Useful Things is based in Portland, OR – a city known for keepin’ it weird, microbreweries, and dark delicious coffee. Our obsession (don’t call it an addiction!) with the stuff led us to the AeroPress coffee press, the only tool you need to brew cafe perfect cups of coffee & espresso in under 30 seconds.
The Aero Press was created by inventor Alan Adler who, until releasing the coffee press in 2005, was famous for inventing toys such as the Aerobie Flying Disc and Rocket Football. His choice to expand into coffee was motivated – as most great inventions – by his discontent with the existing options of coffee making. Thus, Aeropress coffee came into creation.
As he states in this New York Times blog post: “I was aware that lower temperature reduced acidity and bitterness and made a sweeter cup. I had an espresso machine, and I went looking for a way to adjust the temperature. So I began brewing coffee in a Melitta cone at a lower temperature, but I was troubled by the long wet time, typically four to five minutes. I was troubled that a lot of rich liquid was trapped in the cone.”
The Aeropress is traditionally used by placing ground coffee (fine ground works best!) into the bottom of the larger cylinder on top of one of the 365 microfilters provided with the coffee press. After pouring hot water over the coffee and allowing it to sit for ~ 10 seconds, the mixture is forced through the microfilter by pushing down slowly second smaller cylinder.
The following video by renowned Norwegian coffee-maker Tim Wendelboe demonstrates the process very… sexily. Is it NSFW? Maybe not. But any coffee illiterate co-workers may think you’re a little crazy.
What’s cool about the Aero Press coffee maker is that it leaves a lot of wiggle room for those who love to experiment with different grinds, temperatures, timing, and even techniques. Some baristas began using the ‘inverted method’, which allows the water to sit in the Aeropress and not immediately trickle through the filter, to extract more of the flavorful coffee oils.
But don’t take our word for it. Check out Russia’s very own Alexey Kurbatov as he makes Aeropress coffee using the inverted method in this beautifully shot video.
Do you have any techniques for making the perfect cup of Aeropress coffee? Let us know in the comments!