A k.i.s.s. AeroPress coffee recipe
Recently, following the advice of a friend, I bought an AeroPress coffee maker.
I didn’t need much time to realize that the coffee that this modular, strange, plastic toy produces is of very high quality, so I started testing some from the hundreds of AeroPress recipes available online, in order to find my best.
Coffee geeks love accuracy, so on most of the recipes I tried or read about, the use of a scale and a thermometer was necessary.
In addition, in most of the geeky recipes, people like to invert the AeroPress (making the whole procedure more complicated) in order to get better control and accuracy.
After some tests, I tried Tim Wendelboe’s recipe:
The coffee it produced was amazing, so I decided to follow the k.i.s.s. principle and make it simpler.
The ideal recipe should need:
- no scale
- no thermometer
- no inversion
I was already OK with the last one, as Tim Wendelboe doesn’t invert the AeroPress; but what about the rest?
After a lot of trials/errors I ended up with the following…
Tim Wendelboe suggests a ratio of 14 : 200 = 0.07.
how much coffee?
Without the use of a scale, the easiest instruction is to just use 1 AeroPress scoop of coffee beans, which is approx. 15gr.
1 AeroPress scoop of coffee beans is obviously not (always) 15gr. Apart from the randomness of each scoop, the weight of a coffee is influenced by variety/size/age etc.
As I’m writing these words, I have 4 different types of coffee at home, so I did some tests with 4 random scoops per type:
- coffee type 1
sc.1 15gr, sc.2 14.9gr, sc.3 15.1gr, sc.4 15.2gr –> avg = 15.05gr
- coffee type 2
sc.1 15.9gr, sc.2 16.4gr, sc.3 15.9gr, sc.4 16.4gr –> avg = 16.15gr
- coffee type 3
sc.1 15.7gr, sc.2 15.4gr, sc.3 15.6gr, sc.4 16gr –> avg = 15.67gr
- coffee type 4
sc.1 14.9gr, sc.2 14.3gr, sc.3 14.6gr, sc.4 14.6gr –> avg = 14.6gr
The total average is 15.36gr.
and now what?
It’s easy to see that each coffee will give different results. However, most of them will be “close” to the initial assumption.
my suggestion is:
1. give zero fucks, make life simpler, and just use 1 random scoop
2. do some tests with each coffee type (with a scale) and note if there’s need to use a little bit more or less than the usual scoop - the more coffees you test, the more variations you may encounter (ex. a single estate “El Salvador” coffee I bought in the past weighted less than 14gr/AeroPress scoup)
how much water?
Based on the assumption that 1 AeroPress scoop of coffee beans is 15gr, to keep the ratio of 0.07, we will add more water than the original recipe suggests.
Ideally we need 214gr, but we will not use a scale, so we will just add water up to the bottom of the 4th circle:
This is not (always) 214gr. Based on random measurements and on the fact that one can’t be deadly accurate (accuracy depends on how water flows out of your kettle) each time plus that the volume of 15gr inside the AeroPress varies per different type of coffee, it is approx 208-220gr, resulting to a ratio that is different but “close” to 0.07.
Note that the water has to be poured relatively quickly (not too quickly though - I pour the water with circular movements and that can’t be done super fast!). Until the handle is placed on the AeroPress, coffee will be draining through the filter, and if we do this slowly, when the water reaches the desired height, it will be more than the desired weight.
what about the water temperature?
Tim Wendelboe suggests 95°C, but if you see his video, he just uses water straight off the boil.
I don’t like the idea of using 100°C water, so what I do and I suggest you do too, is to boil the water and wait for approx 1min.
Based on random measurements, the water temperature inside my kettle after 1min, is approx. 96-97°C, but your results may vary, depending on the quality (insulation) of the kettle, room temperature etc.
my suggestion is:
1. wait 1min before you use it
2. use water straight off the boil
coffee grind size
To find the ideal grind size you will need to make your own tests (per different type of coffee). I have the Rhino compact grinder, and I usually set it up at 4-6 steps.
Update: I decided to find “click zero” in order to give more accurate information about grinding. So, after “zero calibration”, I usually set it up at 6-8 clicks, with 8 being the most frequent choice.
Tim Wendelboe suggests that the total time should be about 1:30.
Sometimes (depending on coffee type and grind size) pressing is more difficult and as I want to avoid applying excessive force, I prefer a longer total time with a maximum of 1:40.
If you are still here, reading this post, you will have already understood that this recipe is not about accuracy, consistency (some call it obsession…) etc.
The desired result is just a nice cup of coffee, without any special equipment, and with a k.i.s.s. and easy to remember procedure.
Below you will find a modification of the original recipe’s steps:
put the paper filter on the cap and rinse it with off the boil water
grind 1 AeroPress scoop of coffee beans
start a 60sec timer and immediately start pouring water (relatively quickly - it takes me approx. 12-13sec) until it reaches the bottom of the 4th circle
stir 3 times back to front (watch Wendelboe’s video to see how to do it) and place the handle on the AeroPress in order to prevent the water from draining through the filter
after the 1min steep time, take the handle off, stir 3 times back to front… it’s important to only stir 3 times again here, if you stir less it will be under-extracted, stir more and it will be over-extracted
place the handle on top of the AeroPress and press the contents into a large cup or pitcher by using your body weight
You can experiment with step 5, trying stirring more (ex. 5-6 times), resulting in a stronger coffee. You can also increase steep time, ex to 1:20 or 1:30, or even more.
An earlier and shorter version of this text can be found here.
#aeropress #coffee #recipe