From Toys to Coffee

What happens when a toy designer is assigned the task of creating an über-geeky coffeemaker? Magic happens, of course, and that’s exactly what the AeroPress delivers in spades.

Simply put, it’s a type of coffee syringe that delivers that literal shot of caffeine that café lovers need and want. It’s a hybrid of an espresso machine and French press, is easy to use, and boasts a type of geek techiness that has even occasional coffee drinkers reaching for a mug.

So how exactly does it work? You simply pour hot water on top of grounds, and then force the water through via a plunger. AeroPress has the capacity to “spit” a seriously high quality cup of coffee in just under two minutes.

It’s ideal for people who prefer their coffee piping hot and strong. This is outsourcing done the right way; just don’t let your Keurig find out about it.

The brains of the operation

There are scores of machines that promise the best coffee around, but no other contraption has been designed by an engineer. AeroPress was created by Alan Adler, an engineer who spent most of his life creating electronics, toys, and gadgets galore.

He’s the man behind the Parker Brothers flying discs. But he realized coffee was also his calling after a chat with the wife of a friend. At the end of a discussion that focused on how challenging it was to get a single great cup of coffee with a drip machine, the AeroPress was born.

This conversation (likely over coffee) happened back in 2004. By 2005 the AeroPress prototype was ready. It consisted of two plastic cylinders that fit together for an airtight seal.

The hot water was forced through coffee grounds at high pressure, and Adler achieved a steeping time of less than 10 seconds (although some people like to wait 30 seconds for extra strength).

Beauty in simplicity

The most common remark people have about the AeroPress is how simple it is. It’s already attracted a cult following.

There are endless online discussions about how best to brew with an AeroPress, and everyone has his or her own idea. Already, there’s a World Championship to crown the person who makes the best cup of coffee with AeroPress. That’s the kind of excitement a great cup of joe deserves.

Are you ready to see what a difference an engineer can make? The AeroPress is this season’s must-have device, even for those who prefer a little coffee with their creamer and not the other way around.


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