AeroPress Clear coffee maker next to mug with crema

Making Crema with the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap

The pursuit of crema from a (mostly) unmodified AeroPress coffee maker just got a lot easier. Meet the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap!
Cuban Coffee - The Ultimate Cuban Coffee Recipe Reading Making Crema with the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap 5 minutes Next AeroPress & Espresso

How Does the Flow Control Filter Cap Work?

The AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap connects to the AeroPress Original, AeroPress Clear, or AeroPress Go brew chamber just like the filter cap that comes with an AeroPress coffee maker. The valve on the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap stops water from dripping through until you press the plunger. This gives you unparalleled control over your recipe - a very important part of making espresso style coffee. The small size of the exit hole also creates higher pressure during the brew process, which helps simulate espresso.

Demo gif showing how to use the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap

A unique and key feature of the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap is that you can use a paper filter on its own without a metal filter. This will help you make better crema.


How is It Different from Other Similar Products?

Unlike other similar products, the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap fits both the AeroPress Original and the AeroPress Go, as well as the AeroPress Clear. Also unlike other products, it offers filter flexibility: it can be used with an AeroPress paper micro-filter, an AeroPress stainless steel filter, or a combination of both. Another unique aspect of the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap is that it is designed and made in the USA, just like the AeroPress coffee makers that it works with.

A small cup of espresso with crema on top of coffee beans

What is Crema?

Crema is a foam that sits on top of a classic espresso. It is a byproduct of brewing coffee with a high pressure espresso machine. When hot water contacts ground coffee, carbon dioxide gas and other volatile aromatics are released from the grounds. The gas is trapped inside the brew chamber of the espresso machine. The resulting high pressure emulsifies gases, water and microparticles of ground coffee then forces them out of the espresso machine and into the cup.

In terms of crema, the quality of espresso pulled today by the world’s best baristas might be unrecognizable compared to espresso from 60 years ago. Crema is primarily gas, most of that being carbon dioxide, so fresh dark roasted coffees produce the thickest crema. Current trends toward medium and light roasted coffee have shifted the look and texture of espresso crema.
Read more about the story of crema in our AeroPress espresso blog post.

AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap with paper filter

What Filter Makes the Best Crema?

Use an AeroPress paper micro-filter to get the best crema foam. While stainless steel filters let more oil and micro particles pass through, the paper filter aerates better, allowing more foam.

If you want more body in your coffee and are less concerned about crema, the stainless steel filter will give a more full bodied shot.

Whichever filter you choose, pair it with the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap for the best and easiest results.
AeroPress Clear on top of mug with crema

What Coffee is Best for AeroPress Espresso?

Any coffee can be used to make a small, intense, delicious espresso style shot with an AeroPress coffee maker. Choose fresh beans from your favorite roaster.

If you want thick crema, French or Italian style roasts are best. Try to get beans roasted within seven days. Grinding just before you press will also improve your crema. This is because as coffee ages, the gases escape from the beans. This happens even faster once beans are ground.
Coffee beans with ground coffee

How Should I Grind for Espresso when Brewing with AeroPress Coffee Makers?

Fine ground coffee will give you the best results. Try a little more coarse than classic espresso ground. The grounds should be fluffy, but not such a fine powder that you can pinch it and cause a clump. Grounds that are too fine and clump easily can compact too much, creating excessive resistance to pressing. If you find that you aren’t able to press, don’t force it. Pause, give the AeroPress coffee maker a little swirl or a tiny lift of the plunger, then continue.

To keep your coffee consistently delicious, try a burr grinder instead of a whirly-blade spice style grinder.
Man making espresso and crema with AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap

How Hard Should I Press?

Always press with slow, steady and gentle pressure. Don’t try to muscle your way into a cup of coffee. When you hear a hiss from the AeroPress coffee maker, that means you’ve pressed out most of the liquid. Plunge all the way through until the end if you are trying to make crema. This forces the last of the gases, oils, and microparticles into the cup, helping to make crema and add body.

Now You're Ready to Make Crema

Check the recipe card at the end of this post for the perfect recipe to make crema using your AeroPress coffee maker and the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap!


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