You may think that boiling water should be used to brew coffee with an AeroPress coffee maker.
However, this is just a popular misconception!
And while many perceive the water temperature to be insignificant in the brewing process, this is far from the truth.
So what is the best water temperature for brewing with the Aeropress?
The traditional school of thought says 93°C water is best for brewing coffee. But tweaking this temp recommendation is a quick way to improve your brew.
- If you’re using dark roasted beans, 85-90°C water is ideal.
- If you’re brewing light roast beans, hotter water around 95°C works better, as light roasts are more difficult to extract.
- You would only deviate significantly from these when making cold brew, a different brewing method altogether where you use much cooler water (room temperature).
These are rules of thumb, but the ideal temperatures will vary based on things like:
- type of brew,
- coffee to water ratio,
- grind size,
- quality of coffee beans,
- type of brew.
Perfecting these elements in conjunction with the water temperature and compensating for heat loss can help you nail your brew. Having a command of all the variables will help you make the best use of your AeroPress.
This article discusses how these variables affect the water temperature you should be using to brew your coffee using an AeroPress, as well as temperature measurement methods.
Official Water Temp Recommendations
According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, a temperature between 197.6-204.8 °F is the best temperature range.
Meanwhile, Alan Adler and the makers of AeroPress recommend a temperature range between 175-185 °F.
How Does Water Temperature Affect the AeroPress Brew?
To understand the significance the correct water temperature has on the result, you should learn how it can alter your coffee’s taste profile.
People use boiling water because they believe it brings out more flavor.
The impact of different water temperatures is unnoticeable for people casual drinkers. However, if you have a more refined palate and are interested in the world of coffee, you will notice a subtle change in the taste if you use the wrong water temperature.
Here is how the different water temperatures affect the taste of AeroPress coffee.
Effect of Using Too Cold Water
Using too cold water to brew with your Aeropress can result in a flat or bitter cup.
When you use overly cool temperatures, the extraction process slows down, and your coffee ground coffee may not have sufficient time to release all their flavorful compounds, resulting in an under-extracted profile lacking depth and nuance.
Some flavor notes cannot be extracted at all, while others become unbalanced as subtle tones get overpowered by stronger ones like bitterness or sourness.
This leads most people to reach for additives such as cream and sugar.
Effect of Using Too Hot Water
Using too hot water to brew coffee can lead to a cup of joe that tastes bitter, acidic, and overly strong, possibly burnt.
The increased temperature causes the extraction rate of compounds like caffeine, oils, and acids in the beans to skyrocket, which results in an over-extracted flavor profile.
Over-extraction and extended brew time leave little room for sweetness or more subtle fruity flavors found in lighter roasted coffees. Instead, your cup will be overwhelmed by bitterness from dark roast nuances.
To preserve the complexities found naturally within different roasts, it’s essential not only to use the correct temperature water and brewing times but also to understand how each factor works together.
Different Recipes, Different Temperature
The yearly World Aeropress Championships supplies every Aeropress user with loads of interesting recipes they can try at home.
You can look through the award-winning recipes from each year’s competition here.
You’ll find recipes using the inverted method, coarser and finer grinds, various grams of coffee, and of course, differing brewing temperatures.
It is loads of fun to recreate these at home and choose the ones you enjoy the most based on your personal preference. This is actually why the Aeropress is one of my favorite coffee brewing methods, second only to espresso.
These are my favorite Aeropress recipes:
Measuring Your Brewing Water Temperature
You can take your coffee game up by investing in an accessory to properly measure the water temperature for brewing coffee in your AeroPress.
As someone who goes through the trouble of using AeroPress to brew your coffee, it is unsurprising that you would want a perfect-tasting brew.
This is achievable by using one of the methods mentioned below to bring the water close to the recommended temperature:
Cooling Boiling Water
In areas that are at sea level, water reaches its boiling point at 212 °F. Thus, leaving the water to cool for around 1 minute will bring the temperature down to the upper limit of the optimum range, i.e.185 °F. Depending on your taste preference, you can leave it to cool for longer.
By the way, the temperature at which water boils is lower in areas 3500 ft above sea level. Therefore, if you live at such high altitudes, you can use the water right off the stove.
Often, it is hard to discern the boiling point of water. Normally, electric kettles detect boiling and automatically switch off. Hence, you should consider investing in an electric kettle with temperature control.
The simplest, most easy way to check the temperature of the water is by using a water thermometer. You can check the water temperature by simply placing the instrument in the water.
Barista Tip: Use Filtered Water for Brewing
Considering that water makes up around 98-99% of your final cup of coffee, water quality greatly impacts your brew’s flavor.
Using filtered water instead of adding water straight from the tap can help enhance the flavor profile of your coffee, even for rinsing your paper filter.
Mostly, tap water contains minerals that can interfere with extraction. On the other hand, pure water lacks enough minerals that provide the perfect chemical balance to extract flavor solubles.
Hence, the best way is to filter the tap water and remove the heavy minerals. This way, you can make it perfect for brewing your AeroPress coffee.
For coffee lovers with high standards and a refined taste palate, water temperature is a primary element to consider while brewing AeroPress coffee.
While you can find the perfect temperature to make the perfect brew, 85-90°C is best for dark roasts, and 90-95°C is great for light roasts.