Alan Adler: Inventor of the AeroPress

Zachary Crockett on Alan Alder, inventor of the AeroPress:

The Melitta cone, a device you place over your cup with a filter and pour water into, has “an average wet time of about 4-5 minutes,” according to Adler. The longer the wet time, the more acidity and bitterness leech out of the grounds into the cup. Adler figured this time could be dramatically reduced, quelling bad-tasting byproducts.

It struck Adler that he could use air pressure to shorten this process. After a few weeks in his garage, he’d already created a prototype: a plastic tube that used plunger-like action to compress the flavors quickly out of the grounds. He brewed his first cup with the invention, and knew he’d made something special. Immediately, he called his business manager Alex Tennant.

Tennant tasted the brew, and stepped back. “Alan,” he said, “I can sell a ton of these.” 

Before coffee, Alan Adler was a toymaker. He invented the Aerobie, an innovative flying disc. Then suddenly, way into his toymaking career, he put his unique skills towards creating a better single-cup coffee brewer and disrupted the whole coffee industry in the process. He also attributes a great deal of the success of the AeroPress to the internet. He said:

You would not believe the coffee shop owners in remote corners of the world who contact us and ask how they can buy some AeroPress coffee makers. I guess the message is those corners are no longer so remote with the internet.

Such a great story.