Save kitchen space and make good coffee with an AeroPress

Our Nespresso machine gave up the ghost recently and we’re trying to decide if we should have it fixed or switch to a device that doesn’t use special pods or capsules.

In doing a bit of research, I’ve noticed that over the last year all of the elitist coffee forums have been abuzz with talk of the Aerobie AeroPress. At first glance, this $30 device seems like the kind of product that Billy Mays or Ron Popeil might pitch on late-night cable. But oddly, many of the same coffee snobs who will call you a chump if you’re unwilling to pay $250 for a conical-burr coffee grinder are now using these simple, inexpensive and space saving devices to make their coffee.

This video from the Coffee Convo podcast shows how the AeroPress works:

Do you have any advice for making high-quality coffee at home without a lot of equipment? Are you using an AeroPress? Let us know in the comments.

58 Comments for “Save kitchen space and make good coffee with an AeroPress”

  1. posted by mollyh on

    My husband uses his AeroPress every day and absolutely loves it! The key is to also have a coffee grinder, and grind your beans fresh each morning. You can get a small and fairly inexpensive coffee grinder, and it makes a world of difference in the taste of your morning cup. Also, from a cost savings perspective, you can re-use the filters at least twice, so we have only needed to buy one pack of filters a year!

  2. posted by Luca on

    8 minutes to do all this mess in the table? you must be joking

  3. posted by Sky on

    I’m happy with my Cuisinart and Folgers. Simple!

  4. posted by Suzyn on

    I use Cafe Bustelo espresso roast in a manual drip thingy – like this, but straight into my mug: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/. I boil the water in a glass teapot on the stove, and pour it over the coffee. Works great!

  5. posted by Sheryl on

    This AeroPress seems like too much work to me.

    I use a little Melitta cone filter that I bought for $1.99 at the grocery store. Just set it on your mug, put in the filter, add the coffee, pour in the water (twice, for a large mug) and you’re done. Clean up is just tossing the filter and throwing it in the dishwasher.

    I store them (I have two) on top of coffee mugs in the cupboard. Makes a great cup of coffee, and works well for tea, too.

  6. posted by Sheryl on

    @ Suzyn – Ha! I have that on my Amazon wish list!

  7. posted by Juli Borst on

    I use a tried but true French press, the same one I’ve had for over 12 years, with 2 replacement beakers and one replacement screen. Since it uses a screen there are no filters to buy. And it is made from glass, not plastic- no need to worry if it is free of BPA or other harmful chemicals.

    I don’t have sound, but from what I can see of the demonstration, a French press seems a lot simpler and less messy.

  8. posted by Susan on

    We’re not into “high-quality” coffee. Instant in the microwave suits us just fine. I do however have beans in the freezer, a grinder and a Mr. Coffee for company that likes to mess with all that.

  9. posted by Eliah Hecht on

    I’ve been using an AeroPress for the past few years, and I love it. I used a french press before that. I prefer the AP mostly because I like the flavor better; it really does produce a smoother cup like it claims to do.

    It’s much easier to clean up than a FP — cleanup takes me all of 15 seconds. It is a little more work to get coffee out of it, but not much, and it balances out in the cleanup IMO.

  10. posted by Marie on

    I’m so glad I don’t like coffee. This is way too much work for a simple beverage!

  11. posted by Rod on

    The AeroPress makes great coffee, but its extraction rate is quite low if you make coffee as per the instructions, meaning you’ll use a lot more coffee. It’s great tasting coffee because your getting those tasty “first runnings”.

    We prefer to use an electric hot water pot and simple Melita coffee cone, using it to fill a thermos (vacuum bottle) every morning. Thus fresh hot coffee all morning because the coffee doesn’t oxidize like it would in an open pot, and without further electricity use. Has the bonus of transportability.

    We kept the Aeropress for making Vietnamese-type iced coffee every once in a while. It’s perfect for that, and fast, unlike the traditional Vietnamese drip maker.

