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Gear Review - Aeropress Coffee Maker


Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 481

Kirra, real espresso machines do not actually need steam to operate. They use pumps, either vibratory or rotary. Pumps, whether electric driven or through manual pistons, are the only way to get the proper pressure one needs for espresso. Steam is used in some less expensive machines as a way to build up some pressure to get through a puck. That way of producing espresso doesn't work very well in terms of quality usually.

kirra · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 530

Brian thank you for introducing me to the next level of one of my favorite beverages... I now humbly admit (reluctantly) that my wonderful tailgate barista is now nothing more then a steam-drive-toy

inspired to search - I found an almost exhaustible supply of details at explaining various types of machines and the technical processes involved. I plan to donate some quality time understanding "all" of this and look forward to being completely in debt over a new machine -and- a larger truck for I don't think I'll have room on my tailgate anymore

heck, maybe I can get congress to include expresso upgrades in the new 'Bailout-Relief Plan' -(after wooden arrows for children of course) -thanks again ~k

DICK HURTZ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 0

you can steam milk with a running car, copper tube and duck tape.
and a big ol wad of Cope with the brew makes even instant ok

Daryl Allan · · Sierra Vista, AZ · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 1,040

Kirra, you're thanking Brian now but just wait. You'll be calling me up to go tp his house after you've sold an organ off to upgrade your espresso machine. I loath the dude that taught me to roast my own beans... sometimes i actually miss the days where Starbucks was good coffee (then i come to my senses).

kirra · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 530
Daryl Allan wrote:Kirra, you're thanking Brian now but just wait. You'll be calling me up to go tp his house after you've sold an organ off to upgrade your espresso machine. I loath the dude that taught me to roast my own beans... sometimes i actually miss the days where Starbucks was good coffee (then i come to my senses).
lol ~ looks like a nu can-o'worms or would that be a bag-o'beans got opened for me... that's right your 'roasting' now ~ oh-no WHEN WILL IT END...? ! ? ! ? ! ?

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 481

I hear that...my wife got me an iRoast2 for Christmas last year and it has been pretty incredible so far. I was keeping a journal for a while, but now I just do whatever I want and stop the roasting whenever it looks like the right color I want that day and sounds like it's crackling just right. I haven't bought roasted beans since receiving this fantastic machine. We luckily have a coffee roaster here in my town of Columbia, SC that keeps a pretty good selection of green beans.

Now I have a roaster and a Rocky grinder...all I need is the espresso machine. I've been holding out for a long while, not wanting to settle for something less than adequate. I wish I could afford a Quickmill machine, but the price is out of my ballpark. A Silvia with PID is probably where I'll end up, not that it isn't a fine machine. It's easy to keep wanting newer and better coffee toys, kind of like I do with my outdoorsy gear. Come to think of it, I guess I'm a pretty addictive person when it comes to the things I get into.

kirra · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 530
Brian Abram wrote:Come to think of it, I guess I'm a pretty addictive person when it comes to the things I get into.
perhaps it's just the art of being a 'gear-head'

no way you could be a sport-climber..? I would really be surprised :)
Ryan Kelly · · work. · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 2,970
kirra wrote: perhaps it's just the art of being a 'gear-head' no way you could be a sport-climber..? I would really be surprised :)
I think Sport-Os are more into gas station coffee, which would make Boulderers... unable to afford any.
Daryl Allan · · Sierra Vista, AZ · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 1,040

Brian, for me it came down to the Gaggia Classic and the Silvia. I went with the Silvia after all but just flipping a coin but after a year i couldn't be happier with it. I held off with the PID mod but I've learned to surf it pretty well so I'll probably just leave it stock. Too bad you didn't get the Rocky and the Silvia together wholelattelove usually offers a package deal on those two.

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 481
Ryan Kelly wrote: I think Sport-Os are more into gas station coffee, which would make Boulderers... unable to afford any.
Man, in 11 years of climbing, I can count the number of sport climbs I've been on on my hands and toes. There's not a whole lot of it in North Carolina. Ice climbing and mountaineering are the latest money drain. Plane tickets to Colorado this winter and Seattle next Spring are killing me.

Yeah, I wish I could have gotten a package deal, but again it was a gift so I'm not complaining one bit. I'll get my machine soon enough...climbing just keeps getting in the way.

ps. What's funny is that I'm writing this from my cell phone, from the back seat of a car headed to find some sport climbs in NC. Hawksbill is gonna be beautiful this weekend. The guy I am with likes sport, so we're gonna see what exists there on Saturday. Sunday is mine for trad, probably at Ship Rock or possibly again at Hawksbill. Temps are superb and no rain for once.
Galibier_Numero_Un · · Erie, CO · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 0
kirra wrote: regarding the puck-maker.. I was referring to a portable unit which could perhaps resemble an ol' fashioned cordless juice/press squeezer and be whipped out immediately after bean grinding (also on location) of course.. :) Thom I'm a bit confused about your comment on the temp/bitterness related to Expresso. Steam is only created (necessary for expresso) at a certain temperature. This cannot be controlled (?) - I agree about the lower temp being better for brewing allaround however, upon doing this for several years now via same expresso machine, I noticed bitterness only with certain beans. Perhaps bitterness is a direct result of not only the temperature at brew time but also of the roast and/or type of coffee bean that is being brewed.
Hi Kira,

Espresso geeks are quite a trip. Imagine everyone on Mountain Project sitting at their keyboards totally wired. Anyhow, when I was searching out my espresso machine back in late 2000, I surfed the coffee newsgroups and forums for a couple of weeks. I don't have a lot of room in my head to store all of this stuff, but there's a decent espresso FAQ on the Whole Latte Love site.

They discuss all of the espresso basics, including grind, temperature and pressure. Basically, you control the grind and how hard you tamp it to create flow resistance - with the goal being to expose the beans to the water for 20-25 seconds. Finer grind lighter tamp, coarser grind, firmer tamp ... that sort of thing.

If you thought we get nutty over whether we should plug in a Metolius Mastercam vs. a C3, you should see these guys.

What's really interesting (temperature), is I knew someone prone to tweaking stuff, and he took a garden variety coffee maker and modified the thermostat to produce water more in the 192-196 range. Before the mod, it was running about 10 degrees cooler than that. He swore to me that the quality of his cups was like that of a vacuum pot (coffee geeks lust after old fashioned vacuum pots). He may have been pulling my leg. I didn't get to witness the experiment.

So, why does the Aeropress violate this seemingly ubiquitous temperature rule? Beats the hell out of me.

As far as getting to this temperature (192-196), remember that an espresso machine is doing all of this under pressure, so even if you live in Leadville, you can achieve this temp.

Cheers,
Thom
Eastvillage · · New York, NY · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 80

Presses are nice and the coffee that way is good, but IMHO, it's hard to beat a #2 or 4 melitta cone and a few filters for fast fresh and good coffee.
And let's not forget old fashioned cowboy coffee; coarse grounds in the pot or cop, boiling water, set a few minutes and the grounds settle to the bottom very quickly and you can drink or pour all the way to the grounds level at the bottom and just chuck the rest.
Love that Java in the great outdoors.

joelhagan Hagan · · Rapid City, SD · Joined May 2006 · Points: 875

Sylvia sits on my counter...the first thing I do every morning is turn her on. I have a lovely Gaggia grinder and have brought my shots to as near to perfection as I can. I've been using it for 3 years now and decided not to mod it at all, since you can get a great shot if you're patient to begin with and learn to surf it well.

If anybody really wants to get into the minutiae of espresso and all things coffee visit the wonderful world ofcoffeegeek.com

Climb safe and don't burn your beans. Joel

Charlie King · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jan 2003 · Points: 5

Good review, Daryl. I've been using the Aeropress for about 3 years
to make my coffee (from home roasted beans)at home, camping, and at work and can attest to everything you have mentioned. It makes a Great Cup o'Joe. I have 2 Aeropress'

Jim Matt · · Indianapolis, IN · Joined Sep 2003 · Points: 255

Is this Mountain Project or coffeegeek.com? ;)

I have to admit that I am fully steeped into coffee geekdom. I own an Isomac Amica (with a PID controller) and a Mazzer Mini that I use for espresso every morning (I am enjoying a double-shot as I type this). I often roast my own for freshness, although we have a great roaster here in town that I like to support (BJava Coffee and Tea).



For me, when traveling, I like to bring along some fresh coffee, and grind it fresh in one of these:

coffeegeek.com/reviews/grin…

...and use this press pot:

bodumusa.com/shop/line.asp?…

If you make sure to use water that is less than 200 degrees, then you will tend to extract less of the bitterness from the coffee.

Kirra, don't get me started on the aluminum/Alzheimer link, the studies that "demonstrated" that link were seriously flawed. Commonly used antacids (over-the-counter) contain aluminum.
Spider Savage · · Los Angeles, ID · Joined May 2007 · Points: 535

Turkish Coffee is my solution to good outdoor coffee. It requires no gear. It's not messy and makes an awesome cup, with crema.

camhead · · Vandalia, Appalachia · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,240

I was surprised that nobody mentioned just plain cone filters until well into the second page. I much prefer that over the French Press. Though, in the backcountry, the trash cleanup would be a problem with the soggy filters.

Daryl Allan · · Sierra Vista, AZ · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 1,040

In case anyone wanted to read up on Turkish coffee making methods..
howtobrewcoffee.com/Turkish…

Alex Oenes · · mpls, mn · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 25

Daryl - I appreciate the review. This covers a base of mine for a last minute christmas idea :)

Evan S · · Erie, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 500
lifeline.organogold.com/na/…

This is the only instant coffee I've ever tried that I really liked, it's better than some brewed cups.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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