Since my co-workers are so much more adept at testing espresso machines, I took the opportunity to try brewing a cup of Americano coffee using the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker. I have been intrigued with press-brewing coffee for several years now after first watching my friend Tracy using a French press in the office to make his coffee every day. Until today I have only made coffee drip-brewed in percolators, or drip-coffee filter brewers, or single-serve K-cup machines. A friend sent me some pre-ground coffee for Christmas so I thought this would be the perfect time to try press-made coffee. The Aerobie AeroPress was available for testing so I figured it’s time to give it a work out.
It comes packaged with a body cylinder chamber having level markings on the side, a plunger with an articulated rubber plunger seal, a filter cap that screws onto the bottom of the chamber, a filter holder and 350 micro-filters, a measuring scoop, funnel, and a stirrer. Since this one had been opened by the sales department for previous testing, the instructions were missing. I quickly read the brewing instruction on the internet and set out to make my first cup. I loaded a filter into the filter cap and screwed it onto the chamber and set the assembly on my sturdy metal woodworkers coffee mug. I put 2 full scoops of pre-ground coffee in the chamber and poured in hot water.
While Aerobie recommends water at 176°, I just boiled water and waited, hmmm... about 3 seconds for it to cool, then poured water into the chamber and started stirring using the stirrer that comes with the AeroPress. The Stirrer is well-designed, shaped, and sized so that you can’t drop it into the chamber and you also can’t scrape the filter in the bottom of the cap. I stirred for about 10 seconds, then wet the rim of the plunger-seal and put the plunger into the top of the chamber and started to gently press it into the chamber.
As the pressure started to build I heard it relieve through the filter and liquid started to drop into the mug below. I continued to press gently until the plunger bottomed out. I removed the assembly from the cup and added some more hot water to the mug to make my cup of Americano coffee. Voila! Darn good fresh brewed coffee with no grounds or "dregs-dust" in the cup, the filter works great! And I could make just one cup without brewing a full or partial drip-pot. Now I can have a fresh-brewed cup of coffee and my tea-drinking wife can have a mug of tea from the same pot of hot water.
I didn’t pay enough attention to the instructions on how to eject the spent grounds and used-filter from the unit and made a mess, luckily over the sink, when I just backed the plunger out of the cylinder. I should have unscrewed the filter holder over the waste can and then pushed the plunger on through to eject all of the grounds. Oh well, I’ll do better on the next cup. Now I can’t wait to try some fresh ground coffee like coffee purists do to see if the quality of the coffee can get better. Oh did I mention that the coffee I used was a Christmas gift, from 2 years ago? Even so it still made very good coffee!