  12. posted by claire on

    We switched from a French Press to the Aerobie after reading about it. Love it! would not want to go back. We don’t want the mess and $ and clean up of a machine, and with good coffee, like we get from our local family-owned Acme Coffee, the Aerobie makes awesome brew. Rivals the best machine made.

  13. posted by Eric Moritz on

    I’ve been using this for about two weeks at work. It’s a simple device and the clean up is significantly easier than a french press. I just twist of the filter retainer and push on the plunger and the grounds pop out right into the trash.

    The resulting coffee is definitely not espresso. The body of the coffee is less acidic than if you used a press.

    If you want the full body of the coffee, a press is a better choice but this is a great solution to crappy office coffee without spending $2-3/day at a coffee house.

  14. posted by Eric Moritz on

    I want to add. if you let the grinds seep for 30 seconds after the initial 10 second stir, you’ll get a much fuller flavor. I found following the instructions to the T gave me very weak coffee.

  15. posted by BlackMacX on

    The idea is interesting, the concern I would have is the pressure the user puts on the AeroPress is enough (potentially) to crack the mug in question; I realize the base ring is meant to distribute the pressure; but it’s a real possibility.

    I though use an old Italian percolator that does up a cup or two of espresso at a time and sits on the stove top. If I want more coffee, I use my trusty french press (over 10 years old, no parts replaced (yet)). 🙂

    That said, the AeroPress maybe for others; but not for me.

  16. posted by Rosemary on

    I’m another AeroPress fan. I prefer it to a French press for small amounts of coffee for smoother flavor, easier cleanup, and no sludge in the bottom of my cup. When I drank coffee every day (which I haven’t for a couple of years), I used mine every morning for a tasty Americano or latte.

  17. posted by ethan on

    too many parts to clean…

  18. posted by Gabriel on

    I like the idea of this device, but the cost follows a pricing trend in coffee accessories that really drives me nuts. What here is worth $26? It’s two plastic tubes, a rubber seal, some paper filters, and some additional plastic accessories that I’ll probably pitch. How come everything related to making high-end coffee is so much more damn expensive in relation to it’s material value?

    I love my Melitta pour-over cone, not just because it makes great coffee that is unpretentious yet appealing to coffee snobs, but because it was only $2. Why is it so cheap? Because it’s just a piece of plastic. How do the makers of the AeroPress justify charging $26 for something with the material composition of a measuring cup?

    Look through the product line-ups for Bodum, Melitta, Krups, Cuisinart, etc., and ask yourself what is the value in the products their selling in relation to the price. I think coffee drinkers are getting screwed.

  19. posted by tonie on

    I also use a Bodum french press. The coffee comes out great and I don’t have to buy filters anymore. It takes about 10 minutes from the time I flip on the electric kettle till I pour the first cup of coffee.

  20. posted by Tim on

    I have a two cup French press but most of the time I used the same $1.99 cone filter setup that goes on top of your coffee mug. I do not run the water through twice though, I use twice as much coffee because the bitter parts of the coffee come out later in the extraction. I grind my beans in my burr grinder, dump them in the filter setup and then pour in a bit more than a cup of hot water (not boiling) and I get the best cup I have ever had.

  21. posted by infmom on

    I’m the only coffee drinker in the house, so making coffee in a regular drip coffee maker (even the 4-cup Kitchenaid model I’ve got) never worked out well unless I was serving guests.

    My daughter got me a French press when she was working at Starbucks and that was my perfect solution for a long time (I still have a really good one, with insulated jacket, that she bought me for Christmas a couple years later). But it wasn’t till I found the Aeropress that I felt I had the perfect solution.

    I’ve been grinding my own beans for years. All I had to do was adjust the grind for the Aeropress (French press uses coarsely-ground beans, Aeropress needs them ground almost espresso-fine). And we have a water-bottle stand that delivers hot water at just the right temperature. So making coffee is now about as easy as it gets.

    I’ve had one of those single-cup drip coffee makers and they work fine, too, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on coffee making equipment. Sometimes finding the #2 cone filters is difficult, though.

  22. posted by infmom on

    @Gabriel: There aren’t any “pitchable” plastic accessories with the Aeropress. There is a paddle that’s used to stir the grounds with the hot water, a scoop that delivers the right amount of coffee grounds, and a funnel that keeps you from pouring grounds on the counter. They’re all included for a reason.

