There are far more weird coffee devices than anyone could ever need. Who, I humbly ask, was holding their breath for a "crush proof" Kuerig. When did seemingly every company start making a battery-powered espresso tube? Among this cornucopia of garbage, there is only one strange brewer that is truly good and has captured my heart: the AeroPress.
The AeroPress is what you'd get if you fuse your favorite pour-over dripper with one of those hand-held espresso machines. It looks more like something you'd have to purchase at a medical supply store than something you would ever keep on your kitchen counter. And yet, it is one of the easiest, fastest, and most fun ways to make truly excellent coffee. Its instructions seem complicated, but you can learn how to use it less than five minutes from any one of the countless YouTube tutorials available. (I love this overly folksy one from Stumptown.) The technique requires a tiny bit of practice, but rest assured that even if you make a small mistake while brewing, like splashing in just a little too much water or not quite getting the pressured seal exactly right, coffee from the AeroPress almost always tastes bright, clean, and full-bodied.
Love for the AeroPress goes so deep that the 2019 World AeroPress Championship (the 12th annual) will feature 65 competitors, who qualified in regional competitions over a pool of more than 3,500 baristas. Plus, it's the personal favorite brewing device of my GQ coffee compatriot, Cam Wolf.
One of the best qualities of the AeroPress is its portability. It features three main components, the dripper, the plunger and the filter cap that screw into each other and can travel as one package. That package, being mostly made from plastic, is light-weight and basically impossible to break. Of course, in order to actually use that dripper, in addition to coffee and hot water, you'll need to remember to bring the AeroPress's tiny paper filters, as well as something to scoop in ground coffee, some sort of stirrer, and a mug. Those last three things are easy enough to find in most situations, but there isn't really a good way to carry the filters. And who wants to spend any precious vacation time digging through your backpack or suitcase for the spoon that you're sure you remembered to toss into your Dopp kit?
Enter the AeroPress Go, the first truly new iteration of the AeroPress since the brewer was first released in 2005. Most of the primary components remain the same, though this dripper and plunger are a bit shorter than one the non-Go version. But the Go includes its own mug, perfectly sized for use with the dripper, tools that will fit inside the dripper (including a small scoop and a foldable stirrer), a compact container for filters, and a silicone lid. The whole package has a slightly larger footprint than the previous version of the AeroPress, but it's all one package. It's a small thing, for sure, but it makes a difference.
If you already have an AeroPress, you have absolutely zero reason to own this thing. Especially since it retains, really exacerbates, the AeroPress' biggest flaw: it makes one (small) cup of coffee (or two to three cups of concentrate) at a time. But if you don't, and you've been looking for the best easy way to make coffee while traveling, the AeroPress Go is the perfect brewer. Unlike the aforementioned uncrushable Keurig, the AeroPress Go is a portable brewer that'll make coffee you actually want to drink.
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Originally Appeared on GQ