Coffee Talk

March 30, 2011

A few weeks ago I purchased the Aeropress coffee and espresso maker based on a recommendation by Marco Arment on his Build and Analyze podcast.  I could not be happier.  Here's what it looks like:

I know what you're thinking: WTF that does not look like a coffee maker.  Trust me: this thing works.

The Aeropress itself only costs $23 on Amazon ($29 with a bunch of extra filters).

You need to get coffee ground finer than usual.  The term used by Aeropress is "finer than drip."  I was about to buy a new semi-expensive grinder to really go nuts here but decided against it.  It would be hard to beat the grinding equipment at most coffee shops and if I were to make weekly trips a grinder wouldn't really be necessary.

How I get the coffee:

  • Head to nearby Starbucks
  • Pick up bag of whole bean coffee (Breakfast blend is my favorite right now)
  • Ask barista to grind coffee on level 7

Don't walk into Starbucks and say you need finer than drip coffee for something with press in the name.  This confuses them because french press settings are coarser than what we're looking for here.  I explained that I needed finer than drip but not espresso fine.  On the third trip I was able to get something much more direct: the grind setting number.  They have ground the bag at 7 for the past two weeks and that seems to be just right.

To make the coffee:

  • Insert filter into cap and screw to the bottom
  • Place apparatus directly onto mug
  • Scoop 2 servings worth of coffe into the tube
  • Heat water in kettle or on stove to 175 degrees
  • Pour into tube
  • Stir for 10 seconds
  • Wet plunger, insert into tube and slowly push down to the bottom
  • Whats left at the bottom of the mug is essentially a double espresso
  • Top off the mug with remaining 175 degree water for a full cup of coffee

This may seem like a hassle but its not that bad.  In fact, I kind of like manually constructing my cup in the morning.

The coffee comes out smooth as hell and tastes great.  Plus its super easy to keep clean.  So long Mr. Coffee. :)