Which way would be your preferred way to use the amazing AeroPress coffee maker?

AeroPress coffee maker Series 5

The AeroPress is a brilliant coffee maker which can produce consistently good results, with a couple of different options for how you use it.

The classic method is the quickest which is simply..

coffee – water – stir – press.

The AeroPress packaging still says stir for 10 seconds and push for 20 seconds – it really can be that easy to make great coffee. You can watch a video of Artistry’s Sarah demonstrating this method.

Then there’s the inverted method which is a little slower and more intricate, but the favoured method of baristas worldwide.

This involves pouring the ground coffee and the water into an inverted AeroPress, stirring and then letting the coffee brew for a few minutes.

Then adding the filter and mesh cap and quickly turning over to press the coffee through into a mug below.

This allows for lots of experimentation with different grinds on the coffee and different brew timings.

So you can decide if you want a quick well-made coffee that beats instant coffee hands down – or to take more time over the coffee and the experimentation to perfect your own brew technique!

There’s now a Series 5 version of the AeroPress, which has shiny gold lettering and a cloudy brown look to it.

Colours and materials used have changed over the years as the design has been adjusted from the original clear with blue guide marks.

The AeroPress :: One of our favourites for great coffee!!

AeroPress Series 5

One of our favourite products is the AeroPress that helped start our journey into handbrew coffee equipment and techniques.

It’s a straightforward easy to use product that creates great tasting coffee.

The AeroPress is possibly the simplest, most consistent, easy, and cost-effective way to make espresso-based drinks at home… without crazily expensive equipment!

The AeroPress is an amazing coffee maker – if you’re used to instant coffee the AeroPress will be an eye opener, as it barely takes more time than making instant coffee, yet tastes many, many, many times better!

The AeroPress is essentially two plastic tubes that fit together – one that you put the coffee and water into, and one that you use to push the water under pressure through the coffee. So the AeroPress creates the ability to get close to an espresso coffee with a simple, easy to use, portable, coffee-maker which is almost self-cleaning too.

(Of course espresso is used as the base for most coffee-shop coffees – so the AeroPress can also be a gateway to americanos – by adding more hot water, lattes or cappuccinos -by adding frothed milk (see our Cappuccino Kit including an AeroPress and a milk frother), and more…. )

The AeroPress is a great coffee maker and can fit with a very outdoors based life, as it’s so portable. It can be used on holiday, at the beach, on picnics, at work, as well as in the kitchen or at home.

There are increasingly opportunities to have your coffee shop coffee made with an AeroPress too. Many baristas do take this product really seriously – and World AeroPress Championships take place every year!

If you’d like to find out more about how the AeroPress was invented (by the guy who created the Frisbee!) then see here

There’s something in the water….

Water pour onto coffee

More and more I realize that the starting point for things really matters – so for coffee the water and the beans are the prime ingredients. So it’s obvious really that what you do with each of these is fairly key to what ends up in your cup. It’s perhaps one of the first things that you learn about coffee that it’s not good to use absolutely boiling water as you make the cup.

Even with instant coffee this can be pretty early learning. The fizz of the granules as the water boils them is interesting but not a prequel to a good cup of coffee. So the water and what you do with it in making the coffee is important.

The water temperature should probably be a good 5 to 10 degrees off boiling point, and for some coffee making even lower than this. I don’t know the full science behind this, but it does make some common sense that the water can be too hot and spoil the grounds (or the instant). So a little patience after the kettle boils can only be a good thing.

I do want to do some experiments with what happens to water after it has boiled: partly for fun, and partly jut to be inquisitive.

It’s also true (OK perhaps not strictly speaking, but certainly practically speaking) that water does not equal water does not equal water.

We all know the stories of washing your hair in hard and soft water areas – or the dishes, or clothes – and perhaps the fact that water can taste different on holiday or in different locations. So it’s got to be no surprise that there are characteristics to the water that we use, and these affect the taste of the water and therefore the effect that the water has on the coffee that is made.

There are even discussions amongst the most eloquent of the coffee aficionados about which spring water is the best one to use to make your coffee.

That may be a bit extreme for most people, but it highlights the point that the water does affect the end result. So water filters may not be a bad idea, or at least being aware that water matters and at least keeping an eye on not scalding the coffee by being too eager after the kettle has boiled.

How many types of coffee are there……?

coffee cup

As the coffee journey continued from that very naive early years experience of mainly instant coffee – when freeze dried Gold Blend was posh! – there came a realisation that coffee came in more than just 3 or 4 options.

I suppose that I ought to have known more – because my foreign relatives in my fathers homeland of Denmark used to have a very different kind of coffee than I’d ever experienced elsewhere. Looking back I now know that it was properly brewed filter coffee – but wayback then it was just strong and different.

