Over the years I’ve tried various different ways to brew a decent cup of coffee. My preferred device is a Gaggia Evolution Espresso machine—which produces lots of pressure and makes a very rich cup of espresso with a layer of crema.
Although using my Gaggia machine is great and I shall continue to do so, I have encountered a couple of annoyances when using such a machine.
Firstly, the cleaning–up process—I tend to end up with coffee grit all over the worktop and around the sink no matter how careful I am (my own incompetence). Secondly, it’s quite time–consuming to brew a number of cups of coffee unless you have an industrial coffee machine such as those used in coffee–chains like Starbucks or Costa.
This leads nicely into my review of the Aerobie Aeropress Coffee Maker—as you can see from the image above, the Aeropress simply looks like an oversized syringe. However, it’s very quick, easy–to–clean and is capable of producing up to six shots of coffee in a single plunge.
I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of pressure that is built–up in the chamber, and the resulting coffee is both rich and smooth.
Until now I haven’t found that the device is able to produce a layer of crema—even with ultra–fresh coffee. Jacob Grier, freelance writer and barista also found that the device didn’t produce crema in his review of the device:
“Whether or not this should count as espresso is a matter of definition, but for me good crema is the very essence of espresso.”
You can see how simply it is to use the Aeropress device from the video on the right, and once you’ve perfected the routine, you’ll be brewing coffee in about 60 seconds.
Despite the lack of crema, the coffee produced by the device is very good, and has been praised by several reputable coffee websites here and here. If you compare the Aeropress to a filter coffee system, you will likely be impressed with the flavour of the coffee from the Aeropress. It’s certainly richer and deeper than the flavour produces by filter coffee machines.
In my experience I found finely ground coffee worked better in the Aeropress than the slightly courser ground coffee used in filter coffee machines.
Although I haven’t found the coffee bitter, brewing the coffee at below boiling point (170–180°F or 75–80°C) is definitely advisable for getting the best flavour.
It’s also good to mix the coffee and water in the chamber for 10–20 seconds before using the plunger to get a great tasting cup of coffee.
Controlling the temperature is obviously an issue with the Aerobie when compared to a device such as the Gaggia—which heats the water to exactly the correct temperature.
Another issue is the Aerobie can’t help when it comes to frothing milk for a cappuccino or warming milk for a latte—so I won’t be discarding my Gaggia just yet.
Aeropress Espresso & Coffee Maker in Action
The Aerobie Aeropress is a quick, easy and clean way to have a cup of near–espresso coffee.
It’s capable of producing more cups of coffee in a shorter time than other devices, and it hands–down beats a filter coffee machine in terms of taste and smoothness.
Compared to a dedicated espresso machine such as the Gaggia, the flavour is very similar. The Gaggia still has the edge for me, but for convenience I tend to use my Aeropress more regularly now—and I’m more than happy with the results. Aeropress at Amazon