Many coffee enthusiasts have an AeroPress laying around somewhere in their kitchen. As coffee-making apparatuses go, the AeroPress remains one of the most cost-effective tools for brewing a quality cup of coffee. And at ~$30, it can also be a great introduction to brewing espresso in-house without the need for more pricey equipment.
In the post below, we outline how to brew quality espresso coffee in no time flat using our delicious espresso recipe.
Look into the Prismo from Fellow
While you can brew espresso-style coffee using the AeroPress, the default attachment is full of holes and makes getting the high pressure needed for espresso extraction difficult. Our recommendation would be Fellow’s Prismo adapter. The tool prevents any black gold from seeping out until you push down the plunger.
Alternatives to the Prismo
If you don’t want to shell out $25 for a Prismo, there are a few other paper filter replacements that we would recommend:
- Corretto’s Filters (comes with 3 different filters with various hole sizes)
- Altura The Mesh
So, without further ado…
The Ultimate AeroPress Espresso Recipe
Set Up Your Equipment
Coffee brewing is a very time-sensitive thing, so help yourself out by getting all of your equipment out in advance. When I make AeroPress espresso, I use the following equipment:
- AeroPress stirrer
- Scale + Timer
- Belavita gooseneck kettle with temperature control
- Ceramic burr coffee grinder
- Prismo attachment or metal reusable filter
- A favorite mug
- A kitchen rag or paper towel
Heating Up the Water
I recommend you prep your water first. Fill your kettle with a sufficient amount of water. You’ll need at least 30 mL for the actual espresso, but you’ll want to heat up more than that so you can preheat your mug and AeroPress.
Heat up your water to 210° F. If you don’t have a kettle with temperature control, have no fear. You can either use a thermometer and monitor the temperature or bring the water to a soft boil, then let it cool off a bit. While the water warms up, we’re going to prepare the beans.
Preparing the Beans
Now that the system has been preheated, we are ready to prep the beans for brewing. You’ll want to start by weighing out 20 grams of coffee on your scale. If you don’t have a scale at your disposal, you can estimate about 3-4 tablespoons of coffee; it really depends on the size and density of the beans.
After weighing your beans, toss them in a burr grinder. I usually make this type of coffee when I’m traveling, so I use a hand crank burr grinder, but any burr grinder will work.
You’ll want to dial the grinder to a setting similar to that of espresso. The resulting ground coffee should be very fine, like a talcum powder. Grinding this amount of coffee at this grind setting will usually take 2-3 minutes, depending on your hand grinder. I like to grind the coffee while the water is heating up since it’s a bit time consuming.
Preheating the System
Once your water is heated, place your AeroPress chamber on top of your mug on a heat-resistant surface. I like to put the mug on the stove or on top of a hot pad on the counter.
Next, you’ll want to pour some water into the AeroPress chamber to heat it up. Fill to at least the “1” mark on the side, but be sure to save enough water for the coffee! When you’ve filled the chamber, insert the plunger and press it down until all of the hot water is in the mug. Swirl the mug around so that the heat from the water transfers to the mug and warms it up.
Finally, dump out the water and remove the plunger from the AeroPress. You’ve officially pre-heated your equipment and are ready to brew!
Saturate the Grounds
Note: If you don’t have a Prismo, you should check-out the inverted AeroPress method.
With the beans ground, the system preheated, and your water ready, dump the freshly ground coffee into the AeroPress chamber.
Shake the chamber so that the grounds lie mostly flat against the filter. Start your stopwatch and pour 30 mL of water into the chamber. You’ll want to agitate the grounds for 10 seconds with the stirrer or a spoon.
After you’ve done your best to mix the coffee grounds and steaming water, let the concoction brew for 60 seconds.
After the 60 seconds have expired, insert the plunger and press down. You’ll feel quite a bit of resistance because of the fineness of the grounds and the one-way pressure valve of the Prismo. Press the plunger down until it reaches the bottom of the chamber.
If you’ve made it just right, you may actually have some crema appear on the surface of your espresso shot.
Enjoy Your Espresso
With your delicious espresso-style coffee brewed and ready for consumption, I would recommend you sit down and enjoy it before cleaning everything up. The recipe you just followed doesn’t make a whole latte (couldn’t resist) coffee, so if you add milk from your fridge, you’ll very quickly cool it down. Cold coffee (with the exception of cold brew) isn’t nearly as tasty as warm or hot coffee.
If you’re feeling adventurous and have a milk frother or foaming device, you should experiment with different espresso-based drinks like cappuccinos, macchiatos, or lattes. There are a number of fun drinks to make, and you’re limited only by your own creativity.
Cleanup is a necessary part of any coffee routine, which is why so many people choose to imbibe at their local coffee shop. Thankfully, the AeroPress doesn’t require much work to get it cleaned up and ready for the next brew.
Hold the AeroPress over a trashcan and twist off the base. You can set this part aside for now.
With the bottom of the AeroPress directed over top of the trashcan, push in the plunger to eject the puck and residual coffee grounds. With the plunger pushed all the way in, rinse the entire apparatus with hot water. If you’re doing a deeper clean to remove oil buildup, I recommend a bath of warm soapy water.
After cleaning the rubber potion of the plunger, remove the plunger and scrub the inside of the AeroPress chamber. When you’ve finished washing both parts, set them aside to dry and turn your attention to the base of the AeroPress.
If you’re using the Prismo, you’ll want to remove the filter and wash both that and the one-way valve in warm soapy water. If you’re using the default AeroPress attachment, be sure to dispose of the paper filter before dunking the attachment in the soapy solution.
After you’re done scrubbing away coffee remains, set everything on a drying mat or towel so that it’s ready for your next Aeropress espresso.
I hope these instructions have helped you up your coffee game. Please share our AeroPress Espresso recipe with any of your AeroPress-ing friends. If you have any questions or comments, drop us a line in the comment field below.
Is the amount of water correct? 20g of coffee to 1 ounce (30ml or g) of water per your recipe…most of the water will be absorbed by the grounds and your finished brew will be less than a 1/2 ounce shot. I use the same amount of coffee to 2x the water (60g) and I end up with a little more than an ounce that is well-balanced. I also don’t steep…just a quick stir and immediate hard plunge with everything I have. An awesome espresso knock-off!