  23. posted by Jim Thaxton on

    The aero press makes a great cup of coffee. It makes a more espresso like cup of coffee, though at times I prefer my french press. If this saves you from spending $4 for a latte, it is well worth the cost. If you already have a drop coffee maker but do not always want to make a larger pot of coffee, this is a great buy as well. It is a little redundant if you already have a french press but the difference is there if you like variety in your coffee options.

  24. posted by brittany on

    Currently, I mostly use the same pour-over style as several people mention above and find it works very nicely and is the absolute minimum of equipment, energy, and time while also producing a reasonably good cup of coffee. (Mine is not even actually the Melitta brand because I bought a pair of even cheaper knock-offs from the Japanese home-goods shop).

    I was really interested in the AeroPress a few months ago, and I asked about it when I was attending an at-home brewing class at a local coffee place. One of the staff said he owned one and had been playing with it, but had been really unimpressed with the product that was coming out. He claimed he was getting inconsistent extraction and poor mouthfeel. After that, I sort of figured, why spend the money and cleaning time on a fancy gadget when a professional barista cannot even get good coffee out of it – and I am certainly no pro.

    That said, using fresh, high-quality beans, ground just before use makes a major difference for any coffee set up. A grinder might seem like just another counter-top space-waster like a blender or microwave or whatever, but it is actually a huge factor in having tasty coffee at home.

  25. posted by Jeanne B. on

    I take the grocery store’s brand of French Roast, add it to the Mr. Coffee filter, then add one full scoop of some expensive ground chocolate-flavored coffee beans. It comes out so good, you’d think it was luxury coffee. It is, but for 1/6th the price!

  26. posted by enigma on

    it ‘gave up the ghost’?

    Never thought I would read that expression on an American website.

    Oh, and tea only for me. In bags. Yep, I am that cheap. And efficient.

  27. posted by DTM on

    We’ve had an Aeropress for about 3 years and we love it and it doesn’t take 8 minutes to make coffee.

    As stated above freshly ground coffee is the key and we re use the filter papers at least 2 or 3 times. They just wash out with water.

    Highly recommended, but you’ll need to add microwave warmed milk otherwise the coffee is fairly tepid.

  28. posted by Julia on

    I have a one-cup plastic french press (I think it’s Bodum; it’s been awhile since I bought it.) The press has a sort of o-ring which greatly reduces the grounds that end up in the cup.

    I used to have a 2-cup coffee maker; it’s on a shelf (I still use it, but rarely). Almost all my coffee is made with this tiny press – and it’s all good.

  29. posted by Bodine on

    I have followed your wonderful site for over a year, but I’ve never felt compelled to comment until today. I have been using the Aeropress now for four months. I love it! To make enough latte to fill a small thermos, I microwave 1.5 cups of water for 1 min 40 seconds to get the desired temperature recommended by other happy users. While the water is heating, I put three scoops of freshly, finely ground coffee in the press and then fill it with enough hot water to reach the #4 line. While I’m Aeropressing, I heat 1.5 cups of milk for 1 min 50 seconds. I mix the two together and voilà, I’ve got the closest thing to coffee served in Spain that I’ve been able to duplicate…and I’ve been attempting to do so for the last ten years. Since using my Aeropress, none of the coffee house coffee that I have purchased here in the States has measured up. Read the reviews on Amazon.com. They really pushed me to give the Aeropress a try.

  30. posted by Gaynor on

    Have had one for about 2 years, we were early adopters:)
    Love it. Have convinced a number of friends to buy one, once they have tasted the coffee.

  31. posted by Jody on

    I have, also, had an aeropress for more three years. I absolutely love it. I have perfected my own easy, non-messy system to make the most delicious coffee with this little contraption. It really is amazing. I have also convinced a number of hard-core coffee lovers to try it out. All have raved. Recommend highly. Yes, there is a slight learning curve, but soooo worth the trouble to figure out.

