In a recent Instagram conversation, someone shared with me a brewing tip for the Aeropress. They recommended removing the grounds with a spoon before plunging the coffee, which they said would yield a less bitter brew. I did not think much of this at the time other than “I’ll need to try this at some point.” But I’ve just started thinking about what this conversation really was: someone sharing a brewing hack with me.
Home brewing devices operate on two main principles: percolation or immersion. I brew with an Aeropress which is an immersion brewer. Percolation devices are those like a V60 where the grounds are not immersed in water but rather the water passes through the grounds. But each device implements these principles in their own way which opens up a world of customisation and ways to change your brew.
With the Aeropress, I’ve found no shortage of brewing hacks. I’ve read about people who stir their coffee with chopsticks. I’ve seen people use very high doses of coffee – such as 30g – to brew a cup of coffee. I know that some people brew a concentrate with the Aeropress and then dilute it. I watched a video where someone measured their Aeropress brew with a refractometer. Recipes are unique because there are so many variables with which to experiment.
I then watched a video by James Hoffman, a coffee professional who owns a YouTube channel. In this video, he shared a tip on how to brew with the Clever Dripper, which he heard from another coffee roaster. The tip was to pour the grounds into the Clever after you have poured in the water. This leads to a faster draw-down time. This is another example of a brewing hack.
These “hacks” or brewing tips are device-specific and they do not always have a big impact on the resulting brew. For instance, shaking my Aeropress to level the bed of grounds before the bloom does not have a dramatic impact on my brewing. But it does help me saturate my grounds more evenly which has always been a problem for me. I’ve spent a lot of time reading Aeropress recipes but today I discovered a new tip. Coffee is indeed a rabbit hole. Theory is one thing but there’s never a shortage of tips from people who have been tinkering with their brews and have discovered something that makes their life a bit easier.