AeroPress: Is it the best home coffee maker yet?

In the past few years, the Clovers, Slayers, and Japanese siphons debuting at retail coffee shops have been hogging the conversation in coffee technology. Meanwhile, the lowly little AeroPress, invented in 2005, has stayed largely under the radar. The AeroPress, if you're not familiar with it (watch the video--and you can pick up one of those nifty little milk frothers at Ikea for a buck), is a home coffee maker made out of a few pieces of cheap plastic that runs about $30. It might not make the best cup of coffee you've ever had, but it might offer the best bang for your buck.

The contraption--invented by the guy who created the Aerobie, interestingly enough (check out his amazingly low-tech, old-school website)--consists of two plastic cylinders with a rubber plunger (kind of like a big syringe) and is sort of a cross between an espresso maker and a French press. A paper filter is placed in the bottom of the first cylinder, then coffee grounds are added, followed by hot water. The mixture steeps for about 10 seconds and then you force the coffee through the filter w/air pressure, similar to an espresso shot. It makes a strong, smooth, coffee that's lower in acid and sediment than cups brewed with a French press--plus, it's faster and easier to clean. A friend made me a cup with hers recently (thanks, ES!) and I was pretty impressed. Have you tried the AeroPress and, if so, what do you think?

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