I've been over-brewing my coffee

🔗 Sunday, 25 June 2023 • Cariad Eccleston • @cariad@gamedev.lgbt

Bloody hell, James Hoffmann’s ultimate AeroPress technique is good.

Photo of an AeroPress squeezing coffee with the caption "The Ultimate AeroPress technique"

© 2021 James Hoffman, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6VlT_jUVPc

I’m a seven-cups-a-day kinda coffee fan. Or, maybe at this point I should say addict. So the AeroPress I received a few Christmasses ago was one of the safest gifts anyone could’ve given me.

I’m not easy to buy for, but this thing’s a winner. The convenience is unbeatable. The waste is minimal. Its brew has never been as flavourful as a drip through my Hario V60 – but it gets used every day because I don’t have to hang around while there’s work to do.

Well, last night, the YouTube algorithm dropped James Hoffmann’s ultimate AeroPress technique onto my home page.

And bloody hell, it’s good.

Generally speaking, I’d already been following James' ultimate steps. My two mistakes were entirely my own fault, based on terrible assumptions, and I’m thrilled to be corrected.

See, after that disappointing first cup, I figured I’d have more luck by brewing hotter and longer. I mean, that makes sense, doesn’t it? More heat and more time’s just gotta get more flavour out of the beans, right?

And when it didn’t work, I resigned myself to accepting whatever the AeroPress could give me.

It never crossed my mind that my results weren’t any better than the first cup because the first cup had been brewed too hot for too long.

This morning, I made my first cup the way I always did – except I let the boiled water cool for a minute for pouring, and I reduced the brew from five minutes to just two.

And the difference was shocking. I was cynical as hell that a cooler, shorter brew could be an improvement. Even if James is a World Barista Champion, that doesn’t mean we have the same tastes.

But good lord, it was good. The aroma was immediately much deeper. The texture was a touch creamier, maybe. The flavour was absolutely stronger. I like the bitterness of coffee, but this one added a richness that I didn’t realise was possible with an AeroPress.

I’d been over-brewing my coffee for years. Maybe you have been, too.