Welcome to my very first product review! It is purely my opinion and earns me nothing of monetary value! (I discovered – purely by accident – how to make the ™. It will be used liberally.)
I received the Aeropress™ (see?) as a gift many years ago and was not impressed with it. I had never heard of it and was not given a proper introduction, so I didn’t appreciate what an amazing gift this was. It wasn’t until years later, drinking instant coffee in Australia due to lack of funds, that I came to understand just how valuable this treasure is! Now, Is the Aeropress really that good?
Yes, hands down, it is the most versatile, portable, durable, light, and easy-to-clean-up coffee maker on the market that still makes quality coffee. A better product is unlikely to be developed with our current technology. Buy it. Buy it now.
Again, I am not being paid for this, and none of the links are affiliates, so you can trust that I’m being honest with you. I push this on everyone who wants to level up their coffee game. I get no money from this site at all… yet.
Let’s take a look at what you get when you buy one:
What does it come with?
At the reasonable price of $30-40 USD (depending on reseller), this is what you’ll get:
- Plunger: technically non-essential if you go with the standard brewing method, but it isn’t something you want to do without. Plus, it fits perfectly inside the chamber, cutting down on space. Fun fact: the plunger holds exactly 1 cup of liquid!
- Chamber: essential for everything you do. It is the main compartment, the “brew chamber”.
- Filter Cap: It holds the filter and is an essential component. Probably the easiest to lose of the main bits.
- Filters: I’ll get to this later (see: Easy to Clean Up), but the ones that come with the package are paper.
- Funnel: Helpful if you absolutely cannot spill a single grain, but if you have even slightly jittery hands, you will still be able to make do without it.
- Filter Holder: Nice when you’re in a stable location, but not necessary.
- Scoop: Useful if you don’t care about precision, but generally useless if you plan to measure by weight, which most coffee aficionados recommend.
- Stirrer: Depending on if you have the standard Aeropress or the Aeropress Go, it will be slightly different. A spoon would work, but it’s a nice touch.
As you can see from my descriptions, I find a lot of the pieces to be nice frills, but the meat and potatoes are #1-4. If you have only those, you have all the equipment you need. That’s what I travel with, and it makes me happy.
Want to know exactly how convenient it is to use? Watch this short clip:
It’s from the official Aeropress site. It really is that easy. I just wish they’d show the leftover coffee puck being ejected.
- Dimensions: 4.75 x 4.5 x 11.75 inches (package)
- Liquid Capacity: ~1.25 cups / ~10oz
- Minimum Brew time: 30s
- Weight: 6.4 oz (package)
- Material: Silicone (seal); all other parts are made of Polypropylene, which the site stated was more durable and free of BPA and Phthalates since 2009.
What are the numbers for on the side of the Aeropress?
They are volumetric markers.
Depending on the recipe, it may tell you “fill grinds to 1, fill up to 3 with water” or whatever. I can’t say I’ve ever used them myself, as I prefer to measure by other means. I’d like to list the exact volume at each point, but even their official website doesn’t seem to deem it necessary, so I couldn’t find them.
Through my own measurement up to the top of each number, it appears that they amount to the following fluid measurements:
- ~⅓ cup / ~4oz
- ~½ cup / ~5oz
- ~⅘ cup / ~7oz
- ~1 ¼ cup / ~8oz
These are measured guesstimates, but they’re better than the official site will provide… which is nothing.
I recommend using a digital scale for these things, but if you don’t have them, the numbers can be an easier shorthand.
Even when writing that intro, I knew that the Aeropress™ was pretty good for a variety of drinks, but it has even more extras than you’d guess. There are some add-ons that you can buy that further increase its capabilities. Here’s a video that demonstrates 9 ways to use it!
Standard and Inversion Brewing
The Aeropress was designed in such a way that you can either place it directly on the cup (standard method) and have gravity pull the water down through the grounds, or you can flip it upside down (inversion method) and let it steep for even longer before flipping it back over onto a cup.
Personally, I find the inversion method to be redundant, but some people swear by it. Don’t take my word for it; do what you think is best. Play around with it!
When researching my article on how to make cold brew, I came across some people that actually use the Aeropress™ for cold brew, and that just seemed ridiculous. For real: they were using this 1.25 cup device to make cold brew overnight. Why bother?
But there were others that made it slightly more reasonable by suggesting you could steep the coffee and water together in a large pitcher, then use the Aeropress™ to filter it, but I can’t imagine how that’s practical, either.
Do you pour it, wait, then do it again and again until you’re done? That’d take forever! Alternatively, do you have to plunge it and waste a filter each time?
No, that’s just silly. If you have the time and desire, no judgments, but the most reasonable approach I found is…
I came across this interesting little add-on that was both useful and affordable! Check out the Puck Puck™, which attaches to the top of the Aeropress™ and allows you to adjust the rate of flow as it drips cold water onto the grounds – much like one of those cool cold brew towers.
The best part: if you lose the part that attaches to the top, you can use a standard water bottle for the same effect!
Really neat, and I can’t wait for mine to arrive.
