HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Trying to get the Aeropress right (22 msgs / 863 lines)
1) From: Captain CowPie
Has anyone had a lot of success with  the Aeropress? I have had mine for a =
couple of days and have not gotten the hang of it yet, most notably the mea=
surements.
I have tried measuring the coffee using both ground and whole beans (like T=
om suggests), but was hoping to get better at using ground coffee as I need=
 to get ready for a camping trip and will have ground coffee there.
I have put the coffee in and measured the water using the smaller plunger e=
nd. But if I try to do 3 or 4 cups, I can never get the water in because of=
 the bloom. I am currently trying to perfect it using two cups. Does anyone=
 else have this trouble?
When I measure using whole beans, Tom says to use 50-65% more water, but th=
at does not seem to be enough. When I grind the coffee and then measure, I =
definitely need more. But I have put in too much on a lot of occasions. 
So, I am just trying to get the measurements down, and wanted to see how ot=
hers were doing it. So far, I  really like the concept. I can't wait to  pe=
rfect the method.
Thanks,
Vince

2) From: Sandy Andina
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I grind very fine, between paper-cone drip and espresso, 2 scoops of  
whole beans per 12-oz. mug of coffee.  I measure hot but not boiling  
water up to the center of the 2-cup oval and---here is the key--- 
dribble the water VERY SLOWLY over the grounds. I wait 10 seconds,  
stir 10 seconds, wait 10 seconds and then plunge. Then I top up with  
more hot water from my espresso machine's tap. Comes out perfect  
every time.
On Mar 26, 2006, at 6:53 PM, Captain CowPie wrote:
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Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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I grind very fine, between =
paper-cone drip and espresso, 2 scoops of whole beans per 12-oz. mug of =
coffee.  I measure hot but not boiling water up to the center of the =
2-cup oval and---here is the key---dribble the water VERY SLOWLY over =
the grounds. I wait 10 seconds, stir 10 seconds, wait 10 seconds and =
then plunge. Then I top up with more hot water from my espresso =
machine's tap. Comes out perfect every time.
On Mar 26, =
2006, at 6:53 PM, Captain CowPie wrote:
Has anyone had a lot of success with  the Aeropress? I have had = mine for a couple of days and have not gotten the hang of it yet, most = notably the measurements. I have tried measuring the = coffee using both ground and whole beans (like Tom suggests), but was = hoping to get better at using ground coffee as I need to get ready for a = camping trip and will have ground coffee there. I have = put the coffee in and measured the water using the smaller plunger end. = But if I try to do 3 or 4 cups, I can never get the water in because of = the bloom. I am currently trying to perfect it using two cups. Does = anyone else have this trouble? When I measure using whole = beans, Tom says to use 50-65% more water, but that does not seem to be = enough. When I grind the coffee and then measure, I definitely need = more. But I have put in too much on a lot of occasions. So, I am = just trying to get the measurements down, and wanted to see how others = were doing it. So far, I  = really like the concept. I can't wait to  perfect the method. Vincehomeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = = --Apple-Mail-148--241971317--

3) From: Lissa
On Sun, 2006-03-26 at 19:53 -0500, Captain CowPie wrote:
<Snip>
It takes some fiddling. The bloom can be annoying. I don't try to make 3
or 4 cups. Also, beans that were roasted 3 or 4 days ago often bloom
less.
I suspect you need to play with grind a bit. I use a slightly courser
grind than I use in my auto-drip. Most other folks here think that is
way too course (if I go finer, I can't press the plunger down unless I'm
willing to do a headstand on it).
For me, using the top of the two cup water measurement with two scoops
of whole beans (using the Aeropress scoop), then diluting to make a full
mug, works best. I tried making less and more, but ran into the bloom
problem, and decided I'd just use it twice when making a mugfull for two
people.
You might want to pick one bean to water ratio, and play with the grind
(and maybe the water temp) some. I also use hotter water than the
inventor recommends, but not as hot as I'd use for French Press.
Be well,
Lissa
-- 
A leader who doesn't hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is
not fit to be a leader.
Golda Meir

4) From: David Echelbarger
I'm not totally sold on the aeropress yet but have made good coffee with it.
The thing I struggle with is that I think the aeropress smoothes out the
coffee and I lose some of the high notes.  Kind of like using that push
button filter on the old stereos to filter out the cracks on vinyl records.
It worked, but lost some of the treble.  
Anyway, this is what I've been doing.  Measure two scoops of whole beans
grind several steps finer than drip.  Add water so that the water level (not
the bloom -- you can tell the difference if you look -- is on the top of the
2.  Stir 10 seconds.  Slowly press down taking about 30 seconds.  Add 6
ounces of hot water.  It did a pretty nice job on the Harar#30 this morning.
Each method produces a different cup -- some benefit a given bean more than
others.

