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I got an AeroPress about a week ago and I have been experimenting with it.

I'm in a temporary country until the rest of the year and I am getting ground coffee online (can only have decaf), so I do NOT control the grind size.

I like thick coffees and I bought a metal filter.

Using the inverted method, I put one scoop of coffee and then I tried various amount of water for the brew + some dilution afterward. I have tried two different decaf Arabicas from Amazon and I use 80°C water.

Unfortunately, most of the results end up the same way: a very watery feel without any texture, a taste that is not very palatable but a very strong over-brewed aftertaste.

What am I doing wrong? and how can I make it thicker? Can I create crema with the AeroPress?


edit:

this is the grind size:

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  • Does it taste bitter or sour the way you are doing it right now? How finely ground is the coffee? – technical_difficulty Sep 28 at 22:14
  • the aftertaste is bitter, the taste thin and neutral – Thomas Sep 29 at 14:17
  • "(can only have decaf), so I do NOT control the grind size." I do not understand that logic. Caffeine issue aside, the size of the grind should be appropriate for the brewing method or it will not taste right, I.E. bitter. ALSO, what is thick coffee? Do you mean strong coffee? – Alaska Man Oct 6 at 20:10
  • @AlaskaMan, I meant that since we're right now stuck in a small town in Poland and I can only have decaf, my beans options are very limited; I have to go with the shop's grind size. By thick, I am talking about viscosity, where the liquid coats your tongue instead of just running off. Espresso vs drip coffee for a comparison. – Thomas Oct 6 at 20:27
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The easiest way to make the texture of your coffee thicker would be to increase your brew ratio - use more coffee and less water while brewing.

Also don't be scared to use higher temperature water, even if the inventor recommends ~80°C water, this is also going to increase extraction, leading to a higher percentage of dissolved coffee in your cup.

You might also want to look at this "Coffee Compass" from Barista Hustle, which shows you what adjustments to make based on the taste of the coffee:

The Brewed Coffee Compass

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  • I will do a couple tests based on this and report and try hotter water; however it's a bit hard to find where to start as the main taste is watery but the aftertaste is too strong, on the bitter side – Thomas Sep 29 at 14:20
  • In that case your coffee fits "dilute" and "bitter" on the left side. Then you look at the right side and see that extracting less using more coffee at the same time should get you back in the sweet spot. – technical_difficulty Sep 29 at 23:27
  • I tried shorter brew with more coffee and it’s definitely a step in the right direction; what I don’t get is that all the recipes I find online call for long brew times – Thomas Sep 30 at 20:02
  • I'm starting to think the issue might be the ground coffee itself. I have spent the last hour making one cup after another, tasting and throwing them away, to try different combinations. A short brew time gives less biterness, but no matter what, I get a watery drink with no body at all and a bitter after taste. It's hard to describe but it really feels like no taste followed by a strong aftertaste. I bought a metal filter and I tried with it as well; to me it feels significantly better than the paper but I'm still getting a drink I would never agree to pay for in a shop – Thomas Sep 30 at 21:00
  • If you are trying to get the same consistency and body you would get in an espresso from a shop, don't bother. You cannot achieve that with an AeroPress. Espresso machines can build up to pressures above 9 bars. Coffee from an AeroPress is more similar to a pour-over coffee than it is to espresso, although it has a rounder body and fuller texture. – technical_difficulty Oct 1 at 11:05
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Honestly, I recommend trying the AeroPress manufacturer's instructions, both hot and cold brew recipes. Then tinker from there.

The cold brew recipe produces less bitter coffee with more crema. Give it a try.

Also see their FAQ for tips and techniques. E.g. they recommend a paper filter for taste and health reasons.

There's really no need for inverted brewing. If you want to brew a long time, you can do that right side up. Compare the taste and post notes about your results.

Thanks to immersion brewing, AeroPress is relatively insensitive to grind size, but a finer grind will produce a bit more concentrated coffee (so I use a level scoop instead of a rounded scoop) and might take longer to press. Pressing too quickly can produce high back pressure.

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