How to make the best, smooth cup of aeropress coffee

How to make the best, smooth cup of aeropress coffee

Learn how to brew the perfect cup of coffee using an aeropress. So smooth and full-bodied, you’ll never use another method again.

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The aeropress is not only my favorite way to brew coffee, but it’s also one of the cheapest options!

Thanks to my husband, I’ve become a bit of a coffee snob.

In college I was all about the French press as it was easy to keep in a dorm room, and I thought it made a pretty good cup. 

And after years of going with the French press method, two things happened about two years ago: 

  1. We went to Norway. 
  2. My husband started a new job.

Both of these events led us to the aeropress. My husband’s work is all about brewing really good cups of coffee.

And through his coworkers, he discovered the aeropress, which he continually would tell me about and how it was by far the best way to brew coffee.

I wasn’t convinced until we went to Norway. If you haven’t been, then you may not realize how serious Norwegians are about their coffee.

And nearly every coffee shop we went to used an aeropress. I was sold. It really does make the best cup of coffee. 

Not only is it my favorite way to brew coffee, but the aeropress itself is inexpensive and travels well. So whether you’re going camping or cozying up at home, you’ll never be without an excellent cup of coffee. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Quick and simple way to brew your perfect cup of coffee.
  • Easily adjusted based on how strong you prefer your morning joe. 
  • Inexpensive to buy.
  • Travels well and takes up very little space in your kitchen. 

Aeropress brewing makes for a smooth, less bitter cup

I don’t know about you, but I like my coffee to taste smooth and clean, rather than bitter. 

While I once thought that the only way to achieve this was to buy a pour-over, I was happily surprised at how the coffee I made in the aeropress tasted just as smooth and delicious as pour overs that I used to buy at fancy cafes. 

What You’ll Need to Make Aeropress Coffee

What you'll need to brew aeropress coffee
  • Aeropress: Clearly, the most important thing you need is the aeropress itself. I recommend buying the full kit, which includes the chamber, plunger, stirrer, filters, and coffee scoop. You can buy it here.  
  • Aeropress filters: These small white filters will keep the grounds from ending up in your mug. You can buy refills of them here.
  • Stirrer: While not everyone stirs their aeropress coffee (more on that later), after trying it both ways I feel like stirring brings out the flavors of your coffee beans better. I use the official stirrer, but you can also use a rubber spatula.
  • Coffee beans: Even with a good brewing method, the flavor comes down to the quality of your coffee beans. I’ll talk more about coffee beans next. 
  • Hot water: A stove-top or electric kettle works best. 
  • Coffee mug: If you add milk to your coffee, you’ll want to use a good-sized mug otherwise you’ll end up spilling everywhere. I recommend using a 12 or 16-ounce mug if adding milk. If you drink yours black, then a 10-ounce mug will work fine. Also make sure that your mug isn’t too wide, otherwise the press won’t be able to sit on top for brewing. 

There are so many different ways to brew your coffee

Before we get going, it’s important to mention that there are SO many ways to tweak your aeropress method depending on the flavor and strength that you prefer. 

The following method makes what I’d consider a medium-strong cup that’s smooth and full-bodied. 

For more ways to tweak your brew, check out these winning recipes from the World Aeropress Championships (yes, there’s actually a competition for making coffee this way). 

What is the ideal grind size for aeropress coffee?

The grind size of your coffee beans is essential for the flavor of your coffee and should be tailored by the method. 

  • If you grind it too fine, you could end up over-extracting the flavor of your beans = super bitter flavor. 
  • In contrast, using grounds that are too coarse, you’ll under-extract your beans = sour and acidic flavor. 

When it comes to making aeropress coffee, I recommend using a medium-fine grind. It should look finer than sand, but slightly coarser than espresso. 

On my KitchenAid Burr coffee grinder, setting it to 4.5 is perfect! (P.S. While it’s pricey, I fully recommend the KitchenAide Burr grinder. It’s super easy to adjust and clean). 

As different grinders have different settings, I recommend checking out this site that lists the grind size based on the grinder you’re using. 

