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Topic: Aeropress Grind (17 msgs / 460 lines)
1) From: Tom Bellhouse
Sometimes I drink alone.
In search of a way to make one cup of excellent coffee, rather than the
6 cups from my FP, I decided last week to get an Aeropress from SM to
make pseudo-Americanos (and yeah, I know the Aero doesn't make real
espresso.)  ;<)  The Aero will arrive my door on Friday, along with a
supply of filters.  I have several questions:
Is the "use cooler water" suggestion I found on SM's site for real?
What's the best grind?  I have a Solis Maestro Plus.
What's the story on the fabric filters?  Reusable?
Any tricks or hints will be deeply appreciated!
Tom in GA

2) From: Demian Ebert
Tom-
I use an AP at the office for my afternoon cup. I use a grind that's just a
tad finer than I do for drip. The finer you grind, the harder it will be to
plunge/press.
I've fiddled with water temperatures, but not in details. At this point I'm
heating the water in the microwave before using it. One of the richer cups
I've had was with the water straight out of the office "coffee" maker. Not
sure what the temp is, but it's not as hot as what I use at home for FP.
As with most of this stuff, just fiddle until you find the blend of
techniques that works best for you.
Demian
On 11/8/06, Tom Bellhouse  wrote:
<Snip>
Is the "use cooler water" suggestion I found on SM's site for real?
What's the best grind?  I have a Solis Maestro Plus.

3) From: Eddie Dove
That was a good one by George Thorogood and the Destroyers ...
I just ordered an Aeropress for myself as well so I am glad you asked this
question.
Eddie
On 11/8/06, Tom Bellhouse  wrote:
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4) From: Gary Townsend
On 11/8/06, Tom Bellhouse wrote:Sometimes I drink alone.
Tom,
the 1st step is admitting you have a problem... ;-) ( Insert background
music of George Thorogood & The Destroyers here)
In search of a way to make one cup of excellent coffee, rather than the6
cups from my FP, I decided last week to get an Aeropress from SM to make
pseudo-Americanos (and yeah, I know the Aero doesn't make real
espresso.)  ;<)  The Aero will arrive my door on Friday, along with a supply
of filters.
Tom, I decided to take the plunge...so to speak...on the Aeropress and
bought one last month. I was looking for a decent portable, light weight
coffee maker. I've been experimenting with different grinds, water temps,
and trying to find my sweet spot. I'm almost there.
I use 2 scoops of coffee, ground fine...about the size of granulated table
sugar, on my Rocky on the ' 0 ' Mark. which is  27 settings from true zero
(the point where the burrs barely meet) I usually grind my espresso about 7
steps from true zero, and my vacpot setting is '25' or 52 steps from true
zero, FWIW.
I have several questions:Is the "use cooler water" suggestion I found on
SM's site for real?
The coffee at those temps is pretty good. I followed the directions, for a
couple of days, to get the hang of it.
I'm on the last pound of my Lot 30...sniff, sniff...Harar, and I roasted it
to a City + and rested it for 72 hours. With a water temp of 185F, I get the
blueberry bomb and am very happy with the taste. Darker roasts... say Full
City + of Matakad are very good at the lower temps 165 to 175F.
What's the story on the fabric filters?  Reusable?
The 350 paper filters that come with the AP should last a long time, if you
wash them between uses. I had a spare gold filter that was used in an older
machine, that I cut out and tried to replace the paper filter altogether. It
works, but does not allow very much resistance, and less pressure. Which
results in a weaker cup. The pressure is key to extracting the most out of
the coffee, I believe. I'd be interested in getting a permanant filter
screen that allows the pressure to build up, like the paper filter does. I
ran out of Chemex filters, and I wanted to try using them, next.
Any tricks or hints will be deeply appreciated!
Theres an in depth thread on it over on the coffee geek website, that
includes responses from the inventor.
Over all, I'd say it makes a great cup of strong americano like coffee. I
like using it, and it is easy to use and clean up is quick and easy. When
you finish pressing your coffee, you just twist off the retainer, and press
out the used puck. Rinse off, and you are done. ( I put all my coffee
grounds into my compost pile..getting all that I can out of that coffee!) My
wife said it kind of looks like a baby bottle ;-0
Gary