5) From: an iconoclast
On 3/26/06, Captain CowPie  wrote:
<Snip>
a couple of days and have not gotten the hang of it yet, most notably the m=
easurements.
<Snip>
 Tom suggests), but was hoping to get better at using ground coffee as I ne=
ed to get ready for a camping trip and will have ground coffee there.
<Snip>
 end. But if I try to do 3 or 4 cups, I can never get the water in because =
of the bloom. I am currently trying to perfect it using two cups. Does anyo=
ne else have this trouble?
<Snip>
that does not seem to be enough. When I grind the coffee and then measure, =
I definitely need more. But I have put in too much on a lot of occasions.
<Snip>
others were doing it. So far, I  really like the concept. I can't wait to  =
perfect the method.
I'm having the same problem.  I tried it at work and it worked just
great.  I keep my grounds in a Vacuvin container and measure 2 full
SCAA scoops of drip grind into the Aeropress and add enough hot water
from our bottled water dispenser to the 3 cup line.  Even with coffee
ground a week ago, it was wonderful.
Then I tried it at home.  I measured out 20 grams of beans and ground
it at various grind settings and let is sit and stir at various times.
 I couldn't get it strong enough. And if I'm going to use even more
beans, I might as well make a pot with my KMB since I'm home. It
finally worked OK with grind the same as my KMB and letting it sit for
an extra 10 secs.  I'll have to experiment more next weekend.
So this week, I'll try the KMB grind in my Vacuvin and see what
happens at work.  I'll keep you posted.
Ann

6) From: Ebeneneezer Shay
I used to have these issues, but the recomendation that Tom gives as
the ultimate answer to this question is to start dosing your coffee by
weight thereby eliminating the size issue. Some coffees are smaller
and more dense so measuring by bean is where you run into the hardest
issue of dosage. A reasonably accurate digital food scale is
relatively cheap, 20 to 30 dollar range with tare function so you can
re-zero with a container on it. As far as the "bloom" it usually
settles after you stir or "swirl" them down into the brew, this should
be done around a minute after you have poured the water, dropping the
last of the water in after that doesn't hurt the brew as the water is
cooling fairly rapidly at this point.
BTW all you press pot fans, I have an idea for an insulating jacket of
neoprene for these guys to avoid the rapid heat loss. Once I have
located the materials I will post the results.
From: "Captain CowPie" 
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 19:53:50 -0500
Subject: +Trying to get the Aeropress right
Reply-To: homeroast
Has anyone had a lot of success with  the Aeropress? I have had mine for a =
=
couple of days and have not gotten the hang of it yet, most notably the mea=
=
surements.
I have tried measuring the coffee using both ground and whole beans (like T=
=
om suggests), but was hoping to get better at using ground coffee as I need=
=
 to get ready for a camping trip and will have ground coffee there.
I have put the coffee in and measured the water using the smaller plunger e=
=
nd. But if I try to do 3 or 4 cups, I can never get the water in because of=
=
 the bloom. I am currently trying to perfect it using two cups. Does anyone=
=
 else have this trouble?
When I measure using whole beans, Tom says to use 50-65% more water, but th=
=
at does not seem to be enough. When I grind the coffee and then measure, I =
=
definitely need more. But I have put in too much on a lot of occasions.
So, I am just trying to get the measurements down, and wanted to see how ot=
=
hers were doing it. So far, I  really like the concept. I can't wait to  pe=
=
rfect the method.
Thanks,
Vince

7) From: Espressoperson
The small press pot glass container slips perfectly into those blue  foam pop 
can holders. Insulation for brewing and padding for travel.
 
