Fast Company has a nice interview with Aerobie AeroPress inventor, Alan Adler, covering his background briefly as well as some of the back story behind the development of the Aeropress. This is the coffee maker that spawned a legion of coffee geeks. Paired with a hand mill (like the $27 Hario Slim), it’s the cheapest and easiest entry into the world of specialty coffee at home — it’s what got me hooked!
“In the case of the AeroPress, I was just experimenting with a better way to make a single serving of coffee. This was in 2004. I had a conversation with Pam Abbott [the wife of Aerobie sales manager Don Abbot] and we were both commiserating about how crummy the result of trying to make one cup of coffee in a drip maker is. It just didn’t really come out very good.
So I took up the challenge of making a better single serving of coffee, never thinking for a moment that it would come to be a product. Eventually, I developed some techniques for making a pretty decent cup of coffee in a filter cone–the kind you just put over a cup. But I was troubled that it took about four minutes to pour through. During that time, a lot of bitterness was being extracted from the coffee grounds. And so I wanted to experiment with a much quicker process, and I got the idea of building what became the AeroPress. By applying air pressure, it took the brew time to below a minute.”
It’s a nice feature – but the thing that grabbed my attention was the photo at the top featuring a few of his Aeropress prototypes! From the interview it doesn’t sound like we should really expect much further tinkering with the design of the Aeropress (I’d love one that could produce 500ml of coffee), but these give fodder to the imagination: