My Cuisinart coffee maker, a victim of planned obsolescences and poor Chinese engineering quite working after two years of use. In searching through the million different coffee makers for a replacement, I discovered the AeroPress: A coffee maker made by a company that makes sports toys, like the Aerobie.
Let me repeat that for those that haven’t had their coffee yet today.
A toy company that makes a coffee maker.
In my opinion, the best coffee maker on the market today is the AeroPress for both home and emergency use.
The Aeropress uses short brewing times and low pressure resulting in coffee with much lower acidity. The user can make either American or espresso style coffee of various strengths. Using a replaceable filter, the AeroPress makes a very strong ground free concentrate that can be refrigerated for several days (allowing for iced coffee if desired). The Aeropress costs $26.00.
Procedure for Making Coffee with the AeroPress:
1. Start with good quality water. I use reverse osmosis (RO) water.
2. Like your water, use quality coffee. Life is too short to drink cheap coffee. The beans need to be ground on a fine setting.
2. Heat up the water. Pull the water off the heat source right before it starts to boil.
3. While waiting for water to heat up, attach the paper filter into the lid and screw it onto the main body.
Pour in two scoops of fine coffee grounds into the main chamber (2 scoops per cup of coffee).
The AeroPress should be placed over a coffee cup to collect the brewed coffee.
4. Pour in water to the number on the side of the AeroPress that corresponds to the amount of scoops used, stir the mixture and wait 10 seconds.
5. Insert the plunger and apply gentle pressure till it bottoms out. This should take around thirty seconds.
5. Add hot water to dilute the coffee to a desired strength.
6. Clean up takes less than ten seconds. Remove the lid and push the plunger till flush. This will remove the used coffee grounds and filter into the trash. Give a quick rinse off of the plunger and let everything dry for the next use.
I have been using this press for over six months. Figuring two cups of coffee/person/day equals roughly seven hundred cups of coffee made.
- Extremely lightweight/compact
- Uses external source for hot water giving the user a variety of options to heat water
- Makes espresso or standard coffee; can even brew tea
- Drinker adjusts the coffee strength with additional hot water
- Portable: Carry it backpacking or use it at home
- The Amazon reviews gives the AeroPress a 4.6 out of 5 stars (2,422 reviews)
- Easy to clean, low maintenance
- Cost is very inexpensive ($26.00)
Assuming you purchased a $3.00 cup of coffee every day for nine days, an AeroPress would have paid for itself during that time span.
- Not well suited for brewing large amounts of coffee (gallons)
- If the user lacks hand strength or has mobility issues, applying pressure to the plunger may be an issue
- Paper filters are only good for one use; new filters have to purchased
While taste is a very subjective, I believe the Aeropress makes American coffee that taste as good, if not better than coffee from a high end local coffee shop.
I am big believer in owning and using gear for emergencies that I can use on a daily basis. This allows me to test the gear for any weaknesses and become familiar with the details of operation in a stress fee environment. During an emergency is not the time to read the manual.
While many might say a compact, low cost portable coffee maker might not be needed during an emergency, I would disagree as it provides a morale booster and help prevents caffeine withdrawals and the migraine like headaches that accompany them.