15 Aeropress Mistakes That Even Experienced Experts Do
An AeroPress is a popular and versatile coffee brewing device known for its simplicity, portability, and ability to produce a clean and flavorful cup of coffee.
It was invented by Alan Adler and introduced to the market in 2005.
It is one of the best-known brewing methods worldwide. Being simple and effective, most people have switched to Aeropress from other methods.
However, I have seen many people make mistakes that can ruin their Aeropress brewing experience.
In this article, I am going to list these common Aeropress mistakes.
15 Common Aeropress Mistakes
1) Using the wrong grind size
Coffee grind size significantly impacts the extraction process. Using a grind that's too fine can lead to over-extraction, resulting in a bitter taste. Conversely, a grind that's too coarse can lead to under-extraction, resulting in a weak and sour cup.
You need to aim for a medium-fine grind, similar to table salt. Experiment with grind settings to find the one that works best for your coffee beans and taste preferences. A burr grinder is highly recommended for achieving a consistent grind size.
2) Incorrect coffee-to-water ratio
The coffee-to-water ratio is important for achieving the right strength and flavor in your cup.
Using too much coffee can result in an overly strong brew while using too little can lead to a weak cup.
Start with a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio (e.g., 20g of coffee to 300 ml of water) as a baseline.
Adjust this ratio according to your taste; if you prefer stronger coffee, use more coffee grounds, and if you prefer milder coffee, use less. Keep a coffee scale handy for precise measurements.
3) Inconsistent stirring
Proper stirring ensures that all coffee grounds are evenly saturated and contributes to a uniform extraction. Neglecting this step can result in an uneven and unbalanced brew.
Use a long spoon or paddle to thoroughly stir the coffee and water mixture for about 10–15 seconds. Make sure no dry pockets of coffee grounds remain. Stirring in a gentle, circular motion helps achieve even saturation.
4) Using water that's too hot
Water that is too hot can scorch the coffee grounds, leading to bitterness and a burnt flavor. It can also cause overextraction.
Heat your water to a temperature between 195-205°F (90-96°C). Using a temperature-controlled kettle or thermometer is an effective way to achieve a consistent water temperature.
Allow the boiled water to cool for a moment before pouring it over the coffee grounds.
5) Not pre-wetting the filter
Failing to pre-wet the paper filter can result in an undesirable papery taste in your coffee. It can also lead to poor sealing when pressing, causing coffee grounds to escape into the cup.
Place the paper filter in the filter cap and rinse it with hot water before brewing. This not only eliminates the papery taste but also helps create a better seal between the filter and the AeroPress chamber, preventing leaks and ensuring proper extraction.
6) Ignoring the bloom
The bloom is an essential step in AeroPress brewing, as it allows carbon dioxide to escape from freshly ground coffee beans. Ignoring this step can result in uneven extraction and off-flavors in your coffee.
After adding the coffee grounds to the AeroPress, pour a small amount of hot water (about twice the weight of your coffee grounds) over them and let it sit for about 30 seconds. During this time, you'll see the coffee grounds "bloom" and release gases. After the bloom, proceed with the rest of your water pour. This step ensures a smoother extraction.
7) Pressing too quickly
Pressing down the plunger too quickly can lead to under-extraction because the water doesn't have enough time to interact fully with the coffee grounds.
Solution: Aim for a slow and controlled press, taking about 20–30 seconds to fully press down. The slower press allows for better extraction and a more balanced cup of coffee.
8) Using old coffee beans
Coffee is best enjoyed when it's fresh, and using stale or old coffee beans can result in a flat and uninspiring brew.
Invest in freshly roasted coffee beans and store them in an airtight container away from light and moisture. Ideally, use beans within a few weeks of their roast date for the best flavor.
9) Not experimenting with brew time
AeroPress brewing time can significantly impact the flavor profile of your coffee. Neglecting to experiment with brew time means missing out on finding your ideal flavor.
Experiment with different brew times within the recommended range of 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Shorter brew times typically result in brighter, more acidic flavors, while longer brew times yield a fuller-bodied and more intense cup. Adjust the brew time to your taste preferences.
10) Neglecting water quality
Water quality plays a crucial role in coffee brewing. Using tap water with impurities or strong odors can negatively affect the taste of your coffee.
Use filtered water or bottled spring water to ensure that your coffee is brewed with clean, fresh-tasting water. Avoid using distilled water, as it lacks the minerals necessary for flavor extraction.
11) Overlooking temperature stability
Maintaining a consistent water temperature throughout the brewing process is crucial for a balanced cup of coffee. Neglecting temperature stability can lead to flavor inconsistencies.
Preheat the AeroPress and your coffee mug by rinsing them with hot water before brewing. Using an insulated or thermal coffee mug can help maintain the coffee's temperature after brewing.
12) Using poor-quality filters
Low-quality paper filters or damaged metal filters can allow fine coffee grounds to pass through, resulting in a gritty or muddy cup of coffee.
Invest in high-quality, AeroPress-specific paper filters or a reputable metal filter that offers fine filtration. Ensure the filter is properly seated in the filter cap to prevent grounds from escaping.
13) Not cleaning thoroughly
Failing to clean the AeroPress thoroughly after each use can lead to a buildup of coffee residue and oils, negatively impacting the taste of your coffee over time.
After each use, disassemble the AeroPress, remove the used coffee grounds, and rinse all components thoroughly with warm water. Periodically, give it a more thorough cleaning with a mild detergent.
14) Not experimenting
One of the joys of using an AeroPress is its versatility and adaptability to different coffee beans and preferences. Not experimenting with various parameters can limit your coffee experience.
Do several experiments. Adjust variables such as grind size, coffee-to-water ratio, brew time, and water temperature to discover the flavors that suit your taste best. Keep a journal to track your experiments and findings.
15) Skipping the inverted method
Some coffee enthusiasts prefer the inverted method when using the AeroPress because it provides more control over steeping time and minimizes the risk of spills. In this method, you assemble the AeroPress upside down, with the plunger at the bottom.
If you're concerned about spills or prefer a longer steeping time, give the inverted method a try. Start by placing the plunger at the bottom, attaching the filter cap, adding coffee grounds and hot water, and letting it steep.
After steeping, attach the AeroPress chamber and carefully flip the whole setup onto your coffee mug before pressing. This method can help you fine-tune your brew to achieve your desired flavor profile.
Here, I have covered the mistakes that Aeropress brewers often make. This article will help you know these Aeropress blunders in advance so that you can brew Aeropress without facing any difficulties.
I am a barista by profession hailing from NC. My journey began in my late teens when I started working as a barista in a local coffee shop. My passion for coffee quickly became evident as I immersed myself in the art of espresso extraction, latte art ...