Nearly Perfect Espresso and many other variations of coffee can be achieved using very inexpensive means. Brews from expensive machines can be replicated with my process and only sacrifice some consistency or frothing ability.
Here's what you'll need;
- An Aeropress and filters
- (optional but recommended) A good burr grinder such as Hario Skerton
- A Thermometer that is accurate or at least consistent and easy to read
- A way to heat water, I prefer an electric kettle
- Good beans! Or any good espresso or Turkish grind
The cost of this setup is fantastic!
Aeropress for ~ $25
Hario skerton for ~ $30
A kettle for ~ $30 (for a good one)
Total ~ $85 for world class coffee! all the time for around $0.25 a cup!
And you can make coffee faster than most auto drip coffee makers!
Step 1: Grinder Settings
Typically any old espresso grind will do, even Turkish grind can be okay if you don't mind the solids coming through.
If you want to achieve superior quality though I HIGHLY recommend a nice burr grinder.
I recently purchased the Hario Skerton,
A few people on the internets believe its supposed to be Skeleton but the asian producers messed up. Either way its a fantastic product!
Here's how I adjust mine;
- Tighten the grind setting until the mechanism will not turn freely (be gentle here)
- Now find the first notch that the lock will fit into, I call this position 0
- Now move the nut up a position this is position 1...
- Continue to position 3,This is the ideal grind for me while making espresso! I wouldn't exceed position 5.
I use a 1:1 proportion when I make espresso. In a typical espresso double shot there will be 3 oz of finished espresso, Therefore I will start with 3 oz of beans or ground coffee.
Step 2: Control Taste Using Temperature
Depending what drink you are making you may want different flavors in your brew. The flavor profile of your beans can be altered using different temperature water. Higher temperatures will bring out roasty/burnt tones and lower temperatures may only pull the fruity/acidic flavors. Finding a nice balance can be tricky and depends on the roast of coffee you use. I like to buy light roast coffee and brew around 150-160 degrees F to make a fruity/citrus flavor and add sugar to take off the acidic edge.
Step 3: Operate Your Aeropress Upside Down!
I line up the center of the (4) with the surface of the rubber plunger, this lets you reference shots (1.5 oz) on each progressive circle. Using the press upside down seals it from leaks and lets you fully saturate the coffee before steeping and pressing through.
Step 4: Begin the Steep by Mixing
Just add a tiny bit of water at first, this lets the coffee absorb the water fully before being saturated and helps later with frothing. stir it up and let it breathe for a few seconds.
Step 5: Add the Rest and Wait
Add the rest of your brew water and get the coffee suspended evenly.
I typically fill a bit past the 2 while upside down for espresso.
If you want drip style, perhaps a bit stronger, Fill to the top at this step.
Cover the press with your filter and cap assembly, this will help retain some heat.
Wait at least 2 minutes, or longer. The flavor may improve but this really depends on the roast your using. If you just want the caffeine boost steep for a long time! Like 10 minutes! Woo!
Step 6: Press It Through
After waiting patiently Press that liquid gold through and watch the oils seep through in the foamy goodness! Enjoy a nice dark espresso or mix it into hot milk for a cappuccino or more milk and sugar for a latte. Makes a nice americano with hot water as well!