The Aerobie????

richedie

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Hey everyone,

I am going to buy one of these Aerobie coffee presses. Has anyone tried one and found it as good or better than the more traditional methods?

-Rich
 

mrgnomer

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richedie said:
Hey everyone,

I am going to buy one of these Aerobie coffee presses. Has anyone tried one and found it as good or better than the more traditional methods?

-Rich

My Aerobie just arrived today. I just finished brewing a one scoop measure of Ugandan Bugishu med roasted to a few minutes into 2nd crack and ground to espresso fine in my Rocky (about +5 steps above the zero point).

Following the directions and making sure the water wasn't hotter than about 180F I steeped the grounds in a single measure of water, did the 10sec stir and gently plunged. The plunging time was about 35 sec- a little long according to the advice in the manual, I think, but that was probably because of the finer grinds. The puck left behind was very espresso like- compact and dry.

The beans were pretty fresh but there was no crema in the cup. The taste in the cup wasn't bad. It was more espresso like but definitely not espresso; atleast not like the espresso I pull. There was a flat smoothness that was very pleasant and what lingers on the palate is more similar to a french press but smoother. Lacking, I found, was the smoky, nutty, fruity depth and layer of character of a good espresso pull. Still, compared to a french press or vacuum press the coffee is pretty good.

This was my first brew with the Aerobie. I'll try some coarser grinds next time and press with more steady pressure. I had to press a bit the first time I guess because the grinds were very fine and I got a good bloom and maybe that affected the extraction.
 

mrgnomer

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After brewing with it with the Aerobie I had to pull the Bugisu to compare. With the same grind setting and dosing by bean volume for a double I pulled a pretty crappy shot with the puck lifting out of the basket and sticking to the grouphead. The pour was fast but still lots of crema, a little burnt tasting around the edges but still deeper and more character than the Aerobie. A really good shot with the same grind and bean would have been much, much better than the Aerobie.

I'd say the Aerobie makes good coffee. Smoother and bolder than french press or vacuum press and no sludge. I think new users used to drip machines that are horrible at brewing good coffee would be impressed by the Aerobie not so much because it makes better coffee than other good methods but because with the Aerobie they'd be hitting the variables that make for a good extraction like water temp., grind, full saturation of grinds, a good steep...If fresh beans are used to boot and you take the manual's advice of grinding just before brewing the extraction would surpass the average drip machine for sure.

If you're looking for cheap espresso, though, you might get as good or better than a steam machine but I think reviews flatter the Aerobie by claiming it can make better espresso than some way more expensive espresso machines. My machine's a Silvia and the Aerobie doesn't come close. All in all I couldn't say the Aerobie is better than vaccum press or french press. Different, and if you prefer the difference, then you might consider it better but personally I'd say it's just as good as other methods where you have direct control of brewing variables.
 
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richedie

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What is crema

Anyway, I may pass on the Aerobie. I have talked to quite a few top roasters in the country and they all recommend either French Press or another manual process such as a manual drip or even a vacuum. I have gotten away from all machines, etc. manual is the way for home coffee. I'd rather spend the money for a good grinder!

Now, I am a novice when it comes to espresso......so I need to learn.
 

mrgnomer

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richedie said:
What is crema

Anyway, I may pass on the Aerobie. I have talked to quite a few top roasters in the country and they all recommend either French Press or another manual process such as a manual drip or even a vacuum. I have gotten away from all machines, etc. manual is the way for home coffee. I'd rather spend the money for a good grinder!

Now, I am a novice when it comes to espresso......so I need to learn.

Crema is the foam that is created during an espresso pull. If I remember right it's a colloidal(?) suspension of coffee oils and CO2 that forms as fresh grinds are extracted with water under pressure. For espresso the pressure is 8+ atmospheres. Crema is produced by fresh roasted beans. Stale beans produce little or no crema.

