Aeropress design critique & pet-project redesign!


New member
Hi all! I'm an avid Aeropress user for home and travel, I've even developed recipes for retail; but as a product designer it has also left me confused and frustrated. As a personal project I am investigating the current design before offering improvements. Once I learned it's brewing process I love it's speed and efficacy, but over the last two years here are some of my critiques:

  • My first encounter was that awful hexagonal packaging. I genuinely didn't believe it was actually made in the USA, with fonts and brands reminiscent of Comic Sans it just felt like an imposter mocking American pride. Whatever, I knew I wasn't buying a status symbol, this is a tool.
  • Out of the box, I appreciated the thorough instructions but was unclear about all the different parts and how they interact.
  • It is very utilitarian in appearance, and offers none of the simplicity or beauty that aesthetes might praise in the Chemex or siphon systems.
    • At work, our Chemex and Hario systems sat out on display, Aeropress? Tucked away in a drawer. At home, all the many parts are also tucked away.
  • The system doesn't unify neatly. Things seems to fit together, but theres not one unified storage solution.
  • Possibly one of the least aesthetically attractive coffee brewing systems.

  • Once I didn't notice that filter cup wasn't tightly secured. Upon pressing, it separated and blew coffee and grounds everywhere. I was traveling.
  • Sometimes coffee sprays out the side, yet Aerobie discourages using the funnel for pressing... Why does it fit the bottom then???
  • What are the numbers for on the cylinder? The plunger? Do I fill to the bottom of the circle or the top?
    • When I wrote recipes, testing on the scale indicated the gradation was off. Our 'single' was filled to below the 2, 'one and a half' on the 3, 'double' was above the 4.
    • I just learned the plunger was intended to be used as a measuring and microwave heating vessel, but is now discouraged for fear of damaging the plunger.
    • As inventive as Alan is, couldn't they have added a scaling gradation that wrapped up the side providing the ratios of grounds to water? Or at least used tried-and-true gradation lines instead of circles?

Modularity & Traveling

  • When I pack it up, I remove the plunger and reinsert it on the opposite end. This allow the cylinder to sit inside the filter holder, and the tools go into the plunger. This whole assembly goes inside an IKEA french-press carafe. The filter cap sit at the bottom of the carafe. Conveniently my Rhinewhares grinder handle tucks into the scoop, but this is the best I can do. I leave the funnel at home, don't use it at all.
  • At home, I keep the tools in the IKEA carafe. And the aeropress just sits around, separate from the filter holder (which looks like a base/stand). I sometimes use the carafe for pressing and sharing multiple cups.
  • The design seems to tease with these false physical relations, like it should fit together nicely—elegantly—but it doesn't! It just doesn't.
    • The funnel fits into the plunger. The filter cap almost fits into the filter holder. Reversing the plunger offers some unity but casts aside the filter cap.

I know I am anal, but seriously, does any of this drive anyone else nuts too? What issues, problems or missed expectations have y'all encountered?
I'm happy to share my work here if there's interest!


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