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How To Make Espresso With An Aeropress

Espresso is a coffee style that is all on its own. No other brewing method produces coffee that tastes quite like espresso, but what if you do not have an espresso machine? Can espresso be made in a brewing device such as the Aeropress? This is how to make espresso with an Aeropress.

To make espresso with an Aeropress, pressure is key. Place the coffee grounds into the pre-heated Aeropress, tamp down with a secondary coffee filter, add water, and press hard to brew the coffee at high pressure. Aeropress espresso is not true espresso, but it is very close and tastes delicious.

The coffee brewed with an Aeropress is not generally thought of as espresso, and truthfully there is nothing like espresso from a high-end espresso machine, but Aeropress espresso is possible and can be used to make all espresso-base drinks. Let’s go over how to make espresso with an Aeropress.

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How To Make Espresso With An Aeropress

Can You Make Espresso With An Aeropress?

Espresso is a very particular style of coffee brewing that typically requires an espresso machine, but can it be recreated with another brewing device?

Brewing devices such as an Aeropress can be used to make espresso-style coffee. The pressure used for quick-brewing and the temperatures used to make coffee in an Aeropress produce coffee that is very close to espresso.

The term ‘espresso’ refers to a particular coffee brewing method that uses very high pressure and decent heat to extract strong and intense flavor from ground coffee beans very quickly.

This brewing method is known for producing the strongest coffee, and the resultant brew is used to make all kinds of espresso-based drinks that include cappuccino, latte, and cortado.

It is well known that espresso can only truly be made with an espresso machine that is capable of brewing the coffee at an appropriate pressure, heat, and speed.

However, it is possible to make near-espresso style coffee using other methods, so long as some amount of pressure is used when brewing the coffee, rather than letting the coffee be filtered slowly, dripped, or pour-over.

This means that brewing devices such as the Aeropress can be used to make espresso-style coffee.

That being said, espresso-style coffee can be brewed using an Aeropress, but the brewing process must be altered slightly compared to standard Aeropress methods, and a particular process must be followed to increase the pressure with the brewing device to create the espresso.

What You Need To Make Espresso With An Aeropress

Coffee beans in an Aeropress

Espresso can be made using an Aeropress, but the brewing method must be slightly altered, and a few extra items are required to make the coffee as close to espresso as possible with the Aeropress.

To make espresso with an Aeropress requires the following items to make the best espresso shot possible:

  • An Aeropress brewing device.
  • Aeropress coffee filters.
  • Whole roasted espresso coffee beans.
  • A coffee bean grinder, preferably a burr grinder.
  • A longe handle tamper
  • A coffee scale or microgram scale
  • A coffee mug large enough for the Aeropress to sit on top of it.
  • Plenty of hot water.

All of these items are necessary to create an espresso-style coffee shot from an Aeropress. Without the precision and methods that these items allow, the coffee that is brewed will not resemble espresso at all.

The following method will explain how to use an Aeropress to mimic the function of an espresso machine to produce a strong, rich, espresso-style coffee shot.

How To Make Espresso With An Aeropress

Making espresso coffee with an Aeropress is not as difficult as it may seem, but it is slightly more challenging than the standard Aeropress brewing methods and requires a few more steps.

This process includes measuring the correct amount of coffee, grinding them to the correct consistency, prepping the Aeropress for brewing, and pressurizing the Aeropress for brewing the coffee. These processes ensure a good espresso-style brew.

Following these instructions closely will produce a very strong, intense espresso from an Aeropress coffee brewing device:

Step One: Prep The Coffee Grounds

For the best tasting, strongest shot of espresso from an Aeropress, it is crucial to use freshly ground coffee beans. Pre-ground beans will work, but they will not taste as good or as intense as freshly ground beans.

Using the coffee scale or microgram scale, measure out 18 – 21 grams (0.64 – 0.74 ounces) of whole roasted espresso coffee beans, depending on how strong you prefer your coffee. Allow for an extra gram to account for the loss of coffee while grinding and transferring the ground coffee.

Place your coffee beans into the grinder, and grind them to a medium-fine consistency. The beans should not be ground quite as fine as they would be for espresso, but very close. Espresso should be finely ground, but for the Aeropress method, medium-fine is best to extract maximum coffee flavor.

Step Two: Prep The Aeropress

The next step is to prepare the Aeropress for or brewing. 

Unscrew the filter cap of the Aeropress, and insert one Aeropress paper filter. Screw the cap back on the cylinder, and place the Aeropress on top of the broad coffee mug.

Heat up water, and pour it through the Aeropress. This will pre-heat the Aeropress, remove any unwanted paper flavor from the coffee filter, and it will pre-heat the mug underneath. 

This is a vital step in brewing the perfect Aeropress espresso.

Step Three: Wet Coffee

This step is not vital, but it does improve the overall flavor of the coffee and allows for the best extraction of the coffee grinds.

Pour the water out from the mug under the Aeropress and replace the brewing device back onto the mug.

Remove the freshly ground coffee grinds from the bean grinder and place them into the bottom of the Aeropress cylinder.

Next, pour a small amount of hot water over the coffee grinds, only enough to wet the grinds. Using a long spoon or a stirrer, stir the grinds gently to ensure that they are all wet. 

