If you have a question that isn’t covered here, please contact us.
In the summer of 2014 we switched to making the chamber and plunger out of polypropylene. This means that all of the AeroPress parts except the rubber like seal are now made of polypropylene. We made the change because tests indicated the polypropylene is more durable. We regret the polypropylene is less transparent but feel the additional durability is more important. All materials used in the AeroPress are made in the USA and are FDA and EU approved for use in contact with food. Read more about the materials here.
No. The AeroPress has always been free of phthalates and has been free of BPA since August of 2009.
It is a medical grade thermoplastic elastomer that we buy from a supplier for medical syringes. The chemical name is styrene-ethylene-butadiene-styrene. It is made in the USA and is FDA and EU approved for use in contact with food.
We frequently get asked this question. Interestingly we also receive frequent emails from consumers thanking us for not making the AeroPress of glass. Those people are likely tired of breaking glass coffee carafes or presses. The facts are that glass is fragile, heavy, highly conductive of heat, and expensive to manufacture with the tolerances required for the AeroPress. People also ask how about stainless steel. Unfortunately stainless steel is heavy, highly conductive of heat, and expensive. 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.
Since we switched to the semi-opaque polypropylene material for the AeroPress, it’s a bit harder to see the water level when viewing from the side. An easier way to tell water level is to look down into the chamber from above. The numbers on the outside are visible through the material particularly if looking down against a light background.
Yes, we have. However, all of the black parts of the AeroPress are made with the same injection of material into a big mold, so changing the filter cap color would also change all the other parts. We are reluctant to add a lot of a bright color because we want the product to be neutral in terms of fitting into a kitchen color scheme. If you’ve thrown away your filter cap by accident, you can purchase a replacement by calling Aerobie, Inc. at 1-650-493-3050 (if you live in the USA) or by contacting the distributor in your country (if you live outside the USA).
The AeroPress coffee maker is warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year from date of purchase from an authorized retailer. We advise you to keep your receipt so that if you have a problem with your AeroPress before one year has passed, you can prove when you purchased it and that you purchased it from an authorized retailer that sells genuine AeroPress coffee makers. Authorized retailers are the ones found here.
Use fine drip or espresso grind. Espresso grind takes longer to press and requires skill and patience for multiple scoops but makes a richer brew more quickly due to more particle surface area.
A good grinder will grind coffee into particles of uniform size. Very fine particles block the flow of water and make it difficult to press. The same blocking occurs if your grinder is dull and produces particles of varying size because the fine particles block the spaces between the larger particles.
The AeroPress will make the same amount and strength of coffee from a given amount of coffee as other coffee makers. We have, however, found that when people use an AeroPress coffee maker, the coffee is less acidic and lacks bitterness so they often enjoy their coffee stronger – using more coffee to brew. We have also heard many people who report that when they moved from using a drip coffee maker to an AeroPress, they used less coffee because they only brewed what they planned to drink. They no longer pour out half pots of drip coffee.
A level scoop holds 11.5 grams of coffee or about 2.5 tablespoons. A heaping (rounded) scoop of coffee holds 14 grams or 3 tablespoons.
All of our tasters agreed that coffee brewed at these temperatures tasted the best. These temperatures deliver smooth, rich brews without the bitterness and acidity that come with using hotter water. Of course, taste is personal and you can use whatever water temperature makes coffee that tastes best for you.
Microwave oven: Use a thermometer and experiment to determine the time needed to heat the desired amount of water to the desired temperature. Thereafter you just need to remember the amount of time.
Kettle: Poke a thermometer in the spout of your kettle and heat until it reads the desired temperature. You can also buy digital electric kettles that will heat to a set temperature.
Noisy kettle method: David VanDenburgh of Kettering, OH heats water in a kettle. He reports that when the water in the kettle begins making noise it has reached about 175°F (80°C). He has verified this with a thermometer and has found it to be true for both electric and stove-top kettles. He suggests experimenting in your own kitchen to make sure this is true of your own kettle.
Three-quarters of the time to boil: Heat the desired amount of water in a kettle or microwave oven and measure the time it takes to boil. Heating the same amount of water for three-quarters of that time will reach about the right temperature.
Instant hot water: If you have instant hot water in your kitchen, it’s probably close to 175°F (80°C) already. Test it and adjust if necessary.
People who want their coffee really hot enjoy it at about 145°F (63°C). If your coffee is not hot enough, preheat your mug with hot water for a few minutes prior to pressing.
We originally designed the plunger to be used as a heating vessel in a microwave oven (we even made its rim pour dripless) but we decided against recommending that procedure because we do not know whether it shortens the life of the seal.
No, the temperature at which water boils is not relevant provided it boils at a temperature higher than your target brewing temperature.
