09-29-2013, 04:10 AM
#1
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This may be out of place here, but I know how the members here are interested in the good things in life.......and a well-brewed cup of coffee is certainly one of those. Smile

I'd never heard about this coffee maker - The Aerobie AeroPress. It is claimed to be a French Press-like coffee maker that can do espresso and other coffee types. Then I read a review on Brit+Co, and thought I'd try it out.

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Price: It's around $25 delivered from Amazon
Uses: Brews single cups of coffee and espresso
What you get in the box: The parts of the coffee maker itself and several hundred filters.

Usage: The AeroPress is essentially made up of three parts. The outer cylinder is where the coffee is brewed. You pop a filter into the cap, attach it to the outer cylinder, and add the ground coffee to the cylinder. You then pour hot water in the cylinder, stir it with the provided stirrer (any spoon will do) for 30 seconds, and then use the plunger to slowly press out the coffee. When the plunger grounds out, you're done.

You can brew espresso with it by adjusting the water and ground coffee amounts. You can dilute the coffee with more water, as required.

Review: First, a little information about my coffee preferences.

I'm mostly a tea drinker, but I like a cup of strong black coffee every day. I'm not a coffee snob, but most home coffee makers (that are affordable) leave me underwhelmed. In fact, I almost never drink coffee at home. I'm lucky to work at a place where you can get free coffee made by a very expensive (and good) coffee grinder and maker. Those are too expensive for my home, though - well over $1000. Sometimes, I'll drink espresso, but mostly it's just a cup of very strong black coffee.

I've tried French Presses in the past, and found them to not work for my house. I can't mention any specific reason for not liking them, but I would buy them and not use them.

Given the low price of the AeroPress, I decided to give myself a treat and try it out. I was pleasantly surprised.

It really is as easy as they say to make a great cup of coffee. It's quick, completely customizable, and clean-up is ridiculously easy (that's an important point for me).

Since I have a proper electric tea kettle, I can heat the water up in less than a minute, and it takes about another minute before I have my coffee ready. Yes, that's great coffee in about two minutes!!

I imagine that it would be more problematic if you didn't have an adjustable tea kettle, but perhaps microwaved water would work as well.

I was skeptical about the quality of the 'espresso' that this thing could make, but again I was pleasantly surprised. It really is very good. Maybe not as great as some of the super-expensive espresso machines that you can buy, but it's better than the espresso at Starbucks, for example (though that's not saying much).

The coffee can be made strong, without adding too much oils or bitterness. In fact, the taste is really good from the coffee we regularly use in the house (Peet's).

All-in-all, I can highly recommend this coffee maker as a single-brew coffee maker. It will not work if you have to brew a lot of coffee at one time (it would be very inconvenient), but for my situation, it's perfect!

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 09-29-2013, 09:49 AM
#2
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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It sounds intrigiuing, Yohann, but unfortunately you have mentioned two of the most awful coffees I have ever tasted, Starbucks and Peets. I wonder how it would do with LavAzza or 100% pure Kona coffee. I don't drink coffee at home that much, very rarely in fact, but for that price I am almost tempted to give it a try. It seems to me that someone else here at The Shave Nook mentioned this coffeemaker. Hmm

Yup, here it is (post #1): http://shavenook.com/thread-good-coffee-day. Smile

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 09-29-2013, 10:42 AM
#3
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Aha! I didn't see that post.

Yeah, I don't particularly care for Starbucks or Peets, but I'm in the middle of nowhere. Coffee here means Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. I never cared for Starbucks roasts or espresso.

My wife buys the coffee, as I don't usually drink it at all - so I don't have much say in what she gets. I think she picks it up from BJ's. I've tried to get her into the idea of grinding our own coffee, but she can't be bothered. Anyway, we don't really have the room for a bunch of paraphernalia. That's another area in which the AeroPress works for us.

One thing: I haven't really had it long enough to get an idea of how long it will last. I assume that the plunger will need to be re-tipped sometime.

PS: Another good thing about drinking coffee at work: they stock some amazing coffee. I don't know the brands, but the coffee snobs at work spend a lot of time a couple of times a year tasting various brands (locally roasted and national brands too). They all are similar to me - but then, I'm not really a 'coffee guy'.

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 09-29-2013, 11:17 AM
#4
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Yohann, I think I am going to get one along with this: http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-409...ble+Kettle.

