The AeroPress propels you from coffeeless to well caffeinated in a few minutes. This includes boiling water, pouring, pressing, pouring again and cleaning; the whole shebang.

But it doesn’t compromise on quality, despite the speed.

It’s easy to use

In ten steps you go from coffeeless to caffeinated.

And it’s not ten steps into a mathematical marshland. It’s as easy to use as it is to make instant coffee. But much better.

It’s easy to clean

In a few seconds your AeroPress is clean and ready for the next round.

It’s tough

The AeroPress won’t break any time soon. It’s made from thick BPA- and phthalate-free plastic. I dropped it to see whether it would stay intact. It did.

It’s great for travel or camping

It’s charming to lose yourself in the food and drink of a foreign destination.

But what if you’re visiting a place that’s off the map? No good food; no good coffee…

It’s possible, as horrifying as it sounds.

The AeroPress saves you from decaffeinating. It’s like an insulin injection for coffee lovers.


In this post I show you where to buy the AeroPress (AKA the air press), how to use it and how to clean it. I share simple recipes to get you into the swing of using the AeroPress. This forms a solid foundation for further experimentation on your part.

This is one blind date I’m confident will go well.

Price

At ~$30 the AeroPress is dirt cheap. It makes great coffee; it’s tough; it’s portable; it’s child’s play to use. It’s plenty of product for very little money.

Look at it from a different angle.

One of the world’s largest coffee chains—we’ll call them Siriusdollar—sells their cheapest coffee for $1.75.

Your AeroPress costs a mere 17.14 cups of Siriusdollar coffee.

For some people, that’s a few weeks’ worth of coffee; for others, two to five days’.

You can’t beat that. For the price of only 17 cups of coffee you become a Badass Coffee Making Rockstar who makes a coffee the way YOU like it.

The #AeroPress Turns You Into A Badass #Coffee Making RockstarClick To Tweet

Cost of a cup of coffee made with the AeroPress

Let’s calculate the cost of a cup of coffee made with the AeroPress.

Let’s say the AeroPress gives you 365 days of service. It’ll last much longer if looked after, but for the sake of this argument we’ll use a year.

You make two filter coffees with the AeroPress every day. You don’t take sugar or milk (to simplify the calculation).

That’s an annual quantity of 730 cups of black coffee without sugar. Sugar is bad for you in any case. Links to cancer, that sort of thing.

You don’t reuse your filters (also to simplify the equation).

We’ll cost water and electricity at $0.40 per cup.

You use two paper filters every day. A filter costs you $0.04 each. That’s $0.08 per day for 365 days.

You buy Death Wish coffee. It costs $1.25 per ounce ($0.04 per gram).

Each filter coffee needs two scoops of ground coffee. At the proper grind level this amounts to 1.05822 oz (30 grams) (15 grams per scoop) of grounds per cup; 2.11644 oz (60 grams) per day.

Death Wish Coffee grounds cost $1.20 per cup.

The AeroPress device, broken up into 730 cups, costs $0.04 per cup.

Cost of an AeroPress coffee:

Water & Electricity (per cup): $0.40.
Filter: $0.04.
2.12 oz (30 grams) of Death Wish coffee: $1.20.
AeroPress device (per cup): $0.04.
Total: $1.68.

It costs $1.68 for a DIY AeroPress coffee. Remember, it’s Death Wish coffee grounds. It’s far more expensive than the Siriusdollar brand. But, per cup it’s cheaper. Besides, your DIY AeroPress coffee is better. You’re the master of your tastebuds. You know better than Siriusdollar what you enjoy.

730 cups of Siriusdollar coffees put you back $1,277.50.

730 cups of AeroPress brewed Death Wish coffees put you back $1,226.40.

That’s a saving of $51.10 per year.

You’re getting better coffee AND saving money.

Warranty

This from Aerobie’s FAQ page…

The AeroPress coffee maker is warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year from date of purchase from an authorized retailer. We advise you to keep your receipt so that if you have a problem with your AeroPress before one year has passed, you can prove when you purchased it and that you purchased it from an authorized retailer that sells genuine AeroPress coffee makers.

What’s in the box?