1. You may need to use a better grinder. A good, sharp grinder grinds coffee into particles that are all the same size. A cheap or dull grinder produces a wide variety of particle sizes and the very small dust-like particles at the fine end of the particle size distribution block the flow through the other particles, effectively blocking your pressing.
2. Press gently, there is no rush. Pressing hard actually compacts the coffee particles into a barrier, making it harder to press. You can try pressing down half an inch, then hold the plunger there and let the air pressure in the chamber do the pressing for you. Then after 10 or so seconds of waiting, press another half inch down and repeat.
3. If the above two points don’t work, use a coarser grind until you get to where a minor amount drips through prior to pressing and then slow, gentle pressing takes 20 to 40 seconds.
It is normal for a minor amount of liquid (about 5%) to drip through prior to stirring and pressing. If a lot of liquid runs through prematurely, remember to shake to level the grounds and pour the hot water slowly. If an excess amount still runs through prematurely, you need to use a finer grind of coffee.
Sometimes the AeroPress produces crema and sometimes it doesn’t. The determining variables are clearly in the coffee but we have been unable to pin down the set of variables that will always produce crema (coffee, roast level, coffee freshness, etc.). Fortunately AeroPress brewed coffee tastes good with or without crema.
The AeroPress filter is 2.5 inches in diameter so the area of the filter is 4.9 square inches. If you press down firmly on a scale, it is relatively easy to get the scale up to 25 pounds and then if you press hard on the scale, you can certainly get it up to 50 pounds. Therefore if you press similarly hard on your AeroPress while brewing coffee, the firm pressing will be at 5.1 psi (25 lbs/4.9 sq in) and the harder pressing will be at 10.2 psi (50 lbs/4.9 sq in). Since a bar of pressure is 14.7 psi, the former is .35 bar and the latter is .70 bar. We have done taste comparisons between minimal and maximum pressure on an AeroPress and our taste buds can’t tell the difference.
Try applying a small amount of vegetable oil or mineral oil to the edge of the rubber seal. That should help you press more smoothly. Over time as you use the AeroPress, coffee oils will replace the vegetable or mineral oil, providing continuing lubrication. If you don’t use your AeroPress for a few weeks, lubricate with some vegetable or mineral oil to reestablish lubrication.
Many people say that espresso must be made with 9 bars of pressure. If you use this definition then no, the AeroPress does not make espresso. But if you define espresso by the taste of the drink in the cup, certainly many people think the AeroPress can brew espresso. Since AeroPress brewed coffee can be made into lattes, cappuccinos, and other espresso based drinks, we feel it is important to use the term “espresso” when describing what the AeroPress brews so potential customers will understand how AeroPress brew can be enjoyed.
A latte is espresso mixed with hot milk. You can add hot milk to espresso style coffee or you can add cold milk and then heat the latte.
A cappuccino is made up of equal parts espresso, hot milk, and foamed milk. The traditional way of foaming and heating milk is with steam. But those who have tried battery powered stirrers agree that they do a great job of foaming milk and are very easy to use and clean.
Increase the amount of coffee you use and decrease the amount of water. Using a finer grind for a given steep time will also make your coffee stronger but you may have to limit the fineness of the grind to keep from making the pressing too difficult. Try using one heaping AeroPress scoop of espresso grind coffee, fill the chamber up to the (1) with hot water, stir it while it steeps for about 10 seconds, and then press gently for about 30 seconds. That will give you a good concentrate starting point.
Press some hot espresso style coffee from your AeroPress into a mug containing ice, and then dilute with the desired cold liquid (water, milk, etc.).
Another iced coffee AeroPress recipe from AeroPress lover Tom Gallo follows:
Yes, but when you push all the water for your cup through the grounds it extracts bitterness. Diluting an espresso sized pressing with hot water makes a smoother brew. If you prefer to make a cup of American style coffee this way, you can make an 8 ounce mug of coffee by adding a heaping scoop of espresso grind coffee to the chamber, filling the AeroPress chamber to the top with water, stirring for about 10 seconds, and then pressing all the water through.
People who use the inverted method do so to prevent any premature drip-through of their coffee and to give them complete control over usually longer brew times. If you want to use a long brew time, then the inverted method has an advantage. We think shorter brew times brew better tasting coffee but taste is certainly personal and people should brew their coffee the way it tastes best to them. Be advised that using the inverted method may increase the risk of spilling hot water and the risks associated therewith.
Yes, using the inverted method. Insert the plunger an inch or so into the chamber and then set the AeroPress on a counter with the plunger down. Put the tea into the chamber, pour hot water into the chamber, and let it steep. When ready, put a filter into the filter cap, screw the cap onto the chamber, carefully invert it onto your mug, and press. Be advised that using the inverted method may increase the risk of spilling hot water and the risks associated therewith.
