I have managed to make decent coffee twice using the Aeropress, and made a huge mess in the kitchen.

I experimented with a meat thermometer on the super-hot water tap from our sink. At its hottest setting, it produces water at 170 degrees F. The Aeropress company recommends 175-185 degrees. So I went back to heating water the way I did for the French press, based on a tip from my coffee-hound colleague: Get the water boiling. When it’s at a full boil, grind your beans and set up your coffee equipment. By the time you’re done with prep, the water will be at the right temperature to pour.

Use the Thomas Jefferson/underpants coffee beans.

Grind the beans at the third setting from finest on my Bodun grinder, for 15 seconds. That produces 27 grams of beans. Way more than the coffee sites recommend. But maybe they don’t like coffee as strong as I do, and don’t add as much water? Whatever. This formula seems to work for me so let’s leave it for now and maybe adjust it later.

Add filter to the Aeropress, wet it down. I used the same filter three times and it looked fine but I used a new one for my second cup this morning anyway.

Brew the coffee according to Aeropress directions. Fill boiling water to the number 4 on the side of the Aeropress tube.

Brew the coffee into one of the blue mugs we inherited from my father-in-law. He used them as beer steins during regular poker games with his buddies. I use them for hot beverages. The mugs make me think of my father-in-law every once in a while. Even though I did not know him well, I have a lot of respect for him through Julie.

Add hot water from the super-hot tap until the mug is reasonably full but not overfill. The mug should have enough space from the top that you can talk to someone while holding the full mug while waving your hands around like a proper New Yorker.

Result: Good strong coffee and no visits to the emergency room. Enormous mess in the kitchen, which I still need to clean up.

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