In July 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. The rubber like seal on the end of the plunger is made of a thermoplastic elastomer. Both materials are FDA approved for use in contact with food. Neither of the materials contain bisphenol-A (BPA) or any phthalates.
Although we have kept the design and size of the AeroPress the same, we have changed the materials a couple of times. When we first began manufacturing the AeroPress in late 2005, we selected polycarbonate, a material with a bluish tinge. We were unaware of BPA when we chose this material. When we learned about BPA and the health concerns associated with it, we had the polycarbonate tested and found that although polycarbonate contains BPA, no BPA was leaching from the AeroPress into the brewed coffee.
Even though no BPA was leaching from the polycarbonate, we switched to copolyester in August 2009 so that we could assure people that the AeroPress was BPA free. Initially the copolyester was crystal clear. In September 2010 we added a smoky grey tint because our market research indicated that consumers liked the appearance.
In January 2014 we switched the color of the numbers printed on the AeroPress from blue to gold. We also began printing the word “AeroPress” on the chamber. We did this to make our brand more apparent and to make it easier for consumers to tell a real AeroPress from a counterfeit.
In July 2014 we switched to using the more durable polypropylene. We also began using beige lettering on the chamber. Polypropylene is more slippery than copolyester and we soon discovered that the lettering would come off with repeated rubbing. That caused us in March of 2015 to switch to gold foil lettering that is specifically designed to adhere well to polypropylene. Around this time we also decreased the amount of tint we used in the material in response to customers’ comments that the AeroPress was too dark.
This may seem like a lot of changes but our goal has always been to manufacture the AeroPress using the best materials we can find. These changes reflect our ongoing effort to do just that.
Interestingly, we also receive numerous emails from consumers thanking us for not making the AeroPress of glass. We suspect those people are 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 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.