How to Get Delicious Coffee Using the AeroPress Brewing Method
If you’re new to the AeroPress, you may have noticed that there’s something of a particular “AeroPress coffee taste” in that it has a slight bitterness to it compared to other coffee you’re used to.
Even if you’re a seasoned AeroPress aficionado, that bitterness might be something you’d like to reduce, or at least understand
If you’re wondering how to make AeroPress less bitter, there are multiple ways you can tweak your brewing process to improve your coffee’s flavor and produce a perfectly personalized aromatic coffee.
Why AeroPress Coffee Tastes Sour or Has Bitter Notes
The first thing to note on this topic is that especially when it comes to coffee, bitter and sour are extremely different. In fact, they’re polar opposites.
Highly acidic coffee (which that made properly with an AeroPress should not be) will be sour to the taste—a sign of insufficient extraction.
True bitterness as diagnosed by an accurate palate, is often a sign of over-extraction or other (mostly) controllable factors of your brew.
Under-Extraction vs. Over
If you find that your AeroPress coffee is sour, the grounds have not been extracted enough.
Almost all the compounds in your coffee grounds contribute to the final flavor, so it’s important to get the right amount of extraction time for the coffee to taste good.
Ideal extraction time can vary depending on the grind size of your coffee beans and the temperature of the water you’re using.
In general, to get a more flavorful coffee, you should try a finer grind setting.
The steeping time of your AeroPress has a lot to do with the coffee’s acidity. Some people recommend steeping the coffee for about 2 minutes.
However, the steeping time can vary to your tastes and still produce balanced coffee, as long as you pay attention to a few key factors.
The longer you steep your coffee, the more effective the steeping process will be, and the more extracted your pre-ground coffee will be.
To maximize your coffee’s extraction, stir it vigorously, and rotate the AeroPress while it steeps.
Brewing Coffee to Control for Bitterness
What Factors Play a Role?
Depending on the grind size of your coffee beans along with several other factors, the coffee will either be acidic or neutral.
The amount of water that effectively acts on the coffee grounds will also depend on the coarseness of your ground coffee.
But these aren’t the only things to keep an eye on if fine-tuning the flavor of your coffee is your priority.
Here are some key factors that affect Aeropress coffee taste:
Coffee bean grind size
The temperature of your hot water
Water to coffee ratio
Brew time: if your coffee is over- or under-extracted
Using a paper filter vs. a metal filter to control for coffee oils
Roast level: dark roasts vs. light roasts
Does The AeroPress Make Less Acidic Coffee?
In short, yes—as long as your brewing factors like coffee ratio, grind size, and brew time aren’t countering the device’s normally less-acidic brew.
And because of this AeroPress is a great way to make coffee for those who frequently suffer from upset stomachs.
Coffee made with an AeroPress is less acidic than that produced by drip brewing or French presses.
Because an AeroPress makes less acidic coffee than drip-filtered coffee, many people prefer it.
Less acidity translates to a richer, smoother brew.
In fact, this reduced acidity is the main health-oriented AeroPress upside used to market the product.
Additionally, AeroPress is known for its versatility, and one of its more exciting features is its ability to make cold brew.
Cold-brewed coffee is ideal for people who suffer from digestive problems, as it contains up to 70% less acid than regular coffee.
How to Make AeroPress Less Bitter
As we’ve mentioned, there are several ways to make AeroPress coffee smoother. Depending on your taste, you can even add frothed milk and make it fancy.
To make your AeroPress coffee smoother and reduce bitterness, try any number of these tips.
However, importantly, we recommend only adjusting one factor at a time to ensure you’re able to narrow down the one that has the biggest impact on you.
Think of each of these like a settings dial. Tweak one and see how it affects your results. Then come back and make additional changes to your liking.
Grind size plays an important role in the taste of your coffee. When you grind your beans coarser, the coffee is extracted more slowly, which allows the bean to retain more flavor.
If your AeroPress brew is too bitter, you should increase the length of time you immerse your beans in the water. A coarser grind will produce a clearer, fruitier brew.
An easy way to make your AeroPress less bitter is to grind your coffee less finely. The more coarsely ground the coffee is, the less bitter it will be.
This is because finer grinds (approaching espresso grind) enable the extraction process, and the more extracted your coffee is, the stronger that bitterness quality will be.
This can be done by simply changing the grind setting on your electric grinder.
This is a simple and easy-to-track method of improving the taste of your coffee. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly it delivers results.
Changing the grind size is one of the best ways to control extraction. By making the grind larger, the amount of surface area in contact with water will be smaller.
A burr grinder can help you control for the exact grind size of all the coffee you brew in your AeroPress.
Another easy-to-overlook factor in any good AeroPress brew is the amount of time you actually let the coffee steep in your hot water before you press the plunger into the brewing chamber to finish the extraction process.
The longer your coffee brews, the more extracted it will be. The more extracted your coffee, the higher the chances of getting a cup of coffee with a bitter taste.
Using slightly cooler water is another easy tweak you can make. In general, coffee made with cooler water will have a more complex flavor than coffee made with very hot water.
This is an essential aspect of brewing coffee in your AeroPress, so be sure to use the right temperature water.
If the water is too hot, the beans will be over-extracted and produce a bitter taste.
Keep in mind though, that higher temperatures mean shorter brew time, so if you’re using lower water temperature, be prepared to add some time to your process.
You may also give bottled water a try, as it can be more acidic than tap water, which may help to balance your coffee.
On a related note, you can potentially improve the taste of your coffee by brewing a higher ratio of beans than usual.
Keeping the water level relatively low compared to your coffee is another easy trick to improve your coffee.
It might take a few tries to get it right, but the result will be worth it. If the coffee tastes bitter, this method is likely to improve the taste.
Using a digital scale to measure the amount of coffee is a good way to ensure you use the right amount.
Using the included scoop to measure coffee isn’t the best method because it’s hard to get a perfect measurement.
And since brewing coffee in the AeroPress requires a precise amount of coffee, it’s best to use a scale. This way, you can be certain that you’re using the right amount of beans.
The Coffee Beans Themselves
Darker roast coffee naturally has a more bitter flavor profile than light roasts.
It could actually be that your brewing recipe and settings are fine, but your perfect cup of coffee simply comes from a different kind of coffee.
Since trying and enjoying different kinds of coffee is by far the best way to determine what you like the most, we definitely recommend sampling a wide range of origins and roasts.
Final Thoughts on Tweaking The Taste of Your AeroPress Coffee
A Good Cup Can Be a Simple Adjustment Away
Whether you’re using the original or inverted method with your AeroPress, by default the coffee this unique device makes will be less acidic than coffee brewed with other brewers like the French press.
With so many factors all carrying weight in how your coffee tastes, there’s no one clear answer to why your AeroPress coffee may taste bitter.
One of many positives the AeroPress has going for it is the inherent ability it gives the user to fine-tune the qualities of their coffee.
It’s all part of the fun and the experience, so give these tricks a shot and enjoy!