AeroPress (company) is up for sale

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
baldheadracing
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#1: Post by baldheadracing »

http://sprudge.com/exclusive-aeropress- ... 11887.html
A letter from Alan Adler, inventor of the AeroPress coffee maker.

As many of you already know, I didn't set out to make a commercial product. I just sought a good way to brew coffee in our own kitchen. As an engineer / scientist I began with some basic research.

I began by experimenting with water temperature. I, and the tasters I recruited, all preferred coffee brewed at 175°F. But I was doing pour-overs which took four or five minutes to drip through. I suspected that the brew would taste less bitter if I could shorten the drip through. Pushing on the slurry in the filter-cone didn't speed the process and I realized that air pressure would be the answer.

From the first crude model which I machined in my garage, I was very excited. I'd never tasted brew that sweet. I invited Alex Tennant, our general manager at Aerobie, to taste the brew. He said, "Alan, we can sell millions of these". I spent a year fine-tuning the design and it took another year to make our production molds. Then we launched the AeroPress at Coffee Fest - Seattle in the fall of 2005.

It's been a joyful rocket ride ever since. Millions of AeroPress coffee makers have been sold in over 60 countries. And of course, there is the "World AeroPress Championship". I would never have dreamed that brewing coffee with my little device would become an international sport.

Now, the years are adding up, and my good wife and I have reluctantly decided that the time has come to sell our beloved company. It's been wonderful to have been drawn into the coffee community. You are the nicest people in the world and we are very thankful for the privilege of working with you. Hopefully this is not goodbye but perhaps just a note that there are some changes in the wind.

So, to all of you special people in the coffee world, we thank you for taking us into your hearts.

Alan (and Irene) Adler
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

CathyWeeks

#2: Post by CathyWeeks »

I hope he finds a good owner for the company (this is the more important consideration). And I also hope that they will be more open to developing a stainless steel/silicon version (with a rubber insulator on the outside, and on the top of the plunger so that you can hold it comfortably)

baldheadracing
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#3: Post by baldheadracing »

FYI Clones in steel (and in copper) are available from Artisan Smith in Australia. I have no experience with the steel version.

Able brewing and Crucial Coffee make end caps for the Aeropress. I have the Crucial - it fits a bit loose.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

CathyWeeks

#4: Post by CathyWeeks »

Ok, thanks. I knew the copper clone was available, but didn't think copper was a great choice for coffee brewing, nor did I want to pay the upcharge for such an expensive metal (even if it IS very pretty). I'll look into the steel version.

CathyWeeks

#5: Post by CathyWeeks »

baldheadracing wrote:I have no experience with the steel version.
So you DO have experience with the copper? Does it work as well as the Aeropress? Doesn't leak?

baldheadracing
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#6: Post by baldheadracing » replying to CathyWeeks »

:oops: I have one, but it was damaged in shipping so my experience wouldn't be representative.

The main difference from the real Aeropress (besides being larger - but with the same bore so the Aeropress filters and rubber plunger part work) is that there are no side channels/outlets on the filter holder, so the grind has to be from a good grinder and/or seived. As an aside, a Korean company makes a specially-formed gasket that will do the same thing with the Aeropress, but I haven't tried it as I couldn't stomach the shipping cost. However, the easiest thing to get the effect is to brew with three paper filters, wetting them so that they swell and restrict the side channels - I find the difference in clarity is quite noticeable.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

CathyWeeks

#7: Post by CathyWeeks »

baldheadracing wrote::oops: I have one, but it was damaged in shipping so my experience wouldn't be representative.
Were you able to get it fixed? I imagine there are metal shops around that could. I just recently got a stainless steel measuring scoop repaired (the handle came off the half-cup measure) by taking it to a metal fabrication place that was set up for food-safe stainless welding (my mechanic could do it, but it would rust, etc). Cost me about $7.

Either way, not sure why you used the blushing smiley - just because I don't want to spend the money doesn't mean it's a bad idea for someone else. We all weigh the costs/benefits differently. :D

(For instance, my family cannot understand why I'm willing to spend $35 per pair on hand-made, small-business produced knitting needles, instead of buying the cheap ones sold at craft stores).
baldheadracing wrote:The main difference from the real Aeropress (besides being larger - but with the same bore so the Aeropress filters and rubber plunger part work) is that there are no side channels/outlets on the filter holder, so the grind has to be from a good grinder and/or seived. As an aside, a Korean company makes a specially-formed gasket that will do the same thing with the Aeropress, but I haven't tried it as I couldn't stomach the shipping cost. However, the easiest thing to get the effect is to brew with three paper filters, wetting them so that they swell and restrict the side channels - I find the difference in clarity is quite noticeable.
It sounds to me that you consider the lack of side-channels in the Artisan Smith version to be a good thing? If so why?

(And I have good grinders, plus am getting a sieve from a kickstarter, so that isn't an issue).

baldheadracing
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#8: Post by baldheadracing »

CathyWeeks wrote:Were you able to get it fixed?
I eventually was refunded. I used the blushing smiley because this forum's rules frown upon discussing customer service experiences.
CathyWeeks wrote:It sounds to me that you consider the lack of side-channels in the Artisan Smith version to be a good thing? If so why?
In the mega-thread over at CoffeeGeeks, Mr. Adler explains why he put in the side channels (and the logic behind the lack of a metal, or glass, Aeropress, and a whole bunch of things) - essentially, if a grind is too fine or had too many fines, then the system would stall (clog up solid) without the side channels, people would press down harder, mugs underneath would break, etc. The side channels mean that an Aeropress cup is a mix of coffee that has been filtered through the paper, and coffee that hasn't - and that the ratio between the two types of coffee changes depending on how hard you press (and the quantity of coffee, and its grind size/distribution/fines). Press lightly and the resulting cup has more clarity and less body; press harder, and the cup has less clarity and more body - a cup approaching, say, an Espro Press. Everyone has their own preferences, and mine is generally for clarity - which is why I eventually sacrificed the convenience of Aeropressing when travelling, and went to a collapsible pour-over cone.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

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drgary
Team HB

#9: Post by drgary »

CathyWeeks wrote:Ok, thanks. I knew the copper clone was available, but didn't think copper was a great choice for coffee brewing, nor did I want to pay the upcharge for such an expensive metal (even if it IS very pretty). I'll look into the steel version.
One of the AeroPress strengths is that the plastic is a good insulator. Copper would dissipate heat very fast and get too hot to hold. Not the best idea.

Back on topic. I expect Alan's moving toward retirement, and I wish him and Irene well. A few years ago he invited me to his office and showed me the original prototype. It looks more like a large, conventional syringe and is very different from the final product. He was supportive of my learning some of the technical aspects of this coffee hobby, introduced me to roasting and attended an H-B get together in our former home on the San Francisco peninsula. Since moving away, I miss the opportunity to visit with him.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

CathyWeeks

#10: Post by CathyWeeks »

drgary wrote:One of the AeroPress strengths is that the plastic is a good insulator. Copper would dissipate heat very fast and get too hot to hold. Not the best idea.
Oh, sure. I just prefer to make coffee in stainless/glass/ceramic. And the heat issue is why I hope that if the new owner DOES develop a SS version, they'd wrap it in some sort of removable glove or the outside in an insulating material. I'm distrustful of plastic, but not so much that I don't own an Aeropress. I use it to make the occasional latte (of sorts).