Review : Aeropress go
In search for the perfect coffee extractor companion, my road went across the new version of the world famous aeropress. On the paper, it looks seducing, but what about the kind of coffee I like ? The beast :
This beauty is sold with a bunch of accessories : mug and lid, 350 filters, foldable stirrer, 14g scoop... Most of them become useless if you already carry a kitchen/coffee kit. The mug is way too "impersonal". Paper filters can be replaced by a steel one, and your spoon might be sufficient to stir. So what is an aeropress ? Supposingly the best nomad coffee press. Reasonably cheap and light, a grinder can fit inside it, and the whole thing inside a cup. Sounds perfect. You can do either a good americano or a couple of expresso. And even some cold brew ! Why an aeropress : Because it's all about coffee, wouldn't make any sens to got a special machine such an aeropress if the coffee you can extract doesn't fullfil your attempt. It naturally reduce acidity and bitterness, and mostly, people use a medium roast to brew with. If you consider practicality, bulk, weight and high quality coffee who comes out of it, it's a must have for morning coffee lovers. Without any extra piece of the kit, the press itself might be around 200g with filters. Easy to use, strong and efficient. I don't see much reasons for not carrying one if you love coffee. Well, if you love special coffee this press was not made for, as high acidity coffee, it will take a bit of patience and a fair few hundreds grams of beans to find out how to be close to reach a decent acidic brew.
How to use it : Looking from the outside, it's idiot proof. Although, as any other coffee machine, you can make a lot a factors vary, and it affects you cup. If you a bit picky with coffee, it will need some crash test for your perfect adjustment. Two methods : the normal one and the inverted one. Clearly, the inverted one is the most used nowadays for few reasons. That's what makes possible a kit as minimalistic as this because you don't need a cup to prepare it, you just flip your press on your cup at the last moment. That also allows a proper blooming. For a casual use, it's easy peazy lemon squeezy. Drop the coffee in, pour over, wait, flip, press, drink. But all of those steps have an importance who individually affect the final taste of your cup. And you need research and practice to figure out all this things out. So about how to use it, it's more the beans, grind and recipe you use rather than the machine functioning itself.
A kit among others : Here is an example of a minimalistic coffee kit you can have as an EDC or for any type of travel/adventure journey. You might consider this : - Paper filters can be replace by a reusable steel filter. - A Porlex mini grinder fits inside the press. Which fits inside a mug, with filter, measuring spoon and stirrer. - You can use such a mug as a pot to boil your water in. Because as said earlier, you don't need any cup to brew your coffee. At the end of the process you can just flip the aeropress on your cup and press.
Here you can see : - Porlex mini grinder - Measuring spoon - Aeropress - Paper filters - GSI measuring mug - GSI java drip filter So here you have a proper and complete coffee kit who fits in a simple mug. Brilliant ! The grinder can be a bit overkill for some, so if not wanted/needed, save weight and carry none. Instead, store you beans in the aeropress chamber. Family pack :
I often read that this coffee extractor is not suitable for a large group brew. Well, I'll say depends what you mean by a large group, but for a few friends it's more than enough. Mainly because you can use it to do a highly concentrated brew which you can dilute later on each cup with hot water, which is basically an americano type coffee.
Is a few recipes that you can find online and follow. Remains easy and make this aeropress interesting if you are more than more than one around the camp fire. Because this is the point with aeropress, versatility. And this versatility is mainly based on a very basic tool which can be limitless with a tiny bit of imagination. Ease to clean : Easy to use, and easy to clean. Yep, as easy as I say. Once the coffee done, you just take off the lid, press the plunger and appears the "coffee" cake. That's pretty much all you have to do. No tools needed, no sponge, no spoon. No waste of time and easy to drop it out on a bin or in a trash bag while camping. A bit of water to rinse it and pack it up. Aeropress and acidity/light roast : It's clearly not known for that, and some special coffee lover could exclude it. Except that with some tests and time it becomes much more versatile than it appears to be. As it was made for expresso/americano and suitable for medium roast, it's quit difficult to get the best of acidity and flavours a light roast coffee can offer. Again, it's just a matter of adjustment and recipe. Because if it's not primarily use for this aspect, the solutions are countless. So you'll play with grind and time, blooming and pressure. Following some of the recipes you'll find later on in this article, you could fall in love for this machine even with some special picky taste you can be fan of.
Aeropress and cold brew : This machine is also known as a good way to do a cold brew. Needless to say that I love this function. I can even be caffeinated without carrying stove for day trip. The process is pretty much the same as you use the same tools. But the recipe is obviously different as you brew with cold water. Note : You can brew with hot water and pour over some ice cubes as well, but quit hard to carry some ice cubes isn't ? So, it's overall a less straight forward process who need more attention and care but I would like to have seen my face while trying the first cold brew I did. I was quit surprise by the flat but constant acidity in mouth, the floral flavours who come out and the freshness of a cold drink even with room temperature water. Cold water, beans and press. All you need for a refreshing cold brew sitting by your bike, having a break right in front of the sea.
