How to Use an AeroPress – Espresso in the Palm of Your Hand

How to Use an AeroPress (and Why You Might Want To)

You might be familiar with a French Press, but do you know how to use an AeroPress and what the differences are between the two?

An AeroPress coffee maker is a device used to make coffee by pressing hot water through ground coffee beans. It is a small, cylindrical device that fits in the palm of your hand and has a plunger on the top that you use to push the water through the coffee. A few advantages of an AeroPress are that it produces a very smooth and rich espresso-type coffee with low acidity and works equally as well (and fast!) for cold brew.

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

About the AeroPress

Coffee / Water Ratio1 / 7 for Espresso and 1 / 15 for Cold Brew (measuring scoop included)
Cupa sturdy mug as you’re pressing the coffee into the cup
Cremayes – with the Fellow Prismo attachment
Brewing Processimmersion brew – coffee and water combine in top chamber for about a minute, and then the coffee is pressed directly into the cup or mug
Benefitsone minute to espresso-style coffee and capable of producing crema with the Prismo attachment
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using an AeroPress, AeroPress coffee making system, making espresso with AeroPress
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Benefits of Coffee Making with an AeroPress

The AeroPress was invented in 2005 but is picking up steam once again. Not only will it take you two minutes to learn how to use an AeroPress, but there are quite a few other benefits to the pressed coffee system.

  • Inexpensive (in the $35 range for the entire kit)
  • Compostable filters or reusable metal filters are available
  • Brews an espresso-style coffee you can turn into an Americano or Latte
  • One-minute process for hot or cold brew
  • 1/5 the acidity of drip brews
  • 1/9 the acidity of French press coffee
  • Portable (AeroPress Go includes a portable cup)
  • No electricity needed
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AeroPress system, AeroPress coffee, what's an AeroPress
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Step-by-Step – How to Use an AeroPress

1. Grab some coffee and boiling water (or cold water if you prefer cold brew).

2. Put a filter in the cap and twist the cap into place

3. Position the stand on a mug.

4. Add one scoop of coffee grounds to the chamber and shake to level them.

5. If you’re using hot water, AeroPress suggests you heat it to 175 degrees.

6. Pour the water into the grounds, and stir for about 10 seconds.

7. Grab the plunger and very slowly start plunging the mixture – when you feel resistance, pause for a few seconds.

8. Continue plunging, and your coffee is ground-free and ready to drink.

Note: One cup of AeroPress coffee is espresso-sized. If you prefer a full cup, you’ll add boiling water to the espresso to make an Americano.

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

How To Produce Crema

While the AeroPress produces espresso-style coffee, it’s missing one thing that many coffee connoisseurs demand – the crema.

If you appreciate espresso with crema, you’ll want to invest in the Fellow Prismo attachment. It’s about $30 and doubles as a filter (so you don’t need to buy paper filters).

The Prismo is a “pressure-activated valve” that attaches to the AeroPress unit. When you use finer-ground coffee and more strength in your “press,” you’ll end up with a delicious cup of espresso with crema (and a coffee disk that can hit the compost heap!).

Spillin’ the Beans Espresso Making Alternatives

Moka Pot


Cezve (or Ibrik)

Nespresso machine

Coffee sticks

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Espresso or Cold Brew On the Go

While you could take the original AeroPress system with you on the road (or wherever you’re heading), AeroPress Go includes a portable cup. So it’s even easier to make coffee at your campsite, in hotels, in the office, you name it. And, if you don’t mind a cold brew, you don’t even need access to boiling water.

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Medium-fine ground coffee is best for AeroPress coffee making, as it provides the best drip-through rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use an AeroPress?

To use an AeroPress, you pop a filter into the cap, put a scoop of medium-fine ground coffee in the chamber, and even it out. Then, fill the chamber with water to the specified line and stir for 10 seconds. Put the plunger on the top and slowly start plunging until you feel a little resistance. Stop for about 10 seconds and then slowly finish plunging the mixture.

What kind of coffee can you make with an AeroPress?

The AeroPress system produces an espresso-style coffee that you can also use as a base for Lattes, Macchiatos, and other variations. If you want a standard cup of coffee, you’ll add boiling water to make an Americano. The AeroPress also makes cold brew coffee in just two minutes.

How do you use an AeroPress for cold brew?

Making a cold brew is similar to espresso-making with an AeroPress. However, instead of filling water to the #1 position as you would for espresso, you’ll pour cold water to the #2 position. The only other difference is that you’ll stir the water and coffee for 60 seconds instead of 10 seconds. After plunging, add ice and a bit more cold water to taste.

Can the AeroPress produce an espresso with crema?

Yes – if you add the Fellow Prismo attachment. The Prismo doubles as a filter and, in combination with finer ground coffee and a harder “press,” creates shots of espresso with crema – in just over 60 seconds!

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
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