AeroPress: Paper vs Filter

Discussion in 'The Cafe'' started by Liberty_2112, Apr 2, 2013.


    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. (

    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.

    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.



    Initial impression:
    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.

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  1. I have the nylon over steel filter from Kaffeologie. I would say your observations apply to it as well.

    I would note that my metal filter is not suited for use using the normal (not inverted) method, as the liquid quickly drains from the press.

    Thanks for the review.
  2. Interesting to hear. This was my first try with the Metal filter, so I have not used it in the traditional AP method. I will give it a go and see if it drains more quickly. Thanks.
  3. Rob, just an observation... but your grounds look VERY inconsistent in that scale picture. The Hario-Skerton lends itself to more consistency the finer you go. But Orphan Espresso sells a kit that will stabilize the shaft allowing greater consistency at coarser settings. You do lose the very finest settings though. That's the trade-off.
  4. Thank you. This is exactly the kind of feedback that I need. This is my first grinder and my first experience with grinding coffee, so I don't have much to compare to.

    Do you have a references link for grind size that you can recommend? For example if a technique calls for "medium fine" grind I am not really sure what to do with the Skerton.

    The question becomes, should I order the upgrade piece for the Skerton, or just tighten the nut and use it for finer grade only?

    How long before I take the plunge and buy another grinder and the Skerton becomes a travel grinder?
  5. Bwahahaha Heeee Hoooo!!! That's a GOOD ONE!!! "Should I buy?" Hahah! This guy here!!! hoooooo.....

    Ok... I'm better now. I typically grind for Aeropress at about 3-5 notches away from all the way tightened. This may be a bit too fine, but it works for me. I DO NOT enjoy french press when ground on the Skerton, because of the inconsistent particle distribution.

    I would actually encourage you to experiment more before buying anything new. Find what works for you. Then when you do buy more capable gear, your mind will be blown. If you like grinding by hand, you can check out the LIDO grinder by Orphan Espresso. It's more than capable for just about any task and durable, as well.

  6. I am planning to upgrade to an electric burr grinder and keep the Hario for travel.
  7. I recommend the Baratza line. Depending on your budget. I'm getting the Encore (hopefully delivered today or tomorrow). I REALLY wanted the preciso, but it was a bit much at $299. If Aeropress is your sole brew method, I would think the Encore would be enough for you.

    Also, if you can spare the time, I would encourage you to contact the good people at Chris Coffee and set up a visit. They'll let you play with grinders and espresso machines! :thumbup: They're only about 2 hours or so from CT (located in Albany, NY).
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013

  8. Aeropress is currently my sole brewing method. That said, I would like to expand..... :001_rolle
  9. I know what you mean. I currently have MyPressi, Indian Coffee Filter (actually from India, a gift from a former coworker), Clever Coffee Dripper (CCD), and Aeropress at my disposal. Just got a $10 gift certificate from World Market for my birthday, so debating between Chemex or Toddy.
  10. My list is expanding daily. So far, in order:

    1. Burr Grinder
    2. Espresso Press 32oz
    3. Bonavita variable temp kettle
    3. Toddy
    5. Chemex

    I am anxiously awaiting my roasting equipment!
  11. I've been roasting (when I have time) with a heat gun and a hand crank whirly pop. Finally got some propane for grilling, so I may use the whirly pop on the grill and see what happens. I'm holding my breath for a Hot Top in a year or two... but I'm willing to wait to get an Espresso Machine first (either Vibiemme Domobar Super HX or Alex Izzo II). For an espresso grinder, I'm considering the new HG One, but we'll see.
  12. I will not allow myself to even begin to explore home espresso until I get a much better understanding of home roasting, grinding and brewing standard coffee. My hope is to go into espresso with a much higher base of knowledge than I currently have.

    We'll see how long I can maintain this.....
  13. Are you a reader? There are a few GREAT books out there that will really move things along on the knowledge front.
  14. Yes. Please advise. Thanks!
  15. Incidentally, I auto subscribe to every thread I comment on. So when I go to my subscriptions and click on this thread, this has been the first thing I see every time. Kinda creepy...

  16. I admit. I find it very amusing to post pictures of myself. They are not, ever, meant to be serious. I enjoy posting stupid ones that people assume are serious and cause people to say, "Is this guy serious?"

    That MAY be what led to an unknown person changing my avatar picture to my pants-less picture.
  17. Here's a terrific FAQ on Coffee.

    A terrific FAQ on water (by the esteemed Jim Schulman).

    All About Coffee by William Ukers

    The Basics of Brewing Coffee by SCAA Executive Director Ted Lingle - Out of print, may be able to acquire from

    Caffeine edited by Gene A. Spiller - Very expensive, VERY technical regarding chemistry of coffee

    The Coffee Cuppers' Handbook by Ted Lingle - Another out of print SCAA book

    A Coffee Cuppers Handbook a Systematic Guide to the Sensory Evaluation of Coffee's Flavor by Ted Lingle - Another one

    Home Coffee Roasting: Romance & Revival by Kenneth Davids - THIS IS THE ONE YOU WANT! This is the book that every home roaster on HRO references and worships. I've never read it, but I really want to! $11.96 on Amazon, not bad at all!
  18. That, and the conversation about your pantless self, IIRC. :lol:
  19. Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely look into these.

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