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The World’s Best Cheap Espresso Maker

posted by xscot mcknight

Hey: Karen will be on the radio in Seattle. (KGNW)
A barista wrote me and asked if I heard of the AeroPress. I had not. He said, “We [at the coffee shop] can’t believe how good the coffee is from this little maker.” I bought one for my office.
aeropress2.jpg
I was tired of walking across the campus (poor me) to purchase a cup, and by the time I got back the coffee’s crema had dissipated anyway … so I thought, “Give it a try.” I did. I’ve had two students who are baristas drink some — both said, “Wow, really good coffee.” So, I recommend this little AeroPress and would like to hear if others know about this thing.
25 bucks for an espresso machine. Pretty good. It works by forcing hot water through the grind, not unlike the famous machines of Naples where (I hear) the expression “pull a shot” was made famous. Anyway, you can “push a shot” through AeroPress and you get a nice, smooth, shot. I add some hot water, and a little cream, and I’ve got a Cafe Americano.
At school right now I’m brewing some Caribou Daybreak. I like it.



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phil_style

posted September 16, 2008 at 2:18 am


Having moved from New Aealand (finest coffee in the world) to the UK (possibly worst coffee I’ve ever had) I’ve been indesperate need of something cheap and effective to remind me of home. This might be just the thing. . . .
BTW: I noticed you wrote on LavAzza a week or so ago. Since then a not-bad-for-uk-standards joint has opened up 5 minutes from where I work near Tower Bridge. And thy’re serving LavAzza, I’ve got to agree that their beans aint bad!



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B. Stanley

posted September 16, 2008 at 6:40 am


I’ve had an AeroPress for almost a year or so. I like it just as much now as I did when I got it. It’s simple to use and has little clean up required. Plus the flavor is amazing and smooth. I even got my pastor, who is a coffee shop owner, hooked on it.



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B. Stanley

posted September 16, 2008 at 6:40 am


I’ve had an AeroPress for almost a year or so. I like it just as much now as I did when I got it. It’s simple to use and has little clean up required. Plus the flavor is amazing and smooth. I even got my pastor, who is a coffee shop owner, hooked on it.



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B. Stanley

posted September 16, 2008 at 6:41 am


oops!



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RJS

posted September 16, 2008 at 6:43 am


Why you walk across the coffee, I am not sure – but as an academic I look for tools to keep me holed up in my office, away from people and the world. This looks like an excellent one.



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RJS

posted September 16, 2008 at 6:44 am


Oh – you corrected it as I commented.



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Scot McKnight

posted September 16, 2008 at 6:54 am


RJS,
It just got too hard to walk on coffee; walking on water is hard enough. 8)
By the way, there’s lots of water around this campus right now … our school has performed through this storm admirably.



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reJoyce

posted September 16, 2008 at 7:15 am


Looks interesting. Is it glass or plastic? I’m guessing glass but wanted to double check.



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jb

posted September 16, 2008 at 8:30 am


It’s plastic and absolutely the best (coffee) thing ever invented… for the price.



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J-Marie

posted September 16, 2008 at 8:33 am


What kind of coffee does Kris drink? Does her interest in coffee match yours?



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Walt Everly

posted September 16, 2008 at 8:41 am


Yes, Indeed. Wonderful little device, have had it about a year. Just made a cup of my favorite (Kenya AA) with it.



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Clinton

posted September 16, 2008 at 10:35 am


I’ve had one for about a year. I love the coffee it produces. Only problem is that I drink too many lattes on the weekends now.



