Cold-Pressed Coffee using an Aeropress

By February 25, 2011 Coffee 16 Comments

This post is intended for anyone who loves and appreciates a good coffee and is interested in finding out about some cool coffee-making techniques. If you don’t like coffee, heck, you can still read. It’s free.

If you are a regular reader of The Food Blog, you would know that I left the world of employment in January and am currently self-employed. This change has had a hugely positive impact on my life. I am healthier and more energetic; I have more freedom with my schedule and am spending a huge amount of quality time with my family. Though this may be a short lived state of being, seeing that I will more than certainly have to go back to employment at some point, I am doing my best to enjoy the here and the now.

Though things are all rosy at the moment, there’s no denying that employment did have its benefits. There’s the professional side of things. My previous role did wonders for my skills in software development. You learn so much when you are surrounded by people who know more than you do. Then, there’s the social aspect – the friends you make, the lunches and the coffees. Oh man, do I miss the coffee. You see, my previous employer was a short stroll away from one of my favourite cafes, Mecca Espresso on King Street, Sydney. I wrote about these guys previously, discussing Mecca’s wonder machine, the Clover, which can brew coffee under extremely accurate conditions of time and temperature. In my opinion, their espresso is one of the best in town. But alas, their coffee is no longer a daily ritual of mine.

It seems the dream of having readily available, high quality coffee is one that I constantly approach and then always see drift away. I live in Flemington – a barren wasteland populated by an atheist, coffee-bastardising society waiting to hear the good word according to the Gospel of St Bean. But it wasn’t always like this. I had it good, goddammit! I lived in Newtown for 4 years, literally two doors down from Campos Coffee. I visited these guys so often that I could have put down a deposit on a house with the money I spent there. But there are no regrets. Campos pours an amazing cup. Owner Will Young was one of the first people in Sydney to produce coffee of such excellent quality and consistency. In fact, the first coffee/god moment I ever experienced was from a Campos coffee. I never knew coffee could taste that sublime.

(1- Campos Micro-Lot Coffee. 2- The parts of an Aeropress. 3 and 4 – Coldpressing with an Aeropress)

Will Young is experienced at raising the bar, if you get my drift. He recently opened a cupping room above the Newtown premises where people can go and sample different types of high quality beans. He is also supporting small growers that grow beans exclusively for his shops. On a recent visit, I nabbed the last bag of his most expensive single origin coffee ($15.00 for 250grams, way too much for a self-employed person to spend), labelled “Guatemala Finca, El Triangulo” following a suggestion from Ben the Barista Man. To appreciate this coffee, I went for a cold drip method, but instead of “dripping” the coffee, I pressed it with my Aeropress.

The Aeropress is one heck of an invention. My father in law bought me one as a present and it has been well used in the Kassab household. It’s basically a cylinder with a filter that gets filled with coffee and hot water, mixed and left to extract for 10 or 20 seconds and then pressed, like you would with a syringe, by the process of vacuum (see pictures). I own a Gaggia espresso machine which I no longer use, and instead, I stick with the Aeropress. It’s that good. If you’re not convinced, consider this. Both Mecca and Campos sell an Aeropress. If they think it’s good, chances are, so will you. My advice is that you get one. It’s cheap (I think it’s around $30 or less), easy to use, easier to clean and makes surprisingly sensational coffee.

To produce a cold-pressed coffee, I mixed 3 Aeropress scoops of plunger-ground coffee with 1 cup of room temperature water and left it alone for 12 hours. I then extracted the coffee using the Aeropress. A bit of ice and half a cup’s worth of coffee, and we’re done. Iced coffee like you’ve never experienced. The beauty of cold-pressing or cold extraction is that the entire aroma in the coffee stays intact, instead of being destroyed by heat. The method really showcases the flavours of this wonderful single origin: loads of fruit (I tasted blackberries and cherries), low acid, almost no bitterness and a huge hit of chocolate and caramel. And a good caffeine hit to boot.

Have you been to Campos or to Mecca? Have you tried Aeropress coffee? Leave a comment and let me and other readers know about it.

Links:

16 Comments

  • charterbot says:

    Great to hear you are relishing your time away from ‘all that’!

    The combination of that stunning first photo and informative last paragraph clinched it (not that everything inbetween wasn’t also pleasurable to read)—now there shall be neither rest nor contentment in our household till cold-pressed coffee comes our way. Thank you for including links, and thank heavens for mail order! 🙂

    The Aeropress looks great, very streamlined and portable. We travelled with a little stovetop cafetera for years, but this looks a very suitable option.

