Coffee Experiment: What’s the Best Way to Brew with the Aeropress Coffee Maker?

Coffee Experiments

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The Aerobie Aeropress has quickly become one of the most popular coffee makers in the world. In fact, the Aeropress has become so popular that there are international competitions where baristas and coffee hobbyists go head-to-head by trying to brew the best cup of coffee using an Aeropress.

When I first started brewing with the Aeropress myself, I found a ton of information on brewing the coffee using what’s known as “the inverted method.”

This basically means that the Aeropress is upside-down when the brewing process begins, with the filter cap removed.

The point of the inverted method is to give your coffee a chance to steep in the hot water for as long as you’d like. This steeping or immersion period is typical of French Press coffee, and perhaps the reason so many people do it.

The standard Aeropress method is more about a swift extraction, as the brewed coffee is actually already passing through the filter as soon as the hot water is poured into the Aeropress.

For more about the standard method, you can check out my post about how Alan Adler (the Aeropress’ inventor) uses this revolutionary coffee maker.

So which way is the better way to brew coffee with the Aeropress?

That’s the question I was looking to answer.

Look, I’m sure Alan Adler has used the Aeropress more than pretty much anyone out there, but does this mean that he really knows the best way to brew with it?

Similarly, just because you wear skinny jeans and an American Apparel beanie (oh wait, that’s me) doesn’t mean that you’re an omnipotent coffee god that can flip something upside down and all of a sudden think it’s that much more amazing.

So which way wins on the first test? Watch below to find out.

Warning: this is not a blind taste test, or a bulletproof experiment for that matter.

Coffee Tools Used in This Experiment

Share Your Own Results

Just because I got one result doesn’t mean that you won’t have the complete opposite result. Everybody has his/her own taste buds, so I encourage you to run this experiment yourself and see what you find. Please share in the comments below.

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  • Very informative. I actually use the inverted method most of the time but will rethink that habit 🙂

    I think though, that the inverted method has the advantage of being able to make a french press style coffee with longer extraction time and a coarser grind.

    • Very true! I still experiment with both methods, as I think it’s impossible to definitively say one is better than the other.

      Much harder to control brew time with the standard method though, absolutely correct 🙂

  • Thanks for your videos man, I think we probably both view coffee very similarly after looking your site over and watching your videos, so cheers. Anyway im obsessed with my aeropress (and mistobox sub) and use the standard method after playing around with it alot and dialing in my preferred brew method. But honestly I tweak the way I brew my coffee with each new batch of beans I get. I have a standard go to recipie I brew on my first go but am always tweaking my brew time and water temp to get my desired body/acidity ect. Something cool about the aeropress. You can do longer steep times in the standard method by inserting the plunger and then lightly pulling up on it which creates negative pressure and your coffee will stop dropping though the filter before you press it out. This trick makes the inverted method null and void in my eyes. Plus I think that the one ounce or less Of underextracted sweet acidic coffee water that initially drips through your filter does alot for the final flavor profile of your cup. In the same way it does for the pour over method. But that’s just my take. And the beauty of coffee and brewing is everyone has there own way and none of it is wrong as long as you enjoy the final product.

    • No problem – thanks for watching!

      Yep, I actually learned that trick a while back, but I still just got inverted most of the time so I can do a “bloom stir” without having too much coffee drip through before it has extracted fully.

      You hit the nail on the head though, absolutely no wrong way if you enjoy the final product. We definitely have a lot in common just by that statement alone.

      Cheers!

  • I don’t understand why you inverted it to start with and then de-inverted it (turned it back the ‘right’ way up) before extracting the coffee. By doing so, you’ve missed the entire point of using the inverted method!

    The reason for using the inverted method is to maximise the coffee’s flavour and texture by extracting the crema, which contains oils, proteins & aromatic compounds responsible for a large proportion of the coffee’s flavour and texture. The crema floats to the top of the liquid, so when you de-inverted the Aeropress, you trapped the crema between the rubber plunger & the grounds rather than getting it into the cup.

    The next time you make a cup of coffee, try keeping the ‘press inverted, allowing the crema to rise to the top of the liquid. Then hold the press at about 45 degrees whilst extracting the coffee. You may spill a small amount but it’s worth the hassle for the extra flavour

    • The point of the inverted method (at least from what I’ve been taught), is to control the contact time between the coffee and the water, without having too much under-extracted coffee drip through the filter into the cup before pressing.

      I’ve also been taught that crema, though visually indicative of coffee’s freshness, does not necessarily taste good. In fact, in my experience crema is noticeably more bitter than the brewed espresso that lies beneath it. This is also why you’ll often see judges in coffee competitions stir their espresso before tasting it.

      Are you suggesting pressing the aeropress while it’s inverted? I’m not sure I can visualize how this is physically possible without creating some kind of fountain effect. Got a video demo?

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