KitchenAide Blurr coffee grinder

Does grinding your own coffee beans make a difference? 

The hard part about using medium-fine grounds is that it’s near impossible to buy bags that are pre-ground. 

However, that’s not the worst news in the world, as buying whole beans and then grinding them yourself is often cheaper and the flavor is noticeably better. 

Which coffee beans are the best to use? 

There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to choosing your coffee: flavor, price, and ethical sourcing are the big three. 

If you live in Colorado, I cannot recommend Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters any higher. 

Not only do they have a great subscription service that can be adjusted based on how quickly you go through your beans, but the roast and overall flavor of each bag has been consistently phenomenal. 

I recommend looking for a local coffee roaster in your area. However, if that’s not an option, then I’d go with a Fair Trade certified coffee. 

Sweet bloom coffee beans

What’s the best way to store coffee beans? 

What’s unique about coffee beans is that they absorb moisture, smells, and flavors from the surrounding air. 

This means that you want to keep them in an airtight container to keep out these factors that can negatively affect the flavor and freshness of your beans. 

The best way to store coffee that you plan on using within 2 weeks is keeping the beans in an opaque (not clear), airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. 

A cabinet or pantry is perfect. Just make sure that the cabinet doesn’t get hot from being too close to your oven. 

For coffee that won’t get to as quickly, transfer the beans to a freezer-safe zip-top bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 month (any longer and they’ll start to lose their flavor).

To thaw, simply set out at room temp for 1-2 hours before grinding. 

How to Make the Best Cup of Aeropress Coffee

Step 1: Grind your coffee beans and heat water. 

Scooping coffee beans into aeropress

See notes above about what grind your coffee beans should be. I like to use an electric grinder, but a hand grinder works too. 

Heat water to about 205 F(96 C)  in a stovetop or electric kettle. If you don’t want to take the temperature, I recommend heating the water until it just starts to boil, but take it off before it reaches a rapid boil. 

Step 2: Rinse filter and scoop out coffee. 

Placing filter in aeropress filter cap

Take one paper filter and quickly rinse it under cool, running water. If you’re really sensitive to bitter, you can use 2 filters to help filter out even more of the natural oils in the beans.

Place the filter in the bottom of the filter cap, making sure its lies flat and fully covers the bottom of the cap. 

Screw the filter cap into the chamber and place on top of your coffee mug. 

Next, scoop ground coffee into the chamber. 

I use the official aeropress 30 ml coffee scoop to scoop out my coffee. One scoop is about 2 tablespoons (17 grams).

Adding coffee grounds to aeropress chamber

Note that the grind-size of your beans will determine how much you’ll want to add to your coffee. 

Step 3: Bloom coffee beans. 

Blooming aeropress coffee

When coffee is roasted, CO2 forms in the beans. This can affect the flavor of your coffee as once hot water hits the grounds, the coffee grounds release CO2, which you can see by the bubbles that form. 

One problem with this is that since your coffee is busy releasing CO2, water can’t get fully into the beans to extract their flavor.

So, to fix this you want to bloom your coffee first. (You can read more about the science behind blooming coffee here). 

To bloom your coffee, you’ll simply pour enough water into the chamber to fully cover the coffee grounds. While some people measure out the water, I prefer to eyeball it. 

Let the coffee bloom for about 45-60 seconds. I set a timer on my microwave. 

Step 4: Stir and steep. 

Stirring aeropress coffee

After your coffee has bloomed, slowly pour more hot water into the chamber. Again, you can measure this, but I like to use the numbers on the side of the aeropress. I aim to fill it up to the middle of the 4 on the side. 

Once the water is poured, gently stir the beans, using a back and forth motion with the aeropress stirrer, or a rubber spatula. This agitation helps create a more uniform extraction of flavor. 

I like to do 5 stirs. 

After stirring, quickly place the plunger on top of the chamber. It should fit into the top, but do not press down yet! 

How to make aeropress coffee

How long you steep your coffee depends on how fine or coarse your grounds are. I find 1 minute to be perfect for grounds that are medium-fine (a 4.5 setting on the KitchenAide Burr grinder). 

