This Portable, 3-in-1 Gadget Is the Perfect Gift for Coffee Lovers (It’s My New Favorite Brewer!)

published May 18, 2023
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Someone drinking cup of tea
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez Hart; Nails: Mamie Onishi

Okay, so I’ve tested a lot of coffee gear in my time here at Kitchn, and experimenting with cool ways of brewing is one of my (admittedly nerdy) hobbies. I’ve always been a pour-over guy, but usually during the summer, I find myself gravitating toward cold brew. However, on a cool, crisp morning — even in July — I still love a cup of the hot stuff. That’s why I was so psyched to hear about the new launch of the AeroPress Clear, the newest iteration of the cult-favorite portable coffee maker. The original AeroPress is a coffee-making gadget that was invented by engineer and physicist Alan Adler that’s essentially a plastic tube that lets you quickly press hot water through the ground coffee, resulting in a clean cup without bitterness or the grit that ends up at the bottom of a mug of French press. The coolest part, though, is that it makes three different kinds of coffee: American drip-style, cold brew, and espresso-style. I had never used one before (I always thought they were sort of gimmicky), but I’ve gotta say, I have been converted. 

The AeroPress Clear is so unique because it melds a few different brewing methods to get its end result: immersion, aeration, and pressure. Essentially, it combines the three and pulls the best qualities from French press brewing, pour-over brewing, and espresso brewing — without any of the drawbacks. And, the whole process takes about a minute. (The longest part is waiting for your water to heat up, so if you have an electric kettle, it’s extremely fast.) It comes with the brewer itself, filters, a scooper, a paddle stirrer, and an easy-to-follow instruction manual. The whole thing also packs up into itself for easy storage and transportation. The website explains that the “unique plunge system uses gentle pressure to push water through the grinds, aerating and extracting only the purest, freshest flavors for a cup with body and finish not normally found in coffee,” which, to be honest, sounded a little out there — until I tried it. 

Credit: Ian Burke

TL; DR: This thing rocks. The AeroPress Clear is made with crystal-clear, shatterproof Tritan plastic that lets you see the brewing as it happens, and when I say the whole thing is done in a minute, I mean it. Here’s how I do it: First, I fill my electric kettle and press on. Then, I pop a filter onto the cap and screw it onto the chamber. While my water heats up, I grind my coffee beans, then use the included scooper to pop one scoop of medium-fine ground beans into the chamber. After the water is near-boiling, you just put the AeroPress Clear over a sturdy mug, fill the chamber up to the marker for whichever style of coffee/amount you choose, stir for 10 seconds with the included stirrer paddle, then plunge the coffee down. That’s it. And, since the chamber is clear, you get to watch the magic happen as you brew. What you’re left with is a strong, delicious coffee that you can add whatever you want to. (I thin mine out a bit with hot water for an Americano-style cup.) The best part? The plunger wipes the chamber clean as you brew, and you can just pop out the filter and puck of ground coffee, give it a rinse, and you’re done.

Here I am, internet, eating my words: The AeroPress Clear is not gimmicky, nor does it fail to deliver on its many promises. This is my new favorite way to make coffee, and I can’t wait to mess around with grind size, temperature, and ratio. If you’re into coffee, add this to your cart — you won’t regret it.

Buy: AeroPress Coffee Maker – Clear, $49.95