The AeroPress is an easy way to make great coffee anywhere. There are also a million different ways to use it.
With a little practice and exploration, it’s like at least two or three coffee makers in one.
Light-bodied brews like you’d get from a pour-over with a coarse grind? Check.
Strong, almost syrupy brews like a really long espresso shot? Also check.
Everything in the middle? Most definitely.
But it’s actually possible to get even more variety out of this beautifully simple device.
AeroPress fans worldwide are continually coming up with clever accessories. Some are convenient, some enable different brewing styles, and some are just plain cool.
Out of all these, here are my favorites that every AeroPress enthusiast will appreciate.
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Fellow Prismo For Higher-Pressure Extraction
Fellow made a name for their high-design approach to coffee. Their Stagg kettle is almost iconic in the specialty coffee scene, and it works as great as it looks.
But their most unique invention? Without a doubt, it’s the Prismo.
You’re probably aware that your AeroPress can’t actually produce espresso. That requires an incredible amount of pressure that is only possible with a large lever, pressurized steam/water, or both.
However, the Prismo gets you closer. Its simple valve mechanism builds up significantly more pressure than is possible with a stock AeroPress. Meanwhile, the metal filter creates more body and lets you taste more of the flavorful oils.
To use it, simply replace the standard filter and black filter holder with the Prismo. The instructions in the package work well, and I’d recommend using a much finer grind than normal.
You’ll need to pressure quite abruptly, so remember to use a sturdy mug!
The Prismo is available here.
Able DISK Fine Metal Filter For Richer, Sweeter Brews
The AeroPress has a reputation for making smooth brews with minimal bitterness.
To be fair, the coffee and the grind setting both make a huge difference.
But all else being equal, the immersion method (water sitting with the coffee, not just passing through) does seem to bring out the richest, sweetest coffee possible.
There’s something that many AeroPress users don’t know, though. It’s that the paper filter can actually work against this. After all, coffee oils hold a tremendous amount of flavor, and paper absorbs them whereas metal does not.
What’s more, disposable filters can be a headache on the road (how many should I pack?) and do use up at least a tiny bit of natural resources.
A few years back, Able Brewing released the DISK metal filter to acclaim. It’s not the first metal filter, but the “fine” version has some of the smallest holes of any reusable filter on the market.
That may not sound like a big deal, but these extra-fine holes minimize the gritty sediment in your cup while allowing a full, sweet brew.
It’s even made in the USA!
Get yours here.
(There is also a standard option if you want extra-full body and don’t mind a little more sediment passing through.)
PUCKPUCK Attachment For Perfect Cold Brewing
Ever think about using an AeroPress for cold-brew coffee?
I sure didn’t, but it made perfect sense once I finally read about it.
Inverting the AeroPress easily keeps the coffee and water together, so why not let them steep for hours at a lower temperature?
The catch is that the best cold brew is one that very slowly drips. That way, some drips through in the first few minutes, some steeps for hours, and so on. The variation in steeping time means delicious, complex flavor that you couldn’t get any other way.
Doing that style of cold brew isn’t so easy on an AeroPress. And full-sized cold brew systems are strangely expensive.
So the folks behind PUCKPUCK solved it in the simplest way possible: an inexpensive screw-on attachment that slowly drips from either a standard water bottle or their own water chamber.
All you need to do is grind the coffee, set up the PUCKPUCK in a couple of minutes, dial in the drip rate, then return in a few hours for silky-smooth cold-brew.
Available here from the manufacturer.
Aesir Filters For Light, Clear Pour-Over-Style Brews
For some people and some coffees, the goal is exactly the opposite of a metal filter.
Rather than maximizing the body and allowing some sediment, you want to get a delicate, nearly tea-like brew that emphasizes the floral and spice notes.
(If you’ve never tried a lightly roasted natural-process Ethiopia prepared like this, then you’re in for something mind-blowing. My first reaction was, “How can coffee even taste like this?”)
The standard paper filters are extremely cheap and easy to find. That’s a terrific thing. But they’re not heavy or fine-pored enough to get the ultra-clear brews you’d expect from, say, a Chemex.
To that end, some AeroPress competitors (yes, that’s a thing) developed the ultimate filter for the light, nuanced third-wave brewing style.
Photos don’t quite capture the difference, but when you hold an Aesir filter beside a standard one, you’ll notice that’s it’s perhaps 3-4x as thick. That certainly explains the clear brews I get.
What you can’t see is the lower-absorbancy paper they use. It reportedly keeps as much of the aromatic oils in the cup as possible, while allowing none of the sediment you might otherwise expect.
The manufacturer claims “these are the absolute best filters on the market and will help you make coffee at home that rivals any coffee shop.”
And I’d have to agree.
Tip: Start out with a rather coarse grinder and hot water (at least 205F), then press extremely slowly, as in about one minute for a full brew.
Bonus: How To Upgrade Your Coffee, Too
OK, I’m departing from the “AeroPress accessories” theme here.
But the real goal is finding different ways toward great coffee. And one of the surest is to try out a whole lot of different beans.
I’m continually amazed at origins and roasters that I’d never even thought about before.
There are also trends in roasting, like certain roast profiles and green coffee fermentation techniques (not as weird as it sounds!), that expand my understanding of what coffee can be.
Of course, it’s a little hard to find the good ones, and it’s also expensive to commit to entire bags you’re not sure about.
That’s why I decided to subscribe to Angels’ Cup.
I choose a roast level (usually medium), and they send four little packets each month. It’s coded but unlabeled for blind tasting, which is a lot of fun on its own.
When you find a clear winner among the samples, it’s easy to order a full bag if you so choose.
For the price of Netflix, that’s hard to beat for any coffee fan.