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AeroPress Coffee Maker Review

This is our top scorer for taste and we love its durability, ease of use, and versatility
AeroPress Coffee Maker
Photo: Aerobie
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $32 List | $29.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Amazing flavor, versatile, very portable, simple cleanup
Cons:  A lot of little pieces to keep track of, on the heavy side for backpacking
Manufacturer:   Aeropress, Inc.
By Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett  ⋅  Apr 29, 2020
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 19
  • Taste - 40% 10
  • Ease of Use - 25% 7
  • Group Cooking - 15% 4
  • Portability - 10% 6
  • Weight - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The AeroPress Coffee Maker produced the best tasting coffee in our review. If you love nerding-out and fine-tuning a perfectly crafted cup of coffee at home or in the backcountry, then this brewer is for you. Narrowly missing being our Editors' Choice winner, the AeroPress didn't ultimately score quite high enough because it's one of the heavier brewers in our review, it has a multitude of pieces (though some are unnecessary), and there is a steeper learning curve to finessing a perfect cup of coffee. That said, once you perfect your technique, you'll brew a perfect cup every time. With its unique plunger and a propensity for a clean cup of coffee, the AeroPress makes brewing fun and delicious, and we happily award it our Top Pick for Gourmet Taste.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $29.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$9 List$9.67 at Amazon$64.90 at Amazon$39.95 at Amazon
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Pros Amazing flavor, versatile, very portable, simple cleanupGourmet flavor, well-conceived design, ceramic version available for home useNo filter needed, tiny and light, consistently good tasteSuper tasty espresso with impressive crema, compact, fairly straightforward to useExcellent clean flavor, double-filtered to eliminate sediment, press completely stops extraction, vessel can be used as a leakproof travel mug
Cons A lot of little pieces to keep track of, on the heavy side for backpackingSpecial shaped filters are harder to find, expensive for a plastic dripper, heavier than other brandsMust lift filter out of most cups to avoid steeping, poor for large groupSpendy, lots of little parts, somewhat difficult to clean, time-consuming to produce more than one shot of espressoLots of pieces to keep track of, heavy, on the pricier side
Bottom Line While this unique brewer has a bit of a learning curve, the final flavor is the best in our test suiteGreat taste, easy to use, and lightweight - we love this plastic iteration of the classic glass and ceramic versionsDurable, light, and compact, this is a fantastic option for backpacking trips or any kind of light travelExpert-level espresso maker that requires minimal expertise, but comes with tons of tiny partsThe superfine double filter and extraction-stopping plunger of this press make for a very excellent brew
Rating Categories AeroPress Coffee Maker Hario V60 Plastic Dripper Primula Coffee Brew Buddy Wacaco Nanopresso Espro Travel Press
Taste (40%)
10
9
7
9
8
Ease Of Use (25%)
7
7
9
6
8
Group Cooking (15%)
4
6
4
4
5
Portability (10%)
6
5
9
8
6
Weight (10%)
5
8
9
4
3
Specs AeroPress Coffee... Hario V60 Plastic... Primula Coffee... Wacaco Nanopresso Espro Travel Press
Weight Press alone: 7.98 oz
Press + spoon + stirrer: 9.39 oz
Dripper alone: 2.95 oz
Dripper + scoop: 3.37 oz
1.1 oz Press alone: 11.02 oz
Press + cup + brush + scoop + bag: 12.35 oz
12.3 oz
Brew Type Pour Over/Press Hybrid Pour Over Pour Over Espresso pump/press French Press/ Pour Over
Main Material BPA-free polypropylene Hard plastic Nylon filter BPA-free plastic Stainless steel
Filter needed? Yes Yes No Yes No
Notable Features Easy to clean, re-usable filter Cone shape, large hole, ribs along side Rests on any mug High powered espresso maker, compact, comes with stuff sack for storage Can be used as french press, pour over, or for tea
Notes Eliminates bitterness while keeping a good flavor Makes strong, smooth coffee Filter hangs in coffee for most cups Makes fantastic espresso with perfect crema, easy to use once you learn how each piece works together. Fairly portable, somewhat heavy. Brews a really clean cup, keeps liquids nice and hot

Our Analysis and Test Results

The AeroPress is a versatile brewer that can offer the full-bodied flavor and richness of a French press or the clean clarity and brightness of a pour-over. It's durable and easy to clean, making it a fantastic option for car-camping, glamping, van-living, road trips, and traveling; though you may love it enough to use it as your homebrewer too.

Performance Comparison


The AeroPress is durable, easy to clean, and delivers the best...
The AeroPress is durable, easy to clean, and delivers the best flavor of all our coffee makers.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Brew Features


This unique coffee maker facilitates total immersion of your coffee grounds, followed by consistent but rapid filtering. Depending on your mood, you can alter your brewing style to achieve a stronger, more full-bodied flavor or a cleaner and brighter one (more info and resources on this below). Say goodbye to bitterness and muddiness and hello to a consistently delicious cup. Whether you're new to craft coffee or an experienced veteran, the AeroPress is a great brewing method, regardless of your kitchen locale.

