This morning I decided to make two cups of coffee with my Aeropress. The first cup was made using an Aeropress paper filter. The second cup was made using a stainless steel coffee filter disk for Aeropress sold by Able Brewing Company. (http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel-Coffee-Filter-AeroPress/dp/B004G7TLYO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364908684&sr=8-1&keywords=aeropress+disk)
For both cups of coffee I decided to use the inverted method as demonstrated by Stumptown. (Thank you to StillShaving for providing me with the link.) Here is the link to their excellent tutorial. http://stumptowncoffee.com/brew-guides/aeropress/
Here is a quick picture of my setup. Peet's Whole Bean House Blend Coffee. Hario hand grinder. Stove top kettle. Bodum Double Walled Mug. Aeropress.
As described by Stumptown, I used 17g of freshly ground coffee. I preheated my mug and press. I presoaked my filters. (Both metal and paper). When completed, I used a 50/50 water to coffee ratio as recommended by Stumptown.
The metal disk was slightly more difficult to press.
There was less air release during the inversion process.
There was a more pronounced slick on top of the disk coffee.
Photo of paper filter:
Photo of metal disk filter:
I must warn in advance that I am not a knowledgable coffee reviewer. I am new to this fine art, and so I am just going to apologize in advance and describe it as best I can. To start off, both presses yielded GREAT cups of coffee. As I stated there was a notable difference in the "slick" on top of the coffee. Both cups yielded full bodied taste. Initial taste was very similar. As the coffee sat in my mouth and as I began to swallow it seemed like the disk brew allow more breadth of flavor. The flavor also remained in my mouth longer after swallowing. I hesitate to use the term "after taste" because to me that implies negativity and this was wonderful. Both cups were smooth, but the metal disk seemed just a notch more smooth. Slick.
*Disclaimer* I was expecting more from the disk than I was from the paper. This may have greatly influenced my untrained palette.
This is where the HUGE difference comes into play. This is important to me. I usually make my coffee at 5:00am and so ease of cleanup and time of cleanup is important to me. I don't want my wife to wakeup to my coffee mess, and I also believe it is important to clean my equipment immediately after use. As any Aeropress user knows, cleanup is simple: eject the puck, rinse and wipe. Well, add a metal disk filter and this changes drastically. The "puck" ejected in two pieces. I had to retrieve that half that was stuck to the filter and hand wipe it. This is not something that I am all that keen on at 5:00am when wearing dress attire for work. I also try to limit what I am flushing down the drain, and this method caused more grinds to wind up in my sink. Cleanup with the paper filter wins by a long shot.
I like stuff and I like gear. I will certainly keep both filters in my rotation. During the week, when time is more of a factor, I will definitely be sticking with paper.