Aeropress Inverted vs Normal: Simplifying Your Brewing Decision


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Confused about Choosing between the AeroPress Inverted vs Normal method for your perfect brew? Both have unique advantages.

The Aeropress Normal method is beginner-friendly, with easy instructions and less risk of spills. However, the brewing process is quick and may result in under-extracted coffee. On the other hand, the Aeropress Inverted method provides a full-bodied flavor and better control over brewing time. However, it requires practice and careful handling.

With hands-on experience and numerous brewing trials, we’ve distilled our knowledge into this concise guide to demystify each method’s complexities, helping you make an informed choice.

Whether a novice or a seasoned barista, you’ll find insightful tips from extensive experimentation and practice here.

Key Takeaway:

  • The Normal method is user-friendly and safe, ideal for AeroPress beginners.
  • The inverted method offers richer flavor control but demands careful handling.
  • Understanding both methods’ nuances aids in crafting your preferred coffee experience.

Aeropress Normal Method Pro & Con

The standard method of brewing coffee using an Aeropress has pros and cons, which can influence the coffee experience.

Pros:

  • Easy and simple to follow: The Normal method is beginner-friendly and offers straightforward instructions for those new to the brewing process.
  • Grounds stay on the bottom and create a self-filtering layer: This method encourages coffee grounds to stay at the bottom of the Aeropress, creating a natural self-filtering layer that helps separate the grinds from the final brew.
  • Less risk of spilling or burning yourself: Brewing with the normal method reduces the chances of accidental spills and burns that might arise while engaging with hot water and equipment.

Cons:

  • Water starts dripping through the filter almost immediately: As the hot water comes into contact with the coffee grounds, it begins to drip through the paper filter and into the coffee mug almost instantaneously. This may be less desirable for those seeking full-immersion brewing.
  • May result in under-extracted and weaker coffee: Due to the water dripping through the filter quickly, the coffee’s extraction may not be as thorough or consistent as desired. This could lead to under-extracted coffee with a weaker flavor profile.
  • Less control over brew time and water ratio: The standard Aeropress method provides limited control over variables like brewing time and water-to-ground ratios. This can make it challenging to achieve a specific taste and consistency based on one’s preference.

Aeropress Inverted Method Pro & Con

The inverted method has its share of both pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Pros:

  • Richer Flavor Through Total Immersion: Total immersion of coffee grounds results in a richer, more robust flavor, as it allows for accurate and consistent water ratios. This method yields a coffee concentrate with delightful acidity, sweetness, and complexity, all without bitterness or harsh flavors, as emphasized by the 2022 World AeroPress Champion, Jibbi Little.
  • Presence of Coffee Oils: During the brewing process, the coffee oils naturally rise to the top, and when using the inverted method, these oils pass through the filter, adding to the depth of flavor.

Cons:

Complex and Risky: The inverted method can be more complicated and requires practice to perfect. With a higher risk of accidents related to spilling or burning yourself, it may not be the best choice for new Aeropress users or those prone to mishaps.

Deciding on the Best Method: Normal or Inverted?

Brewing coffee with an AeroPress comes down to selecting between two celebrated methods: the traditional upright or “normal” method and the innovative “inverted” method. Each technique has inherent perks and minor drawbacks, with the optimal choice hinging on your distinctive taste preferences.

Consider these factors:

Taste and Extraction Nuances

With the normal method, the ground coffee gets acquainted with the paper filter sooner, potentially yielding a brew with a lighter body. This approach contrasts with the inverted method, where coffee grounds enjoy complete immersion brewing, akin to the revered French press process. This immersion allows the coffee oils to blend seamlessly, possibly culminating in a more robust, full-bodied coffee. Factors like grind size, steep time, and the freshness of the coffee grounds all play crucial roles in influencing the extraction and final taste. As coffee enthusiasts often advise, dabbling in both methods to discern your favorite flavor profile is well worth the effort.

Mastery, Control, and Consistency

The traditional upright technique demands consistent and gentle pressure applied to the plunger. In comparison, the inverted method gives enthusiasts more significant control over essential brewing variables – the precise water-to-ground ratio, meticulous steep times, and the all-important bloom time. Achieving a reliable and repeatable brew with either method is feasible, especially with a trusty coffee scale and timer. 

Convenience and Cleanup

The standard method might appear more straightforward and convenient for AeroPress novices, following the device’s original recipe closely. The inverted brewing style, conversely, mitigates the risk of premature water dripping during the brewing process, promising a tidier experience. 

Whichever method you adopt, the cleanup is refreshingly simple. Just ensure the plunger’s rubber section is thoroughly rinsed afterward.

Safety Considerations

While the inverted method necessitates a careful flipping of the brewing chamber – ensuring the filter cap is securely in place – it does introduce an additional step absent in the normal method. 

Newcomers to the inverted style should proceed cautiously to prevent any spillage or mishaps during the flipping phase. The inverted technique might seem daunting initially, but with practice, crafting a great cup of coffee with either method becomes second nature.

Inverted vs. Normal Method in World Aeropress Championships

When exploring AeroPress brewing methods, we can’t help but wonder which one has performed better in the World AeroPress Championship competitions. Is it the inverted or normal method that has claimed more victories? Let’s dive into the stats, shall we?

According to the World AeroPress Championship website, it turns out that the inverted method has taken the lead in past championships. Out of the 15 world champions since 2008, 10 of them used the inverted brewing method, while only five opted for the normal method.

In fact, from 2014 to 2018, the inverted method was used consecutively by all the world champions! And once again, it was the go-to method for the champ in 2022. On the other hand, normal method enthusiasts secured wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2019, and 2020.

Considering these numbers, one might assume that the inverted method might have an edge when it comes to producing exceptional coffee. Of course, taste is subjective, but perhaps the inverted technique offers just the right balance of flavors for discerning judges.

Finals Thoughts

In exploring AeroPress brewing, we dissected the Normal and Inverted methods, each offering unique advantages. The Normal method is accessible and ideal for beginners, presenting a light and quick brew. Conversely, while requiring more skill, the Inverted method rewards coffee enthusiasts with a deeper, more robust flavor, echoing the qualities found in immersion brewing and the beloved French press.

Engage with both methods, tweaking variables like grind size and brew time to uncover your preferred taste profile. 

As Tuomas Merikanto, the 2021 World AeroPress Champion, said, “After all, [Aeropress] is the most fun and versatile (and not forgetting durability) coffee maker there is, so why not have a little fun with it from time to time!”

Feel free to share your AeroPress journey, insights, and favorite method with our engaged community of coffee lovers. Happy brewing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key differences between inverted and standard AeroPress methods?

The main differences between the inverted and normal AeroPress methods lie in the brewing orientation and the immersion time. In the inverted method, the AeroPress is flipped upside-down with the plunger at the bottom and the chamber on top. This allows for a full immersion of coffee grounds, leading to a richer, more robust flavor. On the other hand, the normal method has the AeroPress positioned right-side up, where water drips through the coffee grounds and the filter, resulting in a cleaner, more delicate taste.

How does grind size affect each AeroPress method?

Grind size impacts the extraction rate of coffee in both AeroPress methods. A medium-fine grind is suggested for the inverted method, as it allows for optimal extraction and delivers a robust and well-balanced cup. Meanwhile, in the normal method, a medium to medium-coarse grind is recommended to ensure water flows through the coffee grounds at the right speed, yielding a bright, less bitter taste.

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AUTHOR

Viky Tiagué is a coffee enthusiast and freelance writer with a passion for sharing his love of coffee.

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