I’ve owned a Keurig for years and while I enjoy the convenience, the quality of the coffee has always been spotty. I’ve tried so many different K-Cups and every time I have found one that I liked, they either altered the blend or I eventually grew tired of it. There used to be lots of different brands and blends to choose from, but then Keurig started to buy out and dismantle the competition under the Green Mountain brand.
Once they had a monopoly on the K-Cups, the prices started going up and the quality started going down. Luckily, other brands started making unauthorized pods that were totally not K-Cups but still somehow totally fit into the machine. I started using the Fog Chaser blend from San Francisco Bay Coffee. Their pods make a stronger, more flavorful cup and they don’t have all the plastic that an authorized K-Cup has, so there’s less waste. They are also almost half the price of a K-Cup.
I kept hearing about this weird plunger contraption made by some weird toy company that was previously famous for making a weird device that was most definitely not a Frisbee. Obviously, I am not a coffee snob (see above for proof), but I was still pretty skeptical about trusting a toy maker with something as important as my go to caffeine delivery system.
Normally, when we’re not just making a coffee for a quick boost or to recover after a tough night of baby sleep regression, we’ll bust out the Bodum French press. While the press is able to make a great cup of coffee, it takes some time and precise measuring to get it right. Cleaning a French press is truly a pain au chocolat (that’s French for pain in the ass, right?) and can almost cancel out the joy of having the nice cup of coffee. Also, French presses are notorious for delivering a more bitter cup of coffee, so that can be discouraging.
Enter the AeroPress. When I first opened the box, I was most definitely underwhelmed by the seven pieces of black plastic that lay strewn before me. I dubiously consulted the instructions and learned (in many, many languages) that I really only needed to be concerned with three of the pieces. The other four consisted of a terribly designed spoon, which is best used as anything but a spoon, a stirring tool, a filter holder, and a funnel, which actually comes in pretty handy as coffee grounds tend to clump when you are desperately trying to pour them into the press while in a caffeine-depleted stupor. The important pieces are the base, the filter holder and the plunger. I am sure that there are more official names, but these seem to suffice.
So I finished reading the instructions, watched a few how to videos and experimented to find a method that would be quick, easy and consistent. Here is what works for me:
- Grind the beans for 30 seconds because the AeroPress process requires a very finely ground coffee.
- I marked little Rubbermaid containers with the amount of grounds that taste good to me, so now I just pre-fill the containers and cap them until needed (around two ounces by volume).
- I start some water boiling in my electric kettle.
- I add a paper filter to the holder (some people wet it first), attach it to the base and place the base over a coffee mug. I then add the ground coffee using the aforementioned funnel.
- I remove the kettle when it’s steaming, but not yet boiling, and fill the base to the number 2 marking. I then use the stirring tool to mix the grounds with the water.
- I insert the plunger, but only enough to keep it in place. I turn the kettle back on and then, after 30 seconds, I slowly depress the plunger until it compresses the grounds.
- I remove the AeroPress, twist off the filter holder and push the plunger to eject the used coffee grounds into the trash. They come out in a very neat little disc that resembles a hockey puck. A quick rinse of the AeroPress is all you need to prepare for the next cup.
- Once the water in the kettle is completely boiling, I add some to the coffee concentrate in the mug. The amount you add will depend on how strong you like your coffee. Personally, I add an amount of water that is equal to the amount of coffee.
- Add cream and/or sugar to taste and enjoy.
I’ve had 20-25 cups of coffee from the AeroPress and I have yet to be let down. It consistently makes the smoothest, most flavorful cup of coffee I’ve ever had, and it’s literally good to the last drop. Unlike other methods, no grounds make it into the cup so you never have to deal with the dreaded dregs ever again.
The AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker makes an amazing cup of coffee in a really short amount of time. Clean up is easy and the price cannot be beat. The only downfall is that it’s somewhat tough to do with a baby in one hand. If you are a coffee drinker then this is a must have.