Ever since its invention by Alan Adler in 2005, AeroPress has been increasing in popularity among coffee enthusiasts around the world. Two of the main reasons are it’s both cost-effective and versatile. These benefits make AeroPress an excellent choice for people who like to brew coffee at home, and there are many recipes, making it a great way to experiment too.
However, the benefits of AeroPress don’t stop at quickly making hot coffee that tastes great. One of the most incredible things about AeroPress is that it can make cold brew coffee too, and this guide will detail how to do this, using four methods.
Iced Coffee vs. Cold Brew vs. Drip Coffee
First, let’s address some confusion concerning the types of cold coffee that it is possible to brew. Generally, there are three types of cold coffee, and they’re not brewed using the same methods.
Some people think cold brew and iced coffee are identical, but that’s not the case. Iced coffee is actually brewed hot and served cold. That way, the coffee extraction and flavor will be similar to hot-brewed coffee.
Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brew differs from iced coffee in that it never interacts with hot water. Typically, you prepare cold brew using an immersion brewing technique with water at room temperature.
The method uses coarsely ground coffee beans steeped in a cold brew machine for a considerable length of time – a minimum of six hours and typically between 12 and 24 hours. That means that to appreciate perfect cold brew coffee fully, patience and planning ahead – as well as time – are essential.
Because cold brew is brewed at a lower temperature, it has less acidity and bitterness than iced coffee and is generally smoother. However, the time and patience necessary to achieve this are enough to put some coffee lovers off the process.
Cold Drip Coffee
The final of the three cold coffee brewing methods is cold drip coffee. This method is done with the grounds and cold water completely separate from one another. Brewing coffee this way requires a unique “drip tower” that lets iced water gradually drip onto freshly ground coffee. The ground coffee then absorbs each drop of water, which then collects in another vessel beneath the drip tower.
While this brewing method isn’t as time-consuming as the cold brew method, even though it still takes anywhere from 3.5 to 12 hours, depending on how much you’re brewing, so again, planning and patience is required before attempting this method.
Four Methods Of Making Cold Coffee With AeroPress
Where the AeroPress really comes into its own is its ability to make iced coffee, cold brew, and cold drip, meaning you don’t need separate coffee makers to achieve each.
Also, AeroPress is a comparatively cheap means of making cold brew (and hot!) coffee, so it’s an ideal system to use for those on a budget. This in-depth guide will offer step by step instructions on putting your AeroPress to work to brew a range of delicious cold coffees.
AeroPress Iced Coffee
We will assume you already own an AeroPress and know the basics of using it for brewing hot coffee for this guide.
If you fancy iced coffee rather than a hot one, using your AeroPress to brew one is a fairly straightforward process. You simply need to brew AeroPress in the way you would for hot brewed coffee, then pour the brew over ice.
What You’ll Need
- 15g of grounds (which amounts to approximately one rounded scoop of the scoop supplied with the AeroPress).
- Medium-fine grounds – aim for a grind size somewhere between the grounds you’d use for drip and espresso.
- Hot water at a temperature of 175 F (80 C).
- Upright brew method.
- Brew time of one minute (followed by stirring for 10 seconds).
Step-By-Step Instructions For Brewing AeroPress Iced Coffee
Step 1: Heat the water and grind the coffee beans.
Step 2: Place a piece of filter paper on the filter cap, rinse it to remove the paper taste and then attach the cap to the brew chamber.
Step 3: Place the coffee grounds in the brew chamber, give it a gentle shake to make the ground bed level, and then put the AeroPress on a mug.
Step 4: Add hot water to the 1 or 1.5 mark and stir it for 10 seconds.
Step 5: Place the plunger on top and begin plunging steadily for approximately 20 to 40 seconds until it reaches the bottom. At this point, there will be a hissing sound.
Step 6: Begin to dilute the coffee with cold water and add some ice cubes. Doing this will reduce the coffee’s temperature straight away, and your iced coffee will be ready to drink.
If you prefer, you can opt for the inverted method or any other recipes that take your fancy. However, whichever recipe you choose, the most important thing to remember when making iced coffee with the AeroPress is the final step – namely, cooling the coffee with ice cubes or cold water. Doing this will give you a flavorsome coffee with the added benefit of not taking long to prepare.
However, this method doesn’t qualify as a cold brew as it actually amounts to no more than an iced coffee prepared with AeroPress.
Two-Minute AeroPress Cold Brew
If you thought making an iced coffee using AeroPress was quick, there is a way to make cold brew that takes even less time. Better still, you can rest assured it’s a good one as the inventor of AeroPress himself, Alan Adler, is its creator. It takes no more than a couple of minutes, and you don’t need hot water for this method either.
This method uses a similar technique to brewing regular hot AeroPress coffee. However, a critical difference is, rather than using hot water during the brewing process, it needs water at room temperature instead.
Another difference is that after you pour the water into the chamber, you need to stir it for a minute before plunging, rather than just 10 seconds.
AeroPress 2-min Cold Brew Recipe
- 15g (or one rounded AeroPress scoop) of coffee grounds.
- Finer grind – aim for a grind size slightly more coarse than those you’d use for espresso.
- Tap water or room temperature water.
- Upright brewing method.
- Brew time of two minutes (followed by stirring for one minute).
Step-By-Step Instructions For Two-Minute AeroPress Cold Brew
Step 1: Weigh out and grind your beans with the fine grind size. Prepare around 3-4ox of (preferably filtered) water.
