Looking at these three pieces of plastic one wouldn’t think it can make anything close to espresso, let alone produce a crema, but the packaging itself and some folks on the internet claim that you can. This article will be examining if it’s possible to make palatable espresso with this $30 manual coffee brewing kit – the infamous AeroPress.
I normally use my AeroPress or french press to make coffee every morning – but the thought has never crossed my mind to try to make real espresso with the AeroPress…
Espresso is traditionally made by passing high temperature water at very high pressure through finely ground coffee. The AeroPress can tolerate high temps, you can use the finest ground coffee you can get your hands on, but can you create enough pressure to make this sought after drink?
Let’s find out.
What do you need?
Here’s what you’ll need for this experiment:
- AeroPress (of course)
- Finely ground coffee (espresso grind if possible)
- A way to boil water
- A cup to press into
- A sense of adventure
Espresso is defined as a few ounces of coffee brewed from around 1 tbsp of finely ground coffee. The hallmark feature is the foam, frothy cream layer called ‘crema’ that forms when the coffee is brewed at such a high pressure from emulsification of the oils.
From one angle, you could say that the AeroPress will never create true espresso because it will not reach high enough pressure to create crema – and I would say you’re not wrong. But for the purpose of this article we’re going to see just how close we can get okay?
How to do it
We’re not going to do anything too drastically different from the traditional AeroPress brew method, except use a finer grind and a more concentrated brew. Use around 25g of coffee to 100g of water. Here’s a great video that explains exactly what you’re going to do:
So basically we use two paper filters to surround our coffee, add the proper amount of water, and then press through both filters into the below cup. If you want to make a latte add your frothed milk at this point and any other sweeteners and enjoy!
So is it real espresso?
So maybe you’re satisfied with what you made, or maybe you’re still wondering if it’s ‘real’ espresso. Well, it’s NOT real espresso – but it makes a very similar cup of coffee that you can use to make lattes at home with this cheap and easy to use manual coffee brewing method.
Does it matter?
Espresso is a form of coffee. Using the AeroPress with the water to coffee ratio of an espresso maker makes another cup of coffee. They both may taste excellent and can be used in a latte. So could you call it espresso by definition? Maybe not, but it still makes a good strong cup of coffee that can be enjoyed on its own exactly like espresso or used for your home drinks.
So try it out if you haven’t before – or continue to enjoy your AeroPress coffee if you already are.
Happy brewing :)!