The Beginner’s Guide To Great Coffee: The Aeropress

The Aeropress.

An amazing, cheap coffee invention from the inventor of the Aerobie frisbee – Alan Alder. 

 It’s the incredible, unlikely heir to the coffeemaker throne of greatness.

If you buy one “pro” coffee making device, make it the aeropress. It’s the easiest, fastest, simplest way to an incredible cup of coffee – every time.

And no one is paying me to say that.

It takes very little practice to master and provides the quickest shortcut to the most amazing cups of coffee I’ve found.

Seriously – if all you want is a great cup of coffee, stop with this post.

You don’t need to read the coming posts on pour-over or espresso. The aeorpress gets you a consistently excellent cup of coffee.

Here’s the skinny on the aeropress. It’s a single serve coffee maker that is essentially a cylinder with a filter at the end. Place the cylinder on the top of your cup. Once your coffee and water are in it, you insert a plunger in the top and push down.

Goodness comes out the other end.

There’s a ton of ways to make an aeropress coffee, mostly by tweaking times and subtle techniques. You can make coffee with the aeropress inverted (upside down – popular amongst baristas in pour over bars) or right side up. I’ve tried many of the ways.

However you brew it, make sure you are setting yourself up well with good beans and grind (check out my previous post on setting yourself up well!)

Here’s what I’ve found works the best for me. It’s a variation on the method Shuichi Sasaki used to win the 2014 aeropress world championships. I have tweaked a bit to optimize it for my taste:)

  1. Grind about 16-17 grams of beans to a medium-fine grind. Maybe a touch finer than what you would use for drip coffee.
  2. Heat water to about 80° C. If you don’t have a kettle that can do this, a stove top kettle will start to make noise around 80 degrees. This is bulletproof for nearly all kettles – just take it off when you start to hear it doing stuff.
  3. Rinse your filter. This is essential.
  4. Put your coffee in the aeropress and put the aeropress on your cup.
  5. Start a timer. I use my iphone.
  6. Immediately take your heated water, and pour in a little. I do just enough to cover the beans, or a little less. Let the beans “infuse” until your timer gets to 45 seconds.
  7. Restart your timer and start adding water slowly until it nearly fills the aeropress. This should take around 30-40 seconds.
  8. Insert the plunger slightly in the top to create a vacuum (so your coffee doesn’t all start coming out the bottom). Let it sit for about 10-15 seconds. Until your timer says 45-50 seconds.
  9. Start pushing down on the plunger – slowly. Watch the side of the aeropress. You want to stop just before you push a puff of air through your beans.
  10. You should stop plunging around the 1:30 to 1:40 time marker.
  11. Take off the end cap and push the spent beans out into the trash. Give the aeropress a quick wipe under hot water to clean.
  12. Add your fixins and enjoy!

Seriously – no finesse – just follow the steps and have great coffee every time!

It’s easy as riding a bike once you get it.

Lastly – don’t stick to this method just because I said so! Experiment, mess it up! Use your taste as a guide!

  • To thin? Brew longer, or use a finer grind.
  • Too strong? Shorten your brew time, or coarsen your gind.
  • Don’t love the flavour? Try a different bean!  (I generally prefer lighter roasts)

There are other ways to get great coffee, but they’re more finicky and inconsistent. They can yield better results than the aeropress, but require way more work to master.

The aeropress is by far the most consistent and convenient coffee making method I’ve come across.

Seriously – do yourself a favour and pick one up! 🙂

Ps. This post is not even sponsored by Aeropress. I just love using it!


Justin according to Sarah – thrives at almost anything he applies his head and heart to. He never stops learning, and loves dreaming up new challenges to grow himself. His introvert ways give him incredible insight into life’s obstacles, of which he’s had his share. But best of all, Justin fully engages in his relationship with God, our marriage and the beginning of parenthood. Oh, and he spoils us with great coffee and cooking!

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