HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Abusing the AeroPress tradition (55 lines)
1) From: Jim Mitchell
First off, a big, sloppy, 'Thank You' to Sue for her kind Tradition Gift of 
an AeroPress device from our gentle hosts. It arrived late Friday, and I've 
had a rather interesting weekend learning its ins and outs, and got to make 
some rather glorious messes in the process.
As others have pointed out, when used according to the manufacturer's 
instructions, the AeroPress does not make what we would call 'espresso' - 
it's really a rather unique and perfectly drinkable beverage - but it's not 
anywhere close to what Dr Lilly envisioned when he laid down his original 
specifications.
However, if you calmly disregard the perfectly reasonable instructions and 
head off into uncharted coffee-making regions, there are some very 
interesting discoverys to be made:
1) Cafe Suisse ala AeroPress
Take 18-20 grams of medium roast (City/Full City) beans, grind them slightly 
finer than presspot, but significantly coarser than espresso, and pour them 
into the brew column. Heat 200ml of water to just below boiling, 206-210 
degrees F seems to be ideal. Then quickly pour 150-175Ml of water into the 
brew column, give a quick and vicious stir to mix the grounds and water, 
insert the plunger, and place the column over a sturdy cup.
Now, you've got to work quickly and carefully, as you objective is to get a 
150ml pour in something less than 25 seconds - I've found that since there 
is no 'tamp' phase, the grind is absolutely critical - less than 5 degrees 
of rotation on my Mazzer major is enough to stall one of these shots.
Once you've gotten the grind and water temperature under control, and have 
mastered the somewhat obtuse art of pressing down on an air column, making a 
150ml extraction in 20 seconds is pretty easy and very reapeatable, and 
produces a pretty respectable looking shot with a thin layer of light tan 
crema - much like an older Pavoni will.
The resulting brew when mixed with 200-250 ml of sweet microfoamed milk is 
as close to a perfect Cafe Suisse as I've every gotten at home - rich, 
sweet, creamy, soft, with full 'coffee flavor', but without a trace of 
bitter aftertaste - the perfect drink for those who do not like some of the 
side tastes of espresso.
Hmm - I've nittered on long enough for one post - but in my next post will 
describe how it  possible, although not practical, to make true espresso 
with an AeroPress.
Cheers
Jim


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