How-To & Diy

How to Use an Aeropress

December  4, 2013

Here at Food52, we're serious about our coffee. So we got our friends over at Stumptown Coffee to teach us everything there is to know about it -- and to make our morning (and afternoon) routines a little bit brighter.

Today: How to brew coffee in the portable, unbreakable Aeropress.

Aeropress by Food52

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AeroPress has started a brew revolution. Not bad for the fellow who invented the Aerobie high performance sport frisbee. (There's at least one millionaire idea in all of us is the lesson here.) Everyone has a different method that they swear by -- all you have to do is google "AeroPress brew methods" and you'll see what we mean. We even have a few favorites ourselves at Stumptown, but we’re going to show you our favorite everyday or on-the-road AeroPress method. (You can find our inverted method here.)

The AeroPress is cool because it's easy, fast, a breeze to clean and it’s unbreakable -- so it's perfect for camping or traveling. (Just ask our green coffee buyers who have AeroPressed their way through Ethiopia and Latin America, and, most recently, on an Amtrak train commute from New York to Boston.)

Aeropress by Food52

How to Brew Coffee in an Aeropress 

First, measure and grind 17 grams (or about 3 tablespoons) of fresh coffee -- the ground coffee should be about as fine as table salt. Next, assemble the filter in the brewer, and place it upright on a cup without the plunger. 

Pour hot water to preheat the brewer and rinse the paper flavor out of the filter. Discard the rinse water. 

Next, add the ground coffee to the brewer and get your count-up timer ready on your watch or phone. Next, pour hot water about 30 seconds off the boil (around 200 degrees) to nearly full and stir thoroughly with the included paddle (or a wide spoon). Use the plunger to seal the AeroPress. 

Aeropress by Food52

At the 1:15 mark, remove the plunger and stir again. Then, reinsert the plunger and push slowly until the liquid has been expressed and you hear a hissing sound. The whole process should finish up between 1:45 and 2 minutes, and you are left with a perfect single cup. Happy pressing!

Aeropress by Food52

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Elaine
  • Mr_Vittles
  • Count Mockula
    Count Mockula
Katie Bernstein

Written by: Katie Bernstein

Forever barista and current social media tweep at Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Born in the South; at home in the Northwest. Hard-nosed recipe reader. I like a good shelf. Soup for days.


Elaine July 8, 2016
Alternative: Set the Aeropress up upside-down, with the plunger on the bottom. Add coffee grounds, water, stir, and let sit -- it won't start to drain into your cup this way. At the end of your preferred steeping time, screw on filter cap, invert over cup and press.
Mr_Vittles March 25, 2014
One of the best aspects of The Aeropress is its control. The brewer has almost every aspect of control over his or her cup. The biggest and only real drawback to the Aeropress is the press itself. Individual strength and grind variability make this the biggest potential problem for home brewers. // Although it is a bit unnerving for the salty barista out there, another great thing about the Aeropress is you can really stretch your beans out for awhile if need be. During harder times, I have brew coffee decent cups using 12-15 grams of coffee, extended time periods and three separate additions of hot water to keep temperature. // I think the best coffee brewer for the lazy/novice home brewer has to be the Clever Coffee Dripper. That one is seriousy idiot-proof.
Count M. December 7, 2013
I love my Aeropress, and I've experimented with the brewing methods a lot. One thing I would add to this tutorial is that the coffee you will get from that process is VERY strong, pretty much espresso (although there is a vocal debate about how it can't *really* be espresso because of the pressure involved in extracting it). I add some more hot water to make something very like an Americano.