Preparing my morning cup with this device that looks like a coffee syringe is always satisfying and results in delicious coffee.
But do you know what difference does it make switching from an original AeroPress paper filter to one of the available alternatives – a metal disk or, say, a cloth one?
Would you be able to sense a dissimilarity in flavor or mouthfeel?
Apart from the metal vs. paper filter comparison, in this post, I’ll cover virtually everything that you need to know about AeroPress filters.
If you’re looking for a way to reduce your waste and go for a reusable alternative, I’ll show and review the best filter disks that you can reutilize unlimited times and that will last long. Furthermore, I’ll share what’s my experience with reusing the round paper filters.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
If you’re in a hurry and you want to quickly jump to the best AeroPress filters that I’ve reviewed, check out the following table:
|1. Able Disk Fine||reusable stainless steel|
|2. CoffeeSock||organic cotton, reusable cloth filter|
|3. Aesir||paper, thicker than the original filters|
|4. Fellow Prismo||stainless steel, reusable perforated metal disk with a pressure-actuated attachment|
A Guide on AeroPress Filters
For you to decide which AeroPress coffee filter is the best one according to your personal preference, you need to know what sets the different options apart.
In the following guide you will find clarity regarding the dissimilarities between paper, metal, and cloth filter disks and how using each one of them affects your brew.
Paper vs. Metal vs. Cloth
There are three main types of coffee filters that you can use with your AeroPress coffee maker – the original paper disks, the reusable metal ones, and the ones that are made of cotton fabric (cloth filters).
Here’s are the differences between AeroPress paper, metal, and cloth filters:
Compared to the original AeroPress filters, the metal alternatives would let more coffee particles into your cup.
Coffee, prepared with a reusable metal disk has more sediment, more texture, and is closer to a French press brew.
Compared to the metal ones, cloth AeroPress filters do a better job at filtering the coffee particles, but, compared to paper filters, let more coffee oils pass through them.
If you want to have the clarity that paper filters provide, but you still want a fuller-bodied cup, go for a cloth filter.
Nevertheless, one of the main disadvantages of cloth filters is that it’s a bit harder to maintain them between uses.
More on the Original AeroPress Filters
When you get an AeroPress coffee maker, it usually comes with a set of 350 filters. If you run out of them, you can easily get a new filter pack that is quite affordable.
Click here to check out the price on Amazon.
The original AeroPress paper filters are thinner than most (if not all) drip coffee filters.
Since they’re thin, you don’t need to rinse them before you start brewing.
A single paper disk weighs around 0.17 grams.
Comparatively, a Hario V60 (size 02) paper weighs around 1.4 grams, while the thick Chemex coffee filter weighs more than 4 grams.
All of this means that the AeroPress papers won’t give you the clarity that most pour-over papers provide.
There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if you’re a fan of a cup with slightly more texture.
With that being said, the original paper disks won’t let grit pass through them.
They’re definitely capable of providing a sediment-free cup.
Anyway, there are only bleached (white) AeroPress paper filters.
Nevertheless, if you prefer unbleached (brown) paper filter disks, there are some alternatives available. For example, many AeroPress owners use the brown paper filters, offered by the brand Outus.
Click here to check out their price and more photos on Amazon.
I guess that some of you who are interested in getting the brown AeroPress filter alternative may be driven by your desire to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It’s worth noting that both original white and brown AeroPress paper disks are biodegradable and compostable.
Related Post: How to Reuse Coffee Grounds?
Can You Reuse the Original AeroPress Filters?
An AeroPress paper filter can be reused multiple times. You just need to rinse it after you’ve brewed a cup, and place it in the filter cap to dry.
Whenever you need it, it’s ready to be utilized again.
Some people reuse the same paper disk more than 20 times and haven’t noticed any negative impact of the filter on their coffee’s flavor.
I’d only reuse AeroPress filters when there are only 2 or 3 left and I’m afraid that I’ll run out of them. (I tend to procrastinate ordering new filter packs.)
In the following photo you can see an AeroPress paper filter that’s been reused 6 times next to an unused filter disk:
To be fair, I don’t really reuse my AeroPress filters, as they’re quite affordable anyway.
I pop each one along with the spent grounds into the compost bin after pressing.
Furthermore, I’ve found that the more you reuse the same filter, the harder it is to press the plunger.
This is so, because after each use more and more coffee fines get stuck to the paper and make it harder for coffee to pass through it.
