Coffee is probably an addiction for me. I may or may not have 3-4 cups a day when I’m plastered to my computer in an office environment. When I’m bike touring, I may or may not ride faster as I get closer to a cafe. I may or may not lick my lips when my coffee is near ready. I may or may not take the deepest breath that I can when I’m around freshly ground coffee beans. I may or may not check endlessly at my cup to ensure that all remnants of liquid coffee are down my gullet and not left wasted in my cup.
Sometimes I consider that I could live without it, but for what point? Who am I kidding, I am addicted and I love it.
To feed my addiction, one of my favourite travel companions (apart from Kat!) is the Aerobie Aeropress. The Aeropress is a simple coffee strainer that relies on paper filters to deliver a smooth and pure brew to your cup. The best part is that you don’t need an engineering degree to use it! I recommend the use of an Aeropress in conjunction with a Hario Mini Mill Slim (see my review).
Price: $50 AUD
Weight: 273g (Aeropress, Stirrer, Filters)
Length and Width: 14cm and 9.5cm
I’ve used the Aeropress for over 300 coffees now. It is a delight to take on trips where the coffee is either non-existent or of a poor standard.
The Aeropress is dead easy to use. You start off by placing a paper filter into the black filter cup. The cup then screws on the bottom of the Aeropress unit and awaits some fresh grinds. Once you’ve put your grinds in, you fill up to your desired level and then press the water through the paper filter in an even and smooth manner over 10-30 seconds. Some people will prefer a shot, others like to add milk and others prefer an americano. There are so many different ways to do it, check out some methods from the Aeropress World Championships! I’d recommend reading directions from Aerobie first.
The Aeropress is so simple to clean! Once you’ve extracted your coffee, unscrew the filter cup and eject the spent-beans into a compost or regular bin. Give the bottom a wipe and you’re done!
If you have environmental concerns about using paper filters, Aerobie claim that 2000 filters equal the average newspaper. If you’re drinking coffee once a day, that is six years of coffee!
The taste of the coffee that is produce is always going to be dependent on the coffee beans that you use and how fresh your grind is. Using good quality beans I can guarantee a smooth and rich flavour with no bitterness and low acidity. What you won’t get is a thick crema, and coffee shots might be a bit watery for the coffee connoisseur.
My Favourite Cup:
1. Set the kettle to boil.
2. Freshly grind one level scoop of higher-end coffee beans which are purchased from a reputable dealer (ie. beans often priced over $15 per 250g).
3. Put grind into the Aeropress and wait ~2 minutes for the boiling water to cool from 100 degrees to around 80 degrees.
4. First, lightly wet the grind and then ensure that the Aeropress is filled in an even manner with the hot water.
5. Fill to the first level (1) on the Aeropress.
6. Stir ~4 times.
7. Extract over 10 seconds in a smooth and even manner.
8. Add a drop of milk to cool the coffee slightly, and drink!
The Aeropress is a really simple bit of kit. It delivers a coffee which isn’t far off what a household machine can produce. It is very easy to clean and is reasonably light weight for travel. I am keen to get my hands on, and review the Handpresso and Airspresso; both of which could arguably produce a better coffee shot due to their extracting technique. Update: We got our hands on an Airspresso – click the link to read our review!
Pros: Cheap, light, quick, easy to clean, durable, grit-free coffee, suits a variety of coffee drinking styles, cheaper than two weeks of lattes at a cafe, makes up to four shots of coffee at once.
Cons: Paper filters need to be protected from water/damage, lack of crema, a little watery, takes up a bit of space (how good would a smaller, single-shot specific Aeropress be!)
After travelling with no coffee equipment in the wilderness or purchasing mediocre coffees all over the place, I wouldn’t travel without my Aeropress again! It is a fantastic way to keep coffee addicts who are bike touring (not me – clearly) from breaking down on the side of the road.