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metapundit

posted September 16, 2008 at 10:39 am


I’ve had one for a couple years and love it (my daily thermos of Coffee comes from the aeropress).
It doesn’t really make espresso (see Tom Owens review/instructions at Sweet Maria’s http://www.sweetmarias.com/aeropress_instructions.html). I also think I get somewhat comparable brews from pour-over filters… The key that makes both work better than my automatic coffee maker is the ability to control water temperature and brew time…
I’d also note that this is the perfect coffee gadget for people who like french press style coffee but find it too messy or too oily or gritty (French Press seems to agitate my stomach more than paper filtered…)



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julie

posted September 16, 2008 at 1:44 pm


Sounds like a lot of work and how many calories in that latte? :)



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Mark Begemann

posted September 16, 2008 at 1:49 pm


I know quite a few coffee nerds who use it but haven’t gotten one for myself yet. As mentioned, it takes away a bit of the oilier and rougher textures (which i personally enjoy). But i think i’ll be able to get used to it since the smoothness it produces is second to none. Supposedly it’s a healthier cup of coffee, but there will have to be more evidence before i believe that a little oil and sediment from beans is really all that bad for you.



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Mark Begemann

posted September 16, 2008 at 1:51 pm


Oh, how do you regulate the water temperature? Either the manual or some tips online say 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit produces the best results. Thought about using it in conjunction with a UtiliTea, but that may be overkill.



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Billy Kangas

posted September 16, 2008 at 5:35 pm


I like it at about 185 Degrees Fahrenheit the best.



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Tim

posted September 16, 2008 at 6:08 pm


I have a good friend here in Thailand who loves his. He brought it to our house church not long ago I got to try it out. It makes fantastic espresso. I don’t know how much the filters cost but it seemed like you would go through them pretty quickly, as you can’t make very much coffee at once.



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Scot McKnight

posted September 16, 2008 at 6:16 pm


Tim,
I bought an extra pack of filters, but I suspect one pack will last me an entire school year.



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Heather

posted September 16, 2008 at 8:43 pm


13–I’m glad to see that someone else carries around a thermos of coffee. It seems that some people just can’t handle the teeny little cup that mine has, but I love it because my coffee stays warm.



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Bob Smallman

posted September 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm


OK, I give! I just ordered an AeroPress from Amazon. I simply can’t afford to keep visiting JesusCreed.com — too many books … and now coffee makers?! At least I’ve been able to resist buying a Prius.



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John

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:13 pm


How coarse do the beans need to be ground? How do you grind them? Burr grinder?
How would you compare it to French Press?



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Scot McKnight

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:18 pm


John,
I get them ground as espresso grind — which makes it immediately different than French press.



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Ben

posted September 17, 2008 at 7:02 pm


Scot,
I don’t know much about this thing yet though i REALLY like it from the looks of it. I’m a big vac-pot fan, but this definitely seems worth my while. The vac pot is too much effort in the morning before classes and the French Press is too much time (again, poor me). But yes, i LOVE this idea. I will be buying one here in a couple weeks or so, as well as some Ethiopia Aricha Nine from Coffee Klatch Roasters in California.
I worked as a Shift Manager at Caribou for a little over a year and a half. Daybreak was one of my least favorites haha. I am glad to hear you like it.



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Bob Smallman

posted September 23, 2008 at 5:45 pm


I don’t know if anyone’s still following this conversation or not, but my AeroPress arrived from Amazon this afternoon. I dare not drink anything with caffeine after lunch, so my first cup tonight had to be some pre-ground de-caf. Hard to imagine anything worse — I felt almost irreligious baptizing my AeroPress with it. But even THAT turns into a smooth, good tasting cup. Can’t wait to use it with “real” coffee (I’m a fan of Kenya coffee — very smooth).



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Anonymous

posted September 24, 2008 at 6:14 am


Scot Was Right… « Tony Jones

[...] 24 September, 2008 by Tony Jones …the Aeropress makes an incredible shot of espresso.? I just made my first cup, and it was shockingly good.? Excuse me, I have to go make another… [...]



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tallandrew

posted January 9, 2009 at 10:46 am


Just got an Aeropress yesterday and brewed an excellent decaf Americano and Latte. Excellent espresso for the price! I’m currently drinking Taylors of Harrogate Decaffe – the best decaf I’ve found in that price range.
http://www.taylorsofharrogate.co.uk/coffeeitem.asp?itmid=593



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