  32. posted by ari_1965 on

    I was given a glass French press years ago as a gift and I can never go back to using something with a throwaway filter. Clean up with a French press is as easy as shaking the grounds into the container I keep in my fridge for taking out to the compost bin.

  33. posted by Meg from FruWiki on

    I love mine! I’m one of those who didn’t like coffee until Starbucks. I hated the prices, though, so I bought a regular, name brand drip machine but was appalled by the taste of the coffee. Very bitter compared to what I like and couldn’t find any way to fix it.

    Then I tried the Aeropress and it was soooooo much better. Add a bit of hot chocolate powder and it’s off to cafe mocha land. The cleanup is really easy, too. It doesn’t make a lot of coffee — just a cup at a time, but it’s remarkably quick to use. And since I boil water in a kettle on the stove I can make multiple cups very quickly.

    I do dislike that there’s a throwaway filter, but I assume it is safe to compost, like the grounds.

  34. posted by JJ on

    If I wanted to go to that much trouble for coffee, I’d use my Bodum.

    I have a Nespresso, and I’m NEVER going back.

  35. posted by marley on

    Best tasting coffee?

    Turkish coffee:

    You will need one turkish coffee pot, an expresso cup, Turkish coffee, water and sugar to taste.

    No gadgets required.

  36. posted by Michael on

    Wow, that video makes it look complex! It takes me less than 2 minutes for the whole process, from filter-installation to the first sip.

    I’ve been a near-daily Aeropress user for 6 months. Use it to produce straight espresso shots that you can drink straight, or tinker with to your heart’s desire, making lattes, mochas, etc.

    For $25, you get a portable machine that requires no real cleaning, and works perfectly every time. If you really are a coffee fan, this is a must-own.

  37. posted by Tania on

    Press Pot

  38. posted by Lisa on

    I’m a big coffee lover and cannot start a day without a cup of coffee.
    I normally use French Press glass – it’s easy and cheap, and what’s important – I can always make exactly the wanted volume.

  39. posted by whyioughtta on

    Wow, that presentation was about 7 minutes too long. Twoscoop Joe or whatever his name is sure ain’t no Vince Schlomi.

    I love the mellow taste of percolator coffee, but it’s really hard to find good quality vintage percolators where I live, so I bought a new Betty Crocker one, which cost $50 and lasted about 3 months. What a waste of money and resources.

    So I’m back to my French press–I should never have left her in the first place.

  40. posted by Shalin on

    it looks like a French press, but sooo much more elegant…

  41. posted by Laurie on

    We have a coffeepot, nespresso, french press, francis francis, and an aeropress. The Aeropress is the only thing we use anymore. Just sold the nespresso and the coffeepot is dusty. francis francis will be on ebay soon. Go Aeropress! We love it.

    If you get one of the inexpensive stick frothers (about $2 from Ikea) you can have a great cappuccino…fast.

  42. posted by Mary Sue on

    Brother, he makes quite a mess! I’ve seen several much better demo videos. They convinced me to buy one last week, it gets here in the mail on Thursday.

    I don’t like French Presses because they are really, really fussy to clean. You always have to take apart the confounded screen to get all the grinds out, and then it never goes back together easily. I have a gravity filter, but I’m uncoordinated in the morning and more than once I’ve knocked it over and spilled boiling water and grounds all over the kitchen floor. I also have a stovetop percolator, again it’s fussy to clean.

  43. posted by Stasi on

    I am not a coffee drinker, but my husband is. Somehow I am in charge of making his coffee in the mornings. I bought ‘him’ an aeropress a year ago and it is very nice since we only need one cup at a time and we travel a lot. Even when a freind comes over, it is not a big deal to make another cup since the water is hot. It is especially nice when we travel in Europe because of electrical differences. i can’t speak to how it tastes, but as far as ease and speed, it works great.
    The video was to really describe all the features, there is no way it takes 8 minutes.

