As a former barista, there are a few coffee accessories that I've come to trust. I'll even recommend them to friends who don't know the difference between light and dark roasts because they help produce perfect brews no matter what. Among them is the AeroPress, a tool that's similar to the French press but so much easier to use. Instead of precisely measuring out water and timing out your distribution as you would with a pour over, the AeroPress does all the meticulous work for you.
Similar to a syringe, the device uses air pressure to incrementally push out the water. To use it, add a spoonful of fine grounds to a chamber, fill it with boiling water, and press down on the brewer like a plunger. If that sounds too complex, take a deep breath—it's so much easier to actually do these actions than read about them.
The coffee maker comes with measurements marked on the side, a spoon for grounds that's the exact size needed for a strong cup of coffee, and a funnel to keep hot water from spilling out. These features are so fool-proof, it's basically impossible to mess up. And the methodology creates a much better cup of coffee than any machine I've used, whether Keurig or Cuisinart.
Everything about the AeroPress contributes to seriously flavorful coffee that's aromatic and smooth, without that bitter bite so often associated with home blends. What's more, it can brew espresso with the exact same method; if you pick up a quality milk frother, making lattes and cappuccinos will be a breeze. To me, it creates the highest-quality cup of coffee that you can make at home without an espresso machine, and it's a fraction of the price of those appliances.
To get the best results every time, I have a few tricks. First, add a pinch of salt to the coffee grounds—trust me, it's not as weird as it sounds. Second, wet the coffee filter prior to use so it's more soluble. And third, let the hot water sit in the device with the grounds for 10 to 15 seconds before plunging them together. This creates a more holistic and even taste that truly wakes you up.
I'm merely one of the thousands who swear by the AeroPress. On Amazon alone, it has nearly 10,000 perfect ratings and 4.8 stars. Shoppers have credited it with changing their opinion on coffee.
"I had no idea coffee could taste, well, not like the bitter coffee I've been drinking my entire life," wrote one reviewer. "I now drink a cup of coffee every single morning using this amazing coffee maker. It cleans with a quick rinse as soon as you're done making your coffee. Takes easily under two minutes every morning to make a perfect cup of coffee. I'm never going back to using anything else. I can't say this about 99 percent of the things I buy, this $30 gadget has changed my life. I really mean that."
The AeroPress has made my mornings (and afternoons… sometimes even evenings) so much tastier. Buy one for yourself below.