When it comes to pour over coffee, we acknowledge how big a role different kinds of filters can play.
Not just when it comes to the material, but even down to the type of paper and pulp that is used.
In the realm of AeroPress, we’re starting to get to the same level of detail.
Here’s a quick guide to the difference between 4 popular types of AeroPress filters. There is a lot more to filters than just using the cheap mass-produced ones by Aerobie. Find out, what my favorite filter is in this article.
Regular AeroPress Filters
You already know the regular AeroPress filters, so I won’t spend too much time on them in this post.
There are a couple of good things to say about them, though:
- They are super cheap
- Widely available
- Will do an okay job if you use two (yes, 2!) at the same time
However, I think you can really improve your coffee by using the filters described below instead. The standard filters often produce a slightly muddy cup, if you ask me.
Aesir AEROPRESS filters
When it comes to pour over drippers, it’s well-known that the different paper filters have a significant impact on the final flavor of the brew.
With the Aeropress, we haven’t given much thought to the paper filters until recently.
This has changed with the launch of the ‘Aesir’ filters. These filters have the same diameter as a traditional paper filter from Aerobie. However, they are a lot thicker and denser.
Aesir filters are made from a special paper created from a more dense and consistent pulp compared to most other coffee filters I have encountered.
That means that the filters have a smaller pore size, so any sediment or tiny particles are unable to make it into the final cup.
Regular AeroPress filters may look like they do the same. But then add around 1.5 bars of pressure and now they are suddenly more porous, which means that they will often let some bitter compounds seep into the cup.
I was skeptical when I first tried Aesir filters, but the first brew won me over right away.
If you want a ‘cleaner’ and more transparent cup profile similar to pour over rather than AeroPress, I highly recommend that you try these filters.
My personal opinion is that out of any single AeroPress hack or technique, using Aesir filters may have the biggest impact of all.
A range of national and international champions have used Aesir filters during the last couple of years.
Prismo Filter Cap
The Prismo filter cap was developed to improve the espresso capabilities of the AeroPress.
Unfortunately, in reality, it didn’t succeed. The valve in the Prismo is just too easy to activate, so you don’t end up producing a high amount of bars before liquid starts flowing.
However, the good thing about the Prismo is that it can be used to restrict flow during the steeping phase. Therefore, when using it, you will not have any bypass or premature dripping.
For instance, if you want to have a 5-minute steep before plunging, you can swiftly achieve that with the Prismo.
Of course, there are also techniques like brewing upside-down or using an airlock by lifting the plunger slightly, but both methods have downsides.
Overall, I don’t hold the Prismo in high regard, but some coffee geeks swear by it, so it’s worth figuring out which camp you’re in.
By the way; the Prismo can be used both with or without a paper filter – depending on your preference.
AeroPress Metal Filter Disc
The AeroPress metal filter disc is perhaps the oldest AeroPress hack there is.
Today, there are countless of different versions avaiable online.
Essentially, they all do the same, which is letting more oils through to the cup compared to the paper filters.
They also have another advange, since they are reusable.
Many old-school coffee drinkers like the kind of mouthfeel that you get from metal-filtered coffee. More oils in the cup also means a thicker mouthfeel. If you’re using a medium or dark roast that might be desirable feature.
Personally, I favor clarity (so that means paper filtration) but if you like something else, then be all means go ahead.
There are a few different brands out there. Some have a bit more pedigree for instance Able and Cafe Concetto.
There will also be some variations in how fine the mesh is. Smaller holes will naturally do a better job of filtering the brew.
If you want to experiment, you can get a set like this one with both fine and superfine filters.
The number of times you can reuse Aeropress filters depends on a few factors, including how well you clean them. Generally speaking, you should be able to get 3-5 uses out of a filter before it starts to affect the taste of your coffee. However, if you’re a real coffee aficionado, you may want to change your filter more frequently in order to enjoy the cleanest flavor of your brew.
You can buy a range of 3rd party products and use instead of the original AeroPress filters. Click on this article, for a wide range of suggestions! With a bit of patience, you can also cut out filters from your regular cone-shaped coffee filters.
Yes, generally speaking, AeroPress filters are the same size (2.5 inches or 6.35 cm). The filter must create a proper seal around the edges of the cap. For this reason, you cannot use a filter that is either too small or large.
That being said, I have previously used a 6 cm moka pot paper filter on a few occasions, even though they are a bit too small. It can work, just be careful when you place the filter and plunge the brewer.