Most of the reviews are pretty accurate. Now I have this gadget, I've reluctantly dropped my steel mini-cafetiere but still use my 'smart mug' with plunger at work. But the Aeropress is almost as quick, and better - the coffee is crystal clear (but brown - you know what I mean), no crema, but that doesn't matter too much to me, and tasty.
Here is some how-to-use-it info:
[...link deleted by Amazon] Download the instructions from the manufacturer's website for details of how to brew, if you want to check before you buy. But it's quick, and not as complicated as they make it sound - I think there is an online video.
For people collecting greenie points: A year's filters use fewer trees than just ONE newspaper. Plus - you can quickly rinse and reuse the paper filter over and over if you wish - I use mine about 6 times each - such a mean old man...
The Playce I got my Aeropress from (a while ago) INCLUDED 300 filters at a low price - Amazon may be price matching by the time you read this.
Almost self-cleaning, but it's dishwashable if you prefer. VERY heavy-duty, slightly flexible (not brittle) clear plastic. UPDATE - after almost 3 years, this is a tad stained and has very small fissures (nothing bad) near the base and the dishwasher won't bleach it. Not a real prob, though.
Needs quite a bit of slow, sustained downward pressure for 15 seconds or so - weak-wristed ladies may struggle. In the interests of balance, that goes for weak-wristed gentlemen, too. A coarser grind makes things easier, but then your coffee's not as strong and you need even more.
I've just kept on using my usual 'all purpose-grind' coffees (e.g. T.....'s Lazy Sunday, or any supermarket own brands), with no problems re strength - you have to make it strong, then water it down for an 'americano' strength. Finer-ground Italian or filter-grind brands are OK, though, too. After almost 3 years, I've started grinding my own beans but, as it's a bit of a pain, I do a week's worth at a time and keep in a vacuum tin, which probably is self-defeating.
I now never use another gadget or machine to brew coffee. So that's a waste of money on my Bodum steel plunger jugs. Cafetieres leave fine bits (sludge), but this doesn't. It's that good - and I'm usually sceptical of gadget claims. Hope all that helps.
UPDATE - I forgot to say that you can make more than one cup at a time. The side markings on the tube are for espressos, which you, if you wish, dilute to make an Americano. So e.g. for 2 Americanos, make enough coffee for 2 espressos, but plunge into 2 separate mugs (50% into each mug), then dilute as necessary.
MUCH quicker than the great-looking but hard-to-find Chemex glass jug/wood collar/special filter, which I received as a gift. The Aeropress is 1 minute against 4 minutes with the Chemex for a single mug and its wasteful, single-use, giant filters.
November 2011 - no problems at all. Has been used twice a day for a year. Very slight scratching of the the tube by the plunger, understandably. Plenty of filters left as I make one last for about a week !
September 2012 - still brill.
November 2012. Very slight erosion at the end of the tube. Probably my fault for not ejecting the old coffee plug until the next time I use it, which is 24 hours later, usually. Still works fine, though. If it broke / went missing, I would immediately have to buy another one, and I don't often say that.
Spring 2013 - well, never one to give up, here's more... the latest ones are smoky grey, which should help disguise the slight staining which my Aeropress, now 3 years old, has picked up near the base. Probably my fault for never pressing out the used 'puck' of coffee until next morning. This has also led to the plastic slightly starting to 'corrode' near the base. But I really can't complain. It still works fine, don't be deterred! Birthday soon, and I think I need a new one. I'll keep the current one for holidays and emergency back-up. Because it WILL be an emergency the day they stop making these.
Thanks for the votes, everyone ! This is way more popular than my retro cubic fire review!