Product: Fellow Prismo
Author: Howard Bryman at Daily Coffee News
From its launch 15 years ago through to today, the Aeropress has claimed on its packaging and elsewhere that it is a maker of both brewed coffee and espresso. Espresso aficionados have tended to dismiss and forgive the latter part of this claim, enjoying the device for its ease of use, portability and the merits of the cups it produces.
The forward-thinking designers at San Francisco-based Fellow Products — makers of the Stagg kettle — are now endeavoring to bring the Aeropress closer than ever to fulfilling its claim of espresso capability, with a new pressurization attachment called the Prismo.
The Prismo is a substitute cap for the Aeropress that includes its own metal 80-micron filter and a resistant valve that allows significantly more pressure to build inside the brewer before letting brewed coffee pass. The cap is molded so that it can be positioned securely on top of an espresso-size cup, and the pressurized emergence of the denser, more bodacious coffee yields and even more crema-like foam layer on its surface that’s persistent enough for latte art, according to the company.
According to the company, the primary differences are that while a traditional espresso is extracted in about 20 to 30 seconds, an ideal Prismo shot takes around 70 seconds; an uninsulated Aeropress brewer operates at lower temperatures than heated, electronic espresso machines; and while traditional espresso requires roughly 9 bars of pressure (130 psi), Fellow calculates that a human would have to apply about 2,000 pounds of force to the Aeropress plunger to replicate that amount of pressure, which obviously isn’t going to happen.
Prismo can also be used to make coffee in decidedly less espresso-like ways. A paper filter can be placed over the metal filter, and the valve also holds back an immersion brew, alleviating the need for inverting the brewer to prevent drip-through. The additional pressure while ending the brew will alter the character of the cup from the traditional Aeropress.