By James Gallagher For Steampunk Coffee
I have been a member of “team inverted Aeropress” for a while now. If you're new to the Aeropress, I'm talking about the inverted method. This is when you use the device upside-down and then you flip the Aeropress when you are ready to do the final brew. The regular method is when you use the Aeropress as it was intended to be used. You place the Aeropress on a mug or carafe, pour in some water, and then press.
Choosing to use the inverted Aeropress method was down to all the brew guides that recommend inverting your device. This is not a surprise given how most of the recent World Aeropress Champions, whose recipes and tips are widely shared in the community, have also used inverted methods. After using the inverted method for a while, I started to become more familiar with its benefits.
I found that the inverted method is more consistent than the regular method. In the regular method, some water tends to drip through the bottom of the filter as soon as you begin pouring. This is a bigger problem when you insert the plunger. Even if you pull up the plunger inside the chamber to create a vacuum, some coffee will still get pushed through, in my experience.
Now that I reflect on this further, I realise that consistency was the big reason I used the inverted method. I guess the other was that I had found a recipe that worked for me. I stayed with this recipe for a while because I was making tasty coffee (mostly!). When I went back to the Aeropress from the Kalita Wave earlier this week, I started to think how much I am missing out on by not experimenting with the regular Aeropress method. So, I went back to make a regular brew.
My first feeling was one of excitement. I spent a few minutes researching a regular method and I arrived at one from Stumptown Coffee, the recipe I used to help inform my first brews. I decided to change the dose so the coffee would be just right for me. It felt good to be doing something new with the Aeropress, so different from what I've done over the last few months.
I did not notice the drip through after my first pour because my mug was black and I could not see into the mug. This was a good experience because I'm reminded that a bit of drip through does not matter. The water that drips through has still come in contact with coffee so it will contribute to the final brew. As long as too much water does not flow through, I'm happy.
I made three Aeropress brews using the regular method and in two out of the three I almost pushed the Aeropress on the scale. As a reminder for all those reading this: do not press your Aeropress on the scale. The amount of pressure you will force on the scale may break the device. I suppose you do not need a scale if you pour up to a certain number on the device. But, I like to be consistent with my weights and my recipe called for using a scale.
A message with a fellow brewer brought to mind that the regular method is safer than the inverted method. When I first found out about the inverted method, I thought it was quite unsafe. I did not try the inverted method for a while. Seeing many roasters and professionals recommending the inverted method eventually pushed me to try it. I liked the method but I have had one big spill. Cleaning up an Aeropress spill is not nice. I did not even tip over the whole device, I just spilled quite a bit of coffee.
My little adventure with the regular Aeropress method showed me that this method, while not as represented in the World Aeropress Championships, is capable of making a delicious brew. The cups I made were not the best in the world but they were good by my Aeropress standards. I still need to do more experimentation, like using two filters, but for now I feel like I've opened a new avenue to brewing.
Contributed by James Gallagher, a home brewer and coffee enthusiast. View his excellent blog at jamesg.blog