Differences in flavor between espresso and AeroPress

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
garyk

#1: Post by garyk »

Hi all. First post here. I have an AeroPress and a Kinu M47 Phoenix grinder. I make mostly lattes and Americanos now. Me and my Sweetie love them.
I have been flirting with the Cafelat Robot. How will the flavors be different? I do understand that the Aeropress doesn't make espresso, but it does make flavorful concentrated coffee. I have had straight double shots in a good coffee shop. But in lattes and Americanos what will I notice?
I know describing flavors and what you love about them is hard, so I appreciate your replies.
Thank you, GaryK

Goosed
Supporter ♡

#2: Post by Goosed »

That's not an easy one as espresso machines can create such differences in the cup. If you're using the Aeropress to make one of the popular concentrate recipes and then diluting it. Taste it before diluting. I find that it's close to flavor boldness of espresso, but immersion brewers, including the Aeropress, will always make a more rounded cup of coffee. With less flavor separation and a thinner mouth feel.

If you're near the twin cities there are a number of local shops I could recommend for good espresso. Actually tasting it yourself will give you a far better idea of whether you'll like it than I ever could with written words.

ojt

#3: Post by ojt »

IMHO, in lattes you'll find more pronounced flavors and denser texture, in americanos not that much a difference but maybe you'll have a little bit of crema on top? Maybe also just different flavors since the brewing conditions are different.
Osku

jpender

#4: Post by jpender »

A big difference I notice is texture/mouthfeel.

User avatar
drgary
Team HB

#5: Post by drgary »

Hello, Gary, and welcome to H-B from another Gary.

Years ago I used to live close to Alan Adler, the inventor of the Aeropress. He saw my postings on Home-Barista, long before I was a member of Team HB, and he invited me to meet him at the Aerobie headquarters nearby. After that we would sometimes visit each other, and he would attend Home-Barista gatherings at my house. I had a 2002 La Pavoni Europiccola lever espresso machine. He came over one day and we compared shots. Admittedly, I had THE expert on AeroPress making his version to compare to my novice attempt on the La Pavoni, but by then I was weighing grounds and using temperature control on the La Pavoni. Unfortunately, I didn't keep records of the brew ratio. I tended to load 16-18 gm for a single pull of the La Pavoni, so it was probably in the "ristretto" range of about 1:1 grounds to beverage weight.

He added a small amount of dry coffee grounds to his completed shot. The AeroPress, used as he does, filters the coffee through paper. Adding ground coffee to the Aero brew reintroduced coffee oils that are normally filtered out. Some people replace the filter papers with a metal disk, which allows the oils. Anyway, we were not blind tasting, but the results were different than I expected. His Aero brew tasted better than my shot, which also tasted good, using the same coffee.

If you are using the coffee exclusively for milk drinks, I don't know that it would make much difference, because you'll mainly want concentrated, properly brewed coffee as the flavoring base. People on Home-Barista, though, often drink espresso without milk. A properly prepared espresso from fresh, high quality coffee will balance sweetness with other flavors. It will not be bitter or harsh. And, you will have the capability to achieve a viscous mouthfeel that you cannot achieve without brewing the coffee under pressures that the AeroPress can't achieve. With the Cafelat Robot and many other machines, you also have the ability to vary pressure, which helps you manipulate flavor.

The Robot doesn't have steaming capacity. When it comes to milk drinks, many espresso machines are very capable at foaming milk. If you go that route, you can search this site for reviews or user experience of a machine that interests you. (Most of the consumer models in the appliance section of retail stores are not up to the standards of making consistently good espresso or microfoam.) So if you are interested in creating microfoam, it might be fun to have a good espresso machine to experiment with. Some people without an espresso machine for steaming will use a Bellman stovetop steamer. I have not tried one but have read some reports that they are a bit finicky. Some will heat milk create microfoam using a French press or or similar device exclusively designed for microfoam. I'll admit I haven't tried that either, but I've seen videos online of people pulling it off.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!
★ Helpful

LuckyMark

#6: Post by LuckyMark »

Great anecdote Dr Gary! Quite something to learn how to use a device from it's inventor, fairly rare in modern society

garyk

#7: Post by garyk »

Thank you for your welcome and your remarks. I really appreciate your insights and everyone that replied. I use a small pitcher with a screened plunger for the milk foam. Not the same as steam-powered microfoam, but it is good.
We usually like milk drinks, but the exception is when we were in Hawaii a few weeks ago. Kona coffee was almost all you could find there and it was delicious. I drank drip coffee black there because it was so good. I brought 2 lbs home from a small organic roaster on a mountainside. It was so delicious in from my AeroPress that I mostly drank Americanos from it with no milk, though my Sweetie still preferred the Lattes.
I like the idea of the Robot because I like to make things by hand - especially food. And I am really curious. I went to Dogwood coffee shop in the twin cities yesterday and had a double shot straight up. It was fun to drink, but a bit overwhelming and pretty bitter. It was fun though.

User avatar
drgary
Team HB

#8: Post by drgary »

A tuned in shot is not overwhelmingly bitter, and it isn't unpleasantly strong.

Espresso 101: How to Adjust Dose and Grind Setting by Taste
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

Goosed
Supporter ♡

#9: Post by Goosed »

garyk wrote:Thank you for your welcome and your remarks. I really appreciate your insights and everyone that replied. I use a small pitcher with a screened plunger for the milk foam. Not the same as steam-powered microfoam, but it is good.
We usually like milk drinks, but the exception is when we were in Hawaii a few weeks ago. Kona coffee was almost all you could find there and it was delicious. I drank drip coffee black there because it was so good. I brought 2 lbs home from a small organic roaster on a mountainside. It was so delicious in from my AeroPress that I mostly drank Americanos from it with no milk, though my Sweetie still preferred the Lattes.
I like the idea of the Robot because I like to make things by hand - especially food. And I am really curious. I went to Dogwood coffee shop in the twin cities yesterday and had a double shot straight up. It was fun to drink, but a bit overwhelming and pretty bitter. It was fun though.
A real shame Dogwood made you a bitter espresso. I haven't had great luck there myself. Espresso done right shouldn't be bitter

South of Mnpls places I might suggest checking out for espresso:

Wesley Andrews - Espresso off their Slayer espresso machine is worth checking out, though the pour overs are the real highlight for me.
Spyhouse - Skip their house Orion blend and order the single origin espresso (Honduras, citrus forward)... or order both to compare.
Five Watt - Their mod bar (machine?) is kinda interesting and unique. Start with an espresso and stay for one of their specialty drinks.


The robot seems like the perfect fit for your scenario... if you decide you like espresso. As an aside, since you like Kona coffee, Paradise Roasters usually has coffee from their farm in Hawaii that they roast fresh in MN year round. Unfortunately, no store front so you have to order online and shipping can really add up.

garyk

#10: Post by garyk »

Wow. We must have hiked right by their coffee farm when we hiked by Kealakekua bay. It is just 10 miles south of Holualoa coffee plantation I was speaking of.
Anyway, thanks for all the tips. Much appreciated.