Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

James Hoffman’s AeroPress Technique

Tony Konecny, formerly of Tonx and now at Yes Plz, in a lengthy and entertaining thread about coffee brewing techniques [sic]:

And I of course love the Chemex. The heavier filters are very forgiving of grind size/quality. It’s hard to fuck up.

It’s an elegant brewer when you’re serving multiple people and one of the few pieces of coffee gear that looks good left on the countertop.

and an Aeropress looks like a something you keep hidden in the nightstand.

I brew a cup or two of Chemex when I am feeling fancy and want something to clean afterwards, but I make most of my coffee with an AeroPress despite its looks. It is a resoundingly utilitarian brewer with seemingly a many variables and, depending on how fussy you want to be, a challenge to use consistently. But it has many passionate fans for two good reasons: it is very simple, and it requires very little effort to make good coffee.

James Hoffman made three videos about the AeroPress that are worth checking out:

If you’re short on time, you can just watch the last video, but I highly recommend all three. The intro on the first one is a lovely piece of filmmaking, and Hoffman’s dedication to trying different techniques in the second is admirable.

These three videos got me to try a different technique than my go-to recipe. For years, I have used a cheap kitchen scale and the AeroPress Timer app — which is, simultaneously, the best-designed and least-beautiful app I use regularly — to brew 18 grams of coffee with 200 millilitres of water in about a minute and a half, which is the Blue Bottle recipe. It is a little anal retentive, but it sure produces more reliable results than my previous technique of guesswork.

But Hoffman’s recipe uses just 11 grams of coffee and takes two and a half minutes, with a finer grind than I typically use. It is a noticeably different cup and I cannot work out if I like it more or less, but it is worth exploring. If you have an AeroPress, I think Hoffman’s video series is an entertaining and informative way to spend about an hour, and I think the AeroPress Timer app is also worth giving a shot.