We don’t currently make a larger AeroPress. But if you do two or three 3-scoop pressings into an 8 or 12 cup vacuum pot and then top off the pot with hot water, you will have enough American style coffee to serve a small gathering in less time than it takes to brew a pot of drip coffee.
Yes, we recommend brewing as much AeroPress espresso style concentrated coffee as you want in advance of a party and then storing it in a sealed container in your refrigerator. You can add hot water or hot milk to it when the time comes to serve it.
Tests done by an independent researcher showed that the caffeine content of AeroPress brewed coffee is the same as comparable strength coffee brewed using other methods. People often find they enjoy their coffee stronger when it is brewed in an AeroPress because of the lack of bitterness, so that would result in more caffeine per cup.
AeroPress brewed coffee contains about one-fifth the acidity of drip brewed coffee and one-ninth the acidity of French press brewed coffee. Because of this it’s easier on your stomach.
Cafestol and kahweol are diterpene molecules found in coffee. They are powerful agents that cause our bodies to increase the low density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) in our blood. Cafestol and kahweol are removed from coffee by paper filters. Any coffee maker using a paper filter (such as the AeroPress coffee maker) removes virtually all of the cafestol and kahweol from the brew. We had this verified by an independent test lab for AeroPress brewed coffee.
Every AeroPress coffee maker comes with 350 AeroPress paper filters. Most retailers that sell the AeroPress also sell replacement packs of 350 AeroPress paper filters. We do not manufacture or sell filters for use in the AeroPress made of other materials such as metal. We were originally planning to include a metal filter with each AeroPress but when we conducted blind taste tests comparing paper filtered AeroPress brewed coffee with metal filtered AeroPress brewed coffee, the paper filtered coffee always won. We also learned using a paper filter is healthier because it removes diterpenes from coffee and diterpenes are potent agents that raise your bad cholesterol. AeroPress paper filters are 100% compostable along with the coffee grounds and they retail for slightly more than a penny a piece so they are gentle on the environment and your wallet.
There are many companies, both domestic and foreign, that manufacture filters designed for use in the AeroPress coffee maker made of other materials, particularly metal. We do not object to these other companies selling their filters but none of them can legally use our AeroPress trademark. It is important to note that the AeroPress limited one year warranty does not cover operation with a filter made by another company or damage to the AeroPress caused by use of such a filter.
No. The bleaching process used by filter paper manufacturers until the late 1980s used chlorine gas and the chlorine gas bleaching process created dioxin as a byproduct. In the late 1980s the filter paper mills switched to using what is called the non-elemental chlorine bleaching process (they use a chlorine compound, not chlorine gas) to eliminate producing dioxin as a byproduct. We cut AeroPress filters from rolls of the same paper that is used to make the cone filters used in standard drip coffee makers.
No. We did a market test and bleached filters were far more popular than unbleached filters with our customers. The AeroPress filter is just a 2.5 inch (63.5mm) diameter circle of the same filter paper used in a cone filter. You can cut your own from unbleached cone filters.
Yes. Some people reuse AeroPress filters dozens of times. When finished with a pressing, peel off the filter from the puck of coffee, rinse it, and place it in the filter cap to dry in position for use with the next pressing. “We are very happy with our AeroPress,” writes Hanne from Amsterdam in the Netherlands. “And really amazed how long a paper filter lasts. In one month we only threw one away!”
Yes. Once you are finished with making coffee simply eject the puck of grounds and filter into your compost bin.
Most retailers that sell the AeroPress also sell replacement filters. For a list of retailers that sell the AeroPress, visit our retailer listings.
We removed the ridges because they were scratching the inside of the chamber and had no function. We initially put the ridges on the plunger because we thought they would provide needed additional strength. That was not the case and to our surprise they were a source of scratching of the inside of the chamber. Some consumers think that the purpose of the ridges was to center the plunger and steady it as it was pressed down into the chamber, but that was not the case. The ridges were not big enough to center the plunger in the chamber and such centering was not needed anyway.
The biggest mug you can press into with the AeroPress has a top inner diameter of 3 3/4 inches (95mm). The smallest mug you can press into with the AeroPress has a top inner diameter of 2 5/8 inches (67mm).
The bottom circular rim of the chamber is firmly clamped down on the paper filter when you screw the filter cap onto the bottom of the chamber. Therefore all the coffee that you press down must go through the filter paper. There is a tiny amount of coffee that instead of going straight through the filter and into your mug goes sideways through the filter paper and emerges outside of the chamber in the filter cap. The side holes in the filter cap are there to enable this small amount of coffee to drip down into your mug. If those side holes were not there, some of this coffee would be pushed up and over the rim of the filter cap and then drip outside your mug.
No, a stand is not needed. Baristas sometimes use stands because they are pressing into paper cups which could not withstand the direct pressure of an AeroPress.
