Evolution of the AeroPress: A History

Interested to learn more about the evolution of the AeroPress? Either you’re already a devoted AeroPress fanatic, or you’re intrigued by reviews of those who swear by it. One thing is for sure, though; you’re after the ultimate at-home and transportable coffee maker!

AeroPress has had an incredible journey to achieve its iconic status. Here at AeroPress UK, we know that today’s success of AeroPress is based on the perfect coffee it delivers. We share the background and development of the most beloved home coffee maker and explain how it has reached its supreme status in the world of coffee!

Alan Adler, the inventor of AeroPress

Why was the AeroPress Invented?

So where did it all begin? The dedicated following of AeroPress makes it seem like it has existed for more than the 15 years of its current life span, but in fact, it was first released in 2005.

Created by coffee enthusiast Alan Adler, it was introduced to coffee lovers as one of a kind, something unseen or unheard before its initial release.

Committed to finding a way to decrease the bitterness of his daily coffee, Alan realised that limiting the coffee’s brewing time could achieve this. A fundamental way to do this was to adjust the pressure.

By pushing a closed chamber on the AeroPress, the pressure is heightened and brewing time fastened.

After inventing numerous prototypes, Alan finalised the design and went on to demonstrate his product at tradeshows.

It is worth mentioning that despite the original desire to reduce the brew time, AeroPress now provides a broad range of recipes with various brewing times!

An AeroPress

What Makes an AeroPress?

An AeroPress consists of two, small tubes which work together to deliver a single, full-bodied and perfect coffee.

AeroPress is inspired by technology found in espresso machines, yet requiring a shorter brew time, meaning you don’t have to significantly wait for your coffee!

Simple but effective, a plunger forces trapped air to descend down a chamber which pushes water over the coffee and filter into the cup. A distinct feature of the AeroPress is that it doesn’t use any external power sources like electricity and is simply controlled by the user.

Initial Response

When AeroPress was first presented to the speciality coffee industry, it wasn’t seriously received. Instead of being acknowledged as a progressive device for coffee brewing, it was snubbed as a ‘device from a toy maker’.

However, its results couldn’t be ignored, and interest for the deliciously brewed coffee samples began to grow. Over time, the product spoke for itself, and its appeal and popularity soared.

An older model of AeroPress amongst other coffee makers

Advantages of AeroPress

However, what specifically improves the taste of coffee created by an AeroPress as opposed to another coffee maker?

There are several defining features which contributed to its growth in popularity since its initial release. These are:

• Time of brewing- it only takes one minute to create a brewed cup of coffee. The actual press time takes a mere 20 seconds!
• It’s easy to clean.
• It’s lightweight and portable.
• It’s eco-friendly- the only waste is the coffee puck and paper filter.
• It’s affordable.
• And last but not least, it leaves plenty of room to be experimental!

AeroPress Today

AeroPress has a huge and loyal following thanks to its versatility. 


There are an array of ways to acclimatise your AeroPress to create the perfect coffee, all the while enriching various characteristics!

Whether you are:

• Varying the brew time,
• Altering the coffee dose,
• Modifying the push time,
• Adapting the amount of water,
• Changing the water temperature.

Thanks to the creative opportunity offered by the AeroPress, it is now the starring role of the World AeroPress Championships (W.A.C.).

A barista making a coffee using an AeroPress

The World AeroPress Championships

2008 saw the first W.A.C. event hosted in Oslo, with a total of three competitors! Tim Varney was the person partly responsible for its organisation and stills runs the competition today with Tim Willams.

Since its initial introduction, the W.A.C. received 3,157 competitors in 2018 from 61 countries! An audience of 68,265 eagerly anticipated the event.

AeroPress the Movie

AeroPress was also the prime focus for the documentary film, AeroPress the Movie, in 2018.

An AeroPress in a kitchen

Development

The overall design of AeroPress has remained relatively similar over the last decade or so, with just some minor improvements. A total of eight versions have been released since 2005. 

We offer a full timeline of its developments below:

Versions 1 & 2

Dates

October 2005 - July 2009

Design

The initial AeroPress designs were produced from polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a bluish material that is created from BPA.

With the release of BPA health concerns, AeroPress conducted tests on the polycarbonate. No BPA was found to leach from the AeroPress in the making of brewed coffee.

Version 3

Dates

August 2009 - August 2010

Design

In the creation of Version 3, a clear, BPA-free copolyester material was used for AeroPress designs to ensure that our products were entirely free of BPA.

Version 4

Dates

September 2010 - December 2013

Design

A smoky grey tint was added to the classic AeroPress design.

Version 5

Dates

January 2014 - June 2014

Design

Version 5 saw a colour switch from the blue numbers to gold one, and the added print of ‘AeroPress’. The additional print was introduced so customers could define a real AeroPress model from a fake one.

Versions 6 & 7

Dates

July 2014 - October 2019

Design

AeroPress Version 6 developed into a polypropylene product with beige lettering. Version 7 saw the design of AeroPress advance into gold foil lettering with a reduced look to the grey tint.

Version 8

Dates

November 2019 - Present

Design

In November 2019, AeroPress saw the reveal of red lettering to its design.

Coffee in an AeroPress

Silicone Seal Design

The seal which connects the AeroPress chamber to the final cup used to drink the coffee is created from silicone.

Rubber-like in appearance and feel, silicone is derived from oxygen and silicone. The durable quality of silicone means it is used in many kitchen accessories, such as baking equipment. Silicone is recognised for its no-toxicity and resistance to heat.

In October 2018, all AeroPress produced were complete with a silicone seal. Before this, seals were manufactured from thermoplastic elastomer, also made in the USA like the silicone seals.

Both forms of the seal are EU and FDA awarded for using in interaction with food.

Clarification on Health Concerns

Since August 2009, all AeroPress products are BPA and phthalates free.

All parts of an AeroPress have been made from polypropylene since July 2014, except for the paper filters and silicone seal.

The AeroPress is FDA and EU approved for use alongside food.

Hopefully, we have covered all your questions about the origins and design process of AeroPress. If you would like to know more, feel free to contact us with your queries on our social media channels, call us on 01380872950 or email enquiries@aeropress.co.uk

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