The next step must happen very quickly after this to ensure the beans do not get burned before brewing.

Step Four: Create The Puck

This step must be done as fast as possible to ensure the best quality coffee flavor from the brewing process.

Make a second Aeropress filter slightly wet, and stick it to the bottom of the long-handled tamper. Use the tamper to press the filter onto the top of the wet coffee grinds in the Aeropress cylinder.

Press down firmly with the tamper to ensure that the coffee grounds are fully compacted together. Twist the tamper as you remove it to leave the secondary filter pressed firmly on top of the coffee grounds.

This forms what is called a ‘puck’ and is vital for brewing espresso with this method.

Step Five: Begin Brewing

After the puck has been formed, quickly add hot water to the cylinder. The water should be between 200 – 208 degrees F (94 – 98 degrees C).

Fill the cylinder with hot water until just below the “2” marking on the cylinder. This is roughly 125ml (4.2oz) of water, which is perfect for this method.

Leave the coffee to brew for roughly 1 ½ minutes before moving on to the next step.

Step Six: Pressurize The Aeropress

Pressurizing the Aeropress is vital for brewing an espresso-style coffee

Place the Aeropress plunger into the cylinder at an angle, without pressing it deep into the cylinder and allowing air to create a gap between the inner wall of the cylinder and the plunger.

This is important for forming the pressure within the Aeropress. Do not push the plunger very far into the cylinder; about 5 – 6 centimeters (about 2 inches) deep is perfect.

Once the plunger is inserted into the cylinder at an angle, straighten the plunger so that it contacts the entire circumference of the inner chamber of the cylinder. 

When the plunger is in place, pull the plunger up slightly to create a high-pressure zone within the cylinders’ chamber.

To check if the cylinder is pressurized, lift up the Aeropress; if any liquid drips out of the device, the cylinder is not pressurized. If so, attempt to pressurize the cylinder again.

If no liquid drips from the Aeropress, the cylinder has been pressurized successfully.

Step Seven: Plunge

When the plunger has been in the Aeropress cylinder for a few seconds, and the coffee has been brewing for about 1 ½ minute, it is time to plunge the coffee.

Plunging an Aeropress that has been pressurized and with a puck of compressed coffee grinds with two filters in it is a small challenge.

It will feel difficult to push down on the plunger but push hard until the plunger begins to depress. Once the plunger starts moving down, keep pushing smoothly and evenly until it reaches the bottom of the cylinder.

Keep pressing the plunger down hard until it presses the coffee, and you can no longer compress the coffee any further.

Plunging the Aeropress with this method may take as long as 20 – 30 seconds to compress it entirely.

Step Eight: Enjoy The Espresso

This method of brewing coffee in an Aeropress allows the coffee to be brewed and extracted at a higher pressure than normal.

Once the coffee has been fully pressed out of the Aeropress, there should be about 3 – 4 ounces (85 – 110 milliliters) of brewed coffee in the mug beneath the Aeropress.

This coffee will taste strong and rich and very similar in intensity and taste to espresso. This shot can then be enjoyed straight as espresso, or it can be used in a recipe to make any espresso-based coffee drinks such as latte or cortado.

Does Aeropress Coffee Taste Like Espresso?

Coffee brewed in an Aeropress using this method is not true espresso, but it is very close and tastes almost exactly the same as espresso.

Espresso is brewed at very high pressure, usually 9 bars of pressure or higher. An Aeropress can not match this, but by using this brewing method, the Aeropress can be used to brew espresso-style coffee that tastes incredibly similar to espresso.

Espresso can be identified as a very strong, intense, dark, smooth-tasting coffee shot that is brewed quickly at high pressure with high heat.

The Aeropress usually produces coffee that is similar to a french press or a drip-style coffee, but using this method, the coffee it produces is remarkably similar to espresso.

Coffee brewed in this manner with an Aeropress is intense, strong, dark, and smooth, albeit slightly less strong tasting than espresso.

It can be used to successfully craft any espresso-style drink, including cappuccino and latte, and will satisfy any craving for espresso.

Coffee brewed in an Aeropress using this pressurized puck method will taste like espresso, but it will be slightly less strong than true espresso.

Is Aeropress Stronger Than Espresso?

When making espresso-style coffee with an Aeropress, a frequently asked question is, “is Aeropress stronger than espresso?”

By its nature, an Aeropress can not produce coffee that is stronger tasting than espresso when compared shot for shot. The Aeropress is not able to produce the high pressures that are required to make coffee as strong as espresso.

However, the Aeropress is able to produce exceptionally strong coffee, much stronger than regular manual coffee brewing methods.

Coffee from an Aeropress may not be quite as strong as espresso, but when made with the above method, it gets very close, and the coffee that it produces is exceptional.

The Aeropress is capable of producing a very strong cup of coffee when used to make espresso-style coffee with the pressurized puck brewing method.

Brewing espresso with an Aeropress is possible, but it does require a specialized technique as well as some precision brewing.

The Aeropress must be slightly pressurized to brew espresso-style coffee, but when this method is done correctly, the resulting coffee will be as strong and rich as true espresso.

Explore this brewing method with your Aeropress to develop your technique to produce some exceptional cups of coffee!