Mug-at-a-Time Head to Head: Bodum Chambord vs. Aerobie Aeropress

Bodum Chambord vs Aerobie Aeropress - Let the Plunging Begin

In my 25 years of coffee drinking, nothing beats the Aerobie Aeropress for making an 8 oz or smaller Americano-style cup of coffee. But, I drink two 12 oz mugs of coffee each day. The Aeropress can be used to brew spectacularly good 12 oz mugs of coffee. I have used it to brew my coffee for some two years now. But, the method is tedious, clumsy and sometimes messy.

This lead me to seek out alternative one-at-a-time brewing methods (details here). After more than a full month of perfecting my Bodum Chambord brewing technique, including two weeks with a nylon fine sediment filterscreen from sweet maria’s (details here), I decided it was time to give my new found Bodum-brewing prowess the ultimate test – a head to head competition against the Aeropress.

[August 1, 2008 Update: I posted my results here on the coffee geek forum. The inventor of the Aeropress, Alan Adler, suggested I up my Aerobie Aeropress bean dosage from 2 scoops to 3.5, pass only about 4 to 5 ounces of water through the press, then top the mug up with hot water. The resulting mug was simply one of the best mugs of coffee I ever had. Details and pictures are in that thread starting here. The downside is that almost doubling the beans is a very expensive proposition. Something I can’t afford to do every day. But it does result in one easy to brew, spectacular mug of coffee.]

The Playing Field

  • Peets Arabian Mocha Sanani Identically measured (20 g – two Aerobie scoops), freshly roasted, freshly ground Peets Arabian Mocha Sanani beans (my favourite).
  • Identically filtered water, boiled to the same temperature at the same time in the same pot.
  • Identical steep times.
  • Identical Peets mugs for tasting. 🙂
  • Identically measured creme (30 ml – 2 Tbsp).
  • All utensils, mugs and equipment freshly run through the dishwasher.

Day 1 – Test 1

For the first test I used the identical grind level , 7 out of 8 (a fine grind), on my KitchenAid Pro Line grinder.

Bodum Chambord vs Aerobie Aeropress - Test 1 - Black Coffee   Bodum Chambord vs Aerobie Aeropress - Test 1 - Creamed Coffee

While the fuzzy picture (click for larger view) of the resulting black coffee doesn’t quite capture it, the Chambord coffee (on the left) was visibly cloudier than the Aeropress coffee (notice the thicker edge). You can also see that the Chambord coffee with creme is slightly darker.

Interestingly, the resulting Chambord coffee temperature was significantly hotter than the Aeropress coffee. The slightly below boiling-temperature water I used for both brews was poured from the same pot. I always pre-heat my mugs and, in the case of the Chambord, I preheat the glass carafe with hot tap water. It isn’t possible to pour hot water into the Aeropress to pre-heat it. Perhaps I could have put it in a bowl of hot water to pre-heat it. My sense is that the thinner Aeropress chamber results in more coffee being cooled by more contact with the outer surface as I perform my ritual pour-wait-pour-wait Aeropress brewing kludge (described here).

After my initial pre-and post-creme tasting, I heated the Aeropress coffee up a bit in the microwave (20 seconds) to equalize the temperatures.

Having drank only Chambord brewed coffee during the last month of testing, my taste buds had seemingly acclimatized themselves to the cloudier-by-definition Chambord coffee. Only when I sipped the black, then the creme-enhanced, coffees, side-by-side did I notice the night-and-day differences between the two.

The texture of the Chambord coffee at a 7 grind did not feel good in the mouth compared to the super smooth Aeropress coffee. But, by comparison, the Aeropress coffee was less robust than I remembered.

Yikes! I love the silky smooth, sediment free Aeropress coffee, but I prefer the robustness and ease of use of the Chambord coffee. What’s a man to do?

My answer – an unplanned second day of testing with a coarser Chambord grind and a finer Aeropress grind (my body can only withstand 2 mugs per day).

Day 2 – Test 2

On day two I used a coarser 6 grind for the Chambord and a finer 8 grind for Aeropress. The temperature differentials occurred once again.

Bodum Chambord vs Aerobie Aeropress - Test 2 - Black Coffee   Bodum Chambord vs Aerobie Aeropress - Test 2 - Creamed Coffee

As expected, the coarser Chambord grind lowered its robustness somewhat, while the finer Aeropress grind increased its robustness and plunging difficulty. But, between the two, the Chambord coffee still yielded the bolder, more robust, coffee (something I seek in a good mug of coffee).

The coarser Chambord grind noticeably reduced the sediment in the cup making the coffee smoother than the day before. But, as is always the case with a french press, there will always be some cloudiness vis-a-vis the Aeropress and there will always be some sediment in the bottom of the mug.


Both methods make exceptionally good cups of coffee. The Chambord is by far the easier method for brewing 12 oz mugs of robust coffee. The Aeropress indisputably makes the better, crisper, cleaner mug of coffee. But the divide between the two narrowed substantially as my Chambord brewing prowess increased.

If you are brewing 8 ounces of Americano coffee or less, the Aeropress is the undisputed winner.

If you are brewing more than 8 ounces, value your time, desire a robust mug of coffee and are willing to sacrifice a bit of clarity and crispness for day-to-day ease of use, the Chambord (equipped with a nylon fine sediment filterscreen) is the winner.

While the Chambord’s overall ease of use for 12 oz mugs of coffee beats the Aeropress, I do note that the Aeropress is easier to clean. You simply plunge the relatively dry puck into your compost and rinse the pieces. The resulting wet slurry in the Chambord takes longer to clean out and the individual filter portions of the plunger need to be unscrewed and individually rinsed/cleaned.

For my day-to-day coffee drinking needs the Chambord convenience trumps the slightly superior Aeropress coffee.

If Aerobie comes out with a 12 oz version of the Aeropress, assuming the quality is the same as with the current 8 oz version, the Aeropress will reign supreme in my home once again. Until then, the Chambord will be my mug-at-a-time brewing method of choice.

Grinder Caveat

The conclusions and recommendations above assume you grind your beans with a quality burr grinder capable of yielding consistent grinds. If you use a cheapo whirly-blade grinder that yields a “chunks and sawdust” grind, then you should choose the Aerobie Aeropress over the Bodum Chambord every time. The Aeropress is the great grinder equalizer. Meaning, unlike most other coffee brewing methods, the Aerobie is hands-down the best at producing quality coffee from a lousy grind. Put another way, I highly recommend you invest in a quality burr grinder before choosing the Chambord over the Aeropress.

Comparison Table


Bodum Chambord

Aerobie Aeropress


$20.29 – $49.99

$25.99 to $39.99

Optimum KitchenAid Pro Line Grind Level for Robust Mug

5.5 to 6

No grind is too fine – but finer grinds are harder to plunge.

Temperature Retention



Sediment Reduction

Even with the fine sediment nylon filterscreen,
sediment still in bottom.

Crystal, clear coffee every time.

Reusable Filter Convenience?

Third party, inexpensive reusable fine sediment nylon filterscreen 
add-on is a must.

Inexpensive Aerobie paper filters can be reused somewhat but will eventually need to be replaced.

Cleanest, Crispest, Clearest Coffee


nothing comes close

Richness-Boldness in the Cup

Slight Winner
at a KAP 5 grind and above


Ease of Cleanup



Overall Ease of Use


9 oz or more


8 oz or less



One Reply to “Mug-at-a-Time Head to Head: Bodum Chambord vs. Aerobie Aeropress”

  1. Thank you for sharing this article to us. This will help a lot especially for those ones that have confusion on which coffee maker they should buy.

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