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As a long-time daily user of the AeroPress, I’m always intrigued by new attachments and accessories that appear in the coffee scene.
The Fellow Prismo is one of those new-fangled gadgets made as an AeroPress attachment that claims to produce an espresso-style shot of coffee.
These are bold claims, so I decided to purchase the Prismo to see just how good the adapter actually is and if it works as advertised.
Realistically there is no possible way that the AeroPress can produce traditional espresso coffee. There simply isn’t enough pressure created, and if there were, you would probably not be able to push the plunger down.
But if the Prismo can produce a coffee with a half-decent crema and the bold flavor found in espresso, it’s definitely going to be worth the additional cost on top of the price of the AeroPress.
AeroPress Espresso Using The Prismo Attachment
Okay, I’ll tell you straight away that the Prismo can not produce espresso. But that’s alright. I didn’t expect it to either.
What the attachment does do is it takes the humble AeroPress and elevates it to the next level.
– it upgrades your AeroPress to a better and more sophisticated AeroPress 2.0 coffee maker.
How Does The Prismo Actually Work?
The Fellow Prismo is a complete replacement for the screw filter cap that ships with the AeroPress.
Also, good news, you can stop using those round paper filters.
The Prismo attachment comes bundled with a permanent, reusable 150-micron etched stainless steel metal filter (simply put, the filter has extremely tiny holes).
These super-tiny holes keep the fine sediment from ever reaching your cup.
– To be honest, it’s one of the better reusable filters for the AeroPress I’ve come across and outshines the Able Disk filter in performance in my opinion.
However, with that said, the Prismo filter is incredibly thin, so only time will tell if it will withstand the rigorous daily pressure exerted on it.
The metal filter is embossed with the Fellow logo, and the outer rim has a rubber gasket to ensure a good no leak seal once attached to the AeroPress.
The idea behind the Prismo is to hold the coffee inside the AeroPress chamber until a certain pressure threshold is reached.
Fellow doesn’t seem to state this pressure value in any of their literature.
However, I know a lot of testing and trial and error has gone into the design of this attachment, so the pressure-actuated valve must have been dialed in to produce the best possible results.
From my tests, it does seem to make a decent enough “espresso-style” coffee with a detectable crema that’s not usually produced using the standard filter attachment.
Brewing Coffee With The Fellow Prismo
The instructions that come with the Prismo are pretty straightforward to follow, and their recipe seems to be very similar to James Hoffmann’s AeroPress recipe and calls for very little water, just enough to bloom and no more.
If you are used to making AeroPress with the inverted technique, you won’t need to rely on that with the Prismo if leaking was the primary reason.
The Prismo holds all the coffee in the brewing chamber until you press down on the plunger, giving you a full immersion brew without the leaks.
Here are the standard Fellow Prismo brewing instructions with your AeroPress in the normal position (i.e., not inverted).
- Place the metal filter inside of the screw cap attachment making sure the Fellow text is facing up.
- Screw the cap onto your AeroPress, making sure that the tabs are aligned, and the cap is firmly locked into place.
- Stand your AeroPress onto your cup. Measure and grind 20 grams of coffee to a very fine consistency and add to your AeroPress chamber.
- Pour 50 ml of water over the coffee grounds and stir vigorously for 20 seconds using the AeroPress stirring stick. It is essential to stir the coffee so all the grounds make complete contact with the water. Freshly ground coffee tends to form in clumps. When you stir, you want to try to break up those clumps.
- Wait for 60 seconds (including stir time) to allow for steeping. Start to push down on the plunger, maintaining a constant pressure. Due to the pressure release valve’s small aperture and the finer grind, the plunger will put up a bit more resistance than the standard AeroPress method. When you reach the coffee bed, stop.
– Enjoy your AeroPress coffee!
This is the standard Fellow Prismo instructions that should produce a crema.
The above image doesn’t really look all that impressive – crema, what crema! But, you’ll have to take my word for it, there was a slightly better foam crema, but it lacked body and couldn’t hold for very long.
Personally, I prefer the inverted method.
I tend to use 18 grams of medium to fine ground coffee (check our coffee grind size guide) and bloom for 30 seconds with 50ml of water, then top up to 200ml, flip and then slowly push down on the plunger finishing at around 1 minute 30-second mark on the timer.
However, from my testing, to achieve that much-loved crema using the Prismo 50ml of water, according to their recipe, is a must.
You can then add additional water to your cup once the “espresso-style” coffee has been extracted.
Blind Taste Test: Fellow Prismo Versus Regular AeroPress
To see if I could differentiate the Prismo AeroPress attachment versus the regular AeroPress cap, I decided to do a blind taste test.
I brewed one batch using the Fellow Prismo recipe as indicated above.
I also made a regular AeroPress batch of coffee using my typical everyday inverted AeroPress recipe and a batch the original AeroPress standard way, non-inverted.
I’ll be honest here. I preferred my regular inverted recipe over the Fellow Primso.
This could be due to being accustomed to the taste profile, and my brain subconsciously preferred that.
The Prismo attachment slightly improves the flavor of my “shots” when using the standard AeroPress method.
However, that slight edge in the taste disappears with the inverted, and my inverted method outshines the Prismo even if it does lack the faux crema.
Now there’s nothing wrong with the Prismo version, it was able to brew a great-tasting coffee, and the resulting cup was rich and smooth and much more concentrated in flavor than what typically comes out of the AeroPress. Is it authentic espresso by definition? No.
The extracted coffee isn’t quite espresso, but it is close, and it’s probably the best espresso-style coffee you will ever get out of the AeroPress.
Cleaning The Prismo
I’m not going to lie. Cleaning the Prismo is a pain in the butt.
Once you get used to ejecting those paper filters straight into the trash, anything else that requires a bit of additional work will seem like a chore.
Due to the extra pressure, the coffee grounds tend to stick to the metal filter, making it impossible to get a clean puck off the filter and into your trash or compost bin.
The coffee puck tends to break up, and the remaining coffee needs to be washed off the filter under the kitchen sink faucet.
I also take an extra step, brush with soapy water, and then flex the metal filter between my fingers to ensure that those micro-holes don’t become blocked.
Once a week, I recommend that you do a deep clean of both the attachment and the micro-filter.
To do this, set up your AeroPress with the Prismo attached and do a brew with warm soapy water rather than coffee. Just make sure you rinse any soapy residue off the parts.
The Verdict: Is The Prismo Worth A Buy?
Would I recommend the Prismo? Yes.
However, if you’re buying this with the hopes of brewing coffee on par with a full-fledged espresso machine, you’re going to be disappointed.
I will tell you straight it cannot and will never be able to produce enough pressure for that. If that’s your goal, you’d be better off investing in a good espresso machine.
What the Prismo does well is hold the coffee in the brewing chamber until the plunger is pressed.
Anyone who has used the AeroPress and brews regular-style knows that some coffee always exits the chamber before you press on the plunger.
The construction of the Prismo AeroPress adapter is solid, but the flexible metal filter is very thin and over time, may prove to be too delicate.
If you are a regular user of the AeroPress and you’re looking for something to spice up your mundane regular AeroPress routine, the Prismo is a must-have.
Remember, the Fellow Prismo AeroPress attachment requires no electricity, making it perfect for travel, and it does a reasonably decent job at producing those syrupy, thick, rich flavors that you get from espresso along with a faux crema.
However, it isn’t quite espresso, but it is close.