I’ve been an advocate of the AeroPress for the last few years. It’s easy to use, costs next to nothing, and allows you to quickly make fantastic cups of coffee. A few months ago, I came across an article on The New york Times website outlining an alternate way to brew with the AeroPress — by inverting it. After my first brewing I was an instant convert and have abandoned AeroPressing in the standard fashion.
Inverted AeroPressing, with it’s slightly longer brew time, produces a smoother, richer cup of coffee then standard AeroPressing and uses less coffee. For this method you will need an AeroPress, your favorite coffee mug, and a microwave safe, 2 cup measuring cup. For better results, use a burr grinder to get perfect grounds and a kitchen scale for accurately measuring them. Using filtered water is also critical for achieving the best possible coffee. Tap water can impart mineral and/or metallic flavors, so either filter your water or buy the gallon jugs from the grocery store.
To get started, place the plunger upside down on your counter and slide the brewing chamber on, filter end pointing up. The rubber part of the plunger should be in line with the “4” on the brewing chamber. Then, moisten the paper filter, place it in the filter cap, and set it aside.
This will take some experimentation, but the grind consistency you are looking for should be coarser then what’s used for espresso and finer then what you would use in a coffee maker. Somewhere in the neighborhood of coarse ground sea salt. Anything finer and your coffee will be bitter; too coarse and you will end up with weak coffee. On my Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder, I use the last “fine” setting before “medium”. If you don’t have a burr grinder, a good coffee shop will be able to custom grind your beans. My favorite place locally, is Old Crown Coffee Roasters. Grind 20 grams of beans (or, about a scoop and a half using the AeroPress scoop) and pour the grounds into the AeroPress.
Since this method uses so little water, I typically use the microwave instead of putting a kettle on. Into a measuring cup pour 300 mL of water and microwave this on high for about two and a half minutes. In the end, you are looking for water heated to about 180° — 190°. If your water has come to a boil, let it cool down for a few seconds before proceeding to the next step. Overheated water can scorch your grounds and give your coffee a burnt flavor. For maximum accuracy, check the temp with a kitchen thermometer.
Pour a little more then three tablespoons of water over the grounds and use the AeroPress stirring paddle to bring the mix to the consistency of thick mud. Set your kitchen timer for one minute. Slowly fill the AeroPress with water until the grounds are about a quarter inch from the top. Holding the base, you can gently stir the coffee with the AeroPress paddle. Use caution though, as the coffee is hot enough to burn you.
When the timer dings, carefully screw on the filter cap, being careful not to apply too much downward pressure on the AeroPress. Quickly flip the AeroPress right side up onto your coffee mug. The last step is to slowly (for 25 to 30 seconds) press down on the plunger. When finished, set the AeroPress aside and pour any remaining water from the measuring cup into your mug. Now, in less time then it takes to get through the drive-thru at Starbucks, and for a fraction of the cost, you have made yourself a supremely delicious cup of coffee.
If you try this method of AeroPressing, tell us about it in the comments. We’d love to hear about your experience or answer any questions you might have.