Standard or Inverted: Which Aeropress Orientation Should You Use?

If you’re on the hunt for a great Aeropress recipe, you have likely already found that there are two ways you can position the Aeropress while brewing. Each orientation comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, so let’s sort it out.

Standard Orientation

When the Aeropress was first released by Aerobie, the instructions on the box told us to brew our coffee with the filter attached and sitting face down on top of a mug. The plunger was to be left to the side until it was time to apply pressure at the end.

This orientation is still common today, but it is no longer the most widely used. Here’s why: coffee drips through the filter. Wierd, huh?

These drops, sometimes a significant number of them, are bland and underextracted. We want them to balance out with more extraction, rather than exiting the brewing slurry.

Every once in awhile there’s an Aeropress competitor who uses the standard orientation in competition and scores very well, but the next option is the one we champion.

Inverted (Upside Down) Orientation

People all over the world started to realize very quickly that if they attached the plunger to the brew chamber and left the filter off, they could brew the coffee without any drainage.

The problems were those underextracted coffee drips tainting the entire cup. The solution was to stop the dripping so that the entire brew could extract evenly.

If you choose this method, you’ll have to be a bit more careful. After you attach the filter, you have to actually flip the Aeropress over and set it on a mug so that you can use the plunger. We’ve seen more than a few messes ourselves, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it.

The best way to do it is to set your mug of choice upside down on top of the inverted Aeropress, then flip both items together. You can see how we do it in our Aeropress video guide.

There’s hope for the standard orientation, made evident by a few dozen competitors that have wowed judges with their coffee, but for most of us, the inverted method is the way to go.

Ultimately, your coffee should taste the way you want it to taste. Why not try them both?

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