aeropress which combines the techniques of both a paper dip and a french press. the aeropress forces the water and ground mixture through a paper filter into a mug. the company of the aeropress claims it'll create a "richer, smoother cup of coffee." i like that sound of that.
also recently, i was concerned about health issues from french pressed coffee. according to wiki and a research study linked on 'french press' wiki, french pressed coffee "increases LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels... The French press method allows certain Diterpenes, such as Cafestol and Kahweol, to remain in the coffee while other brewing methods either remove or limit these chemicals." this is very dishearting (no pun intended) for a person who enjoys using the french press. with that information, i decided to look into manual paper filtered coffee.
this past saturday, i came across the $30 aeropress at sur la table while my buddy min was shopping at west elm in corte madera. out of the box, the aeropress looks like a syringe or in my brother's words, "a penis pump." the aeropress has four parts — plunger, chamber, cap and filter. after looking over the instructions, the aeropress was easy to use... so i bought it, figuring that i'll do a comparison of results with french pressed coffee.
with multiple parts of the aeropress, it's not quite as easy. you place a filter into the cap, lock cap onto the chamber, place chamber over a mug, drop scoop of grounds into the chamber over the filter, pour desired amount of water, stir, insert plunger into chamber and press. once you start pouring water into the chamber, it immediately starts to drip into the cup. the plunger forces the water and ground through the filter.
here are the results (drinking both black): the french press coffee was muddy and dark looking with grounds. the taste was smooth and slightly bitter with character. the aeropress produced an amber clear coffee, looking more like bourbon. the taste was clean, very bitter and smooth. the characteristics of the beans weren't as prominent as the french press. i assume the filter took away some of coffee bean oils.
i prefer the french press for the bean's character. i didn't like the strong bitterness from the aeropress. however my brother prefers the penis pumped coffee for it's clear and clean taste. i'll post some more tasting notes after trying them with milk and sugar.