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Here’s how to make Aeropress espresso! You can get close to the real thing using this inexpensive coffee maker.

Aeropress espresso
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Got an Aeropress? Want to make espresso? You’re in luck. Let’s be honest: the Aeropress cannot make a true espresso with the bubbly “crema” top that you’d get at your favorite coffee shop. But it does make what we’ll call Aeropress espresso (genius term, right?): a brown liquid that tastes a lot like espresso. Down it as is, or use it in espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

Can the Aeropress really make espresso?

The Aeropress is an inexpensive coffee maker that looks like a plastic cylinder. It looks a little space-agey, but it makes a great cup of coffee. In fact, it’s our favorite for traveling to approximate the flavor of a good cup of pourover.

Can the Aeropress really make espresso? Not really. A good espresso has a caramel colored foamy top, called crema. There’s no way to achieve a crema with the Aeropress. A flavor in an espresso is much more developed and tastes like a perfume of flavor, whereas the Aeropress espresso tastes a little more bitter and flat.

Is it even worth making Aeropress espresso? Yes! It’s an easy way to make espresso and it tastes good. It’s a great way to make this ultra strong coffee for espresso drinks. The best part? An Aeropress costs about $25, versus the hundreds of dollars you’ll shell out for an espresso machine.

Aeropress espresso

Make sure to get espresso roast coffee!

You can’t really make Aeropress espresso unless you have espresso roast coffee. What’s espresso roast coffee? The technical answer is there’s not a true definition. The non-coffee nerd answer is that espresso roast is extremely dark roast coffee. This gets the best dark, creamy bitterness to each sip.

How to make Aeropress espresso: a few tips

Here’s what to know about how to make Aeropress espresso (we almost said Aeropresso, which is actually a great name for the stuff). Read these tips first, then jump to the recipe below:

  • Grind your coffee to fine grind. Instead of medium grind for a regular cup of coffee, you’ll need fine grind here.
  • It will be a little harder to plunge than regular coffee. You need high pressure for espresso! Because the coffee is ground so fine, you’ll notice it’s a little harder to press down the plunger than normal. That’s ok: go with it!
  • Use an electric teapot for best results. An electric teapot lets you control exactly how hot the water gets: the optimal temperature is 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course if you’re traveling or don’t have one, you can approximate.
Aeropress coffee

Espresso drinks to make with the Aeropress

Here’s the fun part! Typically we don’t make Aeropress espresso unless we’re making coffee drinks that call for an espresso shot. It’s a great way to make it quickly and easily. Here are a few of our favorite espresso drinks:

  • Cafe Latte or Flat White Insanely creamy and just as good as a coffee shop.
  • Americano This popular coffee drink smooths the bitterness of espresso with hot water.
  • Macchiato A shot of espresso topped with a layer of frothy foam: the perfect drink!
  • Cappuccino Creamy with just the right touch of foamed milk and bitter espresso.
  • Mocha Rich and chocolaty, with just the right topping of fluffy milk foam.
  • Dirty Chai Latte Make your chai latte dirty by adding a shot of espresso!
  • Espresso Martini A modern classic cocktail made with coffee, Kahlua, and vodka!

This Aeropress espresso recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Aeropress espresso

Aeropress Espresso


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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 ounces (2 shots) 1x

Description

Here’s how to make Aeropress espresso! You can get close to the real thing using this inexpensive coffee maker.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 18 grams espresso roast coffee, or about 3 tablespoons coffee beans
  • Water (preferably filtered)
  • Coffee grinder
  • Aeropress
  • 1 Aeropress filter

Instructions

  1. In an electric teapot, heat water to 200 to 205°F.
  2. Grind 3 tablespoons (18 grams) espresso coffee beans to a fine grind (but not super fine, or it will be too hard to plunge).
  3. Place the circular filter into the basket of the Aeropress and wet it so it is fully damp. Screw the basket onto the end of the Aeropress.
  4. Pour the coffee grounds into the Aeropress, and tamp the grounds lightly with a cocktail muddler. Place it on top of an empty mug.
  5. Pour 85 grams water into the Aeropress (1 and ½ mark). Wait 45 seconds. Insert the plunger into the top of the Aeropress. Gently press down until the plunger is pressed fully to the bottom; you will hear a hiss of air being released (this process takes about 30 seconds or so; it will be slightly harder to plunge than normal Aeropress coffee).
  6. Remove the Aeropress, unscrew the basket and hold it over a compost bucket or garbage. Press down on the plunger to release the filter and grounds. Rinse the Aeropress so it is ready for future use.
  • Category: Coffee
  • Method: Aeropress
  • Cuisine: Coffee
  • Diet: Vegan

More coffee drinks

Read our Barista Series, where you can learn to make all of your favorite coffee house specials! Here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Best Pourover Coffee Make it in a Chemex and it tastes like the best cup you’ve had. This is third wave coffee at its finest.
  • Cold Brew Coffee Cool, crisp and refreshing! Here’s how to make it at home.
  • Iced Coffee Add a little milk swirl to cold brew and you’ve got the best afternoon pick-me-up.
  • Vanilla Chai Latte Here’s the perfect spiced chai latte (or try a straight tea latte).
  • Iced Chai Latte This sweetly refreshing tea latte is made with black tea, cozy spices and milk.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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11 Comments

  1. Esteban Johnson says:

    I used a Moka Pot for espresso “like” coffee and a French Press as a frother for milk warmed in the microwave. Much easier and faster than the old Starbucks espresso machine I ended up giving to our daughter.

  2. Jeffrey Kaplan says:

    Thank you for explaining especially making espresso with the aeropress. I just purchased a scale and I grind my own beans. I have been experimenting. Your details seem flawless. I questioned how much water to use as I would use 18-19 grams of coffee.
    Thank you both so much, Jeff






  3. Rocky Mountain Wife says:

    Just used this recipe to make an iced almond milk latte. Worked perfectly with my decaf coffee beans that I didn’t really like as a drip coffee, but tasted great in espresso form with the almond milk.






  4. Alex Robin says:

    Not sure if you’re not letting it steep enough or something but I always get a good crema with my aero press 🤷🏻‍♂️

  5. Shavonne Perreault says:

    One of the best recipes I’ve found online! Works perfectly.






  6. N Forsyth says:

    I noticed when I use the Aeropress upright and pour the water in, while it’s mentioned to wait, the water is already dripping into the cup, is this normal?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! Yes, a little bit of dripping is normal.

    2. Roman says:

      For best espresso with AeroPress you need the Joepresso attachment. It produces crema and a filler body.






  7. Brooke says:

    Hi guys, I gave this a try and could see the crema when I poured the water into the aeropress but when it’s plunged into the cup it didn’t maintain the crema. Is there any tricks I’ve missed to get that frothy crema in the cup? Thanks :)

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! It’s difficult to achieve a great crema like a real espresso machine.