The AeroPress package contains the following:

  • Water chamber.
  • Plunger.
  • Filter cap.
  • 350 paper filters (I counted them).
  • Filter holder.
  • Stirring paddle.
  • Coffee scoop.
  • Funnel.
  • User manual.

Before you start using the AeroPress

Consider these points before you start churning out championship coffee with your AeroPress.

Water temperature

Aerobie recommends using water heated to 176 Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).

Our old kettle heated water to 206,6 Fahrenheit (97 degrees Celsius) (I measured with a thermometer). We bought a variable temperature kettle. It heats water to 176 Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).

I’ve made countless cups of AeroPress coffee with both.

My honest opinion? There’s no difference in taste between coffee made at either temperature.

Best coffee for the AeroPress

I won’t tell you which coffee is best for your AeroPress. My tasty might not be your tasty.

But I’ll make a suggestion or two.

Best roast

Look for a medium to dark or dark roast. You want strong, but not bitter, coffee. A light roast might not have enough kick.

You need less dark roasted coffee grounds to make weak coffee. If you use weak coffee grounds you’ll need more. Keep that in mind if you prefer weak coffee.

Grind size

Aerobie recommends you use a fine drip or espresso grind. Trust them on this one.

If your coffee grounds are too fine you’ll have difficulty pressing it. If it’s ground too coarse, flavour goes to waste.

I once bought coffee that was ground too fine. I struggled to push the plunger down. Coffee that was ground too coarse tasted watered down.

You’ll know it’s correct if heated water trickles through the coffee grounds without you pressing it.

My favourite coffee supplier grinds coffee to their customers’ needs. They grind for the AeroPress too.

I’m sure there’s a coffee roaster in your neck of the woods that grinds for the AeroPress.

How to store your coffee

I used to store filter coffee in the fridge.

I spoke to some baristas. No idea where this habit originated, but it does nothing for keeping coffee fresh.

Store your coffee—beans or grounds—in a well-sealed glass bottle. Keep the bottle in a cool cupboard, not a fridge. There’s no need.

A batch of coffee ground for the AeroPress, stored in a glass bottle
A batch of coffee ground for the AeroPress, stored in a glass bottle.

What to make your AeroPress in

Use a container with a mouth of 2,71654 inches (69mm) in diameter. The AeroPress’ water chamber’s flange rests on the container’s rim.

Make sure whatever you’re pressing into can handle the pressure.

It’s fine to press coffee straight into your cup if you’re making one cup.

But what do you do when five people threaten physical harm if you don’t provide them with a coffee fix?

Use a simple, sturdy stainless steel metal jug.

There’s one on Amazon with Imperial and metric measurement markings on the inside.

The opening measures 3 inches (76.2mm) in diameter. It’s perfect for the AeroPress.

I’ve tried plastic jugs. They collapse. A metal jug handles the pressure.

Basic operation

It takes 11 easy steps to make killer coffee with the AeroPress:

  • Remove the plunger from the water chamber.
  • Remove the filter cap from the water chamber if it’s not off yet.
  • Place a filter in the filter cap.
  • Screw the filter cap onto the water chamber.
  • Place the water chamber onto a strong cup or metal jug.
  • Add one or two scoops of coffee to the water chamber.
  • Pour boiled water into the water chamber.
    • If you have a variable temperature kettle, set it to 176 Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).
  • Stir the concoction for up to 20 seconds.
  • Place the plunger into the water chamber and press down all the way.
  • Remove the AeroPress from the cup or jug.
  • Enjoy delicious coffee.

How to make paper filters last longer

Here’s a tip: use two paper filters together. It makes both filters last much longer. It’s only applicable if you reuse your AeroPress filters. I do.

How to make an espresso (AeroPresso)

Now that you’ve bought your AeroPress, it’s time to start making awesome coffee.

An espresso forms the basis of an Americano. So we’ll start with an espresso.

Bad news first…

The AeroPress can’t make an espresso.

An espresso requires six to ten grams of fine coffee grounds, tamped into a portafilter basket through which you force 30ml to 45ml of water with a temperature of 194 Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) at nine bars of pressure for 30 seconds.

Given the criteria, it’s impossible to make an espresso with the AeroPress.

Don’t let that put you off. The AeroPress makes an amazing coffee. Let’s see how close we can get to a proper espresso.

