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I was wondering why the aeropress directions call for water that is between 165~175 °F (73~79 °C)?

I always though that water should be between 195~205 °F (90~96 °C).

Also, I've read a few things and watched some videos that make me think if you are using the inverted method of brewing with the aeropress that your water should be hotter.

Does anybody have any experience or want to through their thoughts in on the subject?

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This page on Angels' Cup has (see the middle of the page) a concise summary of the key variables and results in brewing coffee with a given method:

  • If it tastes sour: The problem is under extraction, so adjust brew time longer, or adjust water temp cooler, or adjust grind size finer.
  • If it tastes bitter: The problem is over extraction, so adjust brew time shorter, or adjust water temp hotter, or adjust grind size coarser.
  • Temperature affects the sour notes significantly more than the bitter notes.

… you have to be willing to experiment. Don’t think of it as a waste of beans. Gulping coffee without paying attention to flavor is a waste, experimentation is the best possible use of good beans.

I've tried varying the grind size and water temperature in an AeroPress, and so far my results agree with this.

In particular, I've found that brewing medium roast beans with 175°F water (using a calibrated thermometer) produces coffee that's not sour, while higher temperature water often produces sour coffee (tasting a bit like vinegar). The company recommends 175°F except with light roast beans, in which case some people prefer 185°F water. See their FAQ about temperature.

I have not tried varying the brew time. The inverted method lets you increase the brew time but you can accomplish that without the mess by inserting the plunger, pulling back slightly to decrease the pressure below room pressure, then waiting.

You can see that the brewing variables are interdependent. That probably explains why people using the inverted method to brew longer would use hotter water to compensate for what would otherwise be over extraction. (I don't know why cooler water extracts more than hotter water.)

The ideal brew time, temperature, and grind size will vary with brew method. AeroPress immerses the grinds in water, thus it's relatively insensitive to grind size.

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    Hey thanks, that was really helpful. I've never been to angels cup before and I actually ended up ordering some coffee from them! – Better Coffee Jun 13 '17 at 18:56
  • Nice resource and nice answer! Now this makes me wonder. Additional roasting decreases acidity (i.e., lighter roast will be sourer). Hotter water increases acidity. So why hotter water for lighter roasts? Maybe I should branch it off into a separate question... – Ivan Kapitonov Jun 23 '17 at 11:30
  • @IvanKapitonov that's a great question. Go ahead and post it as a separate question with an FYI link back to this one. There's some interesting info about that at kaladicoffee.blogspot.com/2011/05/coffee-acidity.html?m=1 – Jerry101 Jun 24 '17 at 4:24
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I tried the "official recommendation" of 170F, but did not like the results. I typically use water at 200F for the AeroPress.

It appears there is a wide variety of approaches for the AeroPress. For example, the discussion at coffeegeek runs to more than 300 pages: http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/machines/195166

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If you have a thermometer, it's cool and awesome to remain accurate to taste actual results in temp changes.

But even if you don't, it's a pretty consistent rule-of-thumb, to gradually pour water after 1 minute after a boil. Most of my friends (without thermometers) follow that, and I do, too. The results are great.

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