My Aeropress has quickly become a firm favorite where it comes to delicious coffee in an instant. It’s extremely easy to use and is portable so is the perfect brewing method to take to work, on a camping trip, or anywhere really!
The one thing that frustrates me with a lot of coffee brewing methods is the need to buy and carry filter papers with you everywhere you go.
Although they are compostable, the paper filters still add to the waste produced which is a pain if you happen to be somewhere where composting isn’t available.
This led me to look into other filter options available and I stumbled across the reusable metal option.
It turns out you absolutely can use an Aeropress with a metal filter. These are reusable and give a very rich and bolder cup of coffee, similar to a french press. The Able Disk fine or standard options are the most popular choice as they give a well-filtered brew compared to a mesh filter.
What Is An Aeropress
An Aeropress is a relatively modern way to brew coffee. It was invented in 2005 and it resembles a large, plastic syringe. The coffee is brewed for 10-15 seconds before it is forced through a filter using a large plunger.
The Aeropress coffee is a rich and bold flavor and can be similar to an espresso. It’s a simple and affordable way to enjoy barista-quality coffee at home, at work, or anywhere really.
How Does It Work
The Aeropress coffee maker, like most coffee brewing methods, requires some method and practice to get it just right. To make the perfect Aeropress coffee you need some coffee beans, a grinder (ideally a burr grinder), a set of scales, a kettle (ideally a gooseneck kettle), and a watch/stop clock.
You’ll need around 8 ounces (250ml) of boiled water. It’s best to boil the kettle and let it cool for a few minutes before you pour to prevent you from burning the coffee.
Weigh out 15-18 grams of coffee beans and grind them to a fine grind, similar to espresso coffee grounds.
Next, take the Aeropress plastic cup and add your filter. The Aeropress filters are round in shape and if you’re using a paper one you should wet it slightly with warm water before adding the coffee to help it stay in place.
Once your coffee filter is in position assemble the Aeropress. Ensure the body exterior is dry as any wetness can compromise the seal.
Place the Aeropress on your coffee scales with the larger end up. The numbers will appear upside down. Tare the scales so that it reads zero.
Now you can add your freshly ground coffee. Ensure it all goes down into the device and doesn’t scatter everywhere!
Start your timer and pour in the water. You want to add twice the volume of water compared to the weight of coffee. If you use 15g of coffee you want 30g of water etc. You can stir the mixture slightly to ensure an even brewing process. Let this sit for 30 seconds.
Now add the rest of the water and let it sit for 1 minute.
Give it a stir and then screw the cap securely in place. Flip the device over and place the cap over your mug, jug, or pitcher. Press firmly on the plunger and you should feel some resistance. Too much indicates that your coffee grinder was set to too fine a setting and if it plunges too easily this means the grind size was too coarse.
You can now sit back and enjoy your delicious, clean cup of coffee. Once you get the hang of these steps you should end up with a fuller body cup of coffee with a rich mouthfeel.
What Material Is The Aeropress Made Out Of
A major concern for a lot of coffee lovers is that plastic brewing methods can contain harmful chemicals. These not only affect the taste of the coffee but can have a damaging on your health.
Luckily, Aeropress has taken these concerns into consideration. As of 2014, they have adjusted their material used to ensure it is free from BPAs and phthalates. All Aeropresses are made in the USA and are FDA and EU approved for food contact.
They use highly durable polypropylene for the main structure which helps it last longer. It also includes rubber seals and the filter part is up to you.
Aeropress recommends using paper filters with their products but metal filters are available as well if you prefer.
Why Choose Paper Filters?
Aeropress recommends using paper filters for a few reasons. The paper helps remove fine sediment to give a clean cup of coffee. It also absorbs coffee oils which can contribute to a bitter taste and may raise bad cholesterol.
The paper filters are very cheap to buy, fully compostable, and ensure consistently good tasting coffee.
Why Choose A Metal Filter?
Aeropress metal filters are reusable filters so will save you some money as well as the hassle of stocking up with paper ones. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to make your morning coffee and realizing you’ve run out of the filter papers!
A stainless steel mesh filter increases the durability of your Aeropress and is a great option if you’re unable to compost your waste. It does require you to use a coarser grind as small particles of coffee can end up passing through a stainless steel filter and you end up with coffee grinds in your cup of joe.
When brewed carefully, a metal filter can make the best coffee depending on your taste preferences. If you love the rich, intense flavor of the french press then a metal filter may be the ideal choice for you.
Any Downsides With Metal?
In theory, the paper filter helps remove diterpenes and oils which are found in coffee oils. The metal filter doesn’t remove these components.
When it comes to a blind taste test, paper filters always win out.
Finally, your Aeropress is covered by a one-year warranty and this doesn’t include any damage sustained from using a non-Aeropress developed filter. If you do decide to go for metal then this is worth considering.
How Do You Clean A Metal Filter
Over time, the oils from the coffee can clog up the filter causing a weak or off-tasting coffee. You need to make sure you keep the filter clean to ensure a delicious cup of java every time.
Rinse your filter after each use and wipe with a cloth to remove any residue. Each week you should wash it in soapy water or place it on the top shelf of the dishwasher and then rinse thoroughly.
To deep clean a coffee filter that has been neglected for a while, you should soak it in a 1:2 mixture of distilled white vinegar to water. Leave it for several hours or overnight and then brush it gently with a soft brush plus a sprinkle of baking soda.
Rinse well and you’re ready to get brewing again.
Where Can You Buy A Metal Filter?
The Able brewing disk stainless steel Aeropress filter is readily available to purchase on Amazon. It’s inexpensive, made in the USA, and produces a delicious and clean cup of joe.
It comes in a standard and fine version so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Able DISK Fine + Standard Set: The Original Reusable Stainless Steel Filter For AeroPress
- Includes both fine and standard size filters
- Made from super durable stainless steel
- Made in the USA
- Simple, easy, and sustainable coffee brewing
- Effortless cleanup
What Other Coffee Brewing Methods Use Metal Filters
It’s not just the Aeropress that can harness the benefits of using a metal filter.
You can buy mesh or metal filters for most drip coffee machines which can help cut down on waste and gives a richer, bolder cup of coffee.
Pour over options like the Chemex and Hario V60 also have reusable filter options available.
There’s also the trusty French Press which is the king of metal filters as it has it incorporated into the plunger.
The Aeropress is a cost-effective, easy to use coffee brewer that is travel friendly and makes amazing coffee. The choice of metal vs paper filter really comes down to how you like your coffee best. If you prefer the smooth, clean texture of drip coffee then a paper filter is best. If you prefer the rich, bold french press type coffee then you’ll love the metal filter.
The metal filter is re-usable so saves money and hassle in the long run and is definitely worth consideration when you decide to go for the Aeropress.
Can You Use A Lever With An Aeropress to Make Espresso? (It Takes Pressure)
What Can I Use Instead of a Coffee Filter? (Coffee Filter Substitutes)
There are a range of common household items to brew your coffee without a filter. What works will depend on your coffee brewing set-up.
What Are The Foam Bubbles On Top Of Coffee?
Choosing The Best Grind Size for AeroPress
You want a medium-fine grind, similar to table salt. The grounds will have particles between 1/16” and 1/32” (1.6 mm to 0.8mm) in diameter.
Should You Make Cold Brew In An AeroPress?
You can make cold brew with your AeroPress, but I wouldn't recommend it. Cold brew isn't practical, but iced coffee is a great option.