In fact, let’s call it an AeroPresso. We’ll keep the purists happy. It’s still a good beverage even if it doesn’t adhere to the strict rules for making espresso.

Follow these steps:

  • Heat kettle to 194 Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius).
  • Add ten grams of ground coffee to the water chamber.
    • Fine drip or espresso grind.
  • This is the point where you’re supposed to tamp the coffee grounds. But it’s of no use doing it with the AeroPress since pouring water into the water chamber loosens the grounds.
  • Stand the AeroPress on top of a cup or jug.
  • Pour 1.35256 fl oz (40ml) of water into the water chamber.
  • Stir the contents for 15 seconds.
  • Insert the plunger into the water chamber.
  • Here’s the tricky bit. Press down on the plunger for 30 seconds.
    • Will this produce nine bars of pressure? I doubt it. But this is the best you can do.
  • Remove the AeroPress from the cup or jug.
  • Enjoy your AeroPresso.

You’ll notice a severe lack of crema. It’s one of the drawbacks of the AeroPress not being able to make a true espresso.

But what comes out of that little machine isn’t half bad. It’s a clean, strong—yet not bitter—shot of coffee.

How to make a double espresso (double AeroPresso)

A double espresso requires 15 grams of fine coffee grounds, tamped into a portafilter basket through which you force 60ml to 90ml of water with a temperature of 194 Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) at nine bars of pressure for 30 seconds.

Let’s try to get it as close to the real thing as possible.

Follow these steps:

  • Heat kettle to 194 Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius).
  • Add 15 grams of ground coffee to the water chamber.
    • Fine drip or espresso grind.
  • This is the point where you’re supposed to tamp the coffee grounds. But it’s of no use doing it with the AeroPress since pouring water into the water chamber loosens the grounds.
  • Stand the AeroPress on top of a cup or jug.
  • Stir the contents for 15 seconds.
  • Pour 3,04326 fl oz (90ml) of water into the water chamber.
  • Insert the plunger into the water chamber.
  • Here’s the tricky bit. Press down on the plunger for 30 seconds.
    • Won’t produce nine bars, but this is the best you can do with the AeroPress.
  • Remove the AeroPress from the cup or jug.
  • Enjoy your double AeroPresso.

I bought a portable espresso maker which I’ll review in a future post. It makes a phenomenal true espresso.

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How to make an Americano

Before you begin, screw the filter cap onto the water chamber with a filter inside. Place the AeroPress on top of a cup or jug. Then follow these steps:

  • Heat water to 176 Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).
  • Add one or two scoops of ground coffee to the water chamber.
  • Add hot water up to the number 2 mark.
  • Stir the contents for up to 20 seconds.
  • Insert the plunger into the water chamber and press down all the way.
  • Remove the AeroPress from your cup or mug.
  • Add up to 5.74838 fl oz (170ml) of hot water to the AeroPress coffee.
  • Add sugar and / or milk to taste.
  • Stir.
  • Enjoy.

How to make six Americanos

That’s the most I’ve been able to squeeze out of my AeroPress.

Before you begin, screw the filter cap onto the water chamber with a filter inside. Stand the AeroPress on a large enough sturdy jug. Get one here: stainless steel jug with Imperial and metric measurement markings.

Follow these steps:

  • Heat water to 176 Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).
  • Add two scoops of ground coffee to the water chamber.
    • Level these off or heap the scoops for more kick.
  • Add hot water past the number 4 mark.
    • I fill it all the way to the top.
  • Stir the contents for up to 20 seconds.
  • Leave the mix to syphon through.
  • When it reaches the number 2 mark, refill the water chamber up to the number 4 mark (or right to the top again).
  • Stir for a few seconds.
  • Insert the plunger into the water chamber and press down all the way.
  • Remove the AeroPress from off the jug.
  • Divide the coffee between the six cups.
  • Add hot water to each cup.
  • Add sugar and milk to taste.
  • Enjoy.

Don’t top up too much. It weakens the coffee.

How to make a straight filter

The AeroPress is champion at making a single filter coffee.