Beans quantity : Very good coffee is never cheap. And in some part of the world it's clearly expensive. And for some type of brew, it sometimes need a severe amount of coffee. I've seen quit a lot of recipes between 20 and 30g of coffee. Which represent at the end quit a lot of money.. Advantage of the aeropress is the reasonable amount of coffee needed for a good brew : around 14-15g. Depends of the ratio but considering the capacity of the aeropress chamber, hard to need more. Otherwise you'll clearly not sleep anymore.`
About what makes a coffee : You can be the best barista living on the surface of this planet, if the coffee ain't good and the grind not appropriate, you have no chance to get a good coffee. So is for the machine. Brewing with an aeropress doesn't mean brewing better. Your skills are engaged and you ability to choose coffee beans as well. Recipes : And here is a few recipes I mainly use. Every grinder click counts, every second and every coffee gram counts. It's crazy how different a coffee can be, using the same beans and process if you just wait a few more seconds or if you change a different who seems to be insignificant. Hot brew : Basic aeropress recipe I did adapt for light and acid brew. From far my favourite one. Remains easy to do and it's a perfect balance I was trying to reach when playing and testing this machine : Water temperature : around 85-90°c Beans : Rwanda, Ejo Eza, light roast Grind : Medium-fine Coffee weight : 14g Total water : 210ml Brew ratio : 1/15 Total time : 2m20s
Inverted AeroPress, wet a paper filter with hot water.
Put the coffee in, start the timer
0s : Fill up with 60 ml of water. Give 5 good swirl and let bloom.
30s : Fill up with the remaining amount of water, 150ml.
Stir gently 5 times
1m : Put the cap on.
1m30 : Invert the press on your cup.
1m30-2m20 : plunge until the famous "shhhhh"
Special brew who keep the best of the acidity on your cup : A body lil too strong for me but so far it's the best I found to keep the potential complex acidity of your beans. Water temperature : around 85°c Beans : Burundi, light roast Grind : Medium-fine Coffee weight : 15g Total water : 190ml Brew ratio : 1/12
Total time : 1m45
Set your AeroPress inverted and wet double paper filters with hot water.
Set your water temperature at 85 celsius degrees, put the coffee in and fill up with 60 grams of water.
Start timer and swirl for 15 seconds.
Fill up with the remaining amount of water.
Wait until 1 minute, then put the cap on.
Wait until 1m20, then invert.
Wait until 1m30, then plunge until 1m50.
Let it cool down for a couple of minutes, and enjoy !
For a cold brew :
Tried a few recipes, but this one is the most balanced one if you don't want to wait 12h. Water temperature : Room temperature
Beans : El salvador, finca los nogales, light roast Grind : Medium-coarse Coffee weight : 12g Total water : 200ml Brew ratio : 1/16 Total time : 8 minutes
Rinse two paper filters with tap water, grind 12g coffee.
Add the coffee in inverted press. Start the timer, add 40g room temperature water.
Give the coffee 5 good swirl, let it sit till 1m mark.
Add 160g room temperature water in 20sec.
Keep stirring for 4mins in a "W" shape.
Let it sit for 1 min.
Stir in the "W" shape once, put the cap on, flip and gently press for 1 min.
Conclusion : I had an aeropress already, who stays at home. I didn't really find myself in it. So I kinda gave up with this machine. And my tastes changed as well, so I was clearly more into pour over solution such as v60. But during the lockdown, I had time to dig a lil bit ad finally decided to get the latest version of the aeropress, even smaller and more compact. And beside of it, I also had time to dig into recipes and technics. The main thing for me was mostly enjoying my time off the road here in New zealand to test new coffee solutions. As I got access to good coffee and plenty of brewing accessories, was the perfect timing. My GSI foldable filter wasn't good enough anymore, and didn't really want to carry on with my bulky kettle. So, aeropress looked like the perfect nomad/coffee geek solution. I tried many different coffees and recipes. Was about to give up as well, send it back in France and carry on with my v60. But after quit some times I found the right grind settings and the right recipes who suits perfectly to my tastes. So, needless to say that I'll keep it for the future years on the road. Recipes are mix of personnal experimentation + www.aeroprecipe.com +coffee.guru application. You can try it at first, see if it suits you. And then you can spend hours and hours trying your own recipes. Should you get one as well ? Good question. It's not the cheapest/compact solution ever, for sure. But no excuse to bad coffee. You can carry on with this ugly nescafe coffee instant powder, fast and easy. But it's not coffee. The good point is the versatility. Despite of its shape, is also a way to use the free room to pack compact with other pieces constituting your coffee kit. Also, it finally ends that whatever the type of coffee you aiming for, the aeropress might fits anyway. Again, just a matter of time, don't expect going out with it and find out the right brew straight on. Coffee brewing is matter of love, and love is about patience. For morning coffee addict -> Get some good beans aeropress grind. Pour, brew, drink. For coffee geek -> Allow you some time to domesticate it. Try things at home, change grind and beans, change timing. Overall, it fits to everybody. If you want to get it in France, I'll recommend to get it here. They just have the normal version in stock, but if you stay home, sounds perfect. And if it's just for days trip, it doesnt take much more room anyway. And it's also my fav place to get my coffee beans.