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I bought my wife an aeropress for Christmas and I used it a few times before understanding exactly what the instructions were saying - (I tried to make a latte with hot milk and water in the hopper) it was very hard to press down at that point - I've never tried doing that again, but I think since then it's been a little too easy to press down the plunger.

Should it actually take 10-60 seconds to press down all the water given the pressure from above? It seems like almost all the water (up to #2) is through the filter by the time I get half way down the thing and the last half of pressing gets easier, not harder as you might expect with more pressure.

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How easy it is to push the aeropress plunger depends mostly on how coarse or fine your coffee is ground. It sounds like your grind might be too coarse, a finer grind will make it "less loose". A medium-fine or filter coffee grind will usually work best in this situation.

As another answer explained, don't put milk into the aeropress, it won't filter properly. You can add milk to the cup afterwards if you like.

About 20 seconds to push the coffee through the aeropress with light to moderate pressure (just leaning on the plunger) would be a good time. Your description of the water passing easily at first and the plunger being "too loose" sound like your coffee grind is too coarse.

Here is an excellent video showing how to use an aeropress brewer by expert baristo, Tim Wendelboe.


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It sounds to me like your issue may be grind size. An Aeropress is best used with medium-fine ground coffee. The finer the grind, the more pressure you'll have to use to force water through the ground coffee bed. With a coarser grind you'll watch the water flow through too easily.

However, you could also try the Inverted Method. I use an Aeropress almost every day, and I use the Inverted Method every time.

Here's a link to a good Aeropress user's guide. It details the inverted method. Here's the bullet points:

  1. Put the plunger in the Aeropress chamber (only the tip) and turn it upside down so it's inverted on the plunger

  2. Add your ground coffee and hot water

  3. Steep for your desired time

  4. Place the filter in the cap and attach the cap to the top of the inverted Aeropress

  5. Quickly flip it over onto your coffee mug

  6. Press, top off with any milk or water you want, and enjoy

The major benefit here is you can use whatever grind size you'd like and extract for as long as you want.

Regarding the hot milk in the Aeropress chamber, you probably don't want to do that. It was really hard to push down because milk has proteins and fats in it that, and the microfilter isn't designed to deal with those larger molecules. It's best to just make a really strong coffee with low volume and add milk afterwards.

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If you only fill it up to #2, then obviously all the water will be gone through when the plunger is half way down since the other half of the chamber will be filled with air.

To press down the plunger of the Aeropress and thus all the water through the filter and grinds should take around half a minute if the Aeropress is completely filled with water.

You should not put milk in it. To make a latte just make a strong AeroPress coffee and put the milk (steamed or heated) in afterwards. That's how a Latte is done. Maybe some of the milk fat is stuck at the silicon part or the inside wall of the Aeropress. Just wash it well with detergent and it should be perfectly fine.

If the water is pushed through too fast or too slowly, the usual problem is a wrong grind size. If the particles are too small they clog up the filter paper and if they are too coarse the water passes too easily. The grind can be anywhere from fine sea salt coarseness (I think in the US it's often sold as kosher salt) to French Press coarseness. If you go for a coarser grind add more coffee or increase brewing time. Lately there's a trend to use a coarse grind but a high coffee to water ratio. Just experiment and see what works best for you.

  • The instructions say to only fill it to #2 and then add another part water, which was a little confusing. I think I should have just watched youtube videos or asked how to use it here instead of reading the instructions... – Peter Turner Feb 8 '18 at 20:19
  • You can obviously do that as well, I prefer to fill it to the top or do the inverted method mentioned in another answer. However it is logical, that the water has all passed through, but the plunger is only half way down since you have a whole lot of air in the brewing chamber, if you only fill it up to #2. Check the picture in the other answer. – avocado1 Feb 9 '18 at 17:23

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