MichaelB
 
In a message dated 3/26/2006 10:31:44 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
nauticles writes:
BTW all  you press pot fans, I have an idea for an insulating jacket of
neoprene for  these guys to avoid the rapid heat loss. Once I have
located the materials  I will post the results.

8) From: b cook
I have a press pot that came with a neoprene jacket for insulation.  Never
really tested with vs. without.
bc
On 3/26/06, Ebeneneezer Shay  wrote:
<Snip>

9) From: Scott Marquardt
Pre-wet the grind. It helps a bit with bloom. There is one nice thing about
bloom in the Aero, at least. You can stir very vigorously, and the bloom
dramatically buffers the sloshing near the top of the column. Small comfort
if the bloom takes you right TO the top, of course.   :-\
The Aero has been controversial on account of the manufacturer's
recommendations for water temperature. There's an emerging body of evidence
that there are a lot of ships passing in the night on this question --
people disagreeing not so much because their tastes differ, but because
their roasts differ and they aren't mentioning that when discussing brew
temperature.
In short, the lighter the roast, the hotter the water (all other things
being the same). That in itself may be a controversial claim, but I've foun=
d
that it holds true. If you go cooler with light and dark, you'll end up wit=
h
astringence in the light cup. If you go hotter with light and dark, you'll
end up with bitterness in the dark cup. I don't mean that it'll taste bad -=
-
but that varying the temperature that way will move flavors toward those
ends of the continuum. That's been my experience, and apparently that of
some other folks as well.
My experience with the Aero thus far has led me to respect it as a wonderfu=
l
way of allowing me to vary any parameter at all and learn more about
extraction differences between dark and light roasts, among other things.
The secret isn't the generous plastic, or the controversial claims about th=
e
extraction being espresso (the manufacturer has modified those claims as a
direct consequence of feedback from Aero reviewers and users, a great
example high regard for one's customers). No, the secret of the level of
control the Aero offers is its simple "form follows function" design -- it
presses fast through a filter. That means that unlike other methods that
can't filter fast (those last two words are, themselves, two very different
variables), the Aero allows a broad range of extraction profiles. It makes
it EASY to under-extract by modifying one or more variables. I've been
enjoying this thing for weeks and I still can't get over the amount of
precise control it offers. But like an aircraft designed for aerobatics,
it's highly responsive and sensitive, not sluggish and forgiving. On the
other hand, in another sense, I think it's very forgiving. Once you get the
basic variables nailed for the coffee you're brewing, you can be a bit off
on any one variable and the cup will still be great.
Here are the variables -- all of them:
Grind (both how fine and how consistent): I've found that a whirly works
just fine with the Aero, taken pretty fine. This was a surprise to me, and =
a
delight -- because this makes a travel kit easy, and also makes it painless
to recommend an Aero/whirly combination to friends just starting with good
coffee. The grind should definitely be finer than drip, but coarser than
espresso. Personally, I'd recommend a bit closer to drip than to espresso,
if you're using an adjustable burr grinder. I use 4 spots to the left of
drip on my SMP.
If you take youre grind finer, to get the same results you'd want cooler
water, shorter extraction, lighter roast, or less efficient extraction (les=
s
water or less stirring).
Water temperature: Vary this between 150 and 200. There are probably two
principal determinants of ideal brewing temperature in the Aero, IMO. The
first and most important would be whether you like the slight
underextraction that makes for the characteristically "smooth" flavor for
which the Aero is appreciated by some. Others have gone so far as to say
that cooler temps take "the soul" out of a coffee. My experience is that th=
e
latter critique would be more justly made of the Toddy than the Aero, but i=
t
depends on how you orchestrate these variables. And yes, at the end of the
day it seems likely that there are elements that are scant in the cup when
brew temps are low.
The second determinant of temperature, IMO, would be roast depth. A light
roast profits from hotter brewing water, and I believe you can go cooler in
the Aero with darker roasts than with light. Thus, someone who likes
slightly under-extracted coffee AND likes a dark roast, would probably
report that they get better results from cooler water in the Aero. Someone
who doesn't like under-extraction at all AND likes light roasts (many home
roasters, I'd think) would likely prefer hotter water.
If you lower your brew water temperature, to get the same results you'll
want a finer grind, longer extraction, darker roast, or more efficient
extraction (more water or more stirring).
Extraction duration: Talk about how long to stir, how long to leave it sit
before pressing and so forth are academic. Stirring increases extraction
efficiency. You could stir for 15 seconds and it might be the same as
stirring for 10 and letting it sit for 10 more. The bottom line is that
stiring increases efficiency of extraction, which reduces the time required
for the preferred extraction level. Stirring is just common sense in a
device that ALLOWS you a fine grind and a fast extraction. Take full
advantage of that edge for speed and knock of another 5 seconds by stirring
with no "steep' time at all.
If you decrease extraction time, to get the same results you'll want hotter
water, a finer grind, a darker roast, or more water (or more stirring).
Roast: See early comments above. If you lighten the roast, to get the same
results you'll want hotter water, longer extraction, finer grind, or more
water (or more stirring).
Extraction efficiency: Infer from above remarks. If you decrease extraction
effiency (say, by stirring less, or using less water), to get the same
results you'll want more extraction time, hotter water, a finer grind, or a
darker roast.
A lot of yada yada above. Also, the "to get the same results" seems a bit
off-base when we're talking about roast depth. That's a variable that for
obvious reasons isn't going to get you "the same cup" by changing other
variables. It's a bit unique as a variable, but a given roast is vulnerable
to other variables in consistent ways.
--
Scott