The Aerobie is a manual method similar in function to a french press but it's process is closer probably to a vacuum press. I read some opinions on another site about the Aerobie and the consensus seems that it's a good method for extraction and has some advantages over other methods but in the end it's different, not better. The paper filters that come with the Aerobie filter out a lot of the coffee oils so you won't get as oil rich a cup as a french press but the Aeorbie's cup is smooth and with the shorter extraction period and higher pressure the cup will have less caffeine and tend to taste more espresso like. I think it's a good alternative to a french press if you want to brew just 1 or 2 cups at a time. It's easy to clean, looks like it's made of durable, light plastic and I'd take an Aerobie with me travelling vs. a glass french press.
 
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richedie

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Sp fresh beans produce crema? Is this similar to how fresh beans seem to bloom when I use the manual drip........but some beans(usually stale) offer little bloom if any?
 

mrgnomer

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richedie said:
Sp fresh beans produce crema? Is this similar to how fresh beans seem to bloom when I use the manual drip........but some beans(usually stale) offer little bloom if any?

Yes, fresh beans produce more crema since, I think, more of the oils that form crema are still present. Over time oxidization stales the beans and I guess robs them of oils and other elements that contribute to crema and good flavour.

Fresh beans also bloom during extraction. Stale beans hardly do if at all. You can see it when brewing with a french press. The coffee poofs up and a creamy foam settles out on the top. That's fresh beans.
 
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richedie

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mrgnomer said:
richedie said:
Sp fresh beans produce crema? Is this similar to how fresh beans seem to bloom when I use the manual drip........but some beans(usually stale) offer little bloom if any?

Yes, fresh beans produce more crema since, I think, more of the oils that form crema are still present. Over time oxidization stales the beans and I guess robs them of oils and other elements that contribute to crema and good flavour.

Fresh beans also bloom during extraction. Stale beans hardly do if at all. You can see it when brewing with a french press. The coffee poofs up and a creamy foam settles out on the top. That's fresh beans.

Yes, I notice this with French Press and Manual Drip.
 

mrgnomer

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[quote="richedie]Yes, I notice this with French Press and Manual Drip.[/quote]

I just read on another site a comment about crema that was interesting. Someone pointed out that the crema is produced by espresso extraction and the foam that happens during drip brewing is related more to the bloom of fresh grinds releasing co2 but this foam is not really crema, it's called something else.

That kind of makes sense since espresso extraction happens under high pressure and forces grinds to release their oils and co2 which makes for a different cup than a steep style extraction where the grinds are not forced to the same extent to release their elements. Still, the release of co2 which creates the foam is an indicator of bean freshness.
 
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richedie

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I have to get one of these new gadgets soon...the Aerobie or Tirra French Pull soon. Maybe I need a burr grinder before anything! Even with the blade grinder...I still make better coffee at home than most coffee shops in our area. :-D
 

mrgnomer

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richedie said:
I have to get one of these new gadgets soon...the Aerobie or Tirra French Pull soon. Maybe I need a burr grinder before anything! Even with the blade grinder...I still make better coffee at home than most coffee shops in our area. :-D

Right on!

Until recently I thought good coffee was out of reach of an average consumer like me. That turns out to be so untrue. It's ironic that with a kettle, fresh beans, a good grinder, maybe a thermometer and an inexpensive french press you can make coffee that most coffee shops and drip coffee makers can't touch.

A french press is a great investment. It makes a good cup and you can tailor the extraction to your preference. A vacuum press is good too- I find it smoother and cleaner in the cup than the french press and it's a good extraction method as well.

A good grinder should improve your coffee. The more even the grounds the more even the extraction and you'll probably be able to taste the difference. I switched from a cuisinart whirley blade to a Zassenhaus knee mill and the coffee did noticably improve.
 
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richedie

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I am going to get a burr grinder soon! I have to say that manual drip also makes a GREAT cup as well.

Finally, that new Tirra French Pull looks great! I am getting one!

The Aerobie I guess is like a vacuum press?
 

mrgnomer

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richedie said:
I am going to get a burr grinder soon! I have to say that manual drip also makes a GREAT cup as well.

Finally, that new Tirra French Pull looks great! I am getting one!

The Aerobie I guess is like a vacuum press?

