I finally got my new Aeropress coffee and espresso maker today! I’ve waited with much anticipation, and I’ll admit, some disbelief. Having worked at a coffee shop in a different life (Ok, it was high school. And yeah, that was only like a year ago. Cut me a little slack.) I didn’t really see how something this…simple could create any kind of decent espresso. Boy was I wrong.
After unboxing the contraption and setting out all the parts, I checked out the instruction fold out/booklet. Making coffee in this thing is too easy: put in filter, put in grounds, put on top of cup, plunge away (a la French Press). The physics/dark arts that make this thing work make sense as well: hot water+coffee+lots of pressure=espresso. Granted, the grind and type of coffee plays into the quality of the coffee, but I found that this factor wasn’t nearly as important as it is in a regular espresso machine.
I had an hour between classes when I checked my mailbox and found this package waiting for me. After unboxing it, playing around with the parts, reading the mini-manual, and making my first double-espresso, only 45 minutes had passed. Yeah, I had to book it to my class, but it was so worth it.
The first type of coffee I used was the special “Hello Gadaffi! Blend” by Starry Night Coffee. Without commenting too much on the taste itself (possible review in the future), I was amazed to find that even though the coffee was ground much courser then espresso (I used a drip grind) the shots pulled from it were still fantastic. I didn’t get much crema on my espresso this time around, but I was also still trying to figure out the press. Diluting my shots with hot water, I had my first homemade Americano ready to drink for my next class.
It was the smoothest Americano that I’ve ever had. It was delicious from the top of the mug to the bottom. This wasn’t “camping coffee” or a “quick fix,” it was a straight-up delicious brew.
This evening I got a second chance to play around with my new toy. While I’m sure my roommate thinks I’m crazy by now, as I’ve done nothing but drink coffee for the last week straight, I had to try another type in my Aeropress. Turning to a bag of flavored coffee that I’ve recently received for a review (again, not focusing on the taste) my convictions were solidified. The flavor popped from the cup, and I once again enjoyed it to the last drop.
I decided to share the love with a fellow espressofile. Emailing my friend who lives in the same dorm as me, I told him to come down for some free coffee. I threw together a double-espresso of the “Hello Gadaffi! Blend” for him, but this time I focused more on quality as opposed to speed. Being deliberate with the press, and making sure I used piping hot water, I was pleasantly surprised when I removed the Aeropress from the top of my friend’s mug. The espresso had a thick caramel-colored layer of creme resting on top of it. My friend definitely enjoyed it, and I was happy to know that great espresso doesn’t take a $200 machine to make.
I would highly suggest getting an Aeropress for yourself. Not only is it an inexpensive alternative to higher end espresso machines, but it actually makes great coffee.
Do you have an Aeropress or something similar? What’s been your experience?
The Coffee Guy