a few weeks back i headed along to taste of london for the summer instalment, and it was there that i was introduced to three sixty degrees coffee merchants. i was lucky enough to be invited to a coffee masterclass with their incredibly passionate team of coffee lovers and baristas, where i had a first-hand demonstration with the newest bit of coffee kit on the block: the aeropress.
the aeropress is the most innovative coffee making device to come along in a lonnnng time, and it certainly took me by surprise. i am a big ole fan of a french press, see. i have one at work, i have one at home, and i consume a looooot of coffee from both. the bug bear of the french press though, is the tiresome cleaning process and distinct bitterness that is left in the last few cups of the brewed coffee, and the guys at three sixty claimed the aeropress was here to change all that.
the key designer learned from years of research that almost all coffee drinkers love the rich taste and aroma of coffee, but dislike the bitterness and acidity present in most home-brewing kits (like the french press). the aeropress optimised the brewing variables to create an amazingly smooth, rich coffee with less than one fifth the acidity of drip brewed and french pressed coffees. that, and it's bloody simple to clean. sure, there are a number of parts, but they all come apart (and fit together) with ease, and clean under nothing more than warm water. winning!
so this past weekend i finally cracked out the aeropress* and some of three sixty's award-winning peruvian coffee* that i picked up at taste, and decided i'd finally give it a go myself. at first, it seemed really daunting. thankfully three sixty had included a "how to" card, and there was another, more detailed instruction manual (a whole manual) in the box, and after a quick read and few frantic texts to bex to see how she got on with hers, i had it figured out. and, once you know, you know. you know?
and, oh my. what a wonderful experience that was. the process was so quick and easy, and the clean up literally only a few seconds. the brewed coffee was rich and aromatic, with none of that bitter aftertaste you get when brewing a lot of coffee in one go - which is a good and also bad thing. the bad thing being that it only makes like, one cup of coffee at a time, whereas my french press will make up to like eight at a time so that keeps me going all morning, rather than having to make multiple trips to the kitchen. though i suppose i could just... not drink so much coffee... especially as i drank the whole thing and didn't let it go cold, unlike the french press... omg, that's it! tasty coffee means less coffee!
the three sixty range of coffees are so quirky too. each individual bag of whole beans or ground coffee displays the coordinates of the beans' origin on the packaging. you can type them into google earth (or, like, looked up in at atlas i guess) to show exactly where the beans came from, giving the coffee drinker a unique "sense of discovery". or something like that. the 250g bags retail for about a fiver from ocado and waitrose, and the aeropress itself is about £25 from the official site, but you can certainly pick up cheaper ones on amazon or similar. so, not a bad price for the greatest coffees at home!
big old thanks to three sixty degrees for the help in discovering the secret to the perfect brew!
*i was gifted the above, but all words are my own*