10

I was wondering (other than the long term saving of not having to buy paper filters), what are the advantages of using a metal filter such as this?

In the copy is states:

Fuller body cup of coffee

But is this something the average Joe would notice or is it marketing spiel?

My main thought would be you would get less of a papery taste, but after rinsing the filter, I can;t say that I've ever noticed the taste of paper from a filter (maybe if I had did an A/B test between the 2 I would?).

Would like to hear any thoughts from people that have one?

7

I have used both the paper filters and the "Able" brand metal AeroPress disk that you linked. They are a bit different, and I use both the metal disk and paper filter based on my mood. To my taste, the metal disk does produce a "fuller" bodied cup (because more "stuff" comes through the filter -- oils and macro-particles or whatever). I believe that "an average user" (by my definition) would be able to tell the difference in a side-by-side test, and probably enough to determine preference.

That said, I prefer the paper for a few reasons.

First, the simple convenience is better for me. After brewing, I plunge the filter and spent grounds directly into my compost container. After a quick rinse of the unit, it's clean enough for me.

As for my (personal) taste and preferences, I think the paper produces a better quality and more enjoyable cup. Since the perforations are larger, there is more grit in the output when using the metal disk, so you end up with a (small amount) of "sludge" in the bottom of your cup, and it will turn bitter more quickly because of longer contact with the grounds after brewing.

As an aside, I also prefer it for the marginal (and debatable) "health" reasons. Paper filters remove some compounds (such as cafestol) that have purported cholesterol-affecting properties. For more of "my opinion" on that, see this question about general comparison between paper and re-usable filters and my answer about the topic in general.

  • 100% agreed with this. Having 3 metal filters (Corretto) and papers I think similar to @hoc_age. But people that prefer more body on the cup, metal is the way to go. My strategy is paper/metal/paper jajaja so clean! – Omar Miranda Apr 21 '17 at 20:04
  • I think the metal filter makes a really great option for someone wanting a cheaper way to make espresso. Espresso by definition is just coffee made under pressure. If the brewer can produce a fine enough grind, theoretically, there should be enough natural force to qualify this method as espresso. Granted, I've drunk espresso from my aeropress next to espresso made via my Rancilio s27, and they were too similar to bother knocking the lack of crema from the aeropress. However, with this metal filter, I'm thinking even the crema would be possible. I look forward to trying this out. – nateclonch Apr 25 '17 at 14:49
6

Yes. Totally worth it.

I just didn't enjoy the taste of the coffee pressed through those paper filters, and even if it could be improved somewhat by letting the coffee sit in the Aeropress for 40-60 seconds before pressing it out, I still couldn't see myself continuing to use it if that was all it was going to give me in terms of taste. Then I bought the "fine" version of the Able Brewing disk filter and that's when the taste finally matched my expectations - I really need those oils and those fine grounds in there, I don't think I can do without them in a hot-brew (after all, professional espresso has all that too).

I completely switched away from my French press since getting that filter and now I use the Aeropress both for my weekend hot-brews and as a strainer for the cold-brew I sometimes make in larger quantities to take with me to work (pressing the coffee through works much faster than pouring it in a regular strainer and waiting for gravity to do the work).

The only thing that didn't turn out exactly as I had imagined with this "fine" disk with the smaller holes is that I can't seem to ever clean it properly to where I can see light through most of the holes - for me most of the holes stay visibly plugged even after washing by pressing the disk with a sponge repeatedly on both sides and even after letting it sit in water with a bit of vinegar and then washing. But it hasn't prevented me from using it again, so I just shrugged that off and kept going. (Minus the vinegar because I don't want to wear out the already thin metal over time.) The most that's doing I think is requiring a bit more force to operate and giving me more of a workout.

2

After reading the OP I recalled that I had purchased a fine disk filter some time ago. I only used it half a dozen times or so because at that time I thought it was the source of my bitter coffee and switched to paper filters. I later realized that I was wrong, and that the main issue for me was the grind size, but never gave the disk filter another shot until just now. I agree with Don Joe above. A casual coffee drinker is unlikely to know the difference beyond a few dregs at the bottom of the cup. The more serious coffee drinker however will likely notice the fuller body. After using paper filters for so long I definitely prefer this particular coffee with the fine disk filter. With that I'll add that for me I didn't appreciate the disk filter until I had the other components of my brew dialed in. Again as Don Joe suggested, it may not be a one or the other decision. The disk filter will likely be good for some or even many coffees, but paper works for others. For me I'm glad to have rediscovered my disk filter. It's working well with this particular coffee. Looking forward to experimenting with others.

1

It's worth it if you like more oils in your coffee. It's produces a body somewhere in between paper filtered, and french press. So it's totally up to your preference. I would add that for me, some roast levels are better with more oils than others. So it's not a general rule that you need apply to all coffees.

I have the Able FINE-DISK filter, and I use it for most origins and roast levels. I use paper for really light roasts for a cleaner, more floral flavor. It's definitely something the average Joe could notice if given the two side-by-side. You can see the oils from a metal filtered coffee, floating on the surface. I would say it would be much harder to taste the difference. For someone who drinks a lot of coffee, I would say it would be easy to notice.

1

I have used metal filters similar to the linked model; however, a more correct statement would be

"taste all the flavors the coffee grinds have to offer"

This is both good and bad.

Metal filters are good in the sense that they allow you to experience a greater majority of the flavors that any coffee variety can offer (except for the Turkish grind coffee that will seep through the pores). This is particularly useful for Robusta coffee beans, where the flavor resides within the oils that would be trapped by the paper filters.

The downside is that metal filters allow you to taste even the un-pleasant(?) flavors too (I would probably be shamed for using that term). In a nutshell, I can say that paper filters are more forgiving than metal filters. If you make a modification or mistake in your coffee making process, it will be easier to taste the difference with metal filters compared to paper filters. i.e. if you use a metal burr vs. a ceramic burr you can taste the heat generated through the grinding process (if you're grinding >50g), or to a lesser extent if you pour 98-100°C water you may be able to taste it too.

My experience with paper filters have been positive, as I have primarily used off the shelf paper filters for my everyday cup of Joe, and Chemex filters for my fancy pants coffee (Chemex filters are thicker). While you will not be able to taste all the flavors when brewing with paper filters, you will still experience it through the aroma. A good example is to brew Italian coffee, which are generally more acidic, through a paper filter.

0

I have used both, paper filters and a kind of metal disk filter by yolococa that was advertised as easy to clean.

The difference in taste wasn't huge but the metal filter soon started to clog with ground coffee and was increasingly hard to clean. Just rinsing it did not work I had to ally pressured water to force the holes free.

Because of that I changed back to using paper filters.

0

Simple answer. If you like French Press coffee, you will like the metal filter. I have tried both and really don't like the "bolder" taste of all the oils and finds without using the paper filter.

-1

I actually use the metal disk along with x2 paper filters to achieve a smoother brew. Less powder at the bottom of the cup at the end too.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review – MTSan May 5 '17 at 10:55
  • @MTSan "Would like to hear any thoughts from people that have one?" Just giving my thoughts. – Mark May 5 '17 at 11:00
  • Mark, I'm just reviewing your answer. For the time being, when you are at your first days (up to 50 reps), you are encouraged to "clearly answer" instead of commenting and sharing thoughts. Probably that's the reason you already received a negative vote. – MTSan May 5 '17 at 13:13
  • I second @MTSan's comment. – Mayo May 8 '17 at 21:23

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