Eventually progressing to ground coffee at weekends – maInly using a 1 cup cafetiere – there was now a bigger task of making sure we always had some available. And so comes the task of buying coffee more seriously (certainly trying a bit harder than just picking up the best value jar from whichever supermarket we happened to be in).

So where do you start when essentially youre considering a new product that you have very little experience of ? Start with the colours, or strength numbers, or the price, or the origin? [That’s an official coffee word now – just means what you think it should …. where does it come from?!]

I dont thinknthat there’s a right and a wrong on this. Even starting with the colours can be sensible – cause it’s more likely that you’ll remember what you had next time you’re buying! The important thing is maybe just that – remember what you try and remember what you like. Maybe take some notes about what you’ve tried and what you liked, and why.

If you do the remembering, you’ll journey on in coffee terms much more quickly and generate an appreciation for and knowledge of coffee perhaps far more speedily than being directed by someone else at what you should like and how you should like it.

Experiencing the journey of discovery of coffee is part of the joy. There’s no shame in being on a learning curve but plenty of interest and fun in  the exploration!

There are so many coffees out there, and so much to discover!

So the coffee discovery takes off…..

Learning to use ground coffee

At the start of what was the real coffee journey – somewhere between my brother moving from London to Seattle (10 years ago) and now – was the awareness of the difference in the taste and quality of filter coffee vs instant. It seems like such a basic discovery, but it’s a fairly key step!

Once you have some quite different reference points there will start to be comparisons in your head – an appreciation that some coffee is far better than others. It’s not just about a strong/weak scale depending on whether someone has put half a teaspoonful of granuals or a heaped one into a cup.

Having had the instant coffee starting point – I think there’s an even greater appreciation of the variation in coffee experiences that can be available.

For long enough my experience was to have the occasional treat of buying a packet of ground coffee at the supermarket to enjoy on Saturday or Sunday when there was more time to savour. I do wonder now though just how long the coffee takes to get to the supermarket shelves, how long it stays there, and just how old it is generally by the time it gets consumed.

However, making ‘real’ coffee from grounds is a good step to take in pushing along the rewarding journey of discovering coffee.

Much better coffee, worth a little more effort

Mug of coffee

More and more people seem to be getting into coffee – because we’re all starting to know that it can be better than pouring boiling water on a sprinkling of freeze dried granules.

Of course that’s mainly the coffee shops that have taught us to raise our sights on coffee – but the experience at home has been slower to follow.

Every Saturday & Sunday morning for years I used to make the time to use ‘real’ coffee rather than turning to the granuals: and always appreciated making the effort. For a long time I never really understood why it tasted so much better, but certainly knew that it did!

However instant coffee was the predominant source of coffee for the week as a whole, until more recent years. There are of course some better quality instant offerings these days, and there was a phase of ‘upgrading’ via those!

But having taken some time to learn about different ways that are available to make coffee by hand at home – there’s a realisation that you don’t even need to take much longer to make a much better cup of coffee.

Of course it can be very theraputic and rewarding to take your time with a slow pour of coffee – with a Chemex or a V60. There are other ways that are very straightforward too – which either make themselves while you sort something else out: like the Clever Dripper or the French Press; or are so ‘Quick & Easy’ like the amazing AeroPress.

There’s much to enjoy about the process of learning more, and of making coffee in a more enjoyable way – long before you become a coffee geek (not sure when anyone attains that status if you want it ).

We’ve found some brilliant ways of enjoying coffee, without bulky or crazily expensive machines.

http://artistrycoffee.co.uk/

We’ve brought this together in Artistry Coffee and have a great range of products to help you hand-craft delicious coffee at home!

 

When did we realise we were on the coffee journey?

Coffee Beans

It strikes me that sometimes only when you are actually on the journey do you realise that you have started out.

Certainly that’s my experience of the coffee journey.

There can be a lot of steps to in learning about the art of coffee making – unless you discover coffee part-way down the line.

I can’t remember my first cup of coffee, but it was probably as a young boy. Not sure whether I liked it or not, but possibly not. I do remember at Uni hopping between Mellow Birds and Nescafe, so hardly an auspicious start!

I think we mainly had Gold Blend at home – and for many years have puzzled at how seemingly the same process of making coffee can result in different tastes. At that stage down to scalding the granuals or not, how much milk, and how big a spoonful you put in in the first place. Also Nescafe did taste different from Gold Blend and Mellow Birds etc. But no real idea why in those days!

But further down the line, here we are now considering the origin of the beans, the quality of the water, the coarseness of the grind, the brew method, the timing and style of the pour or the push, and much else too……

But how much have we already learned, and how much still to learn? No doubt very much further along the road, and fascinated with where we have got to, but realising that were definitely on a coffee journey – but not totally sure when it started or where it will lead.

However, very happy to have discovered all that we have so far, and to share it here and at www.artistrycoffee.co.uk where we feature some great products that we have found along the way.IMG_20141122_084416