Follow these steps:

  • Place the AeroPress on top of a cup.
  • Heat water to 176 Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).
  • Add two scoops of coffee to the water chamber.
  • Fill up the water chamber with hot water to the number 4 mark.
  • Stir the mixture for 20 seconds.
  • Insert the plunger into the water chamber and press down.
  • Remove the AeroPress from off the cup.
  • Add milk and / or sugar to taste.
  • Enjoy.

How to make milk coffee (MilkoPress)

Caution: heat your milk to no more than 70 degrees Celsius (158 Fahrenheit). Don’t burn it.

Let’s call this beverage the MilkoPress. Instead of using water to make the coffee with, we’ll use milk only.

You’ll need a thermometer for measuring the milk’s temperature.

Follow these steps:

  • Place the AeroPress on a cup.
  • Add two scoops of coffee to the AeroPress’ water chamber.
  • Place a pot filled with water on the stove.
  • Place a jug containing 400ml of milk inside the pot of water.
  • Place the thermometer inside the jug of milk.
  • Heat the milk to 158 Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius).
  • Pour the milk into the water chamber up to the number 4 mark.
  • Insert the plunger into the water chamber and press down.
  • Remove the AeroPress from off the cup.
  • Enjoy.

This is a fine beverage. Try it. It turned out sweet on our side. We drink lactose free milk. Not sure whether that has anything to do with it.

Caution: clean the AeroPress well after making milk coffee. A rinse won’t suffice. I removed the rubber foot of the plunger to clean it. Don’t take chances with rotten milk.

How to clean the AeroPress

This is a simple operation that takes only a few seconds:

  • Unscrew the filter cap from the water chamber.
  • Remove the filter.
    • If it’s a paper filter, discard of it or rinse and reuse.
    • Rinse it if it’s a reusable metal filter.
  • Push the puck of coffee out of the water chamber with the plunger, into a bin.
    • I pop the used coffee grounds into a food collection container for a probio composter.
  • Remove the plunger from the water chamber.
  • Rinse the plunger under running water.
  • Rinse the water chamber.
  • Rinse the metal filter.
  • Place all components on a drying rack.

Is the AeroPress dishwasher safe?

The AeroPress won’t melt or deform when you wash it in a dishwasher.

But I washed a previous AeroPress of mine in our dishwasher as a test. When I took it out the number 1 to 4 markings were half gone.

So don’t wash it in the dishwasher, unless you don’t mind not having the markings on the side.

Time it takes to make a filter coffee with the AeroPress

I timed the making of a cup of filter coffee with the AeroPress. This exercise included doing the following:

  • Taking a cup out of the cupboard.
  • Filling the kettle.
    • I filled the kettle with 1.5L of cold tap water, even though I only made a single coffee.
  • Boiling the kettle to 176 Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).
  • Inserting a new paper filter into the AeroPress.
  • Screwing the filter cap onto the AeroPress.
  • Adding coffee grounds to the AeroPress.
  • Stirring the coffee mix inside the AeroPress.
  • Pressing coffee.
  • Pouring coffee into a cup.
  • Pouring milk into the coffee.
  • Stirring the coffee.
  • Disassembling and rinsing the AeroPress.
  • Placing the AeroPress on a drying rack.

It takes 5 minutes and 30 seconds to make a filter coffee with the AeroPress. It’s quick, considering I slowed the process.

Paper VS metal filter

The guys at Aerobie have run many tests with paper filters and metal filter. The paper filter won the taste test, every time.

Aerobie claims that a paper filter removes diterpenes, which raises LDL (bad) cholesterol. Be aware of that.

I purchased the Keto Coffee metal filter for use in the AeroPress. It works great.

It allows a slight amount of grounds through when you press, but not much.

It creates the same great tasting coffee as a paper filter.

You might want to stick to paper filters because it removes diterpenes.

DIY paper filters

It’s easy to make your own AeroPress filters. Make sure you get the size right. My first round of DIY AeroPress filters were too small. It caused leakage.

To DIY your AeroPress filters you’ll need the following:

  • A pair of scissors.
  • Store bought paper coffee filters.
  • Cardboard (1.2mm thick).
  • Pen or pencil.

To make DIY AeroPress filters, follow these four steps:

  • Use an AeroPress filter to draw a template onto the cardboard.
  • Cut out the piece of cardboard.
  • Use the cardboard as a stencil to draw two circles onto a standard paper filter.
  • Cut out four AeroPress discs from the paper filter.

