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Aeropress coffee plunger. My new favourite thing

Posted October 4, 2014 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

I drink a lot of coffee. Enough that I can slam an espresso dopio late at night and go straight to bed, falling alseep a few minutes later. For years I had a Gaggia espresso machine in my office. Actual steam driven motherfucker. Depending on my attention to detail, and the quality of the ground I was using, it could make a great cup of java, or the worst mouthful of stewed donkey piss you've ever tasted.

I switched to a simple plunger for a long time. Shamefully, I filled a big arse Bodum at the start of the day, hit the press, and just microwaved the leftovers as needed.

Did I mention the donkey piss?

Not sure where I first heard about the Aeropress. Maybe from Marco Arment's blog. Perhaps in a magazine feature on inventors. Because it was totally invented by an old fashioned inventor who likes to invent stuff. And drink coffee.

It's a deceptively simple-looking system, that is a little less simple once you unpack all the components and have to put them together early in the morning before you've had your first cup of coffee. Worth it though.

Long story short, the rubber tipped plunger makes for an air tight seal in the, er, coffee tube, and surprisingly effective and efficient filter cap strains out the grounds. The video below shows you the 'inverted' method, which I don't use. (Turn off the sound. Banjos.)

I love this fucking thing. It makes a great cup of coffee every time. Not much crema, unfortunately, but I use an Aldi milk frother to put a little cafe class on top. (Interesting side note. Mikey Robbins once told me Aldi Milk Frother is his porn star name).

I'm gonna throw in a buy link here because I've used this enough now to be happy recommending it to anyone. It's way cheaper than a Gaggia, or Nespresso. If you decide to get one, remember to pick up some paper filters too. Although I'm getting myself a stainless steel filter next week.

45 Responses to ‘Aeropress coffee plunger. My new favourite thing’

Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted October 4, 2014
I just brew two pots of black tea. If they go cold, I drink them anyway. It works no matter what the temp is.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted October 4, 2014
Yes, but you live like an animal.

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Abe Frellman reckons...

Posted October 4, 2014
Wow that's cheap. My wife convinced me to pay for a machine whose price was two orders of magnitude greater. She was smart about it too and worked out how much she was spending on cafe bought coffees and demonstrated that a fancy machine would pay for itself in a little over a year. She also pointed out that she could use it to hone her barista skills as that's what she really loves doing (as it has a bunch of dials, knobs and switches that mean nothing to me other than more ways for me to f&ck up a coffee were I to try using it myself.)

She makes a damn fine coffee with that thing though.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted October 4, 2014
We went with a low-to-mid-range machine - actually on our second in 10 years now, this is better than the first one and was about half the price. It came with a ceramic wheel grinder that outputs directly to the group handle basket. It's less effort to use than a plunger for morning pre-coffee brain. So mornings hear me singing harmonies to the 50Hz hum from the pump.

That said, this might solve the coffee-at-work problem.

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Dave W puts forth...

Posted October 4, 2014
Stove top espresso thingy. Great coffee and cheap to buy.

That reminds me, it's morning and I need a coffee. Back in 10.

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Spanner ducks in to say...

Posted October 4, 2014
Does it come with those two hot looking hippy barista chicks from the cafe just near my office?

The ones that flirt outrageously with slightly pudgy middle aged council office workers not because they want tips and return custom but because afore mentioned council workers have a certain charm.

If it comes with two of them and makes decent coffee then I'm in.

insomniac mutters...

Posted October 4, 2014
They would appear to be coffee plunger accessories, so are a legitimate add on to your purchase. You can also get similar accessories when purchasing fast cars, boats and ladies lingerie.

Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted October 4, 2014
"...have a certain charm." Snerk. Wot, a rabbit's foot is it?

NBlob reckons...

Posted October 4, 2014
No, an IR picture of your foot

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 4, 2014
Tea drinker.
Not sure what I loathe more, the smell of coffee or the stink of hops from that 4X brewery that used to waft into my bedroom window on hot summer nights.
Still, I live with a coffee drinker & this might be just the thing to shove underneath the tree come Santa time.
Thanks for the tip, Guv.

Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted October 4, 2014
When I were an Ipswich lad I also hated the smell. Then this hippie chick asked me if I'd like to come in for a coffee after a movie. Naturally, being an honorable chap, I said I'd never been known to refuse and smiled at her over the International Roast. Since then I've grown to love (real) coffee and especially the fresh ground smell. Still quite fond of her too.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted October 4, 2014
I have only ever heard good things from people who have one. If I had to travel as much as you did it would certainly make my must pack accessories list. Probably as carry on luggage as I wouldn't want it to go missing. I think the only thing that would annoy me is the paper filters having to be replaced.

For my brew machine of choice at home I have a Saeco Incanto Classic, had it for about 12 years now. I get it serviced every couple of years and the only problem I ever had was when the power cut out in mid cycle and the dumping out the grounds mechanism got jammed.

The crema is excellent, the brew consistent and the espresso wholly dependent on the beans which is a good test for a machine. I take it black and strong (no milk, no sugar, working in the public service with the byzantin coffee clatches where the milk is never reliable and the sugar a contaminated mess taught me to take it black). If no matter what beans you put in it still tastes like donkey piss then its a poor machine.
Though my love of chemistry has tempted me to build one of these and I do like the beans from Death Wish Coffee.

and now I think I'll go make another coffee.

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HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted October 4, 2014
I prefer Mil Grade instant ya fkn pussy

Halwes mutters...

Posted October 4, 2014
International roast. Now that's real coffee!

damian ducks in to say...

Posted October 4, 2014
There's a good old joke about International roast and a coffee enema, but the fact that coffee enemas have become a thing means it's hard to find on the interwebz.

Or maybe it was Maxwell house?

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted October 4, 2014
top three grinds of shit HAVE to be International Roast
FKN PABLO and
Maxwell House.
Followed very fkn closely by Ration pack Coffee.

Barnesm mutters...

Posted October 4, 2014
there are no words to describe the wrongness of those above statements.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted October 4, 2014
I think you mean there are no FKN words.

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted October 4, 2014
Take the instant coffee straight, tucked under the tongue. That'll get yer motor running.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

MickH puts forth...

Posted October 4, 2014
Yeah, Havoc, totally agree!
when ya drunk noth'n but mil grade coffee, all this barister crap is phaff.
It all tastes the same to me

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted October 4, 2014
I hear nothing but great things about the Aeropress, which is slowly taking over home coffee making. Quick, easy, foolproof, and a great cup of coffee. Plus, if you are travelling, it's easy to take with you.

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Bangar swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 4, 2014
I still drink coffee occasionally, but coffee filter papers are more useful when brewing ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vmdSGCXJIY
Good Eats Coffee episode

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HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted October 4, 2014
then again, now I recall, the good Mrs H makes me a Cino most mornings in the travel mug from the de-longhi...so I guess I can't throw rocks much!

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dweeze has opinions thus...

Posted October 4, 2014
that thing gets plenty o' good reviews. So does this: http://espressounplugged.com.au/rok
Too poor for either. Bodum it is....booo

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Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted October 4, 2014
Why does this blog often leave me with the urge to buy new toys?

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted October 4, 2014
at least its not an iOpress

MickH ducks in to say...

Posted October 4, 2014
Most of its apple so it has no effect on me :P

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pitpat reckons...

Posted October 4, 2014
My wife uses an Atomic stove top and swears by it must be 20+ years old. It will be the first thing packed on our next road trip. I am more from the Havock camp. Does it have caffeine at the required dosage and is the water hot and is it the morning. Although that nice flat white with the croissant at Pottsville was delightful.

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JBtoo is gonna tell you...

Posted October 4, 2014
I am still a devotee of the good old percolater, but I keep smashing the glass jugs and it's getting harder to replace them, with the rise of the pods.
This could be a highly suitable alternative - how is it to clean? I find plungers tend to cling on to the grounds.

