Aeropress: The Key to Making Coffee Fun?

Posted by  Junior Lim  on  March 21, 2019, 6:20 p.m.

 

“Specialty coffee” – the term carries a particular cultural connotation, and no thanks to its name, an air of exclusivity. As a commodity and practice, specialty coffee tends to be taken very seriously. That’s not to say that every aspect of this seriousness is a bad thing – in my opinion, the good parts speak of dedication: dedication to seeking out the highest quality coffee, treating that same great coffee with care and respect, all to deliver a delicious cup of coffee.

What I dare say is that specialty coffee’s microcosm takes itself too seriously, and this may be exacerbated by Singapore’s template culture, or rather, the fixation on doing things in a singular, “correct” way. In my opinion, this fixation on what’s “correct”, be it making coffee, or partaking in specialty coffee consumer culture, is what takes away from the enjoyment that coffee can bring, and makes specialty coffee feel even more exclusive – dare I say, inaccessible. Here's the thing: why should a good thing be inaccessible?

At Hook, we pride ourselves on making specialty coffee accessible – there are no price premiums, and we want nothing to do with connotations of exclusivity. Our mission is this: for great coffee to be priced fairly and made easy to purchase, for consumers to be aware of these benefits, and to provide a support system for consumers to make the most out of high quality coffee.

 

The Aeropress

 

 


Some of you may be aware of what an Aeropress is, some of you may not. For the uninitiated, it’s basically a giant syringe for you to brew coffee in, except that the needle is replaced by a filter. Here’s an old video by James Hoffman which raises a great point about the apparatus: there are so many ways to brew coffee using an Aeropress, such that there is no “correct” way. Heck, he even made a set of set of dice to randomise each variable that constituted an Aeropress brew because it would be “fun”.

Watching that video made me realise something: the Aeropress is the brew method that encapsulates our belief in making specialty coffee accessible. The apparatus is simple to use, there is no right or wrong, and it inspires curiosity and exploration. The great thing about James Hoffman’s realisation and product was that it inspired adaptations, one of them being a free web application called Random Aeropress Recipe. As the name suggests, it randomises each Aeropress brew variable, and of course, we had to give it a try!

 

 

Warm-up Round

 

 

 

We started with our go-to recipe done two ways: standard and inverted brew. For your reference, here's our recipe:
 

• 12g coffee to 200g brew water (1:16.7 brew ratio) 

• Rinse filter paper for both standard and inverted Aeropress plungers

• Place ground coffee in both plungers and fill with 200g brew water. Agitate both plungers with Aeropress paddle

• Secure filter cap on inverted plunger, insert plunge into standard orientation plunger just till it stands. Steep for 1 minute

• After 1 minute, PLUNGE! Voila, Aeropress coffee brewed two ways – done!

 

 

The Taste?

 

 

Well, it is our go-to recipe for a reason. Basically, it tasted good! (then again it helps to be working with great quality coffee) Again, this just one recipe adapted in two ways – we're only just getting started.

 

 

Random Recipe: 1

 

 

 

Time for the main event! Well, it's nothing too special, but it's exciting and sorta amusing. The recipe generator on standby, Kit and I decided he would go first. He clicked on the button and here's what he got:

 

• Heat 200g of water to 80 degrees celsius

• Grind 23g of coffee to a coarse grind

• Place Aeropress on mug in standard orientation with wet filter and cap on

• Pour in ground coffee. Add 30g of water and bloom for 20 seconds

• Add remaining 170g of water. Stir once in one direction

• Steep for 120 seconds then plunge!

 

 

 

Random Recipe 1: Taste test!

 

Kit: "Haha, do you want me to give a thumbs up?" – Yeah, it was suprisingly good.

 

 

Random Recipe: 2

 

Oh hey, it's me, getting all excited for my turn.

 

Here's this round's random recipe:

 

• Heat 250g of water to 80 degrees celsius

• Grind 15g of coffee to a medium grind

• Place Aeropress on mug in standard orientation with wet filter and cap on

• Pour in ground coffee. Add 30g of water and bloom for 20 seconds

• Add remaining 220g of water. Stir once in one direction, then once in the opposite direction

• Steep for 90 seconds then plunge!

 

 

 

Random Recipe 2: Yep, another taste test

 

Yeah, I've had better coffee.

 

Nah, this one didn't cut it. Right off the top of my head, the recipe called for too much water to too small a dose. Just my luck, I guess. Next!

 

 

 

Random Recipe 3

 

"So, do I press the button now or what?"

 

• Heat 250g of water to 95 degrees celsius

• Grind 15g of coffee to a coarse grind

• Place Aeropress on mug in standard orientation with wet filter and cap on

• Pour in ground coffee. Add 60g of water and bloom for 20 seconds

• Add remaining 190g of water. Stir twice in one direction

• Steep for 120 seconds then plunge!

 

 

 

Random Recipe 3: Taste test "ANOTHER ONE!"

 

"Pretty decent!" 

 

Okay – this one was SURPRISING. The recipe called for 250g of brew water and dosage as well, except the coffee was ground coarser. It just goes to show how many variables factor in to make a good brew. Kit's been getting good brews far, it seems!

 

 

Random Recipe 4

 

 

I'll be damned if it's another unlucky draw. Anyway, here's the recipe:

 

• Heat 250g of water to 95 degrees celsius

• Grind 18g of coffee to a medium grind

• Set Aeropress in inverted orientation

• Pour in ground coffee. Add 60g of water and bloom for 40 seconds

• Add remaining 190g of water. Stir once in one direction. Steep for 90 seconds

• Wet filter paper, put cap on. Place mug upside down on Aeropress and flip to standard orientation

• Plunge and you're done!

 

 

 

Random Recipe 4: You know the drill

 

Man, REALLY?

 

Unfortunately for me, none of my draws were good. Maybe I messed up somewhere, but I know this cup wasn't good. Again, it may be an issue of variables. I will say this though – it's been fun.

 

 

Aeropress Games: A Closing Note

 

 

So you know how we believe there's no right or wrong way to brew coffee? I've had a couple of bad draws, but I still believe it – heck, Kit managed some pretty good brews, so that's enough evidence for me! If you've got an Aeropress and some spare time, why not give the recipe generator a go? Keep being curious: tune your recipes, try new things, get crazy – I promise you, it's super fun and you'll be opening yourself to a whole new dimension of coffee!

P.S. – if you'd like to get started on brewing with an Aeropress, we've got you covered!

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