My Aeropress Recipe – 2014 Update

Aeropress plungeWhile writing a recent post on coffee pod machines, I looked back on my original Aeropress recipe and brewing method in use at the time. Now almost a year ago, I think it’s time to write an update of the recipe and method I am now using, given it is quite different to the original.

Although many readers will be well aware of the Aeropress as a brewing method, for those that aren’t, the Aeropress is a total immersion brewing system, which forces water through ground coffee by a large syringe like plunge mechanism, which pushes a pocket of air, forcing water through the coffee grounds at pressure.

According to the manufacturer Aerobie (yes the same company which invented the flying disc), the benefits of the Aeropress include:

Total immersion of the grounds in the water
results in rapid yet robust extraction of flavor.

Total immersion permits extraction at
a moderate temperature, resulting in a smoother brew.

Air pressure shortens filtering time to 20
seconds. This avoids the bitterness of long
processes such as drip brewing.

Why the Aeropress?

Although the Hario V60 pourover is probably my favourite form of filter brewing, the Aeropress has been a great method to use in the office due to its ease of use, minimal clean up, and being a little sturdier than the glass french press chambers I have chipped or completely broken on occasion. In terms of clean up, the Aeropress beats the french press hands down, with the spent coffee “puck” ejected straight into the bin, and a quick rinse of the filter cap, chamber and plunger completing the process.

As for the resulting brew made by the Aeropress, I have always found this to be smooth and well-balanced. Probably not quite as crisp and bright as the V60, but very enjoyable none the less. Although the recipe below uses the standard paper filter (of which 350 are included with the purchase of an Aeropress), using a metal filter disc allows more oils and some fines from the ground into the brew, providing a fuller bodied cup if that is your preference. Whilst negating the need for paper filters and more convenient for travel, the disc then becomes another item in the post brew cleaning process.

Overall, I see the Aeropress continuing to be a mainstay in my brewing repertoire for some time to come.

My Aeropress Brew Method

As I have already mentioned, the recipe below is certainly different (and more enjoyable) than the one I was using 12 months ago. The reason for the change? In part due to always working towards a better brew, however mainly due to attending an outstanding brew class at the Cup Specialty Coffee roastery here in Brisbane. The following recipe works well for me both in terms of the resulting brew, as well as overall convenience, and has a total time of about 1 minute and 15 seconds:

  • 12–14g coffee (med-fine grind; on the finer side)
  • 200g water (full chamber)
  • pre-heat chamber and cup; place filter paper in cap and rinse
  • assemble plunger slightly into chamber; invert
  • add ground coffee into chamber
  • add shot of chilled water^, then a little hot and rest 10–20 secs to bloom
  • fill remaining chamber with boiling water (swirling as fill)
  • screw on cap with filter paper
  • apply gently downward pressure to chamber to squeeze out air through cap
  • flip Aeropress onto cup
  • at 45 seconds, commence a 30 second press time (1 min 15 sec total brew time)
  • enjoy your coffee after minimal clean-up

^ As I am limited to the “always boiling” hot water urn in the office rather than a kettle, the shot of chilled, filtered water cools the overall brew a little and avoids dumping boiling water directly onto the ground coffee.

Aeropress fullAeropress cap


Aeropress cupSo, there you have it. My updated Aeropress brewing recipe. I’ll be sure to post an update again in another year or so should this change significantly. I’d encourage you to seriously consider this form of brewing both for variety and convenience, if it sounds like something that may suit your needs (and taste).

As always, there are many resources floating around on the web as far as recipes and techniques are concerned. Here are a couple to get you started, although a quick Google search will lead to many more:

Speaking of Aeropress championships, I am looking forward to getting along and watching the QLD rounds at Strauss in Brisbane in a few weeks time. Wait…no…am I going to have to change my recipe again?