10) From: Marc
Scott,
Thanks for the well thought out review of the aerpress variables. I have
been using one successfully for awhile and really like it. Your observation=
s
have encouraged me to experiment more.
Currently I've had very good success with the following:
Roast: I like lighter roasts (City, City+) in general so most of my
Aeropress brews are with that.
Coffee: 25 grams
Grind: SMP @: Drip + 5
Water: 190 deg - 5 ozs. (halfway between top of 2 oval and top of 3 oval)
Stir to fully wet, Sit 10, Stir 10
Plunge about 20 secs
Add another 5ozs of hot water
and enjoy.
-Marc
On 3/27/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
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11) From: Scott Marquardt
That was pretty much my morning Huehue.   ;-)
On 3/27/06, Marc  wrote:
<Snip>
ons
<Snip>

12) From: J.W.Bullfrog
This is what i also found to work the best.
Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers 
exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will 
instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more 
bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

13) From: Captain CowPie
Scott,
Thanks for such a detailed reply. I do agree with you that it is great to b=
e in such control of all variables. Now I just need to experiment a little.=
 I hadn't thought about varying based on the roast type, but now I will try=
 it as well as the other ideas you had suggested.
Thanks again,
Vince
<Snip>
<Snip>
ut bloom in the Aero, at least. You can stir very vigorously, and the bloom=
 dramatically buffers the sloshing near the top of the column. Small comfor=
t if the bloom takes you right TO the top, of course.   :-\

14) From: Captain CowPie
I  don't currently have a scale, but have thought about it many times. My m=
ain challenge is that I don't usually measure things, just eyeball them. My=
 wife always gets on me about not following recipes exactly. But if it will=
 help with better coffee, who am I to argue ;)
Vince
<Snip>

15) From: Captain CowPie
David,
That is one of the questions I had about adding water. It seems that you ad=
d water using the indicators on the side of the larger tube after the coffe=
e has been added. Have you ever measured using the smaller tube, and then a=
dding that to the larger? And after it is  brewed, do you use the smaller t=
ube to add the water to dilute it?
That is how I am experimenting with it now, trying to find the right amount=
 of water before and after brewing. I was hoping to do it with  just the Ae=
ropress components because I will be camping in a few weeks and won't have =
other measuring devices.
Thanks,
Vince
<Snip>
not
<Snip>
the
<Snip>
ng.
<Snip>
an
<Snip>

16) From: Captain CowPie
Sandra,
A quick question about your technique. How much water do you use to top off?
Vince
<Snip>
e beans per 12-oz. mug of coffee.  I measure hot but not boiling water up=
 to the center of the 2-cup oval and---here is the key---dribble the water =
VERY SLOWLY over the grounds. I wait 10 seconds, stir 10 seconds, wait 10 s=
econds and then plunge. Then I top up with more hot water from my espresso =
machine's tap. Comes out perfect every time.

17) From: David Echelbarger
I grind the coffee into the larger tube.  Then add water so the water line
(not the bloom) comes to the top of the number 2 (not the 2 oval, but the
number 2 itself).  Then after the cup has been extracted I add 6 ounces of
water and that makes a pretty nice cup for me.

