Empty Aeropress set up for inverted method with coffee beans on a scale and a manual coffee grinder on the table.

Aeropress Coffee Instructions: Try These Two Methods First

smiling-coffee-snob Brewing, Gear

Last updated on October 12th, 2020

The Aeropress can seem intimidating at first, but with these simple Aeropress coffee instructions you’ll be brewing like a pro in no time.

To start things off, I’ll introduce the Aeropress and show the two most common brewing methods.

Finally, I’ll give you step by step Aeropress coffee instructions for each of the two methods.

Lets get started.

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(Disclaimer: I DID NOT receive the Aeropress for free. However, the links in this post are affiliate links so if you buy through the links I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

What’s the Aeropress?

The Aeropress is a tube shaped brewer with a small filter at the bottom and a plunger at the top.

You fill the tube with ground coffee, add hot water, and press down on the plunger. At the bottom of the tube, there is a round black piece with a paper filter inside. You just screw the black filter piece into the tube and it’s ready to go.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll fall in love with what this little brewer can do. You can make strong, small brews similar to espresso (without the crema) or you can make clear, flavorful cups that resemble pour over coffee.

Aeropress coffee instructions: The two main methods

Everyone who loves the Aeropress has their own way of brewing with it, but most differences in opinion are about grind size, time, and water temperature. When it comes to the actual brewing process, there are just two methods: Regular and inverted.

To get started you don’t need to obsess about all the little details. Just experiment with these two methods to see which one you like better. After you get the hang of each one, you can start to switch different variables to find your favorite recipe.

Regular method

Figuring out how much coffee to use, how fine to grind the coffee, and how much pressure to use when pushing down the plunger take a little practice to get used to. I recommend you start with the regular method to get a feel for using the Aeropress.

I’ll give detailed instructions down below, but at a basic level, the regular method just involves putting together the Aeropress, screwing on the black piece with a filter, adding coffee, and placing it on a mug.

However, there is one major challenge with this method. As you start to pour water over the coffee, it slowly starts to go through the filter, rather than staying in the tube…

Inverted method

This challenge led to the inverted method, which is just like it sounds. You turn the brewer upside down before making coffee. This lets the water completely saturate the grounds before you plunge.

The advantage of this, is that you can alter the grind size, water temperature, and brew time as much as you want.

Note: This method involves flipping over the Aeropress while it’s full of hot water. It’s really important to be prepared and use caution. Make sure you have a mug that’s big enough to fit the Aeropress, it’s put together properly before adding water, and the black filter is securely attached before flipping it over.

(If you want an easier way to do the inverted method, be sure to check my review of the Fellow Prismo.)

Aeropress coffee instructions: Preparation

aeropress coffee instructions
This is an example of an Aeropress set up. I use a gooseneck kettle and a coffee scale, but they’re not required. There are four numbered measurement levels on the side and a fairly large opening so it’s an easy method once you try it a few times.

The easy way:

Grind coffee a little finer than you would for drip coffee or have a coffee shop grind it for you. If it’s really easy to plunge the Aeropress you should grind finer. If it’s very difficult, you should grind coarser.

You’ll want to use more coffee than normal since the brew time is shorter. You can start with 17g of coffee (about 1.5-2 coffee scoops) and 235g of water (about 8.5 ounces). If it’s strong use less coffee and if it’s weak use more.

Boil water and wait 1-2 minutes.

My recommendations:

  • I recommend a medium-fine grind that’s a little finer than a regular drip grind.
  • Use 17g of coffee and 225g of water to make a strong, but flavorful brew.
  • The water temperature should be around 82 C (about 180 F). If you don’t have a thermometer, just boil water, let it settle and wait about 1-2 minutes depending on how cold it is.

Aeropress coffee instructions: The regular method

  1. Put a paper filter in the round black piece and wet the filter with hot water.
  2. Securely screw the black piece on the bottom of the Aeropress.
  3. Set the Aeropress on your cup and add ground coffee. It should be a medium-fine grind.
  4. Slowly pour hot water over the grounds. As a rule of thumb, use twice the amount of water as coffee or enough to saturate all the grounds.
  5. Stir a few times.
  6. Slowly add the rest of the water.
  7. Stir slowly for about 10 seconds.
  8. Add the plunger to the top.
  9. Slowly press down until you hear it pushing out air.

The biggest complaint with this method is that the water starts to slowly go down before you get the plunger in place. If you’re not careful, there may be very little water left once you plunge.

Aeropress coffee instructions: The inverted method

This is an example of the inverted method. The Aeropress is turned upside down before adding coffee. This makes it easier to completely saturate the coffee.
  1. First, you put the plunger in a little bit and place the Aeropress upside-down.
  2. Put a filter in the round black piece and wet the filter. Set it on the side.
  3. Add ground coffee
  4. Slowly pour hot water over the grounds. About twice the amount of coffee.
  5. Give it a stir
  6. Slowly pour the rest of the water
  7. Give it another stir and then tightly screw on the black attachment.
  8. Let it sit for a minute.
  9. I recommend you do this next part over the sink until you get the hang of it. Again, it’s important to make sure your mug is big enough to fit the Aeropress inside and can hold all the coffee.
  10. Take an empty mug and hold it over the Aeropress before flipping it over. This is to prevent coffee spilling out. Finally, plunge slowly until you hear the sound of air.

See the inverted method in action

My recommended method is based off of what I learned from this video. The main difference is that I let the water cool down to 82 C, while in the video they use 94 C water.

Which method is better?

This is subjective, of course, but on the whole there’s a slight edge for the inverted method. By letting the coffee and water come into contact for a longer period of time you extract more flavor.

But, it’s a matter of opinion. So, I suggest that you try both methods and decide for yourself.

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