One of the most important steps when making coffee is getting the ratio of water to coffee right. A lot of people will equate this to "strength". For example an espresso is typically about 1:2 ratio. People generally accept this as quite a strong flavour, whereas an Aeropress or Chemex may be in the region of 1:12 - 1:16. This is a bit of an over simplification but it's a good starting point. Another good starting point is measuring out around 18g of coffee per serving.
To work our the brew ratio is easy. For example if the ratio is 1:14 then, for 18g of coffee the equation is as follows,
18g x 14 = 252g of water.
Rinse the filter
Aeropress is a fantastic bit of kit, it will give you everything that a coffee has to offer, if you do it right. But I do mean it will give you everything. Even particles from the paper can influence the taste, so it's generally considered best practice to give it a rinse first
Grind size is important to every method of coffee making. By grinding you increase the surface area of the coffee available. You also make "fines" in doing this. Fines are small piece of coffee that make a cup taste bitter. Filters can help to make sure they don't end up in the cup, but you can only do so much. Grind only as fine as your method will allow. Aeropress can be ground a bit finer than the picture with good results.
Boil a kettle and pour it straight in. I'm demonstrating the 'invert' method in the picture. This is where the Aeropress is turned upside down with the plunger in it. Water is poured into it and brewed. When that is complete it is flipped over very carefully, as to not scald yourself. It takes a bit of practice but isn't too hard.
Although this can be a contentious move, I like to give the grounds a stir and make sure they're all wet and brewing along. I find the end of the spoon that comes with the Aeropress makes this easy.
The Aeropress is not as fast as a 25 second espresso shot, but it is also not a 5 minute Chemex brew. The Aeropress brew time sits in the region of about a minute. So use this time to make sure your cup is ready
Screw the filter cap with the filter paper insert into the Aeropress.
For the invert method, place the jug/cup on top of the Aeropress. Hold them together firmly and invert them. Be exceedingly careful during this stage as the plunger can come loose if you knock it.
Alternatively you can do the following. Place the mug on the bench, screw the filter cap with the filter paper on, pour the coffee into the aeropress, pour the water in, place the plunger into the top to stop it dripping.
I like to use a stainless steel milk jug. They have a nice wide base, are extremely durable and dishwasher safe. Please do not use glassware as pressing can put a fair bit of pressure onto a glass. You need to press the plunger down. The whole process of pushing it down should take around 20 seconds. If it's too hard, you might want to try a coarser grind.
Once you have pressed out the coffee into your milk jug or coffee mug you can give the Aeropress a clean. Take the black filter cap off and press the compressed "hockey puck" out of the bottom of the Aeroress over a bin and give it a quick rinse. That's it! Go enjoy your coffee. Be sure to store Aeropress in such away that the rubber seal isn't squashed up against the plastic wall of the chamber. I like to just push mine through backwards for easy storage.