18) From: Sandy Andina
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I measure into the smaller (plunger) tube, then dribble it over the  
grounds at the bottom of the outer tube where the extraction takes  
place. I then add water directly to my cup after I'm done plunging-- 
either from my espresso machine's tap or from my electric kettle on  
the road.  You could also nuke the water in the smaller tube---both  
the water for extraction and the water for dilution--if you have a  
microwave but not a kettle available.
On Mar 27, 2006, at 12:53 PM, Captain CowPie wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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I measure into the smaller =
(plunger) tube, then dribble it over the grounds at the bottom of the =
outer tube where the extraction takes place. I then add water directly =
to my cup after I'm done plunging--either from my espresso machine's tap =
or from my electric kettle on the road.  You could also nuke the water =
in the smaller tube---both the water for extraction and the water for =
dilution--if you have a microwave but not a kettle =
available.
On Mar 27, 2006, at 12:53 PM, Captain CowPie =
wrote:
That is one of the questions = I had about adding water. It seems that you add water using the = indicators on the side of the larger tube after the coffee has been = added. Have you ever measured using the smaller tube, and then adding = that to the larger?  = = --Apple-Mail-172--173454168--

19) From: Sandy Andina
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Vince,
	I top up to within 1/2" of the mug's rim--I don't measure the top-up  
water. If I'm making one cup (1 scoop espresso-grind, water to the  
top of the "1" on the piston, brewed into a 6.5 oz. trad cappuccino  
cup), I still top up to w/in 1/2" of the cup's rim.
On Mar 27, 2006, at 1:13 PM, Captain CowPie wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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Vince,	I top up =
to within 1/2" of the mug's rim--I don't measure the top-up water. If =
I'm making one cup (1 scoop espresso-grind, water to the top of the "1" =
on the piston, brewed into a 6.5 oz. trad cappuccino cup), I still top =
up to w/in 1/2" of the cup's rim.
On Mar 27, 2006, at 1:13 =
PM, Captain CowPie wrote:
Sandra, A quick question about your = technique. How much water do you use to top off? = I grind very fine, between = paper-cone drip and espresso, 2 scoops of whole beans per 12-oz. mug of = coffee.  I measure hot but not boiling water up to the center of the = 2-cup oval and---here is the key---dribble the water VERY SLOWLY over = the grounds. I wait 10 seconds, stir 10 seconds, wait 10 seconds and = then plunge. Then I top up with more hot water from my espresso = machine's tap. Comes out perfect every time. homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = = = --Apple-Mail-173--173357624--

20) From: Marc
Vince,
After figuring out the measurements of water - what I've done is, using a
black permanent marker, made a small dot on the outside of the smaller tube
at the level of water for pre and post brewing. This saves on having to use
another measuring device. Note: put the black dot on top of the blue ink
line or it will rub off.
-Marc
On 3/27/06, Captain CowPie  wrote:
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t
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't
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s
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f
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21) From: Scott Marquardt
The inventor of the Aero likes the little immersion heaters, and has had
good luck using the inner tube with them. I reckon that'd heat pretty darne=
d
fast, too. I don't recall which unit he used, but there are plenty out
there:http://www.irvs.com/image.php?itemno=LCIYL205&src=frooglehttp://www.petesdepot.com/610739.htmlhttp://www.shop.com/op/aprod-v214862-~immersion+heater?search_form=1It'd be cool if Tom would stock these. Hint!">http://housewares.hardwarestore.com/38-200-misc-appliances/norpro-immersion=-heater-105162.aspxhttp://www.irvs.com/image.php?itemno=LCIYL205&src=frooglehttp://www.petesdepot.com/610739.htmlhttp://www.shop.com/op/aprod-v214862-~immersion+heater?search_form=1It'd be cool if Tom would stock these. Hint!
On 3/27/06, Sandy Andina  wrote:
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 I
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nd
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e.
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--
Scott

22) From: Peter Zulkowski
I see these all the time in thrift stores too!
Even got one with a plug to go into a 12V lighter socket in my car.
They do work great and take up little room.
PeterZ
Scott Marquardt wrote:
<Snip>


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