5) From: Sandy Andina
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I use water from my espresso machine's hot water tap. I draw the  
water first; by the time I've measured and ground the beans,  
assembled the filter chamber and loaded the grounds, the water has  
cooled a bit. Any cooler and I don't get crema.
On Nov 8, 2006, at 6:33 PM, Demian Ebert wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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I use water from my espresso =
machine's hot water tap. I draw the water first; by the time I've =
measured and ground the beans, assembled the filter chamber and loaded =
the grounds, the water has cooled a bit. Any cooler and I don't get =
crema.
On Nov 8, 2006, at 6:33 PM, Demian Ebert =
wrote:
Tom- I use an AP at the office for my = afternoon cup. I use a grind that's just a tad finer than I do for drip. = The finer you grind, the harder it will be to plunge/press. =   I've fiddled with water temperatures, but not in = details. At this point I'm heating the water in the microwave before = using it. One of the richer cups I've had was with the water straight = out of the office "coffee" maker. Not sure what the temp is, but it's = not as hot as what I use at home for FP. As with most of this = stuff, just fiddle until you find the blend of techniques that works = best for you.   Demian   = On 11/8/06, Tom Bellhouse <altoid> = wrote: <snip>   Is the "use cooler = water" suggestion I found on SM's site for real? What's the best = grind?  I have a Solis Maestro = Plus. Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-38-44355786--

6) From: Scott Marquardt
I have an SMP, and use a grind anywhere between 1 and 5 notches to the left
of drip.
I use water at least 190 degrees, usually 205 or so.
I also use a LOT more water than the instructions call for. For a 6 to 8
ounce cup, you can use a full amount of water -- making it unnecessary to
add any after the press.
I also use 5 micron polyester felt. It cleans up well and makes a great cup
with the extra body of a French press or vac pot, but lacking entirely in
fines.
Fine grind, hot water, more water, fine felt filters.
- S
On 11/8/06, Tom Bellhouse  wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: Tom Bellhouse
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Thanks Scott, and everyone else who has responded.  Scott, where do you =
get the 5 micron poly felt filter?
Tom in GA

8) From: Scott Marquardt
There are several suppliers who will sell it in bulk quantities. I picked up
a bolt of the stuff. If you'd like a sample, e-mail me your address.
I've been saying I'd start selling the stuff already die-cut, and that's
true. My cutter needs a tweak to be practical, and I'm too darned busy with
other stuff to get it done! But the rounds it cuts are superb.
I'll just send you a cut off the bolt, and you can cut your own rounds.
About a hundredth larger than the paper.
- Scott
On 11/8/06, Tom Bellhouse  wrote:
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9) From: MichaelB
I've been the lucky recipient of Scott's generosity, using his poly filters
and his methodology.
I did not care for the taste of the paper filter output and the lower
temperature brewing, So thanks to this material and Scott's methodology I am
enjoying the occasional aeropress cup.
IMO it is not quite up to French press or vacuum, but close enough for me to
use when the aeropress is handier than the other methods. And the more I
experiment with grind and methodology the better it gets. This is definitely
worth a try for those of you who gave up on the stock aeropress material and
method.
Perhaps we should send Scott some beans so he can brew them to get rid of
the taste of all that envelope glue for all those filters he is sending out
to us.
On 11/9/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
<Snip>
--
MichaelB

10) From: Angelo
Try using the "inverted press". Much easier...
A+
<Snip>

11) From: Captain CowPie
All of the talk about polyester being used for the Aeropress made me wonder=
 about the sale of metal filters. I remember a discussion on Computer Geek =
about the inventor possibly selling the metal filters, but haven't heard an=
ything since. I did a quick look on Computer Geek but did not find it. Surp=
risingly, the Aeropress thread has surpassed 65 pages!
Anyone know the status of the metal filters?
Vince

