Sunday, July 14, 2013

Coffee Has Become A Pressing Matter

Let us harken back to the days of yon; ok, let’s just go back to December 25, 2012, upon which date I received an Aeropress Coffee Maker as a Christmas gift. I had put this on my wish list because it seemed like a really cool idea to be able to brew a single cup of coffee without having buy an overly expensive machine that uses little proprietary premeasured packages. I was quite excited to get it, but I have to admit my first attempt at making coffee with it resulted in something more like coffee flavored tea. I tried again one other time a few weeks later, which resulted in a very good cup of coffee. The first attempt I simply didn’t get the water hot enough.

For the last few months it has sat behind the coffee maker untouched; that is, until last weekend when I decided to try a bit of experiment. As I mentioned before, my first attempt resulted in not having the water hot enough because I had tried to heat it in the microwave. The instructions recommend a temperature of 175° F. Using my electric hot pot worked much better, but it has not real temperature control (it’s either on or its off). I good electric teapot with programmable temperature is pretty expensive, so I decided to find out if the coffeepot itself would get the water hot enough. Thankfully, it does get the water to a little over the recommended 175° F.

The way the Aeropress works is pretty simple. There are basically three parts to the whole thing; the chamber, the plunger, and the filter cap.  The filter cap (naturally with a filter in it) attaches to the bottom of the chamber which is then placed on top of your favorite coffee cup. Using the included scoop, measure an amount of coffee into the chamber (for me, it’s three scoops since I use a fairly large mug). Pour in the hot water (the amount will depend on how much coffee you have used); let that steep for a few moments, give it a stir then put the plunger into the chamber and press. Voila! There are, of course, some other methods I’ve found on the internet for using the Aeropress in other ways which supposedly make a better cup of coffee than the prescribed method in the included instructions.

This won’t fill the mug to full. What you end up with is a really concentrated amount of hot coffee. What I do is top off the mug with more hot water, essentially making an Americano, but you could also use steamed milk to make a latte or cappuccino if you prefer.

My next step will be start trying whole bean coffee to figure how many scoops of whole beans I need to use to make the coffee strong enough.

The other great thing about using the Aeropress is that I don’t waste coffee. There have been plenty of mornings that I’ve made a pot of coffee (actually, I set it up at night and use the timer on the coffee pot so it’s ready when I get up) and only had time to drink one cup before having to head to work. Using the Aeropress, I make each cup fresh, so I don’t waste coffee by having to pour out the leftovers. Cleanup is also much faster as the Aeropress itself only really needs a quick rinse in the sink, and the coffee pot only had water in it.

So now, I get a better cup of coffee, cleanup is much faster and I can still use regular coffee instead of having to revert to instant if I just happen to want a one-off cup of coffee later in the day.

~ JC

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