AeroPress - The best and easiest way to home brew?

The rise of the AeroPress as one of the best ways to make coffee continues. I have many customers now praising this simple, inexpensive and efficient gadget as the best way to make a satisfying cup of coffee. Brewing with an AeroPress is a process that is simply mastered whether brewing the right way up or by using the inverted method. YouTube is awash with videos demonstrating the various methods. Once you have used an AeroPress to brew coffee you will find that your cafetière will soon be gathering dust at the back of the cupboard. If you are a latte drinker then adding the Bodum Latteo milk frother is an useful addition.

Keen gardeners will find the ease of ejecting the coffee puck after brewing makes the coffee grounds a great addition to compost, where their nitrogen content can be fully realised and used.

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How best to store coffee?

This is a question I am often asked. Once green coffee beans have been roasted they slowly start to lose the aroma and flavour characteristics that make drinking coffee so enjoyable. Therefore it is important to purchase and store your coffee in the best possible way so as to obtain the most favourable shelf life. Here are my tips:


  • Look for coffee that has the roast date stamped on the bag as opposed to a 'best by date'. The former has become the de facto standard for artisan roasters who sell high quality speciality coffee. Coffee is at it's very best from between 4 days and 2 weeks after roasting which is something that you cannot be certain of if buying from a supermarket shelf.

  • Buy smaller amounts often. You should only buy enough for a maximum of one or two weeks of consumption.

  • Buy a grinder. Buying coffee beans as opposed ground coffee will ensure that its fragrance and flavour will not be lost as quickly.


  • The key to storing coffee is to protect it from heat, light, moisture and oxygen.

  • Most roasters supply coffee in a bag with a one-way valve. The purpose of this valve is to allow CO2 to escape without letting air in, which would make the coffee go stale quicker. Once the bag is opened this valve has no purpose.

  • So as long as you store your coffee in a cool, dark cupboard in an airtight container you will optimise its shelf life.

  • If your coffee came in a resealable bag, which is fine for storage, then squeeze as much air out as possible before resealing and putting back in the cupboard.

  • Storing in a fridge is inadvisable as it is full of moisture and coffee will quickly absorb moisture and flavour taints from nearby foods.

  • Storing in a freezer is only advisable if you have bought more coffee than you will consume within 2 weeks. Seal the coffee into portion sized airtight containers and store for a maximum of 1-2 months. Do not put back in the freezer after opening or refreeze.

In summary:

  • Buy coffee as close to the roasting date as possible.

  • Only buy enough coffee for 1-2 weeks consumption.

  • Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark cupboard.

  • Grind only enough for your brew.

What's the best brewing technique?

Espresso machine, Drip filter, Moka pot, AeroPress, Cafetiere?

Well there is certainly no wrong way using any of the methods above. To brew great coffee it's not all about the machine or method as the two most important components are unsurprisingly the coffee and good quality water. Using an IT analogy - garbage in - garbage out!

So buy the best coffee you can that suits your taste and the softer the water the better. Fortunately here in Cumbria we are blessed with great soft water ...and lots of it!

How you prepare your coffee is a personal preference. You certainly don't have to spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on expensive espresso machines to achieve a good cup. Though a tip here is that cheap espresso machines rarely perform well.

Often the simplest brewing methods are the best. My two favorites are the simple manual drip filter and the AeroPress. Cheap to purchase, easy to clean and store and satisfying to use.

Whatever method you use 'slow' is often the best way. So take your time.

In future blogs I will post more details on each method so that you can really get the best brew possible.

What is Speciality Coffee?

“Speciality coffee is defined as a crafted quality coffee-based beverage, which is judged by the consumer (in a limited marketplace at a given time) to have a unique quality, a distinct taste and personality different from, and superior to, the common coffee beverages offered. The beverage is based on beans that have been grown in an accurately defined area, and which meet the highest standards for green coffee and for its roasting, storage and brewing.” 
This is not just a definition. It’s a call to arms for everyone involved in the many stages of striving for coffee excellence and the perfect cup. So says the SCAE, the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe.