Source: received it as a personal gift
The best cup of espresso you'll ever make on the trail, but there's a trick to using it.
- Simple to use
- Easy to clean up
- Makes REALLY good espresso
- On the bulky side for camping use
- Filters require replacement
There's a trick to making the best use of this. Don't follow their instructions. At least, don't follow one step.
Their instructions say to position the chamber (with filter) over your cup, then add coffee grounds and hot water. If you do this, the water runs through too quickly and your coffee won't steep properly.
Instead, put the plunger in the chamber, withdraw the plunger to allow for the amount of coffee you intend making, then stand it upside-down, with the plunger on the bottom. Add your coffee and hot water (175-180 degrees), stir and steep. Then screw the filter holder and filter onto the chamber, flip over and press into your cup.
I guarantee it will be be best cup of espresso you've ever had in the middle of nowhere.
Price Paid: GBP 20.00
Expensive (UK) and possibly too heavy. Made in the USA.
This coffee press gives you a pseudo-espresso in a couple of minutes, to which you can then add hot water, in order to get a drink similar to an Americano or Long Black.
The device can be stripped down to the essential chamber and plunger for backpacking but even then it weighs just under 250g, which is similar to the Bodin double wall press with the drinking top. However, the Bodin can only be used for one person if you make it normally, whereas the Aeropress can make a lot (4+) of 'shots' at once.
The company would do well to manufacture a lighter weight version and utilise the inside of the plunger airspace for storage, especially of the filters which could easily get wet or dirty. You could zip-lock some coffee and put it in there perhaps. Actually, you can carry the measuring spoon if you cut the handle a bit and force it in the plunger airspace.
Coffee needs to be fine ground so if you're planning a long trek, you might have to have it sent out or find a supermarket with a self-service grinder.
Your cup needs to be the right diameter at the top; about 'large mug' size.
One cannot help but ponder the idea of using such a pump action filter to clean water and I wonder whether we will ever see something in Lexan that also has a filter disc for cleaning your water; then you could boil the assembly for a bit and use it to make coffee once again.
Ultimately, making coffee on this is a bit like using a burger press. It's just too plastic and mundane an experience. It doesn't have the rough and ready quality of a normal french press, nor does it have the refined quality of a real espresso machine/kettle. Now if they made it out of carbon fibre...
The endless quest for a good, lightweight brew kit continues. ;-)