Anyway, if you feel like reusing your AeroPress paper filters, feel free to do so – it’s totally fine.
Cleaning and Maintenance of Metal and Cloth Disks for AeroPress
If you go for a reusable filter for your AeroPress, inevitably, you’ll need to clean and maintain it between uses.
If you use a stainless steel disk, then the cleaning procedure after you’ve prepared a cup is pretty straightforward.
You just need to rinse the metal filter and leave it somewhere to dry until you want to use it again.
The thing is that, often, tiny coffee particles get stuck in the holes of a metal disk, no matter whether is perforated or a mesh one.
This may make it hard for you to press down the plunger and, ultimately, mess up your brewing process.
If that’s the case, I recommend dissolving a teaspoon of Urnex Cafiza in hot water and soaking the metal filter in the solution for 15 to 20 minutes.
If there is still an issue, I recommend using an old toothbrush and dish soap to further remove the remaining coffee fines from the filter disk.
Every once in a while you may want to do this procedure.
Soaking your cloth AeroPress filter in the same solution will dissolve the coffee oil buildup and will renew your reusable cotton disk.
Cleaning and maintaining a cotton filter between uses requires more effort.
After thoroughly rinsing the cloth, you should place it in the fridge in a glass (or in a container), fully submerged in water.
If you’re not going to use it daily, after rinsing, you should keep it in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
This will prevent it from developing an unpleasant odor and negatively affecting your coffee.
Best AeroPress Filter Alternatives
Now that you know the basics, it’s time for me to show you my top AeroPress filter alternative picks.
I’ve included reviews on the best paper, and reusable metal and cloth disks that either my friends or I have tested.
So here are the best alternatives to the original AeroPress filters:
1. Able Disk Fine – Reusable Stainless Steel Filter for AeroPress
The Able Disk Fine is virtually the best reusable metal coffee filter for the AeroPress coffee maker.
It’s sturdy and it’s made of high-quality stainless steel.
Furthermore, its fine holes don’t let too much coffee grit pass through them.
This results in a cup of coffee with less sediment compared to using other metal disks.
At the same time, it lets more coffee oils enter your cup, which gives your coffee more texture.
The Able filter is made of perforated stainless steel – it’s not a mesh filter.
This makes it more durable and less likely to bend and become unusable compared to mesh filters.
Therefore, if you’re a fan of a fuller-bodied cup of coffee, and you’re looking for a reusable AeroPress filter that will last long, get the Able Disk Fine.
I actually own and use the Able Disk fine and I’m more than happy with how it works.
I don’t use it daily, but I’ve had it for over a year, and it has never been clogged.
I always make sure to clean the Able disk right after use, to avoid a rapid accumulation of coffee oils and small coffee particles.
When it comes to grind size adjustments – I use the same grind for this metal filter, like the one that I’d normally use with the paper AeroPress ones.
You may find it a bit annoying that when you use the Able filter, a larger portion of the coffee passes through the metal while stirring (before you press the AeroPress plunger).
For this very reason, many people prefer using the inverted AeroPress brewing method with this reusable metal disk.
Instead of doing that, I use the plunger to create a vacuum in the AeroPress brewing chamber while the coffee steeps inside.
This prevents coffee from leaking.
With all being said I’d recommend the Able Disk Fine to anyone who’s looking for a reusable metal AeroPress filter.
I’m satisfied with other products by Able, such as their reusable stainless steel filters for Chemex.
2. CoffeeSock – Cotton Cloth Filter Disk
The CoffeeSock cloth filter disk is the best alternative to the original AeroPress filters for those who like a richer, fuller-bodied, yet clean cup of coffee with no sediment.
This cotton coffee filter lets more oils pass through, but keeps fine pieces away from your cup.
Furthermore, the CoffeeSock is reusable, made of high-quality organic cotton and it’s manufactured in the USA.
This makes it a great pick for those who are always opting for the most environmentally-friendly product.
If you go for the CoffeeSock brand, you will get 3 cloth filters in the box.
If you maintain them properly, they may last years.
As previously mentioned, cloth filters give you the best of both worlds – paper filter clarity and French press (metal filter) texture.
Nevertheless, this perfect combination comes with a price.
You need to put a bit more effort into the maintenance of your cloth AeroPress filters.
If you don’t live in a place with high humidity, leaving the disk somewhere to dry after each use might work. After all, the filter is small and thin and dries out quickly.
