My new triple Americano for one – in minutes, for pennies

Update: Seems a few of you are coming here thinking I’m using my AeroPress to make cold coffee concentrate. In fact, I’m not – but since I adore cold coffee concentrate and the mid-April weather is telling me it’s iced coffee season now, I’m back to using my Toddy, l lb of coarse-ground coffee & 9 cups of water to make my own. (link below…) The AeroPress? Will be pulled back out when the temperature drops later this year for certain, tho!

Or ‘My Love Affair With the AeroPress’…

I’ve talked before about my summertime habit of cold-brewing coffee – which I do religiously during summer months, even with the occasional mishaps. I typically drink just 1-2 cups of coffee each day, usually in the AM, usually as I’m preparing to go to work – so filling a cup w/coffee was as simple as ‘pour, mix, add ice, go’. But over the years, I typically slip away from cold brewing once October rolls around.

(There’s something about having a hot cup of coffee as the weather grows chillier – and it’s too much work to add ‘heat water and/or microwave’ to the morning routine, I guess. Yes, am a lazy creature of habit – wanna make something of it? Thought not…)

So I tried replacing the cold brew with doing an entire pot of french press on workday mornings (wasteful, inefficient, time-consuming for just one person) or – more recently – a stop at a nearby coffee shop for an Americano (in my own travel cup, pre-loaded with heavy cream) on the way to work.

But neither solution was ideal – and I knew I didn’t want to have to wait and drink the coffee at (gasp) work, either. So what’s a coffee snob with little time, high standards, and no desire to spend cash each day at a coffeeshop to do?

Enter Twitter. My curiosity was piqued about the AeroPress after reading a conversation between 2 of the people I follow (and trust their judgment re. coffee &/or simplicity)(Edit – as I suspected, 1 of the 2 was @andybeach!). And apparently the AeroPress promised…

  • espresso for 1 in less than 5 minutes?
  • without a heavy-duty machine?
  • with my own ground coffee (no fancy grinder)?
  • bone-dead simple?
  • not to mention cheap?
  • and there’s no equipment to clean afterwards, no mess to corral?

Well, after a week of using my own AeroPress – the answers are yes, yes, yes, yes and a resounding YES. Plus – it’s as smooth and non-bitter as my cold-brew coffee is, for the triple bonus WIN!

So what’s the AeroPress, anyway – another huge honking expensive machine? Not hardly. It’s a remarkably low-tech system that produces superior coffee in hardly any time at all. And the inventor of the AeroPress (the same guy behind the Aerobie frisbee, believe it or not) is pretty low-key as well, right down to the lack of fancy-schmancy marketing hype, packaging and/or promotion – gotta love the Google Docs version of the instruction manual!

Of course, the folks on Amazon make up for the lack of hyperbole with plenty of their own – but you know what? It’s mostly right.

So my morning coffee-making routine? Goes something like this:

  1. Put teakettle on to boil water. (Alternate: heat a cup of water in measuring cup w/handle in microwave)
  2. Put paper filter in screw top, screw on base of AeroPress tube (non-BPA plastic, if that matters to you)
  3. Grind 3 scoops of coffee, dump into tube, put over travel mug
  4. Pour water (not boiling – 175 will do) over grounds, stir for 20 seconds, then insert plunger & gently press coffee into mug.
  5. Remove tube from travel mug, screw off top, plunge espresso ‘cookie’ into compost bin. Rinse tube & plunger, set aside for tomorrow.
  6. Finish making my Americano, stir, drink.

Don’t believe me? Watch the video! (Might want to turn the sound down; music’s a little on the lilting & frothy side…)

Yep, bone-dead simple (pulled this off in 3 minutes yesterday during a morning that was compressed way down due to oversleeping, even!)

Nope, am getting nada from AeroPress (or Amazon, or any coffee company) for telling you this.

So why share? Because it’s revolutionized my morning and reinvigorated my wallet. It might just do the same for you…


  1. Kurt

    Welcome to the cult of Aeropress…

    I’ve been using an Aeropress for about 4 years (and it’s about to need replacing, just FYI). My European friends say it’s the only good coffee they’ve had in the US. One friend turned to her boyfriend after her first sip and said “You’re buying me one of these.”

    They used to be $20 from, but it looks like Amazon has the best prices now.

  2. EvaCatHerder (@EvaCatHerder)

    I want to know where you are finding decent coffee beans that cost only pennies a day. My first choice beans (admittedly local & fair trade) are now running me dimes a day instead of pennies. Still cheaper than what you can get at a coffee shop, but not as cheap as in the “good olde days.”

  3. Betsy Richter

    Eva – I grab my beans these days at Freddy’s – it was Peet’s Major Dickenson at a little over 10 dollars for the bag. Still way cheaper than it would be to buy it in a coffeeshop!

  4. Eva Schweber

    Excellent call on the Aero Press. David & I both read this post and both thought it would be a great b-day present for moi (what can I say, great minds think alike!)

    Aero Press arrived Monday. Second morning of Aero Press coffee. While I was waiting for the water to heat, I glanced over to the dish drain and saw the french press sitting there. It had that defeated look of the the old toy destined for the bottom of the toy box.

    Now I just need to dig up the water thermometer from CubeSpace…


  5. Betsy Richter

    Hooray! I can tell you that you only really need the thermometer once or twice to gauge things – that is, if you’re like me and microwaving the water in a pourable pitcher.

    The other factor I’ve been experimenting with recently is inversion brewing, which gives you a richer/fuller shot. (Do a Google search, which should give you the basics – I know a few locals in our mutual Twitter stream swear by the inversion method!)

    And enjoy…

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