Able Brewing Kone Coffee Filter Review
Are you sick and tired of wasteful paper coffee filters? Or maybe you just want a pour-over brew with a heavier body and fuller mouthfeel? Either way, the Able Kone coffee filter is the answer. This perforated metal filter pairs the best immersion and percolation brewing to deliver a reliable and delicious morning cuppa joe.
In this review, we’ll give you all the details on this reusable coffee filter, including why it costs more than typical metal filters and why it’s worth it.
Summary: The Able Brewing Kone Coffee Filter
- Cone-shaped laser cut stainless steel permanent filter
- Allows coffee oils into the finished coffee cup for a richer and more full-bodied brew
- Easier to clean and longer lasting than a traditional metal mesh filter
It works like a charm, and feels better and more refined than expected…I find the Able Kone filter gives my pour-over coffee a fuller-bodied feel, with a bit of an oilier texture, and a smoother taste.”– Customer
A Full Review of the Able Brewing Kone Filter
Now under the umbrella of high-end coffee machine manufacturer Ratio, Able Brewing started with a simple concept (1). The goal was to make a reusable metal filter for a Chemex that would offer both the clean cup that the brewer is known for and the robust flavour of a French press brew. Did they succeed? Keep reading to find out.
Design – 4/5
The Able Brewing Kone coffee filter is a sheet of perforated stainless steel wrapped into a cone shape and topped with a plastic rim. The design is simple but functional, and it works perfectly. The current model is several iterations beyond the original and features some nice upgrades stemming from customer feedback.
First of all, the plastic rim is a new addition that wasn’t in earlier models. As much as people are unwilling to allow any plastic into their coffee brewing devices, in this case, the plastic rim allows the Able Kone to sit more snuggly in your pour-over brewer. And don’t worry, your hot water should never contact the plastic.
Another change from the original Able Kone is that it now has a flat tip rather than coming to a sharp point. This has little to do with coffee quality and is more of a safety improvement after too many uncaffeinated users stabbed themselves with the sharp cone. If you have children who might stumble across your coffee gear, you’ll appreciate this update.
The original Able Brewing Kone measures 4″ tall with a 5⅛” diameter, and it is compatible with 6, 8, and 10 cup Chemex brewers as well as the Origami dripper. You can also use it with the Moccamaster Technivorm, Bonavita and Ratio 8 coffee makers. These premium coffee machines, which in many ways mimic the action of pour-over coffee makers, are all certified by the SCA for the high quality of coffee they produce (2).
Following the original’s success, Able has expanded its line-up to include the Able Kone Mini and the Able Disk.
The Kone Mini brews with the Hario V60 02 pour-over brewer and measures 3″ tall with a 4″ diameter. The Able Disk is sized to fit in the famous Aeropress coffee maker, typically using round paper coffee filters. It’s available as Standard or Fine, the latter of which is more delicate, at about one-third the thickness of the Standard disk, but it yields a sweeter, clean cup of coffee with fewer fines.
Potential design issue
One thing to be aware of when brewing with the Kone is that the perforations extend to the top of the cone. Perhaps it’s a design decision that they will revisit in the future. So if the cone fills with water, the water flow can escape through the sides without contacting the coffee, leaving you with a watery and under-extracted cup.
You can easily avoid this issue by using proper brewing techniques. Don’t just add all the water at once; you need to pay attention throughout the brew and keep topping it up to brew coffee. This isn’t the “set it and forget it” brewing method, but no pour-over should be.
Coffee Style – 4/5
Coffee style isn’t something you can score because it comes down to personal taste. Whether you like the coffee brewed by the Able Kone will come down to how you feel about French Press coffee and pour-over coffee because it produces a brew somewhere between the two.
The great-tasting coffee produced by the Able Brewing Kone has a heavier body and more oily mouthfeel than coffee brewed with a traditional paper coffee filter. Chemex paper filters, in particular, are very thick so the Kone filter will produce a very different style of coffee than a typical Chemex. However, it still keeps the qualities many people enjoy about a percolation style brew, as described by James Gray, co-founder of Barista & Co (3).
With gravity-driven coffee, one of the things you can end up with is a very, very complex coffee, which has… a great deal of flavour [and] a lot of depth to it.
As opposed to a paper coffee filter, the perforated metals allow the coffee oils through into the finished cup of coffee, giving it a more robust flavour than a typical pour-over.
At the same time, the laser-cut metal of the Able Kone lets less coffee sediment through than the average metal mesh French Press filter. The result is a brew that we’d best describe as a cleaner French press coffee, which is a happy medium sure to appeal to plenty of specialty coffee lovers.