Still, I’d recommend keeping the rinsed cotton disk soaked in water in the fridge.
When it’s time to use it, take it out of the fridge, give it a rinse, and place it in the filter cap.
This way you will stay on the safe side and avoid the accumulation of unpleasant odors that will ruin your coffee.
With that being said, many people simply leave their filter to dry and experience no negative impact on their coffee’s flavor.
Apart from this cloth disk’s maintenance, there’s another thing that is to be considered – its diameter is a bit smaller than the AeroPress filter cap.
Therefore you should make sure that you always place it well-centered.
Some of you may find this annoying, so you should definitely take into consideration this disadvantage.
3. Aesir Filters – A Thicker Paper Disk Alternative to the Original AeroPress Filters
The Aesir Paper Filters for AeroPress are twice as thick compared to the originals.
This makes them the best choice for those who are looking for a cleaner cup with better-pronounced flavor notes.
If you’re a fan of that pour-over coffee clarity you should definitely try them out.
Aesir filters are also ideal for you if you’re a fan of single-origin fruity or floral coffee beans.
Even though they’re thicker, they are more porous compared to AeroPress filters, which creates a vibrant brew with a better-pronounced crispness.
At the same time, your coffee will have texture, as the Aesir disks let enough coffee oils pass through them.
As you may have guessed, it’s easier to press the plunger when you use the original coffee filters, compared to this thicker alternative.
So applying more pressure is necessary when you use the Aesir paper disks.
These thick papers are more expensive compared to the Original AeroPress filters.
Some people believe that you can achieve similar results if you simply place 2 originals in the filter cap instead of one.
Nevertheless, based on my personal experience, I can say that using an Aesir filter results in a better-tasting coffee compared to a coffee made with 2 AeroPress filters.
Just like the originals, these thick paper circles can be reused, so you can lower the cost per piece if you’re eager to do so.
4. Fellow Prismo – Reusable Stainless Steel Filter with Pressure-Actuated Attachment
The Fellow Prismo is an attachment that is to be used instead of the filter cap of your Aeropress.
It comes with a reusable fine metal filter that lets you enjoy a cup of coffee with a thicker texture compared to the one you get with the original paper filters.
Of course, you will get more sediment in your cup, but if you’re a fan of French-press-style brew, you won’t have an issue with that.
What sets the Fellow Prismo apart from all the other AeroPress filter alternatives on this list is its pressure valve.
It stays sealed until you press the plunger down, which allows you to steep the coffee for longer without it dripping through the AeroPress.
Many people use the inverted method to avoid drippage while stirring the coffee inside the brewing chamber.
Nevertheless, the upside-down AeroPress method often turns out to be quite messy. Furthermore, the plunger takes up some of the space in the brew chamber, which isn’t ideal, especially if you’re making two cups of AeroPress coffee at once.
The Fellow Prismo pressure-actuated attachment will let you steep the grounds for as long as you want without drippage. This means that you won’t really need to use the inverted method anymore.
When you read the description of the Fellow Prismo, you’ll see that they claim that the attachment allows for pressure to build up which results in an espresso-style brew. AeroPress coffee is also often described as espresso-style. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that you can’t make true espresso with an AeroPress, no matter if you use the Fellow Prismo or not.
Nevertheless, since it allows you to steep the coffee for longer without it dripping through, and since the metal filter doesn’t absorb the coffee oils, you will end up with a stronger, richer cup that is closer to an espresso.
Still, you won’t get any crema. When I tried using the Fellow Prismo I didn’t even manage to get more coffee foam compared to when using the original filter cap.
Anyway, when it comes to the reusable metal filter, it’s pretty similar to the Able one.
Some people buy the Fellow Stag only because of its cap and use the stainless steel fine disk along with an original AeroPress filter.
This lets them enjoy a cleaner cup with less sediment.
Others buy the Fellow Prismo as an alternative to the AeroPress filter cap because they’ve lost or broken the original.
With all being said, the Fellow Stagg Reusable Stainless Steel Filter with Pressure-Actuated Attachment is, for sure, one of the best coffee filters for AeroPress and it deserves its spot on this list.
I hope that you found this AeroPress filter guide useful and that I made it easier for you to choose the best metal, paper, or cloth disk according to your personal taste and preference.
Leave me a comment below to share your thoughts. Which filter disk alternative did you choose and why?