Now, I'm not writing this to promote addiction. I prefer coffee as a recreational drug.
I was looking for a review to share when I was promoting Aeropress to a coffee f(r)iend, when I found that Choice magazine weren't as impressed with the radical interpretation of plunger coffee. (Radical because the plunger works more like a hypodermic.)
A panel of five CHOICE staff sampled the resulting espresso, rating it poor overall. For comparison purposes, we prepared the same coffee in a plunger, which the panel rated OK overall.Four of the five said the Aeropress espresso was watery, while our lab expert Peter Horvath even had to make a "proper" coffee later to get rid of the acidic and unpleasant aftertaste.
At first I thought the magazine had missed that Aeropress produces an espresso-type coffee rather than a plunger-type, but they go on to acknowledge that "technically" the device fits the definition of an espresso.
So I wondered if they hadn't read the instructions, which focus on using water "80°C for dark roasts, 85°C for light" to avoid a bitter flavour. Then again, that quote in the previous sentence comes from Choice.
Now it occurs to me that maybe they did follow the Aeropress instructions, because they lead a first-time user to make a double shot espresso. So it's stronger than usual. This seems a strange decision to me but I've read that inventor Alan Adler drinks his brew this way, so maybe that explains it.
I've been experimenting with Aeropress and plunger coffee, giving both devices the same amount of the same ground beans and the same amount of the same temperature water. My results are that the plunger coffee tastes more bitter but that'd be because it steeps for longer, I guess.
I like my Aeropress but maybe the novelty will wear off.