Aerobie AeroPress Review
As a coffee lover, I am a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I was not familiar with the concept of an AeroPress when I was tasked with testing and writing the Aerobie AeroPress review – it had just never crossed my path.
I guess I was just never actively looking for it – happy as I was with my various machines to try and perfect my morning cup of coffee. You never see one being used in a coffee shop, and they would know what makes the best coffee, right?
The logic here is sound to a point, but of course, where it falls down is that coffee shops tend to work on a slightly larger scale compared to me in my kitchen (and if they aren’t, getting in an AeroPress is probably the last thing on their mind!)
So I went into using an AeroPress for the first time with absolutely no preconceptions, apart from being a little excited about trying out a new way to make a great cup of coffee. Despite trying my best to remain impartial when I review any product, it is rare to find myself in this state of complete ignorance (although my wife has asked me to stress that this only applies to the coffee industry).
Let’s find out what all the fuss is about in our full Aerobie AeroPress review.
Aerobie AeroPress Specifications
The first thing that jumped out at me was that there was no plug (like I said complete ignorance). This made perfect sense once I had familiarised myself with the process, but in an industry so heavily influenced by technology and machinery, it was quite refreshing to see something that is operated manually.
It measures 13 x 13 x 27.99 cm at its biggest (when the ‘syringe’ is fully extended), which makes it an incredibly compact tool – easy to store away in a cupboard when it is not being used (again, not something that is always true of many coffee makers). It is also incredibly light, weighing just 454g, which makes it very portable as well.
This is a feature not lost on Aerobie, who also provide a nice little tote bag to carry it around in – they really push the fact that this product is for people that want good coffee wherever they are, and is perfect for taking into the office or on trips away.
On top of the unit itself and the bag, you also get a scoop, stirrer and a funnel included in the pack, and crucially you get a large bundle of filters (350), which will last you a long time. When you do run out, you can buy replacement bundles that work out at a little more than 1p per filter.
It has a capacity of 0.35l, which we found is ample to make a decent cup, and you have the option of topping it up with water from your kettle depending on what sort of coffee you are making.
The coffee is made using gentle air pressure, generated by the main cylinders, which forces the water through the micro-filter, leaving a smooth, grit-free coffee.
Well, that’s the theory at least, let’s see how it performs.
What Is The Aerobie AeroPress Like To Use?
They really have made this as easy to use as possible – there isn’t much that it’s possible to get wrong.
First, pop the kettle on. While that is working away, pop a paper filter onto the coffee puck, and then place it on to the top part of the device. I have seen some people recommend giving your paper filter a quick rinse before use, which is never a bad idea with paper filters as they can have a tiny affect on the taste. Then, you can measure out your coffee grounds – I would suggest between one and one-and-a-half scoops depending on how strong you like your coffee.
You place the coffee in the cylinder so that it rests on top of the filter – this is when you can use the funnel if you think you might not have the required accuracy! Give the device a quick shake to level out the coffee.
By this time, your kettle should have boiled (after a few goes, you’ll have the timings down to a fine art). Pour in the required amount of water (again, this will come down to preference so worth experimenting with), leave it to brew for a few moments and then give it a quick stir with the stirrer.
Next, you place the AeroPress on ‘a sturdy cup’ according to the instructions, by which I think they mean ‘a cup’. Insert the plunger, and press down for between 20 and 40 seconds, pausing every time you feel some resistance so not to force the water through too quickly. There is something quite wholesome about the manual process – you really feel like you are making the coffee, you’re not just pressing a button on a machine.
That’s basically it. From there it will depend on what sort of coffee you have made. If you’ve gone for an espresso, you can simply top it up with water from the kettle to make it into an americano, or leave it as an espresso. If you’ve added more water to make a larger cup of filter coffee, then you are done, other than adding any milk that you require.
Now for the cleaning: but don’t worry, it’s not as tiresome as you’re expecting. Simply push the plunger all the way to the bottom to pop off the coffee puck, and give it a quick rinse, ideally with some hot water left over in the kettle. Remove the paper filter from the coffee puck, give that a quick rinse, and you’re done. No descaling, no complicated bits to take apart and clean separately – two quick rinses and you’re back to your coffee, which is probably still too hot to drink at this point!
Since my first use, I have learned about ‘The Inverted Method’ of using an AeroPress. When doing this, you insert the plunger first, before you attach the coffee puck, and tip the device upside down, so it rests with the plunger on your worktop.
Then you add your coffee and water and leave it to brew, before then applying the coffee puck and inverting the AeroPress and placing it over your cup. Using this method means that your coffee doesn’t start dripping through the filter until you want it to, which can create a stronger cup.
AeroPress Taste Test
So it’s simple to use? Great, but if I was only interested in getting coffee quickly, I’d just have instant coffee. What we need to know is whether this makes a good cup of coffee.
I’ve got to be honest with you, I was surprised by the results. As someone who has spent quite a bit of money over the years on filter machines, pod coffee machines etc, I wasn’t expecting much from, what is ultimately, two cylinders of plastic.
Not for the first time, though, my ignorance was exposed! You get really good results with the Aerobie Aeropress – a smooth, strong coffee, and because of the simple nature of the process, you get consistent results every time.
There is scope for experimentation – more coffee, longer brewing time, normal vs inverted method, which is something I always look for. I always find that part of the fun when making coffee is tinkering with the process to try and get your perfect cup.
I end up almost always adding this caveat when reviewing a coffee making device, but please remember that the results you get from every way of making your coffee will only ever be as good as the coffee you put into it. Take your time to make sure you find a good one – we recommend buying the beans and grinding them yourself to get the freshest cup, but at the very least, shop around to get a great ground coffee.
I really didn’t know what to expect from an AeroPress – a fact made abundantly clear when I was looking for the plug! The truth is though, that I’m not sure I would be able to tell the difference between a cup made with this and a cup made with my all-singing all-dancing filter coffee machine.
Obviously, the machines will have plenty of features that an AeroPress will never be able to complete with – the heat plate, a milk frother etc. So to be clear, I have not reached the point where I am throwing away my expensive gadgets and relying on one of these full-time, and if you mainly drink the fancier milky coffees, I think you should be looking at alternatives.
However, I firmly believe there is space in everyone’s kitchen for one of these, both figuratively and literally. They are so quick to make a really good cup of coffee, with virtually no maintenance required – everything can be done in under a minute.
The portability is another huge advantage – they are great for taking into the office, or if you would like the best morning coffee on the campsite. You never have to settle for a substandard coffee, no matter where you are.
I haven’t mentioned the price up to now – the simplicity of the design means that it is one of the cheapest ways to make coffee, and with no discernible dip in quality, I am really struggling to think of a reason why you shouldn’t buy one.