The good thing about the Aeropress (using the standard brew method) is that it filters in a series of drops. If you have ice in your cup, it’ll rapidly cool them off and, once it’s done filtering, it’ll already be pleasantly cold. Very nice.
Oddly, people say this can make espresso. Here’s one video dedicated directly to making espresso using the Aeropress. His channel is small, so show some love, would you?
Depending how broadly we define espresso, I suppose a standard Aeropress™ can approximate it. But many consider it to require 9 bars of pressure.
“What’s a bar of pressure?” You may be wondering. So did I. Apparently, it’s ~1kg of pressure per square centimeter. By my estimate, the Aeropress™ is roughly 8cm².
Since you need 9 bars of pressure, that’s 72kg of pressure (8*9=72).
To reach your coveted 9 bars of pressure™, you’d need a 158lbs person™ to stand directly on top of the Aeropress™. (Ok, fine, I’ll stop with the trademarks™(last one)).
Totally doable! /s
(the “/s” means the previous statement was sarcasm)
Never fret, there is another add-on which allows for espresso, but… well, I didn’t get this one because I don’t care enough about espresso. It’s called the Prismo Aeropress Attachment.
Another reason I didn’t get it was because it costs more than the Aeropress itself. I find that hard to justify.
In either case, it promises to make your Aeropress that much closer to an espresso machine, likely adding an extra bar or two of pressure.
In case you missed it earlier, this video goes over 9 ways to make coffee with the Aeropress (same as the embedded video at the start of this section), and it is where I actually discovered Puck Puck and the Prismo. While most of these methods are variations of the same, some stood out.
If you cut the fat and stick to the essentials (#1-4 from “What does it come with?”), then it only weighs 235g / 0.52lbs. Basically nothing. Even a backpacker can probably spare the extra weight for this.
As James Hoffman mentioned in an offhand comment, you could also fit a tiny grinder inside (such as this one), making it even more compact! Or you could use it to store a pair of socks or two. How you prioritize your luggage space is up to you.
They also have the Aeropress Go – a newer version that’s even more compact, and all fits within the portable cup that comes with it. It’s neat, but… kind of odd because the main complaint about the Aeropress is that it isn’t big enough, and the main strength is how good it was for portability.
So, what did they do? They made it smaller and really doubled down on that portability. It’s definitely not worth switching to if you have the previous version, but I think it’s neat if you’re a camper or someone who doesn’t know if cups will be available.
Here’s James Hoffman’s review of the Go.
And here it is on Amazon.
On their website, they said that they wanted to make it see-through, like glass, but that they couldn’t do that if they wanted to remove the BPA from the materials.
They also state in no uncertain terms that it never leeched BPA into the coffee, but they removed it just to be safe. Thus, polypropylene was introduced and they haven’t moved on from there.
Frankly, it’s thick enough that you could probably stand on it without the main chamber collapsing, though other parts may snap off. You’d have to go to some effort to break it.
The main complaint I saw on the Amazon reviews was that someone had the silicone stopper wear down. I’ve been using mine since 2013, nearly every day for at least a couple of years in total – no issues at all.
Your mileage may vary, but they also have a 1-year warranty from the date of purchase if there are any manufacturing defects, such as the stopper breaking.
TL;DR: If it breaks, it wasn’t an accident; you’d have to do it on purpose.
As mentioned above, the essentials only weigh 235g / 0.52lbs – even a quokka could carry that around all day.
Easy to Clean Up
I mildly amuse my guests when I show them just how easy it is to clean – though this is primarily dependent on the kind of filter you use.
The press comes with paper filters, which are my preference. You could probably use 1 traditional drip machine’s filter to make 4-6 Aeropress filters, so minimal waste and environmental impact.
Alternatively, there’s also the reusable filters that are usually made of stainless steel and a mesh of varying fineness. These ones are where I get tripped up (see directly below).
The press was designed with paper filters in mind, as you can twist off the filter cap, then push the plunger all the way down, popping the coffee “puck” and the filter directly into the garbage or compost bin. Amazingly easy! I always enjoy doing it because I’m a large child.
The problem with the metal filters is that it will also pop out. Leaving you three options:
- Do as usual and pick the filter out of the garbage or compost bin.
- Pick off the burning-hot filter before popping out the grounds, likely spilling some as you do. (Perhaps it’s my fault for being clumsy when handling a boiling hot metal wafer?)
- Wait for it to cool down, then try option 2).
1) and 2) both suck, and 3) isn’t useful if you have guests and want to make more than one cup.
Then there’s the question of whether filters make coffee healthier or less healthy.
Regardless of what you choose, it’s still less work than most coffee makers, and even with the paper filter, it doesn’t have a high material cost.
Is the Aeropress really that good?
Yes, absolutely. You will be able to use it in a variety of ways to make great coffee wherever you are. If you buy the add-ons or get creative, you can even competently use it for cold brew or “espresso”. It truly is a great invention for coffee lovers and should not be overlooked!
I have not tried the alternatives or knock-offs, as the Aeropress is the golden standard. Why settle for less?
Yes, Buy it. Physically/Digitally run and get it.