Plunging with the Aerobie Aeropress develops pressure. A vacuum press works with pressure as well. A vacuum press is pretty cool to watch. During vacuum press extraction a vacuum is generated which draws water down through your grounds into a carafe. The filter screens out the grinds from the top like the Aeropress method as opposed to the bottom like a french press. I'm just guessing that the vacuum pressure might be higher than say with a french press and closer to the pressure you get when plunging with an Aerobie.
 
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richedie

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mrgnomer,

The thing I look for in coffee is full, rich, nutty, and rich.........so would French Press, drip or Percolator be a better method? It seems anything using a filter can rob some oils and flavor....although Melitta is making a new Flavor Brew filter allowing more oil to pass.

The other thing is that I believe you want a fine grind for the best extraction. But this become a problem with French Press and Percs. I have been looking at the new Tirra coffee pull but this would require a more coarse grind as well.

Maybe I need to move onto espresso.......but I do not like the tiny servings you get with espresso.
 

mrgnomer

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richedie said:
mrgnomer,

The thing I look for in coffee is full, rich, nutty, and rich.........so would French Press, drip or Percolator be a better method? It seems anything using a filter can rob some oils and flavor....although Melitta is making a new Flavor Brew filter allowing more oil to pass.

The other thing is that I believe you want a fine grind for the best extraction. But this become a problem with French Press and Percs. I have been looking at the new Tirra coffee pull but this would require a more coarse grind as well.

Maybe I need to move onto espresso.......but I do not like the tiny servings you get with espresso.

Yeah, the tiny servings could be an issue when you're used to full cups of coffee. It's one of the things that compromises cafe espresso, I think. Cafe's would tend to pull for long shots to up the volume and keep N.A. customers who aren't used to small servings of coffee happy. Quantity over quality makes for not so good espresso.

A good regular espresso is about 2 oz for a double and less for a denser restricted shot. Still, if you get a taste for the richness and deep flavour of an espresso the quality of a good shot is much more important than the quantity. Less becomes more. If you want to stretch a shot or if straight espresso is too intense for you , you can always add some heated water to make an Americano.

Grinding fine will increase extraction but it's not always the way to go. Grinding too fine or steeping too long or using water that's too hot will overextract grinds and give you bitterness. As far as I know, French press is an ideal method of brewing that lets a lot of oils through. I think it's in the screen. The french press screen is not as fine as other brewing methods and the steep time is about 3 minutes, depending on your taste, and with the grinds sitting on the bottom while the filter screens them from the top the oils float through. The coarser screen means more slurry getting through as well so the french press cup using a fine grind will have some sludge.

The inventor of the Aeropress is talking about marketing coarser screens so theoretically it'll be possible to brew a cup with more coffee oils.

But, if you're looking for full, rich, nutty, rich coffee, I'd say espresso is the way to go. The extraction process of espresso draws out more coffee oils than any other method by virtue of the water pressure that's exerted on the grinds. It's in the crema and a good shot is almost 100% crema to the end of the pull. That's suspended coffee oils that do settle out over time but fill a cup with rich foam during the pull. The taste of espresso is very particular but if you have a taste for it you may find it superior to all brewed coffee. That can explain espresso obsession and why some home baristas have grinder, machine and accessory set ups that cost more than their cars. There is some skill required to pull espresso from a good semi automatic machine with respect to preparing the grinds for extraction and understanding your machine to ensure ideal extraction which might be bothersome for some but if you're a hand's on kind of person and like espresso it's part of the fun and attraction.

I don't know how much of an investment you want to make but a french press, moka pot and Aeropress all together probably won't cost more than a mid to high end drip machine. Drip machines take away the control of too many variables like grind saturation, steep time and water temp and they are notorious for doing it badly. Personally I'd go with the method that gives the greatest amount of control to the brewer. That would end up being fully manual methods where you controlled all the variables that go into making good coffee. Get a good burr grinder that grinds evenly, use the freshest beans you can and experiment with grinds, steep times, water temp, grind quantity...until you find the method that suits your taste. I don't have experience with either a moka pot or perculator so I can't say what kind of coffee they brew but the opinions I've read say they do a good job at making strong coffee.
 
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