Let’s dive into our favorite ways to make cold brew coffee using an Aeropress.
If you need the back story…
Since the Aeropress was invented in 2005, it’s been gradually rising in popularity. Millions of pieces have been sold and it is now supplied by over 2000 retailers.
Much of its popularity is because it’s easy to use and clean, together with its small price tag compared to the classic espresso machine.
When the Aeropress was invented, however, no one exactly knew how to use it properly. A small group of friends gathered in Oslo in 2008 to solve this problem and see who can prepare the best coffee using this brewing method.
It was a small affair but it gave birth to what is now known as the World Aeropress Championship and is held every year showcasing some of the best recipes. With the regional events taking place in more than 60 countries before the best ones meet at the final. That means Aeropress brewing is a serious matter and this small gadget can produce amazing results.
Aeropress is also known for its versatility. While it can be used to brew a filter coffee, you can also make a stronger concentrate that resembles an espresso shot.
The Aeropress doesn’t stop there, of course. Let’s talk about a few ways you can get cold brew coffee using an Aeropress.
Iced Coffee vs Cold Brew
First of all, what is cold brew and why is it interesting? Contrary to what many would assume, cold brew is not the same as iced coffee. Iced coffee is brewed hot and then served chilled. Cold-brew, however, is a type of coffee that never comes in contact with hot water.
Traditionally, cold brewing is done with room temperature water. To make cold brew, the coffee is ground coarsely and steeped for a long time. The time depends on the recipe but it is often around 12-24 hours and never less than 6 hours. That’s right, if you want to enjoy a refreshing cup of cold brew coffee, you need to do some serious planning first.
There are multiple ways of preparing cold brew and multiple ways of preparing it with Aeropress too.
The Ways To (Cold) Brew With AeroPress
The Old School Method
The first method of making Aeropress cold brew is very similar to the traditional one and requires a lot of patience. With this method, you make your Aeropress cold-brew using a very coarse grind but room temperature water.
If a cold cup of coffee is what you desire, though, you need to follow the traditional cold brew preparing time and leave the water in the chamber for around 12-24 hours.
While this method produces a delicious Aeropress cold brew, the obvious inconvenience is the time. It is a slow process to get your desired cup.
Aeropress Iced Coffee
If you feel like a refreshing cold cup of coffee instead of a hot beverage, your second option is to make Aeropress as you normally would but pouring the coffee concentrate over ice.
The traditional Aeropress method means using medium-coarse grind, 185F water temperature, 16 grams of ground coffee for an 8oz serving, 10-second stir and a 1-minute steep time. Even though there is no cold brewing involved, and the water you use is hot, when pouring the coffee over ice, it immediately cools down.
In terms of flavor, you get a tasty coffee and it can be made very quickly, but this is not a cold brew but actually, just an iced coffee made with Aeropress. Don’t worry though, we have a third, the best, option up our sleeve.
1-Minute Cold Brew
Before you abort the cold brew mission, wait for a second, we have a winner. This method is a cold brew where no hot water is used to prepare the coffee and only takes two minutes! This recipe was invented by Alan Alder, the creator of the Aeropress. So he should know best, right?
The important difference is that the coffee should be ground very finely, as for espresso. Further, when you pour the cold water into the chamber, instead of the usual 10-second stir, you keep stirring the coffee for a full minute before you start pushing the plunger down.
Alan has experimented with the steep time and the grind and said that this one produced the optimal result. The 1-minute stir shouldn’t be skipped because it would otherwise give you a very weak beverage. You can use the inverted method but because the ground coffee is very fine, it should prevent most of the dripping while you stir.
Hold up. We have one more brewing option up our sleeve. Aeropress is so innovative and good at keeping up with the trends, that in response to higher demand for this refreshing coffee style, it came up with its own gadget for cold-brewing.
It is called “PUCKPUCK” and it is simply an adaptor that sits neatly on top of your Aeropress allowing for slow dripped coffee suitable for cold brewing.
Can I make the Cold Brew hot again?
Okay, so you have your cold brew concentrate ready in the fridge but, in the morning, you crave a hot cup instead. Can you heat the cold brew again?
The fact that cold brew doesn’t come to contact with hot water impacts its acidity. The cold brew is said to be 67% less acidic than your usual brewed coffee. And so is Aeropress coffee. Match made in heaven for those concerned about coffee’s acidity. This might be of interest if you want your coffee to be easier on your stomach and might be the reason why you want to heat your cold brew.
If you plan on using the microwave to perform the deed, be aware, the risk of burning the coffee is very high. The best idea, in our opinion, is to take the cold brew coffee concentrate and top it off with boiling water. Or if you have to, warm the concentrate in the microwave just for a little bit, maybe for 10 seconds, before topping it off with water from the kettle.
Hot Coffee, Cold Coffee… What About Tea?
Okay, so you made a cold brew and now you’re feeling like getting creative with your Aeropress machine. Good news! It can make tea too.
You can make tea in your Aeropress by using the inverted method and letting the water and tea leaves brew in the chamber for the desired time, and then push it down as you normally would.
Aeropress is truly a versatile little gadget to have at home. You knew it can make a tasty brewed coffee, now you know it can also make a cold brew and even tea.
Can Aeropress steam milk too? Calm down with the imagination, steaming milk is truly beyond this guy’s abilities.
Things To Remember
Feel free to test out all the methods to see which one you prefer when making your cold coffee for a hot summer day. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Remember to follow the steps outlined in each method since brewing with Aeropress is all about the details.
Steeping time is one of the most important factors that are going to influence your cup. Another essential thing to focus on is the grind. When making the cold brew in the traditional (long) method, use a very coarse grind that’s usually used for cold brew.
When making an iced coffee, use the medium-coarse grind that you would normally use for a hot coffee using Aeropress. When trying out the quick innovative method, remember to have the coffee beans ground very finely, as you would for espresso.
Ready to start (cold) brewing?