Aeropress Paper vs Metal Filter: Which Is Best For You?
The Aeropress is inexpensive, makes fantastic coffee, and is incredibly versatile. By tweaking the grind size, dose, water temperature, or brewing technique, you can brew coffee to anyone’s taste.
The filter choice is another parameter that makes a huge difference in your brew. This article dives into the Aeropress paper vs metal filter debate, so you can decide which warrants a place on your coffee bar.
Aeropress Paper Filters
Aeropress paper filters are the round paper discs traditionally used when brewing with an Aeropress. They are bleached without chlorine or other harmful chemicals, so pre-wetting is not mandatory.
- Clean-tasting coffee
- Easy clean-up
- Need to keep buying
Aeropress Metal Filter
Several brands offer metal mesh filters for Aeropress, with variations in mesh size and design and the type of metal used. A popular and good-quality option is the Able Disk, and recently, Aeropress has released its version (1).
- Full-bodied coffee
- No waste
- More expensive upfront
- Harder to clean
A Face-to-Face Comparison
There are many different filters for Aeropress, each useful for brewing a particular style of coffee. Read on to learn which are the best coffee filters for you or why you might want to keep both metal and paper filters on hand!
Using a paper filter yields the clean cup the Aeropress is known for, and it continues to be the preferred option for Aeropress inventor Alan Adler (2).
Whenever we did a taste test, the paper filter always won.
The paper filter removes the silt you find at the bottom of a French press brew and any coffee oils. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your taste. By keeping the coffee oils in the cup, the metal filter yields a coffee with a heavier body and creamier mouthfeel.
Winner: It’s a tie! Both brew great cups of coffee, so it just depends on what you like.
A good-quality reusable Aeropress filter costs about $15. You can find cheaper options online, but at a loss in quality. Aeropress sells a pack of 350 paper filters for $8.
Assuming you brew just one cup daily, you’ll have paid the cost of a metal filter in 2 years.
However, it is possible to reuse your paper filters, one of our Aeropress brewing tips.
Winner: The metal filter is of better value in the long run if you don’t lose or damage it.
Ease of Use
Whether you use paper or metal filters, brewing coffee will be the same. But cleaning up is easier using paper filters because you can toss them in the trash – or better yet, the compost. It’s a sad truth that disposable products usually make our lives easier.
Winner: Paper filters won’t simplify brewing, but they win this round for the easy clean-up.
A reusable metal filter is the best option for the environment, provided you treat it well and don’t need to buy replacements. But if you love the taste of paper-filtered coffee, you can dispose of your coffee filters sustainably in the compost without fretting too much about your environmental footprint.
Winner: The reusable metal filter takes this round, as long as you take good care of it.
Both metal and paper Aeropress coffee filters brew a delicious, albeit different, cup of coffee. So there is no wrong answer!
Use Aeropress paper filters if you…
- Enjoy a cleaner cup of coffee with no silt and crisp flavors.
- Prefer a simple clean-up after brewing.
- Can afford to keep buying filters.
Use an Aeropress reusable filter if…
- Prefer a full-bodied cup of coffee.
- Don’t want to generate any waste.
- Want to buy one filter and save money in the long run.
The best grind size for Aeropress is medium-fine. Alan Adler says he sets the grinder midway between drip and espresso.
The best water temperature for Aeropress, according to the brand, is a surprisingly low 175 F. However, the Specialty Coffee Association suggests 195 – 205 F for brewing coffee.
The Aeropress Go is an even more travel friendly version of the Aeropress. Compared with the standard Aeropress, it is smaller and includes a mug.
- Bryman, H. (2022, August 3). Aeropress Has Launched a Reusable Steel Filter of Its Own. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2022/08/03/aeropress-has-launched-a-reusable-steel-filter-of-its-own/
- Bryman, H. (2017, November 6). Alan Adler Presses On: Inventor Retains Aeropress Company, Adding Products. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2017/11/06/alan-adler-presses-on-inventor-retains-aeropress-company-adding-products/