After all these years, the AeroPress remains one of our favorite ways to make coffee each morning. It’s simple to use, works with fine or coarse grinds, is easy to clean, and you can brew with it in a number of ways that all result in a heckuva cup of coffee.
It’s a tad more expensive than it used to be ($32 instead of $25) but we still consider it relatively inexpensive when you think about how much a good coffee machine usually costs. It’s also just as portable, versatile, and easy to clean up as ever.
As good as the AeroPress is on its own, it can be made even better with the addition of a few key accessories. We’ll share a few of our favorites below.
The AeroPress is an excellent coffee maker to take when traveling. You can slide a dozen paper filters and a plastic bag of beans inside of the plunger whenever you’re going on a trip — the only problem being that the filters and beans have a tendency to fall out.
To fix this problem, the guys at Able Brewing made a rubber travel cap that fits snugly over the open end of the AeroPress plunger, allowing you to securely store filters and coffee beans when traveling. It also doubles as a comfortable brewing grip when you’re actually making your coffee.
The disk is reusable and has ultra-micro perforations so that only water gets through the filter, even when brewing a super-fine espresso grind. Many people prefer the flavor that stainless steel filters allow as opposed to the bleached paper filters. Paper filters absorb some of the oils from the coffee beans; metal filters allow those oils to pass through for richer cup of coffee, particularly for dark roasts.
The folks at Fellow — makers of many fine coffee products — have an interesting attachment called Prismo that you can use in place of the standard cap to produce an espresso-like shot. No, it’s not actually espresso, but it’s pretty dang close, and you don’t have to buy a whole separate machine.
It’s comprised of two main features: a pressure-actuated valve and a reusable fine-mesh stainless steel filter (much like the Able one above). The airtight valve doesn’t drip unless you put pressure on it, solving the “slow drip” problem inherent to the AeroPress. Two things to keep in mind:
- It does take more pressure to pull a shot from Prismo than you’d apply for a typical AeroPress brew, so expect a bit of an arm workout.
- Don’t use it on a thin/fragile glass vessel.
The resulting shot is full-bodied and has a long-lasting “crema”, with a thickness and consistency comparable to traditional espresso. You can even do a bit of latte art with it. If you think tomorrow will call for some cold brew, it can do that too.
Another way to make cold brew with the AeroPress is with the PUCKPUCK attachment, which is more specifically designed to turn the coffee maker into a cold-brew drip system.
The idea is that you twist a compatible mineral water bottle — ideally an empty one with its bottom end cut off — onto the attachment valve, fill your newfound “reservoir” with ice water, and you then get a controlled drip over a bed of coffee grounds within the AeroPress chamber, which themselves are topped by the PUCKPUCK’s separate dispersion screen. (The AeroPress itself should, of course, be place atop a decanter of some kind.)
If you got the drip rate right — and their free companion app will help you do just that — then after a few hours you’ll come back to a batch of deliciously cold coffee that you can dress up however you like.
Serious AeroPress users will appreciate this nice little bamboo stand, which gives your coffee maker and all its other components (like the scoop, stirrer, and paper filters, if you’re using those) a place to rest when you’re not using them.
The company also makes a larger version ($40) that can accommodate two coffee mugs up top and lets you hang the AeroPress plunger pieces separately for better drying.