12) From: Scott Marquardt
None from Alan, but there's word elsewhere of some folks conspiring to bring
metal to market in a serious way.
I did some casual analysis of metal, and was prepared to appreciate
polyester's merits largely on account of the flaws I identified with metal.
The main problem is fines. Folks who don't mind some embittering sediment in
the bottom of their cup can shrug at this, but for my part I was not cheered
to discover that an ostensible step forward (combining the ease of use and
cleaning of an Aero with the richness of a metal filtered cup) turned out to
be merely approximating a status quo in the cup (nothing better than French
press brew). For me, wedding the innovative Aero to status quo quality --
merely obtaining cupping parity with an existing device -- wasn't enough. To
my mind, changes with Aero filtering should allow for a different,
potentially better cup than other brewing devices.
The Aeropress itself allows for superb control for variables over a wide
range. You can grind finer to accelerate extraction because unlike a French
press, you're using paper and there's no concern about fines. Reinforcing
this is expressed extraction -- the use of pressure to terminate extraction
and remove all brew before over-extraction can set in -- complete control
over the precise duration of extraction. And further showing the elegance of
the device (the sense in which a design organically implicates everything at
once), using cooler water is possible (useful for darker roasts, perhaps)
because the fineness of grind makes extraction at cooler temperatures
practical in a reasonably short duration.
Granting all that, Polyester is fitting for the Aero because it allows for
variations in technique that will yield differences in the cup (sans fines),
further augmenting the Aero's control over variables. Specifically, using
the inverted method will give the cup a substantial oil slick -- something
that French press lovers will appreciate. Or take a pass on inversion and
use the device more conventionally (I've really been exploring that lately)
to get a rich cup with only some oils.
BTW, when I use the word "rich," I mean "there's more stuff in it." That's
all I mean. Paper eliminates some "stuff." Metal -- whether thin discs for
an Aero, a French press screen, or a Swiss Gold style -- lets a lot more
stuff into the cup, but that includes fines (and I do not accept their
characterization as contributing to "body"). The poly offers a via media, a
tertium quid, a placebo non quamundum.
Yeah, I made that last one up.   ;-)
- Scott
On 11/10/06, Captain CowPie  wrote:
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13) From: MichaelB
Liking French press as I do I have no phobia about fines in the cup (O
tempora! O mores! O fines!)  However I agree with Scott that the fines are
not a positive enhancement, but for some of us a small price to pay for the
improved taste.
However, IMO there is one place at least where the French press method and
fines do not work - thermoses and travel mugs. I believe the fines sitting
in the brew for an extended period and the agitation of travel ruin French
press coffee pretty quickly. This would be where the aeropress and poly
filters might excel beyond the press (or metal filters) to produce
potentially longer lasting palatability in the cup.
On 11/10/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
<Snip>
--
MichaelB

14) From: Eddie Dove
Scott,
Have you tried your polyester in a French Press?
Eddie
On 11/10/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
<Snip>

15) From: Scott Marquardt
Yah. Didn't work very well. But I suspect others might have better luck. I
"had issues."  ;-)
- S
On 11/10/06, Eddie Dove  wrote:
<Snip>

16) From: Tom Bellhouse
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
This is a really nifty gizmo!
I'm on day 3 with the Aeropress, and I just made as good an Americano as =
I have ever had "out."  It hasn't been without disappointments, though.  =
The first couple of shots were sink shots, then a good Americano for a =
friend, then a miserable one for another friend, then some experimenting =
last night and CoffeeGeek research, and now -- reliable success! 
To make a mug of Americano, I use one of the Aeropress scoops of beans =
and grind them one click more coarse than "espresso" in my Solis =
Maestro.  Then, 180 degree water to the middle of the "2" on the Aero, =
then 20 second stir, then 20 second press, then top the cup off with =
water from the kettle.  Damn it's good!  Very little leak-through and a =
bit more pressure required over the 20 second push.
The grind and water temp have proven to be critical.  I was getting too =
much leak-through with the grind I tried at first, and the extraction =
water was too hot and made the cup bitter.  Same cofee (Chiapas from SM) =
with cooler extraction water and finer grind = no bitterness.  YeeHaw!
BTW, there are now 66 pages of discussion of CofeeGeek about the Aero.  =
I have waded into it to about p.38.  Onward and upward!
Tom in GA

17) From: Scott Marquardt
Now cut your time in half and use hotter water.
Then go with a coarser grind (and don't fret the wash-through) with more
water and take 20 seconds longer.
All three cups should taste remarkably similar.
Once you're able to produce similar brews by varying each possible variable
against the others, you'll know you're an Aerista.    ;-)
On 11/11/06, Tom Bellhouse  wrote:
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