Aeropress™, the original press PART 2
Picking off from part 1, you either picked up your first AeroPress, or found and dusted off your older one. So, where to next?
Let’s start with what kind of coffee drink are you wanting today. If you’re more inclined to a mug of filter-style coffee, use a medium grind and brew around the 2-3 minute mark. If a more intense espresso-like shot is what you’re after, use a finer grind and brew for around 60 – 90 seconds. But once you’re used to how it all works, play around with the amount of coffee used, grind size, brewing time, even filter papers. The AeroPress isn’t limited or fixed like other brewing methods to what works and doesn’t work; i.e. it’s brewing recipe isn’t fixed to the same grind size and other brewing parameters.
The AeroPress method uses micro-fibre filter papers to remove sediments, producing a cleaner, richer and grit-free cup of coffee. If you’re conscious of your carbon trail and would like to go the eco-friendly route, there are reusable metal filters available on the market. I would recommend the Able Disk stainless steel filter (they come in both “standard” or “fine”, the choice is yours) or the Fellow Primso AeroPress coffee maker attachment (allows for a build-up of pressure to create espresso-style coffee and creates a no drip seal for a full immersion brew). The AeroPress is made of BPA-free food plastic making it lightweight, compact and easy to clean. By itself or with its accessories, it’s amazing around the home but also perfect to take with you as a travel companion.
Remember the 1970s when Alan Adler revolutionized the frisbee by creating what is known today as the Aerobie flying disc? Well, in 2005 it was the same Stanford University engineering genius who invented the AeroPress brewing device. Why wouldn’t you trust a man with the ability to make formulas and diagrams to build a better coffee maker?
Speaking of travelling, according to the World AeroPress Championships, in 2008 the first ever competition was held in Oslo – a competition that hones in on those fun brewing variables I mentioned earlier (amount of coffee used, grind size, brewing time, water, filter papers) and allows competitors to add personal creativity, while everyone uses the same coffee, to produce the best tasting cup per knockout round until a new champ is crowned*. This just shows how much the Scandinavians love and believe in the AeroPress – hosting this competition three years after the brewer was invented. And we all know that the Scandinavians just do things better: better furniture, schools, décor, architecture and even speak better English than we do. You had best believe they have better coffee. For the past 10 years the World AeroPress Championships have taken place in different cities such as London, Milan, Seattle, Portland and Auckland to name a few. That’s right, there are baristas all over the world competing to take the place of the world champion. In 2017 there were 3,157 baristas who competed across 59 different countries with the the winners of each heading to the World AeroPress Championship Finals in Seoul, South Korea.
South Africa hosts its own annual national AeroPress Championships in Cape Town. The current South African champion is Romeo Chimuhya from Tribe Coffee Roasting in Woodstock. Previous champions include Khan Chang, Winston Thomas, Wayne Oberholzer and Ishan Natalie. It goes to show how much AeroPress culture is imbedded in South Africans.
I know this may not seem like your typical coffeemaker, but I think this may be the best home brewing equipment available at an inexpensive price. With its patented dual brewing approach, it allows you to consistently extract more flavour quicker than any other manual brewing method. Whether you’re OCD about your brewing recipe and parameters, or just throw it all in Rockstar-style, you can always make it better but you’ll battle to make a bad one.
* Keen to dive deeper into the world of AeroPress recipes? Of course you do. Have a look at winning recipes of past champs across the world here: https://aeropress.com/championships/wac-recipes