In my pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee, I am always on the lookout for interesting ways to make coffee while on the road or an extended ski tour. A true coffee addict and aspiring aficionado, I always travel with some level of coffee making apparatus and some quality beans for an easy fix.
My default apparatus of choice has long been a simple cone filter set-up (preferably a #2). This system is reliable and makes an excellent single cup of coffee. It’s light and easy to pack on a multi-day ski tour or road trip, and it requires nothing more than coffee, hot water and a paper filter.
Recently, I was turned on to a cool coffee making tool that may well replace my standard cone filter set-up, the Aeropress Coffee Maker. It is a simple espresso style coffee system, and it makes an excellent cup of coffee. It’s also relatively light, very packable and unique in its brewing method.
Using a small paper filter and an espresso style coffee basket, the Aeropress pushes hot water and grounds into the filter basket using its plunger. Unlike a French press, the Aeropress plunger forms a tight seal and it is air that actually forces the water through the filter.
In the end, you are left with an espresso style puck in the filter basket, a great cup of coffee and very little clean-up, as the plunger completely flushes the aeropress cylinder. The small paper filter allows no grounds into your cup, so you have a completely grit-free cup of coffee.
I have been using it to make an Americano style cup where I essentially brew a double shot of espresso and then add a few ounces of hot water. I am a harsh critic of a poorly made cup of coffee, and the Aeropress coffee maker brews an excellent cup. It’s not a pro-level shop-made Americano, but it is smooth and tastes great – like a smooth, supercharged version of a good cup of drip. The Aeropress may appear to be similar to a French press, but the process is actually quite different and the cup of coffee better.
In addition, the Aeropress is portable, pack-friendly plastic and super simple to use. At 7.5 ounces, it weighs more than a cone filter, but the lack of a messy filter post brewing is a nice bonus.