theCryptofishist wrote:ARe you sure that's an espresso maker, and not a french press?
It's not an espresso maker (which uses high pressure steam), but more of an "espresso" press. Espresso presses (including the commercial Aeropress) use espresso grinds versus the coarse grind needed for the french press. Hot water is pushed through the grounds at high pressures using a sealed plunger, usually with a filter at the bottom. A french press, on the other hand, pushes the grounds to the bottom through a screen in the plunger, and the coffee is poured off from the top.
The espresso press is not an espresso maker in the true sense, because it is not steam-driven. However, it relies on the same principles of fast extraction using a fine grind, and produces a coffee with roughly the same taste and concentration as espresso, though smoother, and perhaps not as concentrated.
I use an Aeropress as my primary coffee maker because it is so fast and has virtually no cleanup (aside from the good coffee it makes). Grind, fill with water, stir, press, unscrew, push the hockey-puck shaped spent grounds in the garbage (or compost), and rinse/wipe down the plunger seal. The French presses I've used have a slurry of grounds and water at the bottom that is a pain to dump, and need a good rinsing that puts grounds in the drain which I try to avoid.
I'll probably drag my Aeropress to BM this year rather than the "Vietnamese-style Coffee Filter" from last year that didn't work so well for the same reasons as the french press. It's amazing how easy it is to forget what a pain it is to clean our kitchen tools without running water.