Staff Writer Rachael Medina
Rachael Medina is the senior content writer and operations manager for California.com. She was born and raised just outside the Mojave Desert in Southern California and moved to the redwood forests o…See full bio
Photo courtesy of Aeropress/James Ting.
As a coffee enthusiast, I’ve tried a wide variety of brewing methods and have my fair share of equipment, but I wasn’t expecting such a simplistically designed gadget to completely change my afternoon coffee habits. With the ability to brew a hot or cold cup of joe using the same travel coffee maker, the AeroPress Go is the perfect item to add to your kitchen arsenal.
Invented by engineer and former Stanford University instructor Alan Adler, the AeroPress came out in 2005, more than two decades after Adler’s company was originally founded. (Coffee fanatics might be surprised to know that Adler holds around 40 patents—the majority of which are sporting goods—including the Guinness World Record-breaking Aerobie Pro flying ring.) He originally created the AeroPress for his own home use. Frustrated by the inability to craft a single high-quality cup of drip coffee using a small amount of grounds, Adler developed one of the most useful portable coffee makers around: the AeroPress coffee press.
The product: AeroPress Go travel coffee press
Made in: Palo Alto, California
I was originally drawn to the AeroPress coffee maker because of its eco-friendly design. Crafted with BPA-free polypropylene, the press only uses a single rounded scoop of ground coffee, a small amount of water, and a small round filter—as an added bonus, the thin filters are both biodegradable and compostable—allowing me to indulge in a bold, guilt-free cup of coffee whenever the craving strikes.
Aside from its low-waste production, I was also drawn to this coffee press because of its portability and versatility. The thought of taking the AeroPress Go on my camping trips, to hotel rooms so I could avoid wasteful coffee machines, and to work for a quality cup—using hot water or cold—was enough to convince me. While I started with high expectations, now that I’ve tried the AeroPress Go, I’m even more enthusiastic about it.
As you can probably tell, I was incredibly excited to get this product in my hands and wasn’t disappointed when the time came. Delighted by how compactly and thoughtfully the AeroPress Go was designed—it comes with everything you need aside from water and coffee grounds—I couldn’t wait to incorporate it into my routine. It felt like the holidays had come early when I opened the box; complete with a lidded mug, coffee press chamber and plunger, filter cap, filter holder, stirrer, scoop, and a whopping 350 micro-filters, I was ready to brew my first cup in a matter of minutes.
Since I start every morning with a hot cup of coffee, I decided to brew my first batch of AeroPress Go the following day. I threw on my slippers and put the kettle on the stove, already buzzing with anticipation. The AeroPress works best with ground coffee that’s between the medium grind of a traditional drip and the fine grind of espresso, so I worked to achieve the perfect coarseness from my Drink Coffee Do Stuff beans as the water heated up. Once I’d found a happy medium-fine coffee ground, I added a micro-filter to the filter cap, screwed the cap into the chamber, added a rounded scoop of coffee, and shook to flatten it.
When the water was warm, I poured it into the coffee grounds, just above the number 1 on the chamber. A quick stir later, it was time to put the press in the chamber and watch the liquid gold fall into my mug. More awake than most mornings, I found myself pushing fairly hard on the plunger, trying to make the coffee come out faster—a tactic I later found wasn’t the most efficient.
Human error aside, the coffee that was produced truly blew me away. While Drink Coffee Do Stuff is known for a smooth, sweet brew that doesn’t have the bitter taste of many other roasters’ beans, the AeroPress Go preparation made those qualities even more distinct and flavorful. I added a few ounces of additional hot water to make it more akin to American coffee as well as a splash of soy milk for a true comparison of my regular morning ritual. The end product was so delectable, I inhaled the whole mug far too quickly and began dreaming of my next cup.
Though there’s not a bad word to say about the AeroPress Go’s ability to create a quality cup of warm coffee, it’s the cold brew version that changed my life.
While I used to walk to the local coffee shops on my lunch break, working from home has changed my coffee-buying habits quite a bit. I went from ordering oat-milk lattes and nitro cold brews out to ordering whole-bean coffee to make at home, but without a way to make a delicious cold brew on my own, I largely went without an afternoon pick-me-up. That is, until I started using the AeroPress Go.
This impressive manual machine can do it all, and I found I was able to achieve a creamy, full-bodied cup of cold coffee in two minutes that rivaled even my favorite $5-plus specialty drinks. Because of the short soak time—especially compared to traditional cold brew, which takes 12 hours or more to make—the end product is sweet and reduces the bitterness of any ground coffee. Also, due to the pressing motion required to brew with this coffee machine, a foam is created, adding a smoother texture and a full, indulgent mouthfeel.
1. You need to shake the coffee grounds in the chamber before adding water. This levels out the beans and allows the water to evenly flow through the grounds during the brewing process. If you don’t flatten the coffee, the water can pass through too quickly, altering the end taste.
2. Only add water up to the 1 or between the 1 and 2. This method is intentional, and you can always add water after brewing if you’d like a weaker cup. Brewing coffee this way ensures you get the sweetness and bold flavor you’re after, so think of it as an Americano rather than traditional drip coffee if that helps you remember when to add water.
3. Don’t power through the press. Pushing harder will actually slow down the process and will make you feel like you’re about to break your mug. Slow and steady wins this battle, so relax. It can help to place your forearm on the plunger rather than your hand so you’re not as tempted to force the plunger down.
4. Try the espresso-style coffee right after you finish pressing it. Though it can be tempting to add water or your preferred milk right away, trust me, you’ll want to see the difference this brewing method can make on the beans. Even non-coffee drinkers are often impressed by the lack of bitterness.
5. This coffee press is seriously addictive. I had to make a cup of cold brew just to get through this AeroPress Go review—it’s that incredible. Even thinking about the AeroPress Go is enough to make my mouth water, so make sure you have plenty of beans in the house before you brew your first cup.
The AeroPress Go has become one of my favorite pieces of coffee brewing equipment and easily one of the best gadgets in my kitchen. While it’s easy to get overzealous when making a cup of coffee, the patience is well worth the wait, and the cleanup is nearly nonexistent, so you’ll probably save time compared to other methods. Since the plunger pushes the grounds down, only the end of the plunger and the filter cap need to be rinsed after brewing—though I can’t help myself from rinsing the entire device.
So, if you’ve been thinking about getting yourself an AeroPress or gifting one to your traveling or coffee-loving friends, do it.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Note: This product was independently selected and purchased by California.com. We did not receive compensation for writing this review, and we do not receive a commission for affiliate links.
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