Making coffee with the AeroPress is easy peazy lemon squeazy.
Making coffee with the AeroPress is easy peazy lemon squeazy.
Photo: Fumie Hiromitsu

Taste


Properly brewed coffee from the AeroPress has no bitterness and an extremely clean, rich taste. In our taste tests, when used correctly, this device easily outperformed all the others.


The AeroPress has captured the heart of novices and professionals alike, to the point that there are now national competitions. The brewing process is delicate but forgiving and provides enough versatility to tweak the final flavor and consistency. There are a plethora of online resources and tips on how to properly use your AeroPress and hone your technique to achieve your desired flavor profile.

The Aeropress is versatile and fun to use - and delivers an amazing...
The Aeropress is versatile and fun to use - and delivers an amazing cup of coffee.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Ease of Use


This brewer involves a more elaborate process than many other coffee makers, though once you learn how to use it, it is fairly straightforward.


There are many ways to use this device, and detailed information comes with your purchase or can be found on the Aeropress website. It can be used in both an upright or an inverted manner and is able to produce everything from a clean full cup to a smaller, stronger brew resembling espresso. Lots of options abound, and they're all delicious.

Stumptown Coffee offers a ton of fun and informative videos on how to get brewing properly, no matter where you are, for the AeroPress and many other devices.

The only reason the AeroPress does not score higher for ease of use is that it does require some finesse to develop the proper technique. However, you will love how easy it is to clean this little buddy: simply remove the bottom filter and push the coffee puck out of the bottom of the chamber. Best-case scenario you won't have any grounds on the plunger, and worst-case, you'll need to wipe off the plunger with a dry rag. Either way, it's super easy.

Linda Long pushing water through the AeroPress on a cool morning in...
Linda Long pushing water through the AeroPress on a cool morning in the Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley.
Photo: McKenzie Long

Group Cooking


This isn't really an ideal brewer for large groups, though you can serve 1-3 people fairly efficiently.


Since the AeroPress is ridiculously easy to clean, the turn around time between cups is pretty dang fast. If you prefer to use the technique to make an espresso-like brew, then brew time is less than a minute, and your crew can split the coffee from one pressing and add water or milk for an Americano or latte-style beverage.

The AeroPress being put to use on a car-camping morning.
The AeroPress being put to use on a car-camping morning.
Photo: David Mackey

Portability


This brewer isn't large, heavy, or awkwardly shaped, so it's definitely portable. It doesn't earn top marks in this category, though, simply because it does come with several small parts, and it is on the heavier side.


To make transporting your AeroPress a little easier, you may find that you don't need the funnel, scoop, or large stirrer that it comes with. You may, additionally, decide to ditch the paper filters for a reusable stainless steel filter, in which case you won't need to keep track of a stack of paper filters either.

The fine folks at AeroPress have recently released a lighter-weight and smaller version called the AeroPress Go. All of the components of the Go pack inside of its own cup, and it even comes with a portable paper filter holder. If you love the AeroPress but are looking for something that is even more travel-ready, be sure to check out the Go.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Weight


The AeroPress without the added accouterments weighs 7.98 ounces, which isn't exactly featherweight. If you include only a few of the more vital accessories, like the spoon and stirrer, then it weighs 9.39 ounces. If you leave behind the unnecessary stirrer and the spoon, the AeroPress still is not the ideal choice for a gram-counting backpacker but could make the cut as a luxury backpacking item. Better yet, it is an ideal option for a car-camper or van-lifer craving a gourmet cup of coffee.


Value


The Aeropress is a little bit of an investment, but nothing outrageous. There are certainly cheaper options, but this unique device is versatile, highly durable, and produces one of the most flavorful cups available. It does require a filter, but your initial purchase comes with a package of 350, enough to keep you going for a hot minute before having to re-purchase. Once you burn through all of your filters, you can buy a reusable cotton or a reusable stainless steel filter if you'd like to ditch the paper. Be fair-warned, many folks prefer the flavor produced with paper filters, over other options. Beyond just the press, your purchase of the Aeropress will also include a funnel for easy filling, a stirrer, and a scoop. When you consider all of that, the price is actually kind of a bargain.

Along with everything else, you'll need to make sure you bring a cup...
Along with everything else, you'll need to make sure you bring a cup with a wide enough mouth to allow the AeroPress filter to nest inside - otherwise, you won't be able to properly press your brew.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Conclusion


This press is so wonderful that several of our reviewers use it for making coffee every day at home. It also works superbly for car-camping, glamping, or traveling, but is not our go-to for backpacking, as it is on the heavier/bulkier side. While the AeroPress is pricier than many other options in our review, we love how versatile, durable, and easy to clean it is, and the taste just can't be beaten. This is our reigning Top Pick for Gourmet Taste several years running and with good reason.

You can brew with the Aeropress in many different ways - here it's...
You can brew with the Aeropress in many different ways - here it's being brewed in the inverted style often preferred by coffee professionals.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Be sure to look for a tutorial if you'd like to learn how to master the inverted brewing method preferred by many coffee pros.

Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett