Alright, this one is really for the worst people. I’m talking your true coffee assholes, your real caffeine jerk stores, your worst cafe fatty fat fat mc fatty fat fat fats . If you can enjoy coffee from Starbucks, anything from Nespresso, or whatever dirt water your company offers then that is truly wonderful. Perhaps your insides aren’t completely broken. I, on the other hand, somehow stumbled into coffee obsession and now I throw a tantrum if I’m expected to drink coffee that is less than perfect. It is a living nightmare. You should feel, just, really bad for me.
But, there is hope! I make ridiculously delicious coffee at home with an Aeropress every morning. Right here and now I’m going to unveil all my secrets. Making great coffee isn’t that hard once you get the hang of it so be prepared to be unimpressed .
Use An Excellent Grinder
If you are rich with counter space and flush with cash then go ahead and get a Baratza Virtuoso, your beans will be perfectly ground, your friends will all be impressed, and your mom will finally love you. If you don’t feel ready to invest that kind of money in a grinder then take a look at what else The Sweet Home recommends. Whatever you do, this is the one spot where you can’t skimp. Coffee beans are ridiculously fragile. If you get the wrong grinder expect to either burn your beans with the heat created by the grinder or end up with inconsistent or not small enough grind size that will make it impossible to dial in a good recipe. All bad things. If you don’t want to grind your own beans then here is where you can stop reading, there is just no point in going through trouble with fancy brew methods if you are starting with old coffee. The minute that coffee is ground, all of the volatile components  start escaping and what you are left with is an insult to all mankind. If you don’t want to grind then just buy your coffee at a coffee shop. Sorry, I don’t make physics. Get mad at God or whatever.
Personally, I don’t have a Virtuoso. I would love to, but my kitchen is too tiny to have space for a dedicated grinder, so my only option is hand grinders. I know you are thinking “what kind of an asshole hand grinds coffee every morning” and I just… you are totally right… but I do it anyway because it makes delicious coffee, the grinders are small enough to travel with , and they don’t cost much. I know that some people will never be convinced that manual labor is not that bad but… it is not that bad. In the time it takes to heat the water for brewing I’m always finished with grinding.
My daily go to grinder is the Hario Skerton. It can hold more than enough beans/grounds to make two cups of coffee and isn’t that annoying to use. The one downside is that the rubber top does not completely enclose the beans on top so if you really get to insane levels of grinding you might throw coffee beans around the room. For my travel grinder  I use the Porlex JP–30. It is smaller (fits inside an aeropress), has a top that seals beans in super tight so you can grind to your heart's content, and also produces a nice fine grind for my brewing method. At half the cost of the Porlex, I would recommend the Hario unless you are sure that you need to travel with your grinder.
Anyway, what the hell were we talking about? Oh yeah, grinding beans. Now you need to set your grinder appropriately. If your grounds are too large then you won’t fully extract them and water will fall through them too easily, too small and you will over extract pulling out unwanted bitterness. Conveniently I set my Porlex and Hario to the same setting: 4. To set a Hario follow this guide from Four Barrel Coffee, the Porlex is easier, just tighten the littler clicker wheel until it can’t go any further then back it off 4 clicks.
Use Filtered Water
What else am I really supposed to say here. Filter your water. We aren’t rubbish people over here. You aren’t going to be drinking this coffee out of a garbage can when you are finished. Filter your water.
There are plenty of fancy kettles that you could use to heat your water, but I’ve found that a Muji teapot in the microwave is my perfect combination of small, cheap, and easy. The trick is to spend some time in advance figuring out exactly how much time it takes to heat a specific amount of water to your ideal temperature. I experimented and found that I can fill my teapot almost to the top and put it in the microwave for 4 minutes to get to the ideal temperature.
What is the ideal temperature? If you didn’t freak out before, here is another great opportunity: The temperature you are shooting for is 180° F . If you don’t brew coffee often, this is cold. It will mean coffee that tastes fruity/bright/wonderful. Just try it, ok? If you aren’t happy and want more bitter/roasty flavor then fine, whatever, brew hotter. Throw your life away.
Add Coffee Beans
I shouldn’t have to say this twice, but Lofted Coffee are some of the best beans you can get and are bizarrely affordable. But, whatever, if you want to use some other crap beans then I can’t stop you.
Now that you have beans, grab that little scooper that came with the Aeropress and toss two leveled scoops  of beans into the grinder. Yes. That’s right. Fuck your fancy scale. We don’t need it. If we were making pour-overs then 100% I agree that accuracy down to the tenth of a gram can make a difference in brewing. In pour-overs, the amount of grounds that you have directly affects the time it takes for coffee to drip through in turn directly affecting the extraction. This isn’t a pour over though. In the Aeropress, grounds are suspended in hot water and extraction happens at the same rate as long as you have approximately the right amount of beans. Maybe one or two extra beans will make your coffee 2% stronger but… who cares. Add two scoops of beans and stop freaking out. Just start grinding.
This one is pretty simple. Add a filter, attach the filter cap to the aeropress, then setup for non-inverted use. That means just stand it up on top of whatever you are going to press into. Personally I use this beautiful and excellent server from Kalita. It keeps any hot water from squirting out in random directions, has cup measurements on the side, and looks dope. Win. We end with an easy step: put the grounds into the Aeropress.
Set the timer for 1 minute and pour water however you damn well please. Since we are making enough for two people fill all the way to the top with water. If you were just making one cup then you would have used one scoop of beans and would be filling to the top of the #2 circle with water. Ew. No thank you.
As soon as you are done filling you should break out the T-shaped stirrer thing and stir. “Stirring” here actually means basically just loosen grounds from the bottom, break up any big chunks and switch paddle back and forth twice Just a quick agitation, nothing more. You would be amazed by how even this much impacts extraction.
Fill the water back up to the top after stirring . Some will have already snuck through the filter which is totally cool and fine.
Once the timer goes off, start pressing. It doesn’t really matter how you press: there is no magic going on here. You are just separating the water from the grounds and putting an end to further extraction before bitterness starts sneaking in. So, just push straight down on the top, don’t let the bottom go flying out, and you will be fine.
Do The Other Thing That Freaks People Out
Now here is the part that freaks people out even more than the rest: add water. Directly from the Aeropress I get about 2.5 cups of super strong mega intense coffee insanity. It tastes pretty great if you are just taking small sips but the mouth feel is too thick for regular morning coffee enjoyment. Think like coffee syrup. Wait, no, think like coffee syrup but in a bad way. So I dilute it down with the remaining hot water by adding a half to a full cup of water. Like everything else, you can adjust this for your own tastes.
Serve your coffee
Finally, serving is important. Get some cups that you love. Sure you can just drink this coffee out of any old coffee mug, but if this is going to be a daily ritual then shouldn’t you enjoy every part of it as much as possible? I recommend thin rimmed cups. Basically bone china type. You won’t find these at most coffee shops because they are too easy to break and thus too hard to maintain, but I find that they increase your perception of the coffee flavor and feel better when drinking. Once again Muji has some great options.
If you look at the picture you will also notice that I didn’t fill the cups all the way. This is a great little trick I learned from Búðin. When coffee is super hot you can’t pick out all the flavors like you can with a warm cup. A wide mouthed cup and a shallow pour mean faster cooling coffee so you can get all that delightful flavor out more quickly. It means refilling your cup more often but the flavor gains are worth the effort. The tradeoff is that if you don’t keep up with your coffee and let it get cold the flavor will be too intense. Low extraction coffee like this doesn’t have the strong bitter and roasty backbone when it gets cold that you would expect from coffee made in more traditional ways. Instead the fruity flavors turn into overpowering sourness and acidity.
Wow. That was a lot. Here are the steps in summary:
- Heat filtered water to 180° F
- While the water is heating, put two scoops of delightful coffee beans into your grinder
- Grind with an excellent grinder set to a relatively fine setting. Setting #4 on a Hario Skerton or Porlex should do 
- Put a filter into the aeropress, screw the cap on the bottom, and set it on whatever you will press into. Add ground coffee
- Set a timer for 1 minute then fill the aeropress to the top with water! Hooray you are making coffee!
- Stir very lightly, just enough to get grounds off the bottom and one or two swipes back and forth
- Add some more water you sly dog. Just top her up and we will all be fine
- Stop pressing once you hear the hissing noise
- Take the black cap off and press the ground the rest of the way out into the garbage
- Add a half to a full cup of water (to taste)
- Drink like the king that you are
I’m literally writing this whole thing riding a citibike. If you for some reason had high expectations for this post then maybe those expectations should be… Lower… Today is just not a day for meeting low bars ↩
you smug sunovagun! ↩
aka the delicious components that make coffee actually worth drinking ↩
which I’m borderline ashamed to admit that I do often ↩
hahahaha what an asshole! ↩
82°C. You are welcome nerds and non-Americans. We are all kinds of equal opportunity here ↩
We are making two cups of coffee here. What fun is drinking alone ↩
Yep, non-inverted. I know that many aeropress championships have been won using the inverted method. I don’t care. In my experiments it produces less delicious coffee ↩
Again this isn’t a pour-over, just add water and chill ↩
I’m assuming you are easily amazed ↩
I don’t know man, I just always do this… it is like coffee greed: I want every last drop I can squeeze out. It ends up tasting good when I do this so if you want your coffee to taste good then you should do exactly as I do ↩
Pronounced “booth-in” because… what the fuck, why is it pronounced that way????? ↩
woah. Definitely set it before you start with steps 1 and 2 ↩
you may notice that Four Barrel sets theirs to 2. Wow. The balls on those guys ↩