On Aeropress and the Coffee Shot

Aeropress from aboveNo, my friend, your beloved moka does not make espresso.  What it makes is something akin to a coffee shot, but with more fuss (that, I’ll admit, I sometimes enjoy).  Although I’ve been a fan of brewing coffee on a moka in the past — so much so that I bought the commemorative moka alpina while in Italy — I’ve found a new love: the aeropress.

The aeropress is a funny looking contraption that looks and sounds more impressive than it is.  It’s a three piece plastic brewing device that can be used in a variety of ways.  There’s a brewing chamber, where you dump your coffee; a plastic tube that you use to push the coffee down; and a filter basket that attaches to the bottom of the brewing chamber.  Your aeropress also comes with a paddle for stirring, a coffee scoop and a set of paper filters.

An aeropress isn’t the exclusive way to make a coffee shot and can make more than just a coffee shot.  For us brewing at home, it’s the most convenient, cheapest and hassle-free method.  What is a coffee shot and why would you want it?  A coffee shot is a short amount of coffee that’s been extracted with pressure, like espresso.  It has a denser texture and a more potent flavor than you would from a pour over.  Yet, it is distinctly more like brewed coffee than a normal shot.  In the definitive guide from Mahlkönig, it means a coffee that has been extracted for a super long time on an espresso machine (in which case it would be classified as a type of espresso, like a caffè lungo).

Aeropress coffee

For those who happily alternate between filter and espresso brewed coffee, this may be a strange idea.  After all, the coffee shot doesn’t appear to fit a distinct market niche — unless that niche is coffee nerds.  Once you taste the version brewed on aeropress, I have a feeling you’ll understand its appeal.

The best aeropress method for this style of coffee is from The Coffee Collective in Copenhagen, you can find a pictorial guide from Stumptown.  While turning the brewing chamber upside down may seem dicey, you get the hang of it after one or two tries.  The resulting coffee is full-flavored and bold, depending on the beans you used.  If you want, you can add more water or a bit more milk.  My favorite way to drink coffee brewed in this way is to put it in a demitasse and top it off with a little milk.  It ends up tasting like a homemade noisette.

Coffee is moving fast guys!  There are new brewing methods constantly in development — check out this crazy coffee machine — that produce deliciously diverse drinks.  While I’ll always have a spot in my heart for a classic pour-over or fiddly moka, I’m smitten with the new brewing experience the aeropress offers.  I have a feeling you will be too!

Have you tried aeropress?  Would you?


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