Besides the less than boiling water suggestion (approx. 175°) for the Aeropress, I love my autumn and winter mid-afternoon cup of hot tea and I enjoy different ones with varying suggestions of optimum water temperatures. That has always found me playing guessing games by boiling the water and then letting it cool down for some seconds. This looks like it just might fill the bill so fingers crossed. Smile

UPDATE: I just ordered both items. Biggrin

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 09-29-2013, 11:33 AM
#5
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Freddy - That's a nice looking kettle too. I have never used that one, but I'm sure it's fine.

Being a tea guy, I can state that it really makes a big difference to have an adjustable-temp kettle. I drink green, white and oolong teas in addition to my usual black tea, and they all require different temperatures to brew a good cup.

I bought my kettle from Upton teas (http://www.uptontea.com), and I cannot stress how good they are. The teas are reasonably priced, they're accurately described and the reviews are great to have. They're out of the kettle now (and have been for years).

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 09-29-2013, 11:42 AM
#6
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Yohann, I just bookmarked the Upton Tea site so thanks for the heads-up. I have purchased most of my tea through either Adagio or Harney & Sons. I particularly like making large leaf teas in my Adagio ingenuiTea. It reminds me of an Aeropress for tea but without pressing the leaves. Wink

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 09-29-2013, 11:58 AM
#7
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Freddie: Unlike Harney and Sons and Adagio, Upton is solely an importer and redistributor. They apparently make trips to India, China, and elsewhere and buy the teas from the source.

If you like large leaf teas, they're a great source. What I like is their willingness to sell samples. It's a great way to sample expensive teas that I wouldn't otherwise try. The pre-chingming teas they have are really superb.

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 09-29-2013, 12:00 PM
#8
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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I shall definitely give it a go, Yohann. The cooler weather is coming (even here in sunny San Diego Winky).

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 09-29-2013, 04:10 PM
#9
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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The Aero-press has an excellent reputation. I have one and used it as a travel pot for years. Some people I know have used it for loose tea as well. The only complaint I have with the product is their insistence on advertising that it makes espresso. Espresso is made by forcing steam through a compact puck of finally ground coffee. Very strong coffee is by no means espresso. The company that makes Aero-Press has been informed of the misrepresentation many times.However they persist in advertising their product as an espresso maker.

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 09-29-2013, 05:58 PM
#10
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Boy, you chaps are getting my intrigued even though I don't drink coffee. Biggrin

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 09-29-2013, 08:52 PM
#11
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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I think I am going to have to give this a try. My coffee has been tasting a bit muddy and this sound like a good solution.

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 09-30-2013, 02:47 AM
#12
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(09-29-2013, 04:10 PM)Barrylu Wrote: The Aero-press has an excellent reputation. I have one and used it as a travel pot for years. Some people I know have used it for loose tea as well. The only complaint I have with the product is their insistence on advertising that it makes espresso. Espresso is made by forcing steam through a compact puck of finally ground coffee. Very strong coffee is by no means espresso. The company that makes Aero-Press has been informed of the misrepresentation many times.However they persist in advertising their product as an espresso maker.

Barry -

You're right in that I also don't consider this 'real' espresso.

However, the Wikipedia page states that espresso is made by forcing 'almost-boiling' water under pressure over a puck of coffee. The AeroPress does two of these things - the 'almost-boiling' water and the pressure. The puck does form at the base of the press, but is not present the whole time.

Regardless, this 'espresso' does not match with a really good espresso machine. I had a great espresso in an Italian restaurant over in Portland, Maine - nothing like that around here in the Upper Valley.

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 09-30-2013, 06:30 AM
#13
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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I really hate to be pedantic but: The SCC determines the minimum pressure the coffee be extracted at to be called Espresso.
Pressure rating used on most pump driven espresso machines. 9 BAR, the typical accepted pressure for brewing espresso is 8.8 atmospheres of pressure or 130 pounds per square inch. Almost every consumer espresso machine with a vibratory or rotary pump is capable of producing this pressure consistently.
This pressure can not be obtained with any manual method. A pump is meeded.

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 09-30-2013, 09:03 AM
#14
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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(09-30-2013, 02:47 AM)yohannrjm Wrote:
(09-29-2013, 04:10 PM)Barrylu Wrote: The Aero-press has an excellent reputation. I have one and used it as a travel pot for years. Some people I know have used it for loose tea as well. The only complaint I have with the product is their insistence on advertising that it makes espresso. Espresso is made by forcing steam through a compact puck of finally ground coffee. Very strong coffee is by no means espresso. The company that makes Aero-Press has been informed of the misrepresentation many times.However they persist in advertising their product as an espresso maker.