What’s Brewing – El Salvador Miravalle CoE

El Salvador CoEPurchased in the same Ministry Grounds run-out sale of Cup of Excellence offerings as the previously reviewed Guatemalan CoE, this coffee certainly did not disappoint. You may remember the Guatemalan took a little “wearing in” before I truly discovered its magic – well this El Salvador was a more straight down the line brew.

Let’s see how it tasted.

El Salvador Miravalle CoE Lot 12 2013
– City: Santa Ana
– Region: Santa Ana
– Variety: Bourbon, Pacas, Kenya
– Processing: Washed
– Lot Size: 36 boxes
– Altitude: 1,650 metres above sea level
– Farmer: Doctor Jaime Ernesto Riera Menendez
– International jury score: 86.33

Finca Miravalle is located on the Ilamatec Mountain Range on the fertile foothills of El Salvador’s Santa Ana volcano at an average altitude of 1,650 metres above sea level. Due to it’s high altitude Miravalle’s coffee berries ripen slowly, which allows the sweetness and complexity to develop in the cup.

Information courtesy Ministry Grounds

Latte, V60 Pour over, Aeropress

Latte – although many would consider your CoE’s to be best appreciated “uncontaminated” by milk, this coffee was certainly very enjoyable in my morning latte[1]. The flavours were able to cut through the milk well enough to provide a good platform for the citrus notes, whilst having enough body to create a well-rounded drink.

V60 – Similar to the Guatemalan, a definite stand out method of brewing. Fantastic balance between the acidity and body, with increasing sweetness as the drink progressively cooled. When consumed as a filter, the purity of the citrus and lime flavours really shine through. Immensely enjoyable, and I often found myself brewing enough for two cups rather than my usual one with the V60 (though limiting myself to one at any given time is an effort in itself – regardless of the variety)

Aeropress – There was certainly a contrast between the V60 and Aeropress forms of brewing. At times there was quite a lolly-like taste quality similar to a toffee apple, with a thicker mouthfeel and longer finish. A great mid-afternoon boost in the office.

Conclusion; Know This
Although in my opinion not quite to the heights of the Guatemalan CoE of the last review, this coffee scored ever so slightly higher in the CoE judging (86.33 vs 85.83 for the Guatemalan). Whether or not this is indicative of my amateurish palate or not, it is pretty safe to say I enjoyed both immensely. This is best demonstrated by the fact that all bar about 100 grams of the 2 kg purchased I consumed myself, with very few beans going to family, which sounds terrible I know, but these were something special (now that I write that, so are my family – more will be shared next time!).

Although now out of stock, be sure to keep an eye out for these varieties next season, they are well worth the money.

Overall Rating: 4/5

  1. I also endeavour to try as many of the different forms of brewing I use on a daily basis with all of the coffees I roast.  ↩

What’s Brewing – Guatemala Finca la Maravilla CoE

Although now out of stock at Ministry Grounds, I was pleased to get my hands on one of the last remaining bags of this particular coffee. Although I had sampled similar Cup of Excellence offerings at various brew bars around town, I had yet to roast my own CoE. In retrospect, though not a conscious decision, I suspect the slightly higher green price made me a little hesitant to throw it in my home roaster.

Perhaps this suspicion was warranted, as it was not until the second roast batch a couple of weeks after the first did I feel I did the coffee justice. The evolution of my roasting to a lighter roast with more gentle heat increment seemed to better suit the flavour profile of this bean in the cup. Variations in roast batches aside, in the end things turned out pretty well – let’s see how it tasted.

Guatemala La Maravilla CoE Lot 17 2013
– City / Region: La Libertad, Huehuetenango
– Altitude: 1,650–1,800 metres above sea level
– Variety: Bourbon, Caturra
– Processing: Fully Washed and dried on patio
– Farmer: Mauricio Rosales Vasquez
– Farm size: 24.68 hectares
– Cup of Excellence score: 85.83
– Lot size: 42 cartons

The harvest season at La Maravilla is from January to April. For quality control purposes they monitor traceability from handpicking right through until final delivery, and cup individual day lots. The coffee is processed by traditional wet mill and is sun-dried on patios,and then stored in a wood warehouse.

