AeroPress coffee maker with red pepper flakes

Spicy AeroPress

Get ready to spice up your coffee game with a twist that'll kick your taste buds into high gear!
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Get ready to spice up your coffee game with a twist that'll kick your taste buds into high gear! This recipe pairs AeroPress coffee with a fiery kick from crushed red pepper. This bold concoction brings together the coffee flavor profile with the intense heat of crushed red pepper flakes. It's an unexpected fusion of flavors that promises to awaken your senses and invigorate your mornings like never before. So, if you're craving a caffeine boost with a fiery twist, buckle up and let's dive into the world of spicy coffee with crushed red pepper!

What peppers can you use for a spicy AeroPress?

While this recipe used crushed red pepper, you could easily swap for a different pepper to add the heat. Chipotle peppers will add some subtle smokiness, habanero peppers will add some subtle tropical fruit profile and the Carolina reaper—the spiciest pepper in the world—will blow you away (I don’t recommend it!).


Note: if you use a different pepper, you likely will want to prepare it somehow before using in the recipe. I’ve brewed with raw jalapeno peppers and the flavor impact was minimal. Roasting or otherwise prepping the raw peppers will lead to a better end flavor. (That is part of the reason I prefer crushed red pepper because it avoids the need for extra prep work.)

How much pepper should you use?

The key to this recipe is finding the right balance of spice/heat. If you add too much of any pepper, the drink becomes overly spicy and doesn’t work. It is all about balance. For my palette and with crushed red pepper, I found ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon was the perfect amount of heat without overpowering the coffee. If you prefer more heat or use a different pepper, you likely will need to adjust your amounts.

What coffee works best for a spicy AeroPress

Given the bold addition the crushed red pepper brings, a coffee with a less delicate profile works best. Ones that have a more balanced chocolate-toned profile are the best options. I would avoid any fruit-forward, tea-like coffees because they’ll be overpowered by the pepper.

How to make a spicy AeroPress

Step 1: Prepare the AeroPress

Begin by making 1:16 ratio coffee in the AeroPress. Prepare the AeroPress for brewing in the upright position. Grind 18 grams of coffee to near medium-fine consistency and add to the AeroPress. 

Step 2: Add the pepper

Add the crushed red pepper directly to the AeroPress on top of the grounds.

Step 3: Brew the coffee

Add 280g of near-boiling water to the AeroPress and stir back & forth 10 times. Add plunger to top to create a vacuum (and prevent coffee dripping out of the chamber), but do not push down. Set aside to brew for around 3 minutes.

Step 4: Finish the coffee

After the coffee brews, slowly push down on the AeroPress over 30-45 seconds. Pushing slowly helps reduce astringency in the final coffee and promote a more even extraction.

Step 5: Enjoy the burn

Give the coffee a swirl and allow it to cool slightly. Sip and enjoy the burn.