How To Use The AeroPress

How to get the most out of your AeroPress.

As with most manual brewing methods, there are numerous ways to make an Aeropress, we will provide you with a short guide to get you started.
At WAKE UP.BREW we use the “Inverted method”
This means that we do not screw the filter cap on until the very last minute, so you will place you Aeropress coffee plunger on the table with the side where the filter cap screws on , facing upwards towards the roof.
This has the benefits of a full immersion brew, like the French Press, but the Aeropress micro filter creates a much cleaner cup without the grainy mouthfeel of the French press.

The Aeropress comes with a measuring scoop in case of an emergency when you don’t have a scale. You can use about two scoops to start off with and adjust from there, however, we wholeheartedly still recommend that you use a gram scale to measure your coffee.

At WAKE UP. BREW we tend to keep things simple with the AeroPress.
We open the plunger to its maximum capacity, use 30gr coffee and just fill with water to the top.
Grind size
Grind size is medium to coarse, slightly finer than a Pour-over, but more coarse than espresso grind.
Use regular table salt as a reference. In simple terms, if your coffee tastes weak or watery your grind could be too coarse, if it tastes extremely bitter and burnt, your grind might be too fine.
We wrote a short Grind size troubleshoot post, if this doesn’t solve your problem.

Water Temperature
Recommended Temperature for the Aeropress is around  85° to 93°C ,
Lower temperature water tends to makes a smoother brew in the AeroPress.
A quick tip to measure water temperature if you don’t have a temperature gauge is to do an Internet search on your area to see what your boiling temperature is. This differs widely around the world according to the altitude above sea-level.
Here in Pretoria we use the water from the kettle once it stops making bubbles, just off the boil.
  1. Warm and rinse your Aeropress with some hot water. Insert your filter paper into your Filter cap,  also rinse with hot water and set aside.
  2. Measure out your coffee, grind your coffee fresh on the spot. While the Aeropress is facing upwards in the Inverted position, use your funnel to add your freshly ground coffee to the Aeropress
  3. Fill the rest of the Aeropress with hot water and give it a good stir to make sure all of the coffee is immersed in the water.
  4. Start your timer and stir the coffee occasionally.
A good total brewing time for an Aeropress on a medium to fine grind is around 3:00-4:00mins, we usually average around 3:40 depending on what coffee we are using.
Screw the filter cap with the wet filter tightly onto the Aeropress, turn the Aeropress upside down onto your cup, press the plunger down firmly to the bottom. A swooshing sound of air is an indication that all the water is out.
  1. IMMEDIATELY eject the coffee out of the plunger and rinse with warm soapy water.
    This is an absolute necessity if you want your Aeropress to last and prevent it from absorbing rancid old coffee smells and depositing those unwanted tastes into your next cup.
  2. Always let your coffee rest for a minute or so before you drink it, it will develop some really great flavors while you wait.
Extra notes

  1. We stir the coffee about every 30 seconds during the brew process, especially with a coffee that has fruity notes, like maybe a natural processed Burundi, fruity Colombias or a single origin from Kenya.
    We have picked up that vigorously stirring some coffees really highlights the sweetness, like juicy cherries or deep blueberry flavors.
  2. We also love to smell the coffee from start to finish. This way we can pick up subtle changes in the aroma of the coffee and know instantly when it is ready. Try it out and see how quickly your senses improve. (hint: when you can smell some sweet, pleasant, warm nutty things, it means you’re just about good to go!)
  3. After you've poured water into the Aeropress all the way to the top, you will notice that as the coffee brews and releases CO2 the volume noticeably comes down to about half of the entire volume of the Aeropress. We use this small amount of coffee like an espresso shot and we fill the rest of our cup with hot water like you would with an Americano or long black coffee.
  4. You can actually make a full Aeropress on 30gr (adjust according to taste) and split it into two cups for two small Americanos!
  5. Re-using Aeropress paper filters are a great idea, for your pocket and for the planet. You can use filters at least 2/3 times.
  6. Because the grind is more fine than that of the French press, resist the urge to let it steep for longer than needed as the coffee will go very bitter real quick.
    When all of the cream colored crema on top has disappeared, you've probably gone too far.

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