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MickH would have you know...

Posted October 4, 2014
I think that all these coffee mechines require just too much fucking around.
Instant is good enough for me, with the occasions $4 coffee from the chocolate soldier.

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MickH reckons...

Posted October 4, 2014
When I here the word Aeropress, I think of a flying grinder! :P

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tqft asserts...

Posted October 4, 2014
I have a plunger. actually wife just cleaned up under the sink. I have 2 under there. Don't tell her about the 2 in the other cupboard. and the one out that I am using.

But want to try an aeropress. But I want to get my hands on one first to see what it is like.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 4, 2014
I inherited a 2nd hand machine that retired my old stovetop, (that relationship was built more on habit than performance.)
After my first, which one has been known to muddy with a drop of moo, I'm a long black drinker.

I heard a chap express the worst possible thing that had ever happened to coffee, ecologically, was for each cup to require a small aluminium vessel.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted October 5, 2014
Like "global climate change" (if there is such a thing) the science behind the ecological impact of requiring a small aluminum vessel for each cup of coffee is questionable. But it would unquestionably be cool. Way cool. And, if you own stock in aluminum, it would also be lucrative.

Lucrative and cool. What's not to like?

damian would have you know...

Posted October 5, 2014
Yes, my longstanding relationship with stovetops was a bit like you imagine the AK47 approach. Over the years between the mid-80s and the mid-noughties when we switched, I'd learned to disassemble, clean, charge and reassemble a stovetop machine without actually waking up.

Which means I'm not as efficient at using the electric machine as others might be, because I want to remove and clean all the cleanable parts every time. Oh, and sing along with the 50Hz hum. I mentioned that?

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BigWillieStyle mumbles...

Posted October 5, 2014
Couple of things. Firstly, "cafe class" and "Aldi milk frother" don't belong in the same universe, let alone the same sentence. Secondly, the thrumming of banjos significantly improves any instructional video.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted October 9, 2014

@ BWS, you'll have to speak up, I'm listening to the <EM>Oh Brother Where art thou?</EM> <A href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjzcGOSl2a0">soundtrack</A>

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yankeedog asserts...

Posted October 6, 2014

[returning Birmingham's
personal property after reanimating him]<o:p></o:p>







Quartermaster Clerk: One credit card receipt for Aeropress
coffee plunger signed by John Birmingham.<o:p></o:p>





Quartermaster Clerk: One warranty card for Aeropress coffee
plunger pump, filled out by John Birmingham.<o:p></o:p>



John Birmingham: I don't even know what this is! This sort
of thing ain't my bag, baby.

Quartermaster Clerk: One book, "Aeropress Coffee Plungers
And Me: This Sort of Thing Is My Bag Baby", by John Birmingham.

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Nez swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 7, 2014
I love my Aeropress, though I did have a issue with a double walled glass one time. Was aggressive and impatient for my damn coffee and cracked the bloody thing.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted October 8, 2014
I fear this.

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Simon puts forth...

Posted October 8, 2014
John I have found that stirring the grounds and water then halfway through the extraction I pull back and pull some air through the coffee. That and making sure the water isn't too hot means I get some crema which when I add hot milk (cold kills the taste) makes a pretty good drop.

Are you using an Able Brewing Coffee disk filter? much better than the paper filters

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted October 8, 2014
Is that the stainless steel one? I'm looking at getting one.

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Matthew has opinions thus...

Posted October 9, 2014
I have an Aeropress, and have had it for about the past year. Does a great job and as others have mentioned, produces a very consistent tasting coffee every time. The most satisfying thing about it is that the grounds are compacted into a 'puck' and once you take the cap off and depress the plunger to the hilt, expelling the puck makes a very nice pop/plunk noise.

When making multiple coffee's - ie when entertaining, it still takes quite a while to pump them out.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted October 9, 2014
Love the 'plunk'.

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