Yes. The plunger pushes a column of air and the air in turn pushes the coffee. The air provides a uniform smooth pressure.
Use the AeroPress funnel to transfer the ground coffee from your coffee grinder bin to the AeroPress chamber. It was not an intended use but users have told us that the funnel fits on the bottom of the chamber and enables you to press into smaller mugs. If you do this, we advise you to make sure you use a sturdy mug and that you firmly hold the mug and AeroPress during pressing to avoid spilling.
We designed the stirrer so that you cannot stir too deeply and tear the filter paper. You can tear the filter paper if you use a spoon to stir. All the black parts of the AeroPress are made with one injection step so the extra cost to include the stirrer is very little. As polypropylene, the stirrer is recyclable if you’d like to get rid of it.
We stopped putting the water level marking numbers on the plunger because we were concerned that they encouraged the use of the plunger in microwave ovens and we just do not know what effect microwaves have on the life of the rubber seal.
Check out our AeroPress versus other coffee brewing methods page to see how the AeroPress works differently from various other brewers.
You can in the top shelf, but a simple rinse is sufficient because the plunger wipes the chamber clean.
The seal can be cleaned using hot water and dish soap. We advise you to occasionally remove the seal from the plunger and wash it with hot, soapy water to prevent the accumulation of oils. Use a paper towel to provide a little abrasiveness.
We did a thorough washing of our much-used office AeroPress and found that some coffee smell remained afterward. We also thoroughly washed the glass carafe of our drip coffee maker and had the same experience. We then thoroughly washed some espresso-machine components and found that those, too, retained some coffee smell. We could not fully remove the coffee smell from any of these machines.
You can purchase replacement parts by calling Aerobie, Inc. at 1-650-493-3050 (if you live in the USA) or by contacting the distributor in your country (if you live outside the USA).
Holding the AeroPress with the seal facing you, brace your fingers around the chamber flange and push both of your thumbs against the seal. This will push the plunger up through the chamber making it easier to pull the two pieces apart.
Yes. The black seal is fitted onto the end of the plunger. There is no adhesive. To fit the seal back onto the end of the plunger, position the seal on the end of the plunger and then turn the seal while pressing it onto the plunger until it gets fully seated.
WHAT HAPPENED? Your seal has become compressed and is no longer big enough to tightly seal the chamber. Whenever the seal is inside the chamber, it is being held compressed. Eventually the compression forces prevail and the seal becomes too small. To maximize the life of your seal you need to minimize the time your seal is held compressed. This means eject the spent coffee immediately after every pressing and store the seal either pushed all the way through or removed from the chamber.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Buy a new seal: The seal can easily be replaced on the end of the plunger so one solution is to buy a new seal by calling our Customer Service Department at 1-650-493-3050 (if you live in the USA) and by contacting the importer/distributor in your country (if you live outside the USA). With care, a new seal should last at least three years.
For a quick fix: Joe Lindsay sent us his short-term fix: First place the rubber end of the plunger in some hot water for a couple minutes. Then press the rubber end of the plunger onto a flat surface such as a cutting board. While pressing roll the seal around on its edge so that you are pressing the edge out, widening the circumference of the seal.
For a longer-term fix: AeroPress fan Bruce Forsberg has a suggestion for a fix that he says will last a few months. He writes, “When the plunger has ever felt like it’s getting loose, I take the seal off the plunger and submerge it in a little water in a glass beaker. Then I microwave it until the water boils for about 30 seconds. After it cools a little, I put the seal back onto the plunger and put it away. This has restored the seal at least three times so far and it generally lasts a few months before it needs another treatment.”
You can try lubricating the filter cap with a little water or cooking oil to make it easier to turn. Or, you can buy sheets of rubber like material that help you grip the lids of jars to make it easier to twist the lids – try using one of those. You also can try running hot water over the filter cap (not the chamber). The filter cap expanding with heat may make it easier to turn.
The instructions provided with the AeroPress really only describe a starting point from which users can stray if they wish. The taste of brewed coffee is affected by all the variables in the brewing process. When using an AeroPress the user selects the water temperature, the brew time, the coffee to water ratio, etc. The AeroPress is a tool that enables the user to control all the brewing process variables and thereby brew a particular coffee with a desired brewing recipe. Taste is personal. There is no right answer to the question of how to brew a particular coffee and there is certainly no right answer for how to brew all coffees. With that said, we think the method described in the instructions is a good one for most coffees.
Try pouring in half of the water, stirring to wet all the grounds, and then pouring up to the desired level.
The parts of the AeroPress you would take along (the chamber, the plunger, the filter cap, and however many paper microfilters you thought you’d need) weigh about 7 ounces. You would leave the AeroPress filter holder, scoop, funnel, and stirrer at home, and use whatever spoon you were already bringing on your hike as a scoop and stirrer.