Step 5: Slowly press plunger down. 

Making aeropress coffee

Once your coffee has steeped, slowly press down on the plunger to push the remaining water through the filter. 

Be careful not to go too fast, otherwise you’ll end up with coffee going everywhere – trust me, I’ve had plenty of shirts get coffee stains from being too impatient. 

Step 6. Remove aeropress and discard coffee beans in the trash. 

removing aeropress

Once the plunger is fully pressed down, gently tip the aeropress to let any remaining coffee go through the filter. 

Flip the aeropress upside down and unscrew the filter cap. Place the filter cap in the sink to clean and bring the inverted aeropress over to the trash can. 

Flip it so that the filter and grounds go into the trash. You can even give an extra push on the plunger to push any remaining grounds into the trash. 

Clean the aeropress and filter cap with hot soapy water. Dry completely before storing. 

How to make Aeropress with milk 

Pouring milk into coffee

I prefer my coffee with about 3-4 tablespoons of oat milk in it. Now, I’ve experimented with different ways of adding milk:

  • Placing cold milk in the bottom of the mug and brewing coffee into it. 
  • Pouring cold milk into brewed coffee. 
  • Steaming milk and adding to brewed coffee. 
  • Warming the milk and then placing in the bottom of the mug before brewing coffee. 

Unless you’re making a latte, which in that case you’ll want to add frothed milk to your brewed cup, I didn’t notice a huge difference between the methods.

While I slightly liked adding warmed milk to the cup before brewing the coffee better, as long as you give a good stir, any option will work.

However, if you add more than a 1/4 cup of milk or creamer, then I would recommend heating it first to avoid cooling off your coffee too quickly.

Tips for using brewing coffee with an Aeropress

  • For best flavor, use freshly ground, high-quality coffee beans.
  • Use a medium-fine grind: finer than sand, but slightly coarser than espresso.
  • Use just boiling water, not rapid boiling.
  • Bloom grounds for 45 seconds.
  • Pour water into aeropress slowly and stir about 4-5 times for an even extraction of flavor.
  • Press the plunger down slowly and using even pressure to avoid coffee going everywhere.

More healthy coffee recipes to try 

Looking for more ways to get your caffeine fix in the morning? Try one of these healthy coffee-infused recipes: 

If you tried this aeropress coffee method or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

Best, Smoothest Cup of Aeropress Coffee

Learn how to brew the perfect cup of coffee using an aeropress. After tasting how smooth and full-bodied your coffee is, you’ll never use another method again.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Drinks
Keyword: Aeropress Coffee
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons medium-fine ground coffee (about 17 grams or 1 full aeropress 30 ml scoop) see post for tips on grind size and amount to use
  • 250 ml hot water I usually eyeball the water rather than measuring it out

Instructions

  • Bring water to a low boil (about 205 F, or 96 C) and grind coffee beans.
  • Rinse 1 aeropress filter under cool, running water and place in the bottom of the filter cap. Screw filter cap into aeropress chamber and place on top of your coffee mug.
  • Scoop coffee into aeropress chamber. Bloom coffee grounds by pouring just enough hot water to cover the grounds. Rest for 45-60 seconds.
  • Slowly pour water until it reaches about the middle of the number 4 on the side of the aeropress chamber. Using the aeropress stirrer, stir 5 times using a back and forth motion. Place the plunger into the top of the chamber, but don’t press down.
  • Steep coffee for 1 minute, then slowly apply even pressure to press the plunger down.
  • Remove aeropress. Discard of filter and grounds in the trash and clean aeropress with hot soapy water.

Notes

See post for full step-by-step instructions plus tips on grinding your coffee beans as well as best way to add milk to your aeropress coffee.

Don’t forget to pin for later!

How to make aeropress coffee pinterest image.

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

Here you’ll find healthy breakfast recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your health goals in mind.

As a dietitian I understand that a healthy breakfast is essential for giving you the fuel you need to power through your day. Which is why on TheHealthyToast, you’ll find nutrition guides plus the best healthy breakfast recipes for every diet and lifestyle.

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