I was reading some discussion about the AeroPress recently and many people were describing their process. There are some people who love their coffee in a very precise way! My process is probably close to the ultimate in laziness (80% of the quality for 20% of the effort).
I use a vacuum mug that is probably 16 oz. capacity. Over time I have become able to eyeball how much water in the electric kettle will result in the mug being almost full. So I fill the kettle to a little over the top of the "0.5L" text and start it. While it heats, I put the filter and grounds (a couple heaping teaspoons of cheap stuff) into the AeroPress. As the kettle heats up it starts making noise. After about 10 seconds of noise it is the temperature that will result in an easily drinkable cup of coffee immediately after brewing. So I take the water and poor it over the grounds, slowly at first so that all the grounds become wet and then rapidly so that they get mixed up more. If I don't wet all the grounds then some of them tend to stay floating on the surface.
About 70% of the time I do some mixing with the paddle that comes with the AeroPress. Coffee drips out the bottom and as the water level lowers I add more water, sometimes stirring more. I let it drip and keep adding water until the kettle is empty. Then it is time to press; I go all the way to the bottom and squeeze the last bit out of the grounds. I'm not sure if that is recommended! If I overfilled the kettle a little this is when I will find out, as coffee dribbles over the edge of the mug. Then I pop the puck of grounds into the trash, rinse everything, and wipe it down with a paper towel.
Some places where I am probably losing quality:
- In that discussion many people rinse the filter to avoid a paper taste; I don't do that.
- It is very common guidance for any brewing method that the water should be heated to just under boiling. My water is significantly cooler than that.
- Many people optimize some sort of blooming process; I just go for the full immersion of the grounds right away.
- I squeeze the juice out of the grounds into the coffee cup and I'm not sure that is a good idea.