Alongside sweet little baby Jesus, Christmas 2012 marked the arrival of an Aeropress in our home. It became my primary brewing method, and my old Starbucks espresso machine was downgraded to the bottom cabinet shelf. Sometimes I’d make a great cup, and the next time I might as well have gone to the 7-11 down the street and asked for the burnt crust at the bottom of yesterday’s carafe. I’d hear others talk about the great coffee they’d get from an aeropress, and I’d just get…angry(ish).
The following year, a few Christmas gift cards were applied toward a new Bonavita electric kettle and a Clever drip brewer. The Clever and I got along much better. My home coffee habit was trending up, though I’d still produce the occasional swill.
Last year, my Christmas spoils included a kitchen scale. Sweet little baby Jesus seems to really care about coffee. The meticulous measurements of bean and water have proven to be the most important piece and where I should have started in the first place. My Clever brewing leveled up, and I started working my way back to some aeropress expermimentation.
Of late, most of my home brewing is coming through my Aeropress. I’ve settled on a recipe that mixes some methods I’ve explored across the internet with some fine tuning of measurements from my friend Daniel – one of the coffee masterminds at Houndstooth Coffee and our primary song leader at Austin Mustard Seed. Here’s how it looks:
- Heat just over a cup of water to boiling.
- While the water heats, measure 17 grams of whole beans. I’m mostly stuck in a rut of whatever the latest roast of Kenyan or Ethiopian beans is available from Counter Culture. It’s a good rut to be in.
- While the water cools, the beans are ground right at the middle setting on my burr grinder. The setting is meant for drip coffee, but I think my burrs are worn down enough that it’s a little finer than that.
- The freshly ground beans are dumped in an inverted aeropress on the scale, which should then be zero’d out. If you’re not familiar, this means the plunger is in the aeropress but pulled out as far as it will. The aeropress is, you know, inverted so that the plunger is on the bottom and receptacle faces up so that the filter can be attached on top.
- Put a paper filter in the top and wet it with a little bit of the 209.8(ish) degree water. And be quick about it because those already ground beans are losing flavor by the microsecond.
- Set a timer for 1:15 and start it. Pour 255 grams of water into the aeropress taking care to wet all the beans. Houndstooth’s non-inverted recipe is 18 grams of beans and 270 grams of water, but I’ve found it’s a challenge to get that much in when you are inverted.
- Attach the filtered cap and turn the whole thing over on top of a cup. No need to stir. The pour, plus the act of turning the aeropress over gives the beans the right amount of agitation.
- When the timer goes off, press it all out. I don’t time my press, but I give it gentle force, taking about 20 or seconds to press it out. And stop pressing when is starts to pfffft.
Well done, you! Enjoy your lovely beverage. If applicable, brag to your children about it and soak in their admiration of your expert coffee brewing skills.