I saw some mentions of the American Press (AP) here and elsewhere, and its straightforward design and simplicity appealed to me. It struck me as a less fiddly riff off the Aeropress concept, so I ordered one to check it out. Primarily I wanted to use it at work. We can't plug in electrics, but have coffee-optimal hot water readily available, so I've been using a Lido 3 grinder with an Espro medium press pot (which replaced an earlier pourover setup that wasn't ideal for workflow). I really like the Espro, which is an excellent coffee tool. I was also interested in evaluating the AP as a travel companion. While it's not good for backpacking, it's small and compact enough to take car camping or to throw into your carry-on luggage.
So far I've used the AP just twice, so these are just first impressions. The gizmo itself is well-made with what appear to be good materials, and is very easy to operate. The basic workflow for brewing with an AP is illustrated here, so I won't repeat much of that. Suffice it to say the whole operation is pretty easy.
- Tare a gram scale using the AP grounds chamber.
- Weigh out 22 g of beans.
- Grind the beans in the Lido.
- Transfer the grounds back to the chamber.
- Fill the water chamber with 12 oz hot water (I preheat it first just because).
- Tell my Android Watch to set a timer for 3 minutes.
- Fit the press apparatus to the water chamber and preinfuse for about 45-60 secs (will vary this a lot during subsequent preps).
- Finish the press slowly to coincide with the end of the 3 minute countdown.
- Enjoy my handiwork. This prep yields about 10 oz of coffee.
My workflow is a little bit easier than using the Espro, and clean-up is much easier (with one caveat). The design proves out to be very clever and effective. It feels good in the hand, the no-drop spout really works well, and it's cool watching the coffee develop from preinfusion through press.
The water chamber is a bit narrower than my Espro, and my hand doesn't fit inside for cleaning. Need to use a brush or sponge-on-a-stick. Also, I'm sure it's just a matter of time before it shows up on the AP site, but someday far in the future it will probably be necessary or wise to replace the screen(s) on the gizmo. Since they're attached to other parts, and not separable (at least in any way I can see), AP should sell a replacement piece. I'm guessing it should cost no more than ten bucks, and you'll need one every 2-3 years.
That's it. If I discover anything interesting about the gizmo or through further experimentation, I'll post it in this section of HB. Feel free to ask any questions or let me know if I need to clarify anything above. Thanks!