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Using an AeroPress coffee maker for the first time is a bit intimidating. I’ll admit it took me like 2 minutes to figure out where to put the filter. It probably didn’t help that I hadn’t had any caffeine.
Once I mastered placing my Aeropress coffee filters I started wondering which filters I should even be using. Up until that point, I had just been using the genuine paper filters from AeroPress but was wondering if they were really the best option. After all, AeroPress coffee making is a complex method of brewing coffee that uses a high-pressure seal to “press” coffee into a brew and I couldn’t help but imagine that the filter would affect the output.
I soon discovered that there are various styles of AeroPress filters, and each carries its own benefit.
From metal filters to paper, depending on your personal taste in coffee, a filter can greatly alter the result, so let’s talk about which one is best for you and your circumstances.
What Are the Types of Aeropress Filters?
To keep it simple, there are two main filter types that are used in AeroPress systems.
These AeroPress filters include:
- Aeropress Metal Filter: Generally made of stainless steel, the metal filter for an aeropress is the most common filter option. Coming in three variations with different designs, each metal filter provides you with more control over your brew. This can include variations in taste, consistency, and even color depending on how porous the filter is.
- Paper Filters: Favored among regular users of an aeropress, a paper filter offers flexibility when it comes to filtering your coffee. Additionally, because they’re made of paper, they can be replaced more easily, and allow for more experimentation when it comes to trying new recipes.
Choosing the right Aeropress filter depends on the way you use this method.
Metal filters are a great solution for the basic Aeropress user looking for a good range of options. They generally come in three styles with varying amounts of porousness depending on the type of coffee you enjoy. For example, a more porous filter will allow more grinds in your coffee, which in turn creates a bitter but flavorful taste.
Paper filters, on the other hand, are seemingly the filter of choice for more advanced brewers. Because they can be wet and replaced with every brew, they offer a certain amount of flexibility. Also, like their metal counterparts, they come in varying levels of thickness, which can influence the taste and consistency of the coffee itself.
Why Choose an Aeropress Metal Filter Over Paper?
First and foremost, getting a filter that actually fits your brewer is the factor you should consider first when choosing a filter.
In some instances, your brewer may not accommodate a metal filter, which in turn makes the comparison moot.
However, if your brewer does accommodate metal filters, then there is a lot to consider when choosing which filter to use.
- Taste: One common observation of metal filters is the coffee oils that they allow into your brew. A paper filter generally catches these natural oils, but a metal filter will not. This may come down to taste however, as some people may like the added flavor that a metal filter produces during the brewing process.
- Convenience: The most obvious benefit of using a metal filter is the fact that it lasts longer. All you have to do after every use is wash it, while a paper filter needs to be replaced each time. Additionally, metal filters come in varying styles, which can accommodate a range of coffee grinds.
- Eco-Friendly: If you’re an environmentally conscious coffee drinker then a metal filter may be a no-brainer. As opposed to paper, you only need to wash it after each use, which means less waste and less paper filters going into your landfill.
Whichever filter you choose for your AeroPress brewer, it’s important to understand that these filters can actually change the taste of your coffee.
Experiment with different filters to see which works best for you. Finding a substitute for a coffee filter may not be as simple when it comes to your AeroPress.
Because these filters are created specifically to create an airtight seal, using the right filter is critical for the entire process.
Alutura MESH – Best Reusable Metal Aeropress Filter
Did you know that many AeroPress world champions (yes, that’s a thing) have attributed a portion of their success to the use of a mesh filter?
So if you want to get in on that action, The MESH from Altura is the best way to do it. It has everything you need in a metal filter and none of the drawbacks.
Some highlights include:
- It’s durable and corrosion resistant
- It’s dishwasher safe (I have several and just rinse them off and chuck them in the dishwasher)
- The metal doesn’t soak up the coffee’s oils and flavors like papers filters are rumored to
- It’ not expensive. Sure, it’s more than paper filters but you’ll never have to buy another one, it’s conventient to use, etc.
At the end of the day, a metal filter is a superior option and The MESH is the best all-around metal filter there is for an AeroPress. Unless, of course, you really want to level up your game. Then check out the next option I’ve got for you…
Oh and I should add here, if you really want to continue using paper filters, just get the official AeroPress Micro Filters as they will get you the best bang for your buck.
Alternate Option – Fellow Filter & Attachment
If you want a filter and espresso-making attachment that will really take your AeroPress to the next level, consider an attachment from Fellow. It will make something much closer to espresso than a typical AeroPress, will keep your coffee fresh, and will easily integrate a high-quality metal filter.
Brewing Aeropress Coffee
Once you have chosen your filter and have your supplies ready, it’s time to use your AeroPress brewer.
Brewing in this style is more of a technical endeavor so there are some supplies you should have handy before starting. First, you should have a scale, as this will help you get exact measurements. Many recipes will include exact measurements like 15mg of coffee or 240ml of water. These numbers may be hard to measure without the proper scales.
Another good tool to have when using AeroPress is a timer. Aeropress brewing limits the amount of time that water is in contact with the coffee, so timing it exactly will help to avoid any excess brewing. A timer can also help with more complex recipes that require different stages of stirring and mixing.
Finally, have the right mug at the ready for your coffee. While any mug will work, we recommend using a glass mug as it adds to the experience and gives you an opportunity to see the color and consistency of your brew as your pressing.
Once you have all your supplies ready, it’s time to enjoy a fresh AeroPress brewed coffee.
I’ll be honest, you probably won’t notice the difference in your coffee no matter what filter you use. However, a metal filter is more convenient, better for the environment, and cheaper overall. So if you’re going to be buying filters for your AeroPress anyway, go metal.