Travel Tuesday: Aeropress Go Travel Coffee Press Review

When my wife and I are traveling and working, one of the biggest considerations is how we’re going to get our morning coffee. It’s not even like we’re big caffeine addicts or need our java to function, but coffee has become something we look forward to enjoying every morning as we settle into our day. Unfortunately, getting our fix isn’t always so easy as some hotel rooms lack coffee makers, while others have shops charging insane prices for a simple cup of drip. That’s why, when we know we’re going to end up in such situations, we’ve taken to bringing our own solutions along. For the past several months, this has included the Aeropress Go — which has become our travel coffee companion.

So what is the Aeropress Go and why do we love it? Let’s take a look at the Aeropress itself, some pros and cons, and what the Go specifically offers for travelers.

What Aeropress Is + Pros and Cons

Brewing with Aeropress

Brewing coffee with Aeropress has often been compared to the process of using a French Press but is notably different. With a French Press, you’ll mix the ground and water, push down the grounds, and pour the brewed coffee. Whereas, with an Aeropress, you’ll start the process in a similar way but then push water through the grounds to create a finished cup. As we’ll discuss in a bit, there are some pros and cons to this.

While the directions included with Aeropress will walk you through specifics, the basics of brewing with the device are quite simple. On the one cylinder, you’ll attach a plastic cap that also contains a filter. This end will then rest on the cup you plan on brewing your coffee into. Then, you’ll add your coffee ground and add hot water. After letting it sit a bit and stirring, you’ll use the other cylinder — known as the plunger — to push the water through the grounds, resulting in a cup of brewed coffee. Voila!

The cost

If you’ve ever looked at various coffee-making accessories, you may know that they can get quite pricey. Luckily, that’s not so much the case with Aeropress — at least by my measure. Currently, the original Aeropress and the Aeropress Go each sell for $39.95 on their site. Both are also available on Amazon, where they fetch the same price. As I said, I find this to be fairly affordable, making for an easy investment.

Pros

No floating grounds

Prior to getting our Aeropress, one of the ways we’d make coffee on the road was using a French press. While this method works well enough in a pinch, one thing I always hated about it is that, despite my continued best efforts, I’d always end up with grounds at the bottom of my cup. Thankfully, this is something that’s not at all an issue with the Aeropress. Between the filter and the piece holding said filter in place, it would be quite difficult for grounds to make their way through into your cup. For me, this is a huge win.

Easy cleanup

Another major downside of using a French press is trying to clean it out afterward. Pour over filters make things a bit easier, but it’s still not very elegant. Well, this is where the Aeropress shines once again as clean-up is remarkably easy — and dare I say fun. Once you finish making your coffee, you can remove the cap and continue plunging to eject what is basically a perfect little puck of grounds that can be ejected directly into a trash can. Then, with a quick wipe of the plunger, you’re all done. Believe me when I tell you that this is infinitely better than cleaning out a French press and is borderline life-changing.

Customizable (and forgiving)

If you look online, you’ll find tons of tips and tricks regarding the Aeropress. These include brewing times, additional steps, or something called the “Inverted Method.” Heck, there’s even an Aeropress Championship where people from around the world show off their skills with the contraption. All this is to say that the Aeropress is extremely versatile and can be used differently to fit your needs.

Speaking of needs, when we were getting used to using the device, we made some errors. That’s when we discovered that, in these instances, the Aeropress made it possible to try again. For instance, if a cup came out too weak, I could actually pour the coffee back through the grounds and hope for better results. Is this the best idea? Probably not — and I’m sure I just made a coffee nerd cringe — but, hey, it worked. Despite our missteps, we’ve never ended up with a completely undrinkable cup, and that’s to the credit of the Aeropress.

Cons

Small output

Something to know about the Aeropress is that it’s not gonna give you the same yield as a French press or other methods. Instead, you might consider the Aeropress as a means of making a shot or two of espresso. While you’ll want to play around with different ratios, it’s usually a good idea to use a decent amount of coffee with a lower amount of water (the cylinder doesn’t hold a lot anyway). Then, you can fill this out by adding hot water for an Americano. That’s what we’ve done and it’s worked pretty well. Still, if you’re expecting to get two big cups of coffee from one brewing, you’re going to be disappointed.

Can be temperamental at times

I’m sure once you become a pro with the Aeropress — mastering the correct grind, scoop size, etc. — the process of brewing the perfect cup becomes second nature. However, for newbies like us, there have been a couple of frustrating moments. For example, we’ve had times where the water starts rapidly dropping despite us not yet plunging it. Then, on the other side of the coin, we’ve run into an issue where it was extremely difficult to plunge our brew properly, with the device popping out if we let up at all. Yes, I chalk these up to errors on our part, but I can’t imagine we’re alone in making these mistakes. Luckily, as I noted above, the Aeropress is fairly accepting when it comes to second tries, so we’ve never actually had to ditch a brew entirely.

What the AeroPress Go Offers

Included items

With the Aeropress Go model, in addition to the device itself, you’ll get a few accessories. First up is a travel cup, which the Go itself fits into. Also inside the cup are a stirrer and a scoop. And, while your package will include 350 free Aeropress filters, it also includes a holder that fits up to 25 filters. In other words, the Go includes everything you need to make a cup of coffee… except for the hot water and, um, coffee.

Smaller size

As I mentioned, one of the downsides of the Aeropress is its small size and, in turn, small output. Well, the Aeropress Go is even smaller! On the one hand, this is what makes it good for travel but, on the other hand, it could mean that you’ll need to brew two cups separately if you’re sharing with someone. Personally, this hasn’t been an issue for us but, depending on your preferred method with the Aeropress, it could be a bit annoying.

Self-contained

Beyond the benefits of the tinier size in terms of packability, the biggest reason we choose the Aeropress Go over the normal model was how self-contained the whole package was. Because the device and accessories all fit in the travel cup and this is all capped with a tight, rubber lid, it makes it extremely easy to throw in a bag without worrying that the pieces will be scattered when we go to use them. Similarly, having it all in one package helps prevent us from forgetting certain items we might need, such as a scoop. For these reasons alone, I do think the Go is the one for us — and suspect other travelers like us will feel the same way.

Final Thoughts on the Aeropress Go for Travel

Ever since we received our Aeropress Go, it’s become a must-have travel accessory for us. Used in conjunction with our collapsible kettle, we now have an easy way to make our morning coffee while traveling without needing to spend a lot of money or sacrifice much luggage space. As far as downsides, if your experience is anything like ours, I anticipate that some trial and error may be necessary to figure out exactly what works for you in terms of taste, method, output, etc. But, to that point, the Aeropress is very adaptable and welcomes such experimentation.

If you are considering getting an Aeropress specifically for travel, I do think that the convenient package the Go model offers makes it worth it. However, if you want a bit more capacity and don’t need the included cup, then the regular version should work just as well. Either way, this is definitely a product I’d recommend for coffee-loving jet setters and road warriors.


Also published on Medium.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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