Why AeroPress? An exercise in consistency and simplicity.
We are often asked why we brew filter coffee with the AeroPress instead of other popular brewers. Firstly, it would be useful to establish just what 'defines' filter coffee, and how it differs from espresso. The key distinction between the two brewing styles is that espresso machines employ a huge amount of pressure in order to produce a rapidly-brewed, concentrated drink. Filter brewers simply provide a means for combining ground coffee and water, and for the separation of the spent grounds and the brewed coffee (filtration). As such, there is no reason why you couldn't brew filter coffee in a sock, it just probably wouldn't taste great.
Some of the most commonly-used brewers seen in coffee shops today are a style of dripper. There are countless manufacturers and variations, but they all function in much the same way; water is poured over a bed of coffee that sits in a filter paper, and gravity takes care of the rest. This style of brewing is often simply called 'pour over', however, it's important to note that this term is not a synonym for filter coffee, rather one of many methods of producing filter coffee.
Other brewers fall into the 'immersion' category, whereby ground coffee is in contact with the entirety of the brew water for the duration of the brewing process. Some common brewers include the French press, vacuum pot (syphon) and, of course, the AeroPress. In essence, brewing coffee can be (crudely) simplified to the manipulation of variables. We choose the AeroPress because it affords us more control over the variables at play than most other brewers.
In order to brew coffee consistently, we attempt to turn as many of the variables into constants. We make sure that the following are precisely maintained: weight of coffee, weight of brew water, temperature of brew water, brew time and the particle size of the ground coffee. Two variables associated with pour over brewers that can be difficult to control are the heat loss of the brew water and the pouring action itself. By delivering water of a very accurate temperature into the AeroPress directly from our Uber Boiler, these variables are greatly minimised.
The AeroPress is easy to clean and won't break when dropped. Combined with a hand grinder, it makes a great travel brewing kit. At Exchange, it allows us to multitask as it doesn't require the physical attention of other brewers. But, perhaps its greatest attribute is its simplicity and suitability as a home brewer; we love to encourage people to brew better coffee at home. One of Exchange's core philosophies is that it should be easy to brew great coffee at home, and the AeroPress does just that.