I have experimented on a number of different methods, and probably the one that suits me best at the current time is based (similar ratios, different exact measurements) around that published by Tim Wendleboe, who, amongst other things, was the 2004 World Barista Champion.
Firstly, my method has evolved from specifically measuring and weighing both the ground coffee and water added each and every time, to one based on consistent volumes measured by “eye” (grinding directly into the Aeropress scoop which gives me 12g by weight) and filling the brewing chamber to number 3 (thus adding 150g of water). I am a firm believer in using specific weights and measures to gain an understanding of what you are trying to achieve, and then, where possible, obtaining consistent results using more practical markers which avoid the need for excessive amounts of tinkering and effort. Particularly when all you want is the brew you have been yearning for since rising (perhaps weigh and measure for the second cup of the day, once your eyes are actually open!).
Many other variables will influence what ultimately ends up in your cup, the obvious one being the quality and roast level of beans you are using. I have found greater satisfaction with light to medium roasts, with some of the fruitier African origin beans more suited to my taste preferences. Other variables include water temperature (off the boil, 92–95 degrees celsius), coarseness of grind (coarse initially, but experiment yourself a bit here; definitely grind just prior to brewing), and stirring/steep time (refer below).
One thing you will most likely notice should you linger over the cup long enough, is the altering flavour profiles as the brew cools – certainly something I’d encourage experimenting with, as this can often lead to some surprising results.
So in summary, here we have it.
- 12g coffee (coarse grind)
- 150g water (92–95 degrees celsius; just pre or off the boil)
- add just enough water to cover and wet all grounds to allow for bloom
- after 10 seconds, add remaining water to number 3 on chamber
- stir 3 times then seal chamber with plunger (don’t press)
- press after 60 seconds
- enjoy !!
No doubt you will notice some differences between my exact process, and the one outlined by Tim on his site (particularly if you view the video, as I do not routinely use Barry White as background brewing music – though I acknowledge it probably works quite well!). Ultimately, it will come down to both your own personal preferences and practicalities of how much time and effort you wish to expend each and every time you brew. I’d encourage you to read around, as there is certainly no end to the recipes and resources on this, and many other brewing methods.
One other point to note, I have yet to try the inverted brew method that is also quite popular, however I had done enough tinkering to the point of settling on the above. That experiment is for another day.
I would be very interested to hear any other recipes or techniques that work for you. Please let me know in the comments below.