AEROPRESS, FEELING THE LOVE AND THE GUILT.
Guilt is an amazing emotion, it can hit you from nowhere over something that seems irrelevant. I recently felt a new kind of guilt, a guilt that I did not know was possible, I felt guilty because of a machine.
Let me explain.
I bought my beloved Rancillio Silvia espresso machine about 8 years ago. I can’t even imagine how many shots I’ve pulled on it, from my morning coffee, my excessive weekend coffee drinking, to my year with a 1kg coffee roaster when, in one day, I could put 20 shots through the machine. I have never really thought about upgrading, well not seriously anyway, I love it. I look after it well, descaling and cleaning on a regular basis, and it looks after me well. Only once, in 8 years, has it let me down; but it was only out of action for a few days and I reckon if I was in anyway mechanically minded I could have fixed it in 2 minutes.
A few months back I was in 3FE, one of Ireland’s best coffee shops for people that don’t know. I’m embarrassed to say it was my first trip there, anyhow that’s a different story. I was really looking forward to tasting their coffee so went for the tasting menu which consisted of 2 different coffees. To my surprise and delight I noticed that it was being made with the AeroPress coffee maker. I had read plenty about the AeroPress but if I’m honest I had disregarded it as a poor cousin to a decent espresso machine, and never had any real desire to buy one. I was presented with my two coffees, one Ethiopian and the other was something I can't remember, not because I was not impressed, just down my terrible memory. I was blown away by the taste experience that I was having, two cups of the lightest, smoothest coffee I have tasted, mixed with these delicate but complex flavours. One minute after finishing my coffees I was at the till buying an AeroPress and some coffees to match.
Over the following few days I made some of the best cups of coffee I had ever made. Four things really impressed me about the AeroPress, 1: the simplicity of the product, a simple design and really good value. 2: the smoothness of the coffee, for some reason I can drink a lot more AeroPress than any other kind of brew method. 3: the quality of what was in the cup, some coffees that I would consider undrinkable out of the espresso machine came alive with the AeroPress, and finally point 4, this is the most important one for me, consistency. Every cup I made was great; no over extraction, no under extraction, no dud shots, no real adjusting of the grinder. All the variables are eliminated.
This is where the guilt steps in… About 6 weeks after getting my AeroPress I had a hankering for a latte (I go through phases of drinking these). That’s when I realised I hadn’t even looked at my espresso machine for nearly 2 months. Unloved, unused, it almost looked sad. As with all guilty situations I overcompensated and went back to only using the Silvia but over time it’s balanced out. I now use them 50/50, and almost to prove a point as I wrote this I’ve had two coffees; one from the AeroPress and one from my very much loved espresso machine.
S0 go on, get yourself an AeroPress and be prepared to taste some of the best coffee that you’ve ever made.
To finish, and Just to give a little balance on a slightly negative note; no matter what people say it does not produce espresso like a proper espresso machine, and I would never use it for a latte….thats Silvia's Job.