Cost of DIY filters

A box of 40 standard paper coffee filters cost me about $1.12 (ZAR15.00).

You get 4 AeroPress filters from one standard filter.

That’s roughly $0.015 per filter, a fraction cheaper than an AeroPress paper filter ($0.04). It’s not worth making your own filters if cost is the only criteria.

Technical details

Technical specs for the AeroPress coffee maker.

The first table shows metric measurements (where applicable), the second, Imperial.

Technical details for the AeroPress coffee maker. Metric and Imperial measurements.
 MetricImperial
AeroPress assembled
Max height (assembled)~262 mm~10,315 inches
Max diameter107.3 mm4.22 inches
Min height (assembled)139.5 mm5.49 inches
Weight (all components)361 g12,7339 oz
Weight (water chamber, plunger, filter cap, filter)178 g6.27877 oz
Water chamber
Height / length126.5 mm4,980315 inches
Inside diameter57 mm - 57.65 mm2.24409 inches - 2,269685 inches
Outside diameter (chamber without support rim)62.55 mm - 63.4 mm2.4625984 inches - 2.496063 inches
Outside diameter (outer rim)107.3 mm4.2244094 inches
Weight83 g2.92774 oz
Plunger
Height / length135 mm5.31496 inches
Inside diameter50 mm1.9685 inches
Outside diameter (without rim)53.85 mm - 54.4 mm2.1200787 inches - 2.141732 inches
Rubber foot diameter58 mm2.28346 inches
Weight80 g2.82192 oz
Filter cap
Height27 mm1.06299 inches
Inside diameter63.7 mm - 64 mm2.507874 inches - 2.51969 inches
Outside diameter (without rim)68.5 mm2.69685 inches
Outside diameter (with rim)74 mm2.91339 inches
Weight15 g0.529109 oz
Paper filter
Diameter63 mm2.48031 inches
Thickness0.15 mm0.005905512 inches
Weight< 1 g< 0.035274 oz
Weight (350 filters)60 g2.11644 oz
Keto metal filter
Diameter63 mm2.48031 inches
Thickness0.2 mm0.00787402 inches
Weight< 1 g< 0.035274 oz
Coffee scoop
Capacity40 ml (water) / 15 g (espresso ground coffee)1,35256 fl oz (water) / 0.529109 oz (espresso ground coffee)
Length666 mm26.2205 inches
Weight17 g0.599657 oz
Filter holder
Height / length86.3 mm3.397638 inches
Inside diameter67.9 mm2.673228 inches
Outside diameter (largest)87.1 mm3.429134 inches
Outside diameter (smallest)70.5 mm2.775591 inches
Weight47 g1.65788 oz
Stirring paddle
Height / length164 mm6.45669 inches
Thickness4.7 mm0.185039 inches
Weight23 g0.811301 oz
Width (narrowest)31.15 mm1.226378 inches
Width (widest)80 mm3.14961 inches
Funnel
Height / length79 mm3.11024 inches
Inside diameter42 mm1.65354 inches
Outside diameter (largest)115 mm4.52756 inches
Outside diameter (smallest)48.2 mm1.897638 inches
Weight53 g1.86952 oz

Final thoughts

The AeroPress is beautiful.

For $30 you get a nippy portable coffee machine that makes great coffee. It cleans in a few seconds and the thick plastic construction won’t break soon.

For the cost of 17.14 cups of store-bought coffee you get a machine that makes amazing coffee. It’s unbeatable value.

The Keto Coffee metal filter for the AeroPress allows you to cut down on paper waste. It also saves you having to buy filters any time soon.

Buy the AeroPress. It’s an investment you won’t regret.

Ditch that overpriced can of instant blegh and start enjoying real coffee.

Read the online reviews for the AeroPress. Thousands of people are happy with it. There’s a reason for that. It makes great coffee with ease and cleans in seconds.

Sources:

2 thoughts on “Aerobie AeroPress Manual Coffee Maker

  1. Thanks for this review Jansie, I have at least 14 mugs of coffee per day, especially when sitting at the computer. This is definitely something I want to acquire once I’m settled in the new house.

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