How Do You Make the Perfect AeroPress Coffee? Here's My Recipe

Jason Papp

January 17, 2024

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LISBON - I travel a lot for work. And when you’re rushing to catch that 6:30 AM flight, grinding and weighing coffee isn’t top of the agenda. In our recent interview with YouTube coffee expert, James Hoffmann, talking of 6:30 in the morning Hoffmann makes a valid point, “I just want hot coffee in hand immediately. I have a quality requirement, but that level is dipped all too often—airports, etc.”


And it's true. Good quality coffee in airports and service stations isn’t a thing. And don’t even dream of latte art. It’s cardboard cups and hot coffee for one reason only - a quick boost of caffeination. A pitstop for your onward journey.

We live in Lisbon, Portugal (check out where we eat, drink and drink coffee). With family and clients in the UK, New York and LA, travelling is part of our regular routine. 

And driving up and down the M6 motorway, quality vs price dips. Yes, you have the Costa and Starbucks drive-thru hatches dotted along the way, but £8 for two coffees you won’t remember is a lot. 

And hotel stopovers? There’s not going to be an in-room La Marzocco, but there will be a kettle. 

So do you, like me, appreciate a good specialty coffee whilst travelling? Try packing an AeroPress and hand grinder in your luggage. 

AeroPress Clear

Do I buy the new transparent AeroPress or ‘original’ AeroPress?

In short, there’s no huge difference between them apart from the price tag. The new one is a tad more expensive and goes back to the original clear window version the AeroPress started out as. They had some problems with the materials so overtime the AeroPress became more and more opaque. 

But the new AeroPress Clear version is now, well, clear again. It’s made with new materials - tritan. For the extra cost, it doesn’t feel more premium than the original, it’s just clear instead of opaque. Put it this way, I won’t be rushing out to trade in my one for an AeroPress Clear. If you grab yourself an original or Craig’s List or Ebay, why not. 

AeroPress Coffee Maker - Go (Travel edition)

What are the benefits of an AeroPress when travelling? 

It’s cheap. It’s portable. It’s lightweight. It’s easy to use and easy to clean. Does an AeroPress make espresso? No. Although you don’t quite get an espresso from it, you can make a very pleasant tasting, highly concentrated, espresso-like shot of coffee. This can be enjoyed black or used to make an Americano, latte, cappuccino, for instance.

And for someone like me who doesn’t appreciate highly acidic coffee, the AeroPress is a great option even for everyday use. 

According to AeroPress, a coffee brewed with an AeroPress ‘is much gentler on your stomach due to its quick brewing process that minimises acidity.’ They say that it contains ‘one-ninth the acidity of French press coffee (and one-fifth the acidity of drip brew), without sacrificing rich, delicious flavour.’

Still, if you like a good pour over, check out our perfect pour over recipe

In my opinion, coffee made in an AeroPress develops a taste that is smooth, flavourful and full-bodied. Brewing with an AeroPress, you’ll achieve a low-acidity and fairly strong taste. The paper AeroPress filters give a clean, well-defined coffee flavour.

A great add-on, if you will, to the AeroPress is Fellow’s Prismo in place of the attachment included. This pressure-actuated valve attachment gets you even closer to brewing espresso-style coffee on the road (or at home). This is especially so if you’re on the way to a client visit or pitch in need of a caffeine fix but don’t want the mess. Why? The Prismo holds all the coffee in the brewing chamber until you press down on the plunger, giving you a full immersion brew without the leaks.

So, here’s my go-to AeroPress recipe.


17g of fairly finely ground coffee

220g of water at 92°C

1:30-2:15 minutes brew time (For dark roasts: 1:00, medium roasts: 1:45, for light roasts I’d wait for 2:15 minutes).

Optional pre-infusion

What you need

AeroPress

AeroPress filter or Fellow Prismo 

AeroPress filter papers 

AeroPress Funnel (not 100% necessary)

Kettle or a flask of boiling water

A hand grinder or pre-ground coffee

Timer, your phone’s will do

The AeroPress paddle/stirrer or a teaspoon 

Mug type container or cup you already know fits.

STEP 1: Start boiling your water. If you’re on the road, get the flask of pre-boiled water to hand and start grinding your coffee. 

ProTip: If you’re due to fly soon, pack your AeroPress equipment and a dose of coffee in your hand luggage. Ask for a cup of boiling water at the airport, they’ll usually give you a cup for free, and follow the recipe. 

If you’re brewing from home, bring 220ml of water (92°C) to a gentle boil. 

Weigh 17g of coffee. Grind it quite finely - about the fineness of table salt.

STEP 2: Grab your filter paper & rinse it. Run the paper filter under the warm tap and then place the paper filter in the plastic basket. This will eliminate the taste of the paper. 

If you’re OOH, it’s not essential but will enhance the taste. 

STEP 3: Attach the plastic basket, whether the AeroPress supplied one or the Fellow Prismo to the infusion chamber. If you have scales to hand, kitchen ones are fine. 

Place the AeroPress on the scales and tear them, it should show zero. 

STEP 4: Pour the freshly ground coffee into the infusion chamber. You should have 17g of coffee grounds sitting ready to infuse.

Again, if you’re OOH, step 3 and 4 can be done ahead of time. After placing the coffee grounds into the infusion chamber, you can place the piston, or plunger, back inside the chamber for safe travelling. Remove the piston when you’re ready to go and start step 5. 

STEP 5: Now place your cup or carafe under the infusion chamber on top of the scales. Tear your scales again to show zero. Grab the kettle of freshly boiled water (or your flask) and begin pouring into the chamber until you reach 220ml or 220g. 

If you’re OOH, you can ensure your flask contains the right amount of water ahead of time. 

STEP 6: Let it bloom for between 1:00 minute for dark roasts, for medium roasts it’s 1:45, for light roasts it’s 2:15 minutes. Now stir the coffee with the paddle or teaspoon for 30 seconds.

STEP 7: Remove from the scales and place onto a solid surface. A worktop, solid airport lounge table - you get the picture. Grab your piston or plunger and press down until it’s hard to press further; it will likely be over half way down. Wait a few seconds. 

STEP 8: Plunge down to the bottom until all the liquid is transferred into the coffee cup. 

Enjoy with someone who also appreciates a great tasting coffee, it makes the AeroPress coffee taste that much sweeter. 

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What about the AeroPress cleaning process?

Super easy. Once the AeroPress filter is cool enough to touch, unscrew it and if you’re fortunate enough, the filter paper should have kept the coffee puck in one piece. Over a bin or compost bin, use the plunger to get rid of the ground. You can then run everything under a tap to rinse it. 

Can you clean your AeroPress in a dishwasher? 

Yes, the materials make the AeroPress dishwasher safe. We recommend placing it on the top shelf to clean.  

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