Now, more than ever before, it’s easy to bring the art of coffee and espresso brewing into your own home. From pour overs, to French presses, to entire espresso kits, you can finally give yourself that refreshing, aromatic, warm experience that you would otherwise need to purchase at a coffee shop. Because of this, people are working hard at perfecting the at-home espresso.
Many technologies have been created to help with this process, but our personal favorite is the Aeropress. This is by far the easiest, most intuitive, and most rewarding machine to use to make coffee at home. Just put in your ground coffee and water, let it sit and brew, and then press the Aeropress to push the coffee into your cup through a filter. What started as a one-trick-pony has allowed baristas in coffee shops and at home alike to become more creative and inventive, offering up many different techniques on how to pour the perfect Aeropress coffee.
There is one issue that many have come across, however; in order to make a true cup of espresso, you have to have crema. The foamy texture that sits nicely on top is what gives espresso its familiar look and taste. While other, more traditional techniques produce crema, it’s almost impossible to replicate with an Aeropress.
Or is it?
You don’t have to sacrifice the art and simplicity of Aeropress brewing to create crema for your espresso. We’ll let you in on how to use your Aeropress to make proper espresso – including a hack to make it easier than ever before.
What You’ll Need
- An Aeropress
- Finely ground coffee or espresso beans
- A filter
Your filter can be a paper filter, or a metal filter. Be sure to choose wisely, as your filter choice will affect the taste; paper filters tend to produce coffee with less body, but can include more flavor because they help retain the oils otherwise filtered out of the beans. This, however, can make it more difficult to get the crema – which is the goal.
Generally, we find that metal filters or filter attachments produce better results. The coffee is generally stronger-bodied, and the crema is easier to produce. We recommend the Prismo filter from Fellow; it’s a metal filter designed to attach to an Aeropress, allowing pressure build-up to guarantee the perfect espresso every time – crema included. Plus, with the no-drip seal and reusable 70 micron etched fine stainless steel filter, you don’t have to worry about spillage or being wasteful – enjoy your espresso guilt-free.
- Rinse your Prismo or metal filter and attach it to the filter cap of your Aeropress. Place the plunger halfway down the brewing chamber.
- Heat the water to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Normally you would want a boiling temperature, but the lower temperature acts as a handicap for extraction; the lower the temperature, the less likely you are to over extract.
- Take your finely ground coffee and pour it into your Aeropress. Make sure your beans are freshly ground and on the darker-side roast-wise for the best extraction results.
- Start pouring your water in slowly over the ground coffee.
- After about 10 seconds, or when you’ve reached the amount of water weight you want, grab the Aeropress and swish it around in your hand, letting the coffee water slosh around the chamber.
- Finally, attach the Prismo or metal filter, flip the Aeropress and place it on the top of your mug or drinking cup, and start plunging. It will take about five seconds for all the coffee to filter out.
This process, from pouring the water to filtering out the coffee into the cup, should take about 30 seconds total.
There you have it – the way to get your Aeropress to produce the perfect cup of at-home espresso. It may take a few attempts to get the timing right, along with determining the amount of coffee and water you need, but once you succeed, you’ll never drink your coffee at home any other way again.
Let us know if you try this Aeropress crema hack in the comments below. How was your attempt? Do you use your Aeropress differently than the way we suggested?