  44. posted by Becca on

    I got an aeropress for valentines day after I mentioned to my fiance i wanted a french press. I love my aeropress! I usually require about 5 splendas for a tall coffee from starbucks. When I use my aeropress, I require 1, maybe 2 because it is so smooth.
    Also, my fiance and I have different coffee strength and roast preferences, and when I use the aeropress, we can each have what we want. I agree with the other posters that it requires no more than 2-3 minutes for the whole process.

  45. posted by Oraxia on

    Amusingly, mine just came in the mail a few days before this was posted. I have yet to use it (I’m not a frequent coffee drinker, but my parents have started visiting more often and drink coffee more often than I), but I’m excited about it 😀 I like the idea that it isn’t a whole separate appliance 🙂

  46. posted by Grace on

    This is why I go to Starbucks and leave it up to the professionals.

  47. posted by Nat on

    My husband used the AeroPress and did like the coffee and how little clean up there is. However, we drink way too much coffee to use this method. We use drip in the morning. Sometimes we use french press when we want richer coffee. We use our stovetop espresso maker for when we just want a little. Yeah, we have a lot of different ways to make coffee in our house. I even still want a vacuum coffee pot to add to “the collection. ”

    Back to the AeroPress, we have also considered but not actually tried using it to dry hop beer or other kinds of infusions. It could be a multi-tasker as long as it’s washed out well in between uses.

  48. posted by Caitlan on

    @ infmom: I don’t even have one of these, and I am sure I would not throw away its questionably extra pieces anyway (I would be more likely to lose them while traveling) but conceivably you could stir the grounds with a spoon, and the man in the video accidentally leaves off the funnel for the first scoop with no resultant mess. So if you wanted to pack really ultra lite or are really hardcore about reducing your possessions, those are both extras.

  49. posted by Erin on

    It looks like a pumped up french press with more pieces and i more expensive… I love my french press for every reason the areo whatever is not, I don’t have to buy filters, It doesn’t have lots of pieces (talk about clutter), and it extracts the essential oil of the beans without adding extra air to distract from the roasted taste them. The “Espresso” he just made was just foamed coffee Thats the only difference from a french press taste wise. I will take my trusty two piece french press any day over this air-fangled-clutter- pieced- coffee- contraption

  50. posted by Melody on

    I use a macchinetta to make espresso every morning. I think that does the trick. They’re under 30 bucks (for a nice one), you don’t need filters, and you can smell when it’s done.

  51. posted by Marilyn on

    I have a tiny french press and I love it! I think it looks more attractive than this plastic doodad and I don’t have to buy any filters for it.

  52. posted by unregistered user on

    OK all you minimalists; stand by….

    One pound of bulk coffee – ground at absolutely the COARSEST setting, using the machine while you are still at the grocery store (i.e. you don’t need a grinder).

    Put the entire pound of grounds in a huge metal or glass container and add five cups of cool water. Stir to make sure the grounds are thoroughly wetted. Wait five minutes. Add four more cups of cool water. (So the formula is 1lb grounds to 9 cups of H2O.)

    Let soak for ten to twelve hours on the counter, no refrigeration necessary.

    Dump this mess into a metal mesh sieve that is suspended over another bowl or pot. Wait about five minutes then take the resultant liquid and slowly pour that through a funnel that has been stuffed/lined with your choice of a tightly-woven cotton, linen or bamboo cloth. I have used dinner napkins, clean white rags, etc.

    Take the approximately seven cups of filtered coffee concentrate that you will get and store it in a tightly-covered glass jug or bottle in the refrigerator. It lasts about a week.

    Your results:

    Bad news – about a ten minute clean-up of containers and the “filter”. Yes, once again, I acknowledge you WILLl have a mess on your counter.

    Great news – for me, THE BEST tasting low-acid and low-bitter, week’s worth of coffee. Drink straight for a shot of espresso. Add milk and heat for a latte. Add ice and milk. Pour some on ice cream. Make tiramisu. Put it in a thermos and go camping for the weekend. You don’t need very much, because you probably will be diluting it with either the milk or water.

    No cost except for the coffee itself. Look around your kitchen. You probably already have the bowls, the glass jug/bottle and the funnel. Reusable cloth filters have been around long before paper ones were invented. I am not a cheapskate, I just love the taste and the week-long convenience.

