The Aeropress coffee maker is hailed across the specialty coffee world as one of the best ways to brew coffee. It’s simple, portable, and brews delicious full-bodied coffee that rivals most other brewing methods.
But this amazing little gadget does have a few drawbacks: it requires some trial and error with the grind size and produces inconsistent results if you don’t get the grind size right.
In this post, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about finding the right grind size for your Aeropress including how to identify if your grind size is wrong. Plus, we answer some commonly asked questions.
Why grind size is important for Aeropress
Getting the correct grind size is important for Aeropress because it will ensure proper extraction of oils, flavour, and aroma from your coffee beans. The correct size will also ensure a proper extraction time.
If you are grinding a little too fine or a little too coarse, you will have trouble brewing coffee that has the right flavour profile. Having the wrong grind can make your coffee taste bitter, sour or salty.
What is the best grind size for Aeropress?
The best grind sizes for Aeropress range between medium, medium-fine and fine.
The appropriate grind setting will depend on your desired brew time:
- A fine grind is used for brewing times that are less than 2 minutes.
- If you are looking for a brewing time of 2-3 minutes use a medium-fine grind size.
- For a brewing time of over 3 minutes, use a medium grind. For context, medium-sized grounds should resemble sand.
On a hand grinder, these settings can be between #1 to #7, depending on which size you choose, and your specific hand grinder.
If your coffee grounds look more like table salt, you probably need to grind finer.
This is the official recipe from aeropress.com.
As you can see, it calls for “fine drip grind coffee” and a brewing time of 10 seconds plus the plunging time (20 – 40 seconds).
RELATED: Coffee Grind Size Guide
How to tell if your grind size is wrong
There are two ways of knowing if your grind size is the wrong size: brewing time and coffee flavour.
A finer grind than necessary will mean that the coffee will extract slower and taste bitter (over-extraction). This means that you need a coarser grind or a shorter brewing time.
On the other hand, if you grind the coffee a little too coarse, your coffee will be under-extracted and will taste salty, sour or acidic. This means that you need to be grinding a bit finer.
Another way to know if you are using the wrong size is if the pressure inside the brewing chamber becomes too much for you to push it down. There should be a slight resistance but not too much. If it is almost impossible to press down, that means the coffee grounds are too fine.
In comparison, if the coffee starts dripping through the Aeropress filter too fast, even before you start pushing the plunger down, that means that the coffee grinds are too coarse.
What type of coffee is best in an Aeropress?
One of the advantages of the Aeropress is that it can perform well with most coffee roasts to deliver great coffee.
Medium to medium-dark roast coffee beans will deliver a bold coffee that is similar to espresso.
Using lighter roasts will result in a cup of coffee that has more acidity and can taste similar to what you might get with drip coffee.
We recommend using the Aeropress coffee maker with medium roasts, as those are the one that works best with the different extraction times.
What type of coffee grinder works best for Aeropress?
Having a consistent grind is one of the most important things when brewing coffee. A good quality burr grinder will ensure that the coffee particles are all the same size.
Burr grinders can grind coffee beans consistently, preventing particles from reaching your coffee as well as uneven grounds.
Most coffee grinders have the ability to grind coffee for Aeropress, as the fine, medium-fine and fine settings required for this brewing method tend to be the most popular ones.
For this reason, we recommend a burr grinder over a blade grinder.
Blade grinders chop coffee beans while mixing them at the same time. They are easier to use but they do not deliver consistency when it comes to grinding coffee.
Does grind size matter for Aeropress?
Yes. Grind size matters for Aeropress. Most recipes call for a grind that is coarser than espresso. If you have an espresso grind you will have trouble extracting the coffee. As mentioned above, the size of your ground coffee will depend on the desired brew time.
Is Aeropress grind the same as French press?
No, a French press uses a medium-coarse grind almost like cold brew. The Aeropress, on the other hand, can work with a medium, medium-fine or fine grind. Using the same grind as the French press will likely result in a coffee that is under-extracted.
How can I make an inverted Aeropress?
The inverted method is very popular. It involves flipping your Aeropress device and brewing your coffee as it were a French press. In order to use this brewing method, you need to first place the plunger inside the chamber in order to form a seal. Place ground coffee inside the Aeropress chamber in order to create a coffee bed and then add 200ml of hot water. Stir the coffee twice. Add a previously rinsed filter paper to the cap and screw it into place before inverting the Aeropress so that it sits on top of your cup. Press down the plunger until air starts to come out through the paper filter. This type of Aeropress brew should be extracted in about 30 seconds. This method can also be made with paper filters or metal filters.