How to Make Coffee with an AeroPress

You may have heard of the AeroPress, these are popular brewers for single servings, taking to the office, travel and camping. They combine the immersion method (like a French Press) with a filter and quick brew times. They make about 6 fl. oz of coffee and are pretty easy to clean.

Below are five different methods I like, there are tons of other recipes out there though. There is even a world AeroPress Championship (WAC) with annual winners.

Things you will need:

You may not have a scale handy, but you can pre-measure your scoop weight and the numbers on the side of the chamber as reference in a pinch. Other recipes call for making a more concentrated coffee then adding hot water after the brew is done to get a larger serving size.

Here is my video of the Stumptown method:

Stumptown Method:

17 grams coffee for 220 ml water. Medium/Fine Grind. Water fresh off the boil.

  1. 10-15 second pour
  2. Stir
  3. Place the plunger on at an angle just to cover the brew
  4. 1:15 steep
  5. Stir
  6. Plunge into cup

James Hoffmann Ultimate AeroPress Technique (Slightly Modified):

13 grams coffee for 220 ml water. Medium/Fine Grind. Water fresh off the boil.

  1. Pour in water quickly (but carefully) making sure all grounds get wet
  2. Set the plunger to create a vacuum
  3. 2:00 steep
  4. Swirl
  5. Wait 30 seconds
  6. Plunge into cup

The Inverted Method

The inverted methods ensures that no water will drip through the filter and allows for a better immersion brew, I tend to avoid these because I have kids at home and am afraid someone is going to knock it over and get burned. One option is to purchase a Fellow Prismo attachment that is leak proof and will allow you to use these inverted recipes using the AeroPress the regular way. It also has a reusable metal filter and allows for more pressure for espresso-like extraction.

Be careful not to spill hot water or burn yourself. With this method everything is upside down, the plunger will be on the bottom and the chamber will be on top, make sure to attach the filter and cap before flipping.

17 grams coffee for 200 ml water. Medium/Fine Grind. Water fresh off the boil.

You are using less water because you want the plunger to be seated in a little further to avoid it separating and causing a spill/burns.

  1. Pour 2x weight of coffee (approx. 34 ml) of water
  2. Stir and bloom for 30 seconds
  3. Pour the rest of the water
  4. 1:00 steep
  5. Stir
  6. Secure filter and cap
  7. Place cup on top and flip
  8. Plunge

If you want something more like espresso try these methods. Add milk for something similar to a latte.

Inverted Method for Espresso-like Coffee:

17 grams coffee for 55 ml of water. Fine Espresso Grind. Water fresh off the boil.

  1. Slowly pour the water over about 10 seconds
  2. Swirl/Stir for 15 seconds
  3. Secure filter and cap
  4. Place cup on top and flip
  5. Plunge quickly to complete the brew under 30 seconds

James Hoffman Inverted Method for Espresso-like Coffee:

18 grams coffee for 90 ml of water. Fine Espresso Grind. Water fresh off the boil.

  1. Pour the water
  2. Stir
  3. 1:30 steep
  4. Secure filter and cap
  5. Place cup on top and flip
  6. Swirl
  7. Plunge

If you’re looking for a larger brew size, in a similar immersion/filter style brewer, check out the Clever Dripper.

I’m Ready to Ditch Pods, Now What?

The most common reasons people cite for using pods is that it’s convenient or they need to be able to make only one serving at a time. Let’s try to tackle these:

I just don’t have the time to make coffee in the morning. If you’re willing to grind your coffee the night before and place it in the coffee maker before you go to bed, you have many great options available to you. You can basically use any coffee maker that has a timer or the ability to be used with a timer. The Technivorm Moccamaster series is an excellent coffee maker that is highly recommended, however it doesn’t include a timer. Since its power switch can be left in the on position, a workaround for this is to hook it up to your smart plug and set it to turn on and off at certain times. You can even set it up to turn on by saying “Alexa, turn on coffee maker” while crawling out of bed. If you don’t want the trouble of that the OXO Brew 9 Cup is an excellent choice with a timer function, if you have one of their other kitchen appliances the look and feel will be familiar to you. Both of these brewers are great machines, check out all our reviews and recommendations for other options.

Here is a full list of home brewers that have been certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). Any of these will brew excellent coffee from your excellent beans. Unless you plan to transfer your coffee to a travel mug or cup within 20 minutes of brewing, pick a model with a thermal carafe over a warming plate.

They make brewers that have built in grinders, but those have mixed reviews and reliability issues. For best results you should have a standalone grinder. Those brewers will make better coffee than using pods, but for that extra effort of a separate grinder the results will be better and offer a lot more versatility for other types of brewing also. Also some of the lower end models don’t even offer grind adjustment which is a big part of making good coffee.

Make cold brew. Cold brew is easy to make in large batches and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use a coarse grind with a 1:8 ratio of grams of coffee to milliliters of water and let it in steep for 24 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally. After that use a sieve to remove the large grounds then run it through a paper filter. Add milk or water to taste. This is one brewing method where you don’t need to use your best and freshest beans, for many this is actually the way they use up stale beans without wasting them. Reduce the ratio to 1:4 for cold brew concentrate and add water or milk to taste. I did another post with more detail about cold brew if you want to check it out.

I need the option to make only one serving. All of the coffee makers mentioned above have the option for making different brew sizes, however for most of them that means adjusting the amount of water in the machine as most will brew until the water runs out. For a multi-serve brewer where you can select a brew size, check out the Ninja CM401. If you are willing to spend a little more time you can look into the pour over process which is my personal favorite. Brewers such as the Hario Switch (makes about 14 fl. oz) or AeroPress (makes about 6 fl. oz) are great at making single servings and easy to use at the office. Your pod machine doesn’t offer size choices, only selections for how diluted you want your coffee to be. So if you think the Keurig is making you a 12 fl. oz. cup, it’s actually making you a 6 fl. oz. cup with twice the water.