Here at THINK HQ, we are all about our coffee. You can’t have a brand name like THINK without having the fuel to run all of these brilliant minds. We have the usual boring office coffee maker (with Starbucks ground coffee delivered every other week), and also a french press and a Keurig. Greg, our technology director, has a clever dripper. But the office is abuzz (heh) our newest addition, an Aeropress. It’s an absolutely revolutionary device — an elegant, simple and cheap ($25?! via Amazon) disruption of the coffee status quo.
Invented in 2005 by Aerobie president Alan Adler), the Aeropress acts like a large syringe. The device consists of two cylinders, and the inner one has a rubber plunger and fits inside the larger cylinder to create an airtight chamber. A paper microfilter is placed between the actual filter and the large cylinder. Find ground coffee is then placed within the large cylinder, over the paper microfilter using the scoop provided. Hot water is then poured over the coffee, and stirred for about 10 seconds. Finally, the plunger is used to force the coffee through the filter. You’re left with a single cup of coffee comparable to espresso. Needless to say, we use this thing religiously.
Ben Tinsley in technology regarding his first Aeropress experience, ”I love the smell of ground coffee. Without getting too far into the cliched copy on coffee bags, I love the rich aroma with that buttery or earthy hint to it. However, every time I brew a cup with a coffee maker, be it regular drip or French press, the flavor doesn’t match up. It’s like a cheapened version of what I know it should be. I would never say I have been on a quest to find the perfect cup of coffee, but rather accepted that coffee is all aroma and taste is only a complement to that. One day, Zach brought in the Aeropress and I quickly made fun of it for its striking similarity to Austin Powers’ Swedish made penis pump. Once I tried a cup with it, the jokes instantly died. It was the apex of coffee drinking for me. The flavor finally matched the aroma and I have never gone back. At one point in my life, I would stop in a coffee shop to get a good cup before heading into the office, but that version of myself is now dead. I will never find a superior cup to what I have found in the Aeropress. ”
As with any nerdy pursuit, there is gamesmanship about who has the best technique, the best and most obscure supplies and add-ons. Just as baristas who are experts at the ‘regular’ espresso shots have the World Barista Championship, every year, Aeropress holds a National and World Aeropress championship. The best baristas showcase their original recipes for a shot at the world championship title. Recipes differentiate themselves by type of water (mineral content, etc), temperature, stir-time, press-time, and of course coffee grind. Below is the winning 2014 Aeropress Champion recipe.
16.5g coffee, 78℃, 250cc, soft mineral water, EK43 Grind at 9.5
Rinse normal paper filter, in standard position.
40g of blooming water for 25 seconds, stir 5 times.
Add 210g of water, stir once.
Press very slowly for 75 seconds.
And a quote from the winner, “Thinking toward WAC, I came to understand the important characteristics necessary for the taste of my coffee: a clean cup, well-balanced and a brew that highlights the coffee bean’s character.” Shuichi Sasaki
Coffee is a way of life. Fast-paced, productive, get-it-done way of life. The Aeropress make it that much easier to obtain.