It’s worth going on a slight tangent here to compare the coffee brewed by the Kone filter against another brewer that claims to pair the best of both immersion and pour-over brewing styles: the Clever Dripper. The Clever Dripper takes an opposite strategy from the Kone filter, and it keeps the long-brew time steep of an immersion brew but filters the resultant coffee through a paper filter. So you’ll still get the robust flavours of an immersion brew, but in this case, you get none of the coffee oils. It produces a clean cup with a lighter body than the Kone.
Build Quality – 5/5
The Able Brewing Kone coffee filter is nothing more than a laser-cut sheet of stainless steel wrapped into a cone shape, so it’s virtually indestructible. It’s much longer lasting than a typical metal mesh permanent filter. It will never rust or warp, and it would take some serious effort to crush it. Short of backing over it with your car, which I don’t recommend, it’s safe to say you’re not going to damage the Able Kone or Able Kone Mini.
The Kone is certified food-safe, including the BPA-free plastic rim. It’s designed in Oregon but produced in China, which is unfortunate but very common to reasonable costs. Regardless, Able does an excellent job with quality control.
There is one exception for durability: the Fine version of the Able Disk, which is quite delicate. This is by design, as the delicacy allows it to produce such a subtly sweet brew, but it’s worth keeping in mind that it can easily be bent or damaged. So treat it carefully, especially if you, like many others, use your Aeropress for travel or camping.
Cleaning – 5/5
The Able Kone might not be relatively as quick and easy to clean up as a paper coffee filter, but it’s pretty darn close. Just knock the used ground coffee into the garbage and give it a quick rinse with water, and that’s it. Once a week or so, I like to give it a more thorough wash with soapy water to ensure no coffee oils are building up in the holes. If you have a dishwasher, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s dishwasher-safe, making clean-up even easier.
Unlike a traditional mesh filter, you never end up with a bunch of ground coffee clogged in the holes with the Able Brewing Kone. The tiny laser-cut perforations and ultra-smooth stainless steel surface mean that coffee grounds quickly and easily rinse right out.
Value for Money – 4/5
I’ll say right up front that the Able Brewing Kone is one of the more expensive coffee filters on the market, but you shouldn’t take that to mean it’s not good value. It’s well worth its price for brewing specialty coffee.
For starters, it is a cut above a more common metal mesh filter in terms of how long it lasts and how easy it is to clean. You’l likely never needs to buy another, and the quick clean-up means you waste less time in the morning. And as we all know, time is money.
Whether it is also a cut above in coffee quality comes down to personal taste. But it indeed yields a cleaner and more refined coffee cup when compared with something like a Gold Tone filter.
If you’re a regular coffee drinker, the Able Kone is of excellent value compared to paper filters because it is so durable.
Buy it once, and you’ll never need to rebuy a new coffee filter. The more coffee you drink, the more money you save! Not only that, but there’s the added environmental benefit of not tossing used paper filters in the trash every day – assuming you don’t have compost.
If you’re a Hario V60 fan, then you’ll get even more value for your dollars because the Kone Mini is a bit cheaper than the full-sized Kone. However, V60 filters are cheaper than Chemex filters as well.
Don’t Buy the Able Brewing Kone Coffee Filter If…
You brew with the Kalita Wave: The Able Kone is not compatible with the Kalita Wave, a pour-over dripper that is actually named for the unique wave-shaped filters it requires. There are no metal filters on the market designed to fit the Wave. However, if you’re looking for a permanent filter option for environmental reasons, cloth filters are explicitly designed for the Kalita Wave.
You prefer the cleaner cup: If you like the clean taste and light body of pour-over coffee filtered through paper, paper filters are the only way to go. If the environmental impact is of concern for you, ensure you have access to compost to dispose of them sustainably.
You use a coffee machine with a flat bottom basket: If you’re looking for a permanent metal filter for your coffee machine and it doesn’t use a conical basket, Gold Tone reusable mesh filters are a great option. They are affordable and come in all sizes, though they will brew a slightly different style of coffee than the Able Brewing Kone.
If you appreciate the rich flavour and full body of a French Press brew AND the clean taste of a pour over, then the Able Kone coffee filter deserves a place on your coffee bar. Whether you use the Kone, Kone Mini, or Aeropress Disk, it strikes a perfect balance between the two brewing methods. What’s more? It’s environmentally friendly, easy to use, and will save you money in the long run.
- Bryman, H. (2018, October 9). Manual Equipment Maker Able Brewing in Capable New Hands. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2018/10/09/manual-equipment-maker-able-brewing-in-capable-new-hands/
- Specialty Coffee Association. (2022). SCA Certified Home Brewer Program. Retrieved from https://sca.coffee/certified-home-brewer
- Burgess-Yeo, S. (2019, March 15). Drip and immersion brewing: A battle of two methods. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2019/03/drip-pour-over-vs-immersion-the-battle-of-the-coffee-brew-methods/