To get the most out of your AeroPress, I recommend you take a look at the inverted AeroPress method. When it comes to brewing coffee with the AeroPress, there are basically two approaches. The first brewing method is the standard way which is described in the instructions supplied in the Aerobie AeroPress packaging – this method stands the AeroPress with the filter at the bottom.
The second AeroPress brewing method is commonly referred to as the inverted or upside down brewing method, which is the one I will be focusing on in this AeroPress brewing tutorial. I consider the inverted AeroPress brewing to be the best way to make coffee with your AeroPress and many of the winners of the AeroPress World Championships tend to agree, with about half of the winners opting for this method over the standard technique.
The main reason why I use the upside down method is mainly due to less leaking. The standard brewing approach often leaks before you even start to push the plunger down which can lead to under-extracted coffee because the grounds haven’t had enough time to steep.
The inverted brewing method is almost foolproof, and the only way to mess it up is to lose grip during the flip (more on that later).
Barista’s Tool of The Trade
Since its invention back in 2005 many coffee professionals have tried to improve on the standard Aerobie instructions which ship with each unit. So much so that there are now worldwide AeroPress competitions where high ranking barista’s battle it out for the best AeroPress recipe.
Some of these recipes and different parameters can seem pretty daunting for anyone new to AeroPress brewing. But it shouldn’t, with so many different ways to use the AeroPress and its ease of use it’s actually harder to mess up your brew. If you get one variable slightly wrong, you’ll still end up with a drinkable cup of coffee. That what makes the AeroPress so versatile and a great choice for someone transitioning from electric push-button brewers.
In fact, one of the best traits of the AeroPress is its forgiving nature. You can brew using a broad range of coffee grinds, water temperatures and brew times and still make excellent coffee – DAMN, you can even flip it upside down, and it still works! Let’s take a closer look.
AeroPress Inverted Brewing At A Glance
What You Need
AeroPress Paper Filter (or you can use a reusable metal filter).
19 grams of whole coffee beans.
Hot water (200-208ºF (94-98ºC).
Kettle (gooseneck kettle recommended).
Burr coffee grinder (recommended).
Coffee scale (recommended).
AeroPress End Result
Total brew time: 3.00.
Yield: 1 shot of coffee.
Cup Characteristics: Heavy body, rich texture, and a bittersweet taste.
The Upside Down AeroPress Instructions
So once you have everything together here is the method to the madness, these instructions are meant to be a general guideline. With so many different recipes and AeroPress variables, everyone seems to have their own method, but this is a good starting point.
Step 1: Weigh And Grind The Coffee
The supplied AeroPress scoop will give you roughly 17 grams (just about 2 tablespoons) which is the recommended amount of coffee as per the provided instructions. Even though the AeroPress can be very forgiving, I still prefer to use a good quality coffee scale, and I actually like to use 19 grams for my AeroPress brewing method.
The best AeroPress grind size is somewhere between a drip and espresso. Personally, I typically use a grind more in line with a drip grind, but others like using a coarser coffee grind.
It really boils down to your personal preference but as a rule of thumb, the finer the coffee grind your brew time will be shorter – so just accordingly.
2. Stand Your AeroPress In The Inverted Position And Add Ground Coffee
Take the plunger section and stand it facing up on your countertop. Take the other numbered section and securely place onto the plunger and stop just under the number 4 position.
Grab your plastic AeroPress funnel and place into the top of the AeroPress – this makes it a lot easier for all the coffee grounds to get right inside the brewing chamber and not get stuck on the rim of the brewer or worse still all over your countertop.
3. Insert Paper Filter
Take a paper filter and place inside the plastic screw cap. Wetting the filter does two things.
It helps to keep the filter inside of the cap when you go to screw it on and forms a better seal.
It helps to remove any paper taste from the filter.
I do this over my coffee mug so that the hot water that drips through will also preheat my mug; just make sure to throw the water away before you add your coffee.
4. Add Hot Water and Stir
The water temperature for the AeroPress often varies, but most of the recipes typically use 200-205 F., Funnily enough, the AeroPress instructions recommend a temperature of 175 F but this not ideal and is nowhere near the optimum coffee brewing temperature in my opinion.
Personally, I recommend using a temperature of around 197 F. In fact, many of the winning championship recipes use water that is just off the boil which is in line with my temperature. The lesson here is that the AeroPress can be brewed at a wide range of temperatures nothing is set in stone, so go ahead and experiment.
When pouring in your water there are two methods either fill half the water, stir and then add the remaining water or add all of the water and stir. To be honest, I have tried both methods, and the difference in the end brew is barely noticeable; I tend to use option two and fill and then stir.
Pour your water up to the position number 1 on the side of the AeroPress, again other recipes will state different water ratios so play around until you find your preferred amount of water.
The most important thing about this step, in my opinion, is to make sure that all the coffee makes contact with the water.
5. Screw On The Filter Cap
Once you’ve added your water firmly hold the AeroPress where the two sections join and carefully screw the filter onto the chamber.
6. Time, Flip and Plunge
This part of the AeroPress instructions can differ, so I strongly recommend to play around with different brew times until you find one that is to your liking. A starting point is a range of 60-90 seconds; I tend to sway more towards the 90-second mark.
When the time has passed, pick up your AeroPress and while firmly holding both chambers slowly flip it over and sit in on top of your coffee mug.
This is the part of the whole brewing method where things can go horribly wrong so be careful because there’s nothing worse than boiling hot coffee flying all over the kitchen; trust me I’ve been there, not pleasant.
Once your AeroPress is sitting on top of your coffee mug, proceed to push the plunger down slowly using a steady press. Fully pushing the plunger down should take around 20-30 seconds, but this can vary depending on the coffee grind used.
A finer grind will make the plunger hard to push down, on the other hand, a more coarse grind will make the plunger easier to push down.
7. Top Up With Water
Once fully plunged remove your AeroPress, essentially what you have now is a coffee concentrate. At this stage, it’s perfectly fine to drink if you enjoy a more espresso style of coffee.
I like to top mine up with hot water to make an Americano, if you choose this route, make sure to give your coffee a stir to make so that the coffee and added water fully mix together.
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