    Disclaimer – keep it pushed back on the counter away from toddlers and don’t be surprised if you see the occasional fruit fly….

  53. posted by Round ‘em up, 7 June 2009 [feel free to add your link] on

    […] (yes, the same folks that make those weird frisbee things that you loved in the ’80s). [via Unclutterer] I’m not sure this is much easier than using a French Press, but it does take a little less […]

  54. posted by Morfydd on

    infmom said: “There aren’t any “pitchable” plastic accessories with the Aeropress. There is a paddle that’s used to stir the grounds with the hot water, a scoop that delivers the right amount of coffee grounds, and a funnel that keeps you from pouring grounds on the counter.”

    I have an Aeropress, and I actually have gotten rid of the paddle – I use the other end of the scoop to stir the grounds. And I use the funnel to hold my extra filters. (So it’s supposed to be a funnel, huh – I haven’t looked at the instructions in years.)

    So the whole thing stores nicely in 2 pieces: Funnel full of filters, and 3-piece chamber with scoop inside.

    Making coffee is simple: Turn on electric kettle with a cup’s worth of water. In the time it takes that to get hot, I’ve got everything set up. Add water, press, add more water. If it takes more than two minutes total I’d be amazed.

    Cleanup is: Dump grounds. Rinse plastic filter and scoop. Wipe off plunger. Put away. That’s if I’m not being lazy and just tossing it all in the dishwasher.

    It’s not so good for multiple people, or lingering over cup after cup of coffee in the morning. If I tended toward either of those I’d probably pick up a French press.

  55. posted by Todd Weber on

    Awesome to see people pumped up about the Aeropress. This thing is my everyday coffee maker and it’s the best piece of equipment out there, pound for pound (or dollar for dollar here in America).

    I bought an Aeropress in 2005. Haven’t used a drip brewer or moka pot since. I use it multiple times per day and I love it. LOVE IT!

    It takes some experimenting to find your best way to make coffee. i.e. I found I have to dip the plunger in hot water for a minute so it expands and creates a vacuum as I plunge.

    For $30 this thing is fantastic.

  56. posted by Rich on

    I bought one of these for my wife a year or so ago. We used to use a filter machine. Before that we had a cafetiere (french press).

    The cafetiere left too much sludge in the bottom for my wife’s tastes – fine powder got through the steel mesh.

    The filter machine was convenient, and kept the coffee hot for a while, but the coffee wasn’t great.

    The Aeropress makes *much* better tasting coffee (very noticeably better to me, and I’m no coffee snob – we use pre-ground coffee), and there is no silt at all left in the coffee so my wife is happy! It’s pretty quick and easy, too. It takes a minute or two at most to make (assuming your water heated and ready).

  57. posted by Office Coffee Makers: Taste And Variety Is The Key | Krups Coffee Maker on

    […] Save kitchen space and make good coffee with an AeroPress […]

  58. posted by littleupchuck on

    look……what most of the people who are replying to the article seem to be missing is what the aeropress is “for”. There are reasons for inventions. we all know that if you pour hot water over crushed coffee, you will get a cup of hot liquid that gives you energy and may or may not taste goo. THAT is what makes the aeropress DIFFERENT! First, for all my geeks out there, simple science and chemistry dictates that once you heat coffee grounds(emphasis put on grounds) with water over 180 degrees (+ or – a little) you start producing a dilute ACID. So, if your Cafe Bustelo is “just fine for me”….Suzyn…..then enjoy your coffe….and Rolaids. Second, as for the time taken. Yeah, maybe the first couple runs are time consuming but not once you get the hang of it (which if it takes more than a couple runs…..stick to instant coffe. your brain must be as refined as your palette). It is quite easy and you can keep the “concentrate” that it makes refrigerated for 2-3 weeks without any loss of flavor. Which brings me to my final point…FLAVOR. It can only be described as OH MY GOD smooth! The best part is by leaving it in its “concentrate” form, the mixture/dilution ratio can be customized for everyone in the family on demand! So, thats my review and if you dont like it or agree…..then you are………..wrong!

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