Materials used in the AeroPress™® coffee maker
The AeroPress is made of three different plastics. The clear chamber and plunger are made of copolyester. The hard black filter cap, filter holder, funnel, and stirrer are made of polypropylene. The rubber like seal on the end of the plunger is made of a thermoplastic elastomer. All of these materials are FDA approved for use in contact with food. None of these materials contain bisphenol-A (BPA) or any phthalates, chemicals that have been in the news lately because of possible health effects.
Aerobie has been shipping AeroPress coffee makers made of the materials described above since August 1st, 2009. Prior to that date, the clear chamber and plunger were made of a very special high humidity and temperature resistant polycarbonate. Polycarbonate does not contain phthalates but it does contain BPA. Even though the FDA and other governmental agencies around the world approve polycarbonate for use in contact with food, we had an independent lab test coffee brewed in a well used AeroPress to determine how much, if any, BPA leaches into coffee brewed in a polycarbonate AeroPress. Absolutely none was detected. Given that result, one could ask why we switched to using copolyester. The answer is simple. The use of copolyester removes any perceived risk from BPA and it is a more attractive material.
We frequently get asked if we plan to make a glass or stainless steel AeroPress coffee maker. Interestingly we also receive frequent emails from consumers thanking us for not making the AeroPress of glass. I suspect those people are tired of breaking glass coffee carafes or glass coffee presses. The facts are that glass is fragile, heavy, and expensive to manufacture with the tolerances required for the AeroPress. People then ask how about stainless steel. Unfortunately stainless steel is heavy, expensive, and opaque and anyone that has used an AeroPress knows that transparency is helpful when using an AeroPress coffee maker. We therefore have no plans to make a glass or stainless steel AeroPress coffee maker. We believe that the AeroPress coffee maker we currently manufacture is superior to a glass or stainless steel AeroPress coffee maker.
Even though the independent test lab was unable to detect BPA in the coffee brewed in a polycarbonate AeroPress, people who are concerned about using an AeroPress made of polycarbonate can take advantage of our spare parts policy. Just call the Aerobie Customer Service Department at 1-650-493-3050 and you can purchase replacements for any of the AeroPress parts including the plunger and chamber.