  • pigflyin says:

    Mecca is also my mecca for coffee as well… till I move to townhall and now I go to workshop instead. still consistent and still amazing. we are so blessed in Sydney.

    I have been cold steeping tea for this season and it is also amazing. it brings out a different kind of tea compare to hot steep then chill even with the same leaves. The aromatics tends to stick around longer and tannin expressed much less.

    areopress sounded great. should look out for it.

  • MrsPigflyin says:

    My husband used to rave about Mecca Coffee when he worked at Clarence St, now is my turn with their new Ultimo shop right opposite my work.

    I have yet to try Mecca’s aeropress but am wondering in a general sense, if I can find a suitable filter, is the finer the grind the better/faster I can extract the flavours?

  • Jobe says:

    Dude, cool post. Nodded my head at the Mecca and Campos stuff. As well as everything else. Nice one!

  • I never tried Aeropress. I tried French Press and the regular drip. Also my favorite coffee is the Italian, made with these special pots that use steam to create the coffee.
    I love coffee! It is one of the best drinks that were ever created!
    Good to hear that self-employment is rewarding in a lot of ways. It might be in my plans soon…

  • Thanks I was not aware of the aeropress, using a manual method I learned from my French best friend: a filter over the cup, and manually pouring the hot water over the coffee very slowly; works for me. On to check the aeropress!

  • Moya says:

    Ahhh, glad to have found another fan! I’ve been using the Aeropress for many years now (it was about $50 when I purchased mine by mail order) and I also stopped using a number of other coffee makers that I’ve accumulated! Must rush to try the cold press method now that you’ve reminded me, I just never seem to be organised enough to make my iced coffee 12 hours in advance! Love, love, love the flavour it gives me though!

  • As a lover of coffee I’m a little ashamed to admit that I have never heard of an Aeropress! I’m going out to buy one! Thank you for the info Fouad!

  • Much like Peter G said, I have never heard it before and I like my coffee. So, when are you opening a café, Fouad? 🙂

  • Fouad says:

    charterbot. Way to go! I’m always excited when people take my advice. Hope you love it as much as I do!

    Pigsflyin. What kind of tea do you cold steep?

    MrsPigsFlyin, Mecca don’t actually prepare a coffee with Aeropress. They sell the units, which come with a packet of filters. I find a plunger grind works well. A finer grind will be a more difficult extraction, which is sometimes worth the effort. A super-fine grind won’t extract.

    Jobe. Thanks mate!

    Vivianne. I like the stove-top espressos too, but I find the Aeropress better and even simpler to use. They can produce great espresso style coffees without the excessive heat you’d get from a stove top machine.

    Jouamana. Do it. It’s wonderful.

    Moya. Is it $50? I saw it on ebay for 30. Mine was a gift from my father in law. Glad to find someone else who uses and loves the Aeropress.

    Peter. You should be ashamed, mate! Hehehe. Let me know if you like it.

    Hi Corinne. A cafe… are you providing the finances? 😛

  • pigflyin says:

    I do cold press Anastasia and Prince Valdimir from Kusmi tea. The fragrance and flavoring is more prominent.They are my fav teas,quite sure others would do just fine.

    I also do it with a good quality Oolong tea. Going to try it with decent Jasmine tea that I have been enjoying hot.

    I found pu-erh tea to be to mushroomy to do this.

  • Jay says:

    Sounds epic Fouad,,,, I’m getting one! Have you, by any chance, played around with a siphon at all?
    https://www.camposcoffee.com/store/product.php?productid=16190&cat=253&page=1

  • Bee Keough says:

    I have to say… I was skeptical. Coffee is coffee right? The plunger will do… right?

    Despite that, I just HAD to try it! Particularly with my Thermomix able to pinpoint 80oC so easily (yup! another pesky Thermomix consultant)

    Absolutely Fab!!!!

  • jwade says:

    Great article. I’ve never used an aeropress before but it looks interesting. I’ll have to try it out one day soon. Great Post! Thanks for the info!

  • Peter says:

    Good article – going to try a cold press next time i have the time.

    Mecca tossed out their Clover a while back.

    What do they do if you want a filter coffee now? They use an Aeropress, it’s quicker, cleaner, and makes coffee just as good as the clover did.

    Always got bags of a filter roast on sale too, and they sell the Aeropress for $49.

  • con d says:

    hey thanks for your experience here with the aeropress .I’ve been reading around about cold brewing and some of the crazy methods people have been using including multiple passes through grinds, and have been wanting to try it . So buying an aero press seems to be a cool cheap way of playing with both methods. cheers for the info.

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