The AeroPress is one handy little coffee brewer.
If you don’t own an AeroPress, I recommend you go and get yourself one because not only are they quite inexpensive, they are also wonderfully versatile and make amazing coffee!
I wrote a post about the inverted AeroPress method, answering the question of if it’s really better than the traditional method.
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If you’re interested you can read that here.
But before now, I haven’t written on how to: inverted AeroPress.
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The inverted method is where you brew with the AeroPress turned upside-down while the coffee is steeping, then flip it right side up just before you press.
If that sounds strange… then yeah you’re right, it kind of is. But it’s a good way to have more control over your brewing, steep the coffee longer, and thus have more consistency in your daily grind.
You need to know how to do the inverted method properly though.
The first time I did it, I didn’t know all the steps and I almost lost the filter and spilled the coffee in the process.
So to help you avoid any mistakes, here is the complete how-to for the inverted AeroPress method!
Step 1 – Heat Water And Grind Beans
Since heating the water is what will probably take the longest in the whole process, do that first.
Bring the water to a temperature of… about 195° F or about 90° C. For most brewing methods, 205° F or 96° C is a great number. But for AeroPress it’s good to have it a bit cooler.
It can be a bit higher, but should not be above 200° F.
While the water is heating, grind the beans. We’re killing two birds with one stone now. The beans should be ground on a very fine setting, almost as fine as espresso.
If espresso is a 1 out of 10, with 1 being the finest, grind them on a 2. (Turkish coffee is the finest grind, but seriously I’ve never met anyone who says they make Turkish coffee regularly)
I put in about 20 grams of coffee because… I like it strong!
But you can weigh out 17-20 grams of coffee depending on your personal taste.
You can also use the numbers on the AeroPress and measure the coffee to the first number. That’s what the instructions on the AeroPress recommend and it works well.
If you like getting technical, you should weigh out half as much coffee to the amount of water you’ll use.
For example, 17 grams coffee to 34 grams of water. As much as I love coffee and the art of making it, I can’t bring myself to weigh out the coffee and water.
It takes too long and there’s no noticeable difference for me in the taste. But to each his own, and if you enjoy weighing it out, that’s a good rule of thumb.
Step 2 – Rinse The Filter
Insert an AeroPress filter into the filter holder. With the water you’ve just heated, carefully rinse the filter over a sink.
This is important for two reasons.
First, the filter needs to stick to the filter holder.
If it doesn’t, you’ll have to try to quickly flip it to screw the filter holder onto the upside-down AeroPress, and hope it doesn’t get misplaced along the way.
I made this mistake the first time I tried the inverted method. This doesn’t work very well, and it’s just awkward and risky.
The chances of spilling are that much greater when you have to try to quickly flip it and screw it on.
Second, it’s important because with any coffee brewing method that uses a filter (pour over, automatic drip, AeroPress, etc) it’s good to do this because you are actually cleaning the filter and clearing it of any paper residue that would otherwise be rinsed into your coffee when you brew it.
Simply put, if you always rinse out paper coffee filters before brewing, it should produce a cleaner and better cup of coffee, and it takes very little work.
I’ll take my coffee with no extra paper, thank you very much.
After you’ve rinsed the filter, set it aside and it will soon go where it belongs, on the AeroPress ready to make you a delicious cup of coffee.
*Please be careful not to burn your fingers when you rinse the filter. Pour the water gently.
Step 3 – Set Up The AeroPress And Put In The Coffee
With the main chamber facing right-side-up, push the plunger in so that it’s just touching the circle around the number 4, at the top edge of the circle.
Of course, since this is the inverted method we’re talking about, now it’s time to turn it upside-down!
After you’ve turned it upside-down, pour the coffee grounds into the chamber. Fillerup! The coffee should go up to number 3, give or take. I use the AeroPress funnel for this, it seems to fit perfectly!
You’re now ready to pour the water and steep.
Step 4 – Pour The Water
Pour the water into the AeroPress.
Again, make sure your water is at around 195°.
If you use 20 grams of coffee like I do, I would suggest you fill the water up to either number 2 or 1, or somewhere between.
Depending on how strong you want it to come out.
Remembering that the AeroPress is still upside-down.
The great thing is that you can make the coffee as strong or diluted as you’d like.
If you’re going to add more water to make it more like a regular cup of coffee or Americano, it doesn’t matter what number you fill the water to.
If you would like it to be as strong as you can get it, you can fill the water to number 2.
This will be very close to an espresso shot. What I enjoy doing the most is making something close to this, tasting it, and feeling out what kind of mood I’m in.
If I want it strong and bold, I add no water and it’s almost like an espresso. Probably just as delicious…
If I want something more like a regular cup of coffee, I just add more hot water at the end.
Step 5 – Stir And Steep
Right after you pour the hot water in, stir the mixture for 15 seconds, and let it sit for another 45 seconds to one minute.
You can steep the coffee for as long as you’d like, but in my opinion it’s good to at least steep it (let the coffee sit in the water) for at least one minute. But I would say two minutes maximum.
After you stir the coffee, rinse the stirrer and set it aside.
Step 6 – Put The Filter Cap On And Flip It Back!
Screw the filter cap with the wet filter back on, put your coffee mug on top of the AeroPress with the rim covering the filter holder, and carefully flip it over with the mug now on the bottom.
The reason why you put the mug on top is to make sure this step is safe with little risk of spilling. You need to put the mug on top of the AeroPress before you flip it back over or you’re almost guaranteed to spill at least a little coffee.
This is very important!
When you flip it, hold the coffee mug with one hand, and hold the main AeroPress chamber with the other.
Do not hold the plunger when you flip it.
Step 7 – Press
Press the coffee.
Also put one hand at the base when you press.
It’s as simple as that, but at the same time it’s not. Many have debated how to press an AeroPress the best way.
In my opinion, it doesn’t matter too much how you press it.
I think the easiest way is to just press it with not too much force, let it up if it gets too resistant, and repeat this two or three times.
It usually takes a lot of strength to just press it down with one swoop, and I think it may even taste better to press it slower.
Step 8 – Clean The AeroPress
Take the filter cap off, rinse it with water, plunge the “espresso puck” into the trash, and wash the plunger.
After you do this, all you have to do is wash off the parts of the AeroPress with water. It’s wonderfully easy to clean, and super fast!
I would suggest at least wiping off the black rubber plunger seal with your finger or a cloth, and doing the same with the stirrer, every time you use the AeroPress.
These two places are where the coffee sticks to the most. Occasionally, you should also clean all the parts with soap and water.
Step 9 – Enjoy!
Say yummmmm, or NOM NOM, or whatever suits your taste!
As I’ve said before in other posts about AeroPress, the versatility is just amazing.
You can leave it as is and enjoy your espresso, or add more water and enjoy an Americano, normal cup of coffee, or somewhere in between. It will still taste fantastic.
You can also add milk, cream and/or sugar if you prefer.
AeroPress coffee is so rich and smooth, I think it goes down very well just black. With AeroPress your palate will thank you no matter what, I’m sure.
I really hope that this article helped you along your AeroPress journey, and took you one step closer to coffee illumination.
If you have any comments, questions or if there’s something I left out, please let me know! I’ll be happy to hear from you. Do you think it’s worth it to do the inverted method as opposed to traditional? Tell me what you think.
Thanks for your technique!
It’s my pleasure, Patti! Thanks so much for your comment, and if you need any help with anything feel free to let me know!