time lapse photo of French press

Playing with AeroPress Recipes: Inverted vs. Traditional

Hello, fellow coffee enthusiasts! I’m Lisa Brewster, your trusty guide through the wonderful world of coffee. Today, we’re delving into one of my favorite topics – the AeroPress. For those of you who’ve been following my coffee escapades on the CoffeCraftCue blog for a while, you know that I’ve always had a penchant for experimenting with my brews. And what’s more exciting than pitting two popular AeroPress techniques against each other: the Inverted and Traditional methods? Let’s dive right in and see what these brewing techniques have to offer.

The AeroPress, A Quick Introduction

For the uninitiated, the AeroPress is a nifty little coffee maker that’s all the rage in the coffee world. It was invented by the genius Alan Adler, who wanted to create a device that could make a strong and smooth cup of coffee quickly. And voila, the AeroPress was born!

The Traditional Method

We’ll start with the basics. The Traditional method is, well, the traditional way of brewing coffee with an AeroPress. Here’s how it goes:

Gather Your Tools:

You’ll need your AeroPress, coffee grounds, hot water (just off the boil), a filter, and the standard plunger.

Insert a Filter:

Place a paper filter in the filter cap and attach it to the AeroPress.

Add Coffee:

Place the AeroPress on top of your coffee mug and add your desired amount of coffee grounds.

Pour Water:

Pour hot water into the AeroPress and stir the mixture for about 10 seconds. This is known as the “bloom” stage, where the coffee grounds release gases.

Attach the Plunger:

After stirring, attach the plunger and let it sit for a minute or two.

Press Down:

Slowly and firmly press the plunger down to extract your coffee into your cup.

Enjoy! Sip your coffee and savor the deliciousness.

Now, that’s the classic way to do it, but what’s this Inverted method I keep talking about? Well, hang tight!

The Inverted Method

The Inverted method is like the Traditional method’s quirky cousin. It’s become a favorite among coffee aficionados, and here’s how it’s done:

Flip the AeroPress:

Start with your AeroPress upside down, so the plunger is at the bottom.

Assemble the Coffee Grounds:

Add your coffee grounds to the upturned AeroPress.

Add Water:

Pour hot water into the AeroPress up to your desired level, and give it a gentle stir.

Attach the Filter:

Place a filter in the filter cap and attach it to the AeroPress.

Brew Time:

Let your coffee brew for a set amount of time, depending on your preferred strength.

Plunge Carefully:

When the brewing time is up, attach the plunger and press down gently.

Savor the Flavor:

Flip the AeroPress onto your cup and plunge until your coffee is safely in the cup. Enjoy!

Now that you know the basics, let’s dive deeper into the differences between these two methods.

Flavor Profiles

One of the most exciting parts of experimenting with AeroPress brewing techniques is the flavor. The Traditional and Inverted methods produce different flavor profiles, and your preference depends on your palate.

Traditional Flavor

The Traditional method is known for producing a lighter and cleaner cup of coffee. The paper filter does a great job of removing most of the oils and fines from the coffee, resulting in a brew that’s bright and vibrant. It’s perfect for those who enjoy the clarity of the coffee’s flavor notes.

Inverted Intensity

The Inverted method, on the other hand, creates a more robust and intense cup of coffee. Since the coffee grounds are fully immersed in the water during the entire brewing process, you get a fuller extraction of oils and flavors. This method is excellent for those who prefer a bolder, richer brew with more body.

Experimentation Time

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to experiment! Here are some variables you can play with for both methods.

Coffee Beans

The type of coffee beans you use can dramatically affect the taste of your coffee. Try experimenting with different origins and roasts to find your favorite flavor profile. For example, a light roast from Ethiopia may shine through with fruitier notes using the Inverted method, while a medium roast from Colombia may produce a well-balanced cup with the Traditional method.

Grind Size

The grind size is crucial in your AeroPress adventures. A finer grind, like table salt, is ideal for the Traditional method, as it allows for a quicker extraction and less bitterness. On the other hand, a coarser grind, akin to sea salt, works wonders with the Inverted method, as it requires a longer brew time to reach its full potential.

Water Temperature

The temperature of your water matters more than you might think. For the Traditional method, use water just off the boil (around 200°F or 93°C). With the Inverted method, a slightly cooler temperature (around 185°F or 85°C) can help control the extraction and avoid over-brewing.

Brew Time

The time you let your coffee brew is entirely up to you. For the Traditional method, a shorter brew time (around 30 seconds to 1 minute) is ideal. In the Inverted method, you can extend the brew time to anywhere from 1.5 to 3 minutes, depending on your desired strength.


How vigorously you stir your coffee grounds in the AeroPress can impact the extraction. For the Traditional method, a gentle stir is sufficient to ensure even saturation. In the Inverted method, you can be more aggressive to maximize flavor extraction.

Plunge Speed

The speed at which you press down the plunger can influence your coffee’s taste. For a cleaner cup, use slow and steady pressure with the Traditional method. With the Inverted method, you have more control over the extraction process, so adjust the plunge speed to suit your taste.

When to Use Each Method

So, when should you use the Traditional method, and when should you opt for the Inverted? Here are some scenarios to consider:

Traditional Method

You want a clean, bright cup of coffee.

You’re using a light or medium roast coffee bean.

You’re in a hurry and need your coffee fast.

You prefer a hassle-free brewing process.

Inverted Method

You crave a bold, intense coffee with a fuller body.

You have the time to savor the brewing process.

You want to experiment with longer brew times and temperature control.

You appreciate the versatility to fine-tune your brew to your exact preference.

My Personal Verdict

After years of playing around with both AeroPress methods, I have to say that I enjoy both, but I often find myself reaching for the Inverted method. There’s something captivating about the depth and intensity it brings to the cup. It’s like the espresso of AeroPress methods, allowing you to savor the nuances in your coffee.

However, I’ll never turn my back on the Traditional method, especially when I’m in a rush or when I have a batch of delicate, floral





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