Information courtesy Ministry Grounds Coffee

Latte, V60 Pour over, Aeropress

Latte – When combined with milk, the resulting drink was a creamy, buttery, medium bodied, malt apple concoction. Probably not the most refined description, however those were the words jotted down in my Field Notes tasting record at the time. Overall, quite an enjoyable milk based drink first thing in the morning. Due to slight daily variations in my espresso based brewing, some days I end up with all of these flavours standing proudly – other days not so, and therefore was little hit and miss for me (my technique variation the culprit here I’m sure).

V60 – Probably the pick of the bunch as far as the brew methods I experimented with. I note many recent What’s Brewing posts lack an espresso tasting component. As mentioned in another post which seems like an eternity ago, I consume these coffees as espresso somewhat less than I used to, preferring longer form brewing methods a little more these days. Back to the V60 and how this Guatemalan fares through the filter.

There was something about this CoE that became apparent with repeated brews through the V60. To my fairly varied yet still amateur palate, the complexities of the flavour profile took a little while to become apparent to me. To explain a little, from the very first cup this was a very, very enjoyable coffee, however not the instantaneous – oh boy! moment that often occurs with great tasting brews. My initial thoughts were that I was missing something – and couldn’t quite describe to myself what I was really tasting. Until one day sitting drinking yet another cup, it was suddenly – there it is.

A feature of my still developing coffee palate? Just a better day? A better roast? A better brew technique? I certainly have no idea which one is responsible – perhaps all of the above. Whatever the key factor was, it certainly had me thinking – I still have a lot to learn about this coffee roasting and brewing game.

For some reason the subtleties suddenly became more obvious, with a bright citrus acidity, cherry and apple flavours combining to form almost a wine like flavour, with a hint of bergamot as the brew cooled. Similar flavours, though infinitely more refined than the dump and bash of the Aeropress (see below). The flavours just seemed to compliment each other much better, and although more subtle, with a little thought were probably more apparent all along than I had realised (characteristics of a Cup of Excellence perhaps, though more likely related to my position a very small way along a considerable learning curve).

Aeropress – Given this is my mid-afternoon office brew, I prefer not to be fiddling about too much and prefer to get in and out of the communal kitchen as efficiently as possible.

As a result, I had shied away from the inverted brew method (fearing disasters and incurring the wrath of those perhaps annoyed by a coffee snob in their midst), until learning the following method in a Brew Class at the Cup Coffee Roastery in December last year. The entire process is mess free and pretty quick, at 1:15 total time:

  • 12–14g coffee (slightly finer grind than usual); 200g water
  • Aeropress inverted
  • Shot of chilled water, then hot to fill chamber (swirling as fill)^
  • Add rinsed filter paper and cap
  • gently squeeze out air
  • flip Aeropress onto cup
  • 30 second press time
  • enjoy the brew after minimal clean-up

^ As I am limited to the “always boiling” hot water urn rather than a kettle, the shot of chilled, filtered water cools the overall brew a little and avoids dumping boiling water directly onto the ground coffee.

The result is a refreshing bright cup, with a hint of apple, along with a citrus orange acidity, and also seems a little herby. Somewhere in there was also a hint of cherry jam (hey! – that’s what my notes said). A bright clean finish made for a very enjoyable brew.

Conclusion; Know This
Despite my initial roast batch not reaching the heights of the second go around with this coffee, as you may have gathered, this has perhaps been one of my favourite varieties so far. Its one thing to taste a coffee and note down a few flavours and tastes that show through, however entirely another to suddenly sense how they all fit together. Eloquent is not a word I would use in describing how well I have written about this particular coffee above, however have given it my best shot.

In summary, let’s just say it was like one of those albums that upon first listen you think is OK, then by the fourth or fifth run though it becomes one of your all time favourites. Whilst there are many more varieties yet to sample, and this may not end up as one of my all time favourites, it is certainly up there in the mix.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5