Step 2: Place a piece of filter paper on the filter cap, then attach the cap to the brew chamber. Place the AeroPress on a mug.
Step 3: Add the coffee grounds to the brew chamber. Add water to the 1 mark and stir for a minute.
Step 4: Steadily begin pressing down the plunger. If there’s too much resistance, stop for a moment before continuing slowly.
Step 5: Add either milk or cold water (depending on your preference) to the cold brew coffee concentrate until you have around 8oz (240ml) of coffee. Feel free to add ice cubes if you’d like to.
Hint: For a more robust flavor, pour more water (to mark 4) after stirring for a minute. Wait for another 10 seconds after doing this before plunging gently. That way, you will be able to enjoy your coffee without the need to add more water at the end. In our opinion, this gives the brew a richer, sturdier and overall more satisfying flavor.
Brewing Traditional Cold Brew Using AeroPress
An old-school approach to making cold brew with AeroPress uses a similar process to that you’d implement for a traditional cold brew with other coffee makers. As with those different approaches, time, patience, and planning in advance are necessary.
The traditional cold brew method using AeroPress takes place using water at room temperature and very coarse grind size. Like the traditional cold brew method, this needs the water to sit in the chamber for between 12 and 24 hours.
AeroPress Traditional Cold Brew Recipe
- 30 grams of coffee, coarse grind size.
- 5oz (150ml) of room temperature water, giving you a 1:5 ratio.
- Using the inverted method ensures that the coffee doesn’t begin to drip through the filter until it has had 16 hours of steeping.
- A steep time of 16 hours.
Step-By-Step Instructions For Making Traditional Cold Brew Using AeroPress
Step 1: Take 30g of coffee (two rounded AeroPress scoops) and grind them coarsely.
Step 2: Place the plunger in the brew chamber, turn it over and allow it to stand on top of the plunger. Add your grounds to the inverted Aeropress.
Step 3: Add water (5 oz / 150 ml) into the chamber and stir it gently to ensure all the coffee grounds soak through thoroughly.
Step 4: Put the filter cap on and leave it at room temperature for between 16 and 18 hours in a place where it won’t be disturbed or knocked over.
Step 5: Once 16-18 hours have elapsed, turn the AeroPress over on top of a mug, then plunge the coffee slowly into a cup.
Step 6: Add either milk or cold water to the coffee concentrate for an exquisite AeroPress cold brew.
Hint: This method is exactly the same as the traditional cold brew. We recommend using a mason jar or French press instead, which have a much larger capacity than Aeropress. Since you spend the same amount of time but you will get more coffee concentrate. Here are the brew guides about making cold brew using a mason jar or a French press.
Brewing Cold Drip Coffee using PUCKPUCK
Because AeroPress is such a good coffee maker for keeping on top of emerging trends, and because it’s such an innovative system, it’s not surprising that add-ons have come on the market to make it even more useful.
One of those – PUCKPUCK – allows for an extra cold brewing option. PUCKPUCK is a third party coffee parts manufacturer that has released a great add-on to enhance your AeroPress cold brewing.
The PUCKPUCK is an adaptor that you position on top of the AeroPress to let you make slow drip coffee with it.
Image Credit: https://puckpuck.me/
What You’ll Need
- The lower part of your AeroPress and filter papers
- A PuckPuck and water vessel
- 38g of coffee, ground to medium size.
- 400ml of filtered water and 100ml of ice cubes.
- A brewing time of between 2.5 to 3 hours.
Step-By-Step Instructions For Making AeroPress Cold Drip Coffee
Step 1: Put your AeroPress together. Place a paper filter on the filter cap and attach it to the AeroPress. Put the AeroPress onto a carafe.
Step 2: Add 38g medium ground coffee beans into the brew chamber, then shake it gently to ensure the coffee bed is level. Put the splash filter on top of the coffee grounds sitting in the chamber.
Step 3: Attach either the official PUCKPUCK water vessel into the PUCKPUCK. Alternatively, remove the base from a water bottle and use that as the water vessel instead. Place the PUCKPUCK with the attached water vessel on to the top of the AeroPress.
Step 4: Add 100g of ice cubes to the water vessel, followed by the 400ml of filtered water.
Step 5: Change the drip rate by gradually turning the PUCKPUCK in a counter-clockwise direction until the point at which drops begin falling from the valve. Iterate until you have achieved a drip rate of approximately 50 drops of water per minute, leaving a brewing time between 2.5 and 3 hours.
Step 6: When the brewing process is complete, there’s no need to let the coffee sit any longer. You can either enjoy it straight away or keep it in the fridge for as long as two weeks.
Our Verdict – Cold Coffee Brewing Is Easy For Everyone
Many coffee enthusiasts decide against brewing cold coffee because of the amount of time, planning, and patience needed for a cup of coffee.
However, as this guide has demonstrated, that needn’t always be the case. Making a refreshing, smooth, and beautiful-tasting cold brew coffee doesn’t have to take 12 or 24 hours. Neither should it be only the preserve of those who can afford an expensive coffee maker.
AeroPress offers a great way to make cold brew for people who neither have the time (although there are longer methods that utilize AeroPress too) nor the budget to explore other ways of doing so. Not only that, but AeroPress offers such versatility that there is more than one way to achieve this.
Because of all these advantages, AeroPress is an essential piece of equipment for any coffee lover who likes cold coffee without the need to go to convoluted lengths to brew it. And you don’t need to order cold brew from a coffee shop to save some money.