The AeroPress—Alan Alder’s popular, copolyester immersion brewer—is almost as simple as manual brewing gets. Coffee is measured into a chamber, water is poured over it and stirred, and an extraction is plunged, via air pressure, into the cup. Since it’s 2005 invention by Alder (engineer and owner of flying disc-manufacturer Aerobie) the AeroPress’ nuanced extractions and ease of use have catapulted it to success, making it a homebrewing and camping mainstay, and even spawning a World AeroPress Championship. (The current title is held by Shuichi Sasaki of Japan, and has been thrice awarded to Belgians.)
This tool’s ascendance was speedy, but one has to wonder how something so simple, albeit effective, could create such a stir. According to app creator and AeroPress enthusiast Jarrod Glasgow, there is more to the device than meets the eye. Last year he and longtime friend Zane Kellogg created the AeroPress Timer App—the first for Birmingham-based iOS app agency Beloved Robot—to educate users on how to use the device, and walk them through the brewing cycle. A second version, released at the end of July, takes the task a step further by distilling the industry’s fervor for tinkering with the AeroPress, offering roaster’s unique recipes, and guiding the user through championship formulas.
“Around the time that I started learning to make iOS apps I discovered the AeroPress,” says Glasgow. “I was really blown away by the complexity of flavors that it produced by varying the input. . . I was always trying other folk’s recipes out that I found online, so I made the app to meet that need.”
In this more robust version, recipes like “The Inverted” (an upside-down immersion) and “The Iced” join a roaster’s pack with recipes from Tonx, Blue Bottle, Tim Wendelboe and others, along with a Championship Pack of nine different competition recipes, and a new look and feel. Two-cup recipes enable sharing with a friend. The app is free, available through the App Store and fully endorsed by Aerobie.
Glasgow says a next stage of the app will include Instagram sharing and “easter eggs,” though an Android version went unfulfilled by a crowdfunding effort. He recalls that his first experience with the AeroPress wasn’t great, but with practiced technique he was able not only to create an amazing cup, but also acquire a love of black coffee, something he’d always shied from. He calls the app, geared to bring the same revelation to other coffee drinkers, a “labor of love.”
—Regan Crisp is Fresh Cup’s associate editor. Photo courtesy Sad Giraffe Coffee.