Why I love the Aeropress!Background
Invented in 2005, the Aeropress has fast become a staple amongst coffee connoisseurs around the world – and for good reason! Lightweight, versatile, and cost-effective (approximately $40 for a full kit), the Aeropress is a must!
Rather unique in its design, the Aeropress combines brewing methodologies from a few different areas. This unit brews the water and coffee together in a vessel (French Press-style), and then the mixture is pressed (via piston action) through a filter at the bottom of the vessel (much like an espresso machine/filter coffee maker). The resulting brew is rich and complex that maximises the flavour potential of each cup. There are also innumerable recipes out there for people to test out, and really home in on which one they like best.
For the Aeropress, the intimate relationship between coffee grind size, brewing time, and water volume, is vitally important. Depending on how strong you like your coffee, several ratios of grinds to water can be employed. For stronger cups, a 75-100g/L ratio is common. So a standard cup of coffee would require approximately 20-25g/250mL. Personally, I tend not to go beyond a 60g/1L ratio, as that range tends to provide the best flavour profile for my palate – but to each their own!
As far as grind size goes, the Aeropress tends to work best when the grinds are on the finer side. Of course, if you like longer brew/steep times, then definitely go for a coarser grind!
One of the many features that I love about the Aeropress is how easy it is to use – particularly in the backcountry! From set-up to takedown, this unit is very user-friendly – it’s lightweight, portable, and easy to clean. If you scale it down for backcountry use, you will have a coffee brewing powerhouse that yields a consistent cup of coffee every time!
For the backcountry, I scale this unit back by leaving the following at home: the stir rod (use a small camping spatula or spoon instead); the funnel (use wide mouth cups, and just be accurate with your grind transfer! haha); and the paper filters (instead, use a metal filter – easy to clean and saves on waste!).
However, it should be noted, that for all its glory, the Aeropress does have a couple of detractors for use in the backcountry, including: 1) use-specific design that creates bulk in a pack; and 2) it only makes one cup at a time.
The Aeropress, in my opinion, is an amazing invention and an invaluable addition to the long list of coffee brewing methods. This unit is equally adept in both urban and backcountry environments (unlike various other methods), and therefore ranks pretty high on my list on top coffee brewers – versatility is a huge asset! And while it may add a bit of bulk to my pack, the quality of the cup brewed makes it all the more worthwhile to bring along on my adventures!
The Quick and Dirty: AeropressPros
Consistent high-quality cup yield
Adds bulk to pack
Produces only one cup at a time
Hoffman, J. (2016). The World Atlas of Coffee. Ontario, Canada: Firefly Books Ltd. Pp. 85-87.