The type of filter you use to brew your coffee will affect what ends up in the cup. The standard filter that you receive with your Aeropress is, in our opinion, the best to use.
There are other options out there – mostly stainless steel disks with different porosity levels for example, a contraption called the Prismo – which has a pressure actuated valve and is said to build up more pressure producing an extraction closer to that of espresso.
Metal filters allow more bean fibre and oils through into your cup. This increases body and buffers acids. Aroma potential can increase too, as aroma compounds get carried through with the oils in your brew.
Paper filters, on the other hand, filter out the solids producing a cup with a lower oil and bean fibre level. So you’ll get the opposite of what you’ll experience with metal filters, and most notably an accentuation of the acids inherent in the coffee.
Brewing inverted ( upside-down) allows you to use full immersion as your brewing dynamic as well as letting you control your extraction time a little more tightly.
Brewing regular is a little tricky, depending what you’re planning to achieve. If you’re looking for a drip/filter style brew with the intention of using gravity/ percolation as your major brewing dynamic then you can do that.Or you can extract a ‘short and heavy’ (as I like to call it) by using 16.5g of coffee to 55g of water and lots of pressure, ending up with a 20 sec total extraction time. The world is your oyster- there are literally hundreds of ideas for brew recipes with the Aeropress.
Stirring. shaking, and flipping are all possible.
These are actions you might want to perform only to intentionally affect the extraction rate and efficacy. As a rule coffee takes longer to extract with a lower water temperature, but you can make it extract quicker by adding turbulence to the brew. Be wary, as it’s a little difficult to predict. Take note of the amount of times you add turbulence to the brew if you want to reproduce your extraction. Notice bitterness or unpleasant astringency? You might find that stirring your coffee less vigorously will produce better results. It’s all about tweaking the extraction.
As an interesting aside – turbulence also allows us to change brew water temperature to our advantage when thinking of modulating acids in the brew.
The Aeropress is unparalleled. It’s tough, compact and fairly cheap for what it can do. Pair it with a hand grinder and you have yourself the quintessential home and travel setup. Two birds with one stone.
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