Barry -

You're right in that I also don't consider this 'real' espresso.

However, the Wikipedia page states that espresso is made by forcing 'almost-boiling' water under pressure over a puck of coffee. The AeroPress does two of these things - the 'almost-boiling' water and the pressure. The puck does form at the base of the press, but is not present the whole time.

Regardless, this 'espresso' does not match with a really good espresso machine. I had a great espresso in an Italian restaurant over in Portland, Maine - nothing like that around here in the Upper Valley.

(09-30-2013, 06:30 AM)Barrylu Wrote: I really hate to be pedantic but: The SCC determines the minimum pressure the coffee be extracted at to be called Espresso.
Pressure rating used on most pump driven espresso machines. 9 BAR, the typical accepted pressure for brewing espresso is 8.8 atmospheres of pressure or 130 pounds per square inch. Almost every consumer espresso machine with a vibratory or rotary pump is capable of producing this pressure consistently.
This pressure can not be obtained with any manual method. A pump is meeded.

While I am sure that both Yohann and Barry are correct, many of us are not aficionados and just want that really good smooth cup of coffee. I would love to get a nice crema with the Aeropress but really don't expect to. However, a tasty, smooth, non bitter cup of morning coffee will work for me no matter what it is officially called. I shall savor the classic espresso when I am in a fine restaurant or coffeehouse. Smile

P.S. Barry, I had no idea that an official espresso was that detailed in the making. Thanks for the insight and your information will only serve for me to appreciate a properly made espresso even more than I do now. Thumbsup

P.P.S. I love TSN for all of the wonderful information I get. Thanks gentlemen.

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 09-30-2013, 04:46 PM
#15
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Barry - Like Freddy, I had no idea that there were so many standards about exactly what makes an espresso. It's great that members here have so much knowledge about such varied subjects. Biggrin

Can't say I know much about what goes into espresso - except that I drink it sometimes.

Would I call what the AeroPress makes espresso? No. Do I care much? No. Do I think they should be more accurate about their advertising? Yes.

There's no need for them to oversell this, as far as I'm concerned. It makes a great cup of coffee, and that's all that they really need to state. Truth in advertising is rare.

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 09-30-2013, 05:29 PM
#16
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(09-29-2013, 11:17 AM)freddy Wrote: UPDATE: I just ordered both items. Biggrin

Me too. Biggrin This should serve two purposes...get me to cut down on my coffee since it only makes one cup at a time and provide me with a much better cup of Joe than I have been drinking.

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 09-30-2013, 06:36 PM
#17
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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(09-30-2013, 05:29 PM)bullgoose Wrote:
(09-29-2013, 11:17 AM)freddy Wrote: UPDATE: I just ordered both items. Biggrin

Me too. Biggrin This should serve two purposes...get me to cut down on my coffee since it only makes one cup at a time and provide me with a much better cup of Joe than I have been drinking.

We'll have to compare notes. I wonder if it comes with a free razor? Tongue

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 09-30-2013, 06:44 PM
#18
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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(09-29-2013, 11:58 AM)yohannrjm Wrote: Freddie: Unlike Harney and Sons and Adagio, Upton is solely an importer and redistributor. They apparently make trips to India, China, and elsewhere and buy the teas from the source.

If you like large leaf teas, they're a great source. What I like is their willingness to sell samples. It's a great way to sample expensive teas that I wouldn't otherwise try. The pre-chingming teas they have are really superb.

Yohann, I am certainly impressed with Upton's service, so far. I ordered yesterday, this afternoon I received an e-mail that it was packed, and this evening I received a second e-mail telling me that my order had shipped and should arrive in 2-5 days. These folks obviously graduated from the BullGoose school of Customer Service. Smile

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 09-30-2013, 07:04 PM
#19
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Congratulations, Freddy and Phil! I hope you both enjoy the coffee with this thing. Biggrin

Phil, you could always start drinking Yerba Mate! Biggrin

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 09-30-2013, 08:10 PM
#20
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(09-30-2013, 07:04 PM)celestino Wrote: Congratulations, Freddy and Phil! I hope you both enjoy the coffee with this thing. Biggrin

Phil, you could always start drinking Yerba Mate! Biggrin

Isn't that what is in Morning Thunder? I was drinking that back in college. Biggrin

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