AeroPress Coffee Filters – [Metal vs Paper]

The AeroPress Coffee filters are one of the most important components of this brewing method. Choosing the right filter could make or break your coffee cup. I’m not saying that one is better than the other, just better for your taste. But we will get to that in a bit, bare with me.

AeroPress Filters, paper, disk and metallic mesh

We talked about the amazing versatility of AeroPress in our brewing tutorial, give it a read if you haven’t yet. Part of this remarkable versatility stems from the ability to choose from various different filters. There are on the market paper filters, and metal filters. The metal filters can also be metallic mesh or metallic disk. The mesh, or the disk, can be fine or coarse. Every filter type gives you a different tasting profile, given all other parameters are the same. This is what we will explore in this post.


Replacement Paper Filters for Aeropress

  • This is a package of 350 replacement micro-filters for your AeroPress. This is enough for a half a year if you use two filters per day.
  • Unlike the metal filter, the paper ones can eliminate most of the coffee oils, for a low cholesterol beverage.
  • The paper filters also remove all the fines in your cup, leaving you with a smooth clean beverage.
  • If you are a drip coffee lover, these are the filters you need to buy.

Why Different AeroPress Filters Brew Different Coffees?

Upside Down AeroPress

First of all, paper filters retain coffee oils, which are an important flavor component.

Coffee oils are not for everyone. Some people hate the idea of getting into their body a drink that raises their cholesterol. Some other just enjoy responsibly. So, if you are concerned about cholesterol, choose paper filters and stay away from metal filters. There is some research that shows that kahweol and cafestol, two oily compounds in coffee, can affect the levels of your cholesterol.

Paper filters also will give less body to your cup, because they will filter all the insoluble solids in coffee. Coffee people call those insoluble solids - fines. With metal filters, you get more fines, hence stronger the coffee. But the taste of that strong coffee is definitely too much for many.

AeroPress paper filters allow more pressure with a coarser grind. This combined with the greater filtration capability of paper filters will result in a cleaner, lighter body cup.

Metallic filter disks allow coffee to pass through easier, this means faster extraction. To compensate for this, you need to grind finer. A finer grind will give you more body.

We wrote a great tutorial on how to brew AeroPress coffee. Like all our other tutorials, this is a very detailed How-To and goes into technical details to help you understand the process. Give it a read.

Able Brewing Metal Disk Filter for AeroPress

  • The disk can be used for years if cleaned up properly. Is thick enough and is very hard to bend/damage.
  • The metallic disk allows more oils and brews a fuller bodied cup.
    If you like a stronger coffee, (more fines and a richer taste), this is your filter.
  • 100% Made in the USA by Able Brewing.
  • If you love stronger coffee like espresso or French press, this is the disk you want.

Which One Is for You, Metal or Paper Filter?

So which filter should you buy? I would say both. Bare with me for a minute, and you’ll see why. Based on the differences above, you can probably already have an idea what filter you need. Here is a compressed version of that. The paper filter will give you a coffee closer to drip, whereas disk metal filters will resemble espresso. The metallic mesh is similar to French press but stronger.

I said you should buy both, regardless if you have a preference. The reason is that you can always make a different coffee for a guest, or even for yourself. Filters are so inexpensive that you need to at least try brewing with a metal filter. Even if you don’t like a full body cup, you still need that for cappuccinos and lattes.

Perfect Daily Grind has a comparison between the three filters, you can take a look at it here. I love PDG, and I think highly of them, however, you can't use the same recipe for three different filters. Take the published experiment with a grain of salt, but it's a good reference.

Many people think about AeroPress as some sort of espresso maker. While I love the brewing device and enjoy the coffee made with one, it does not qualify as an espresso. I wrote an article about making crema with an AeroPress, and I go there in greater details about espresso and crema. I highly recommend you to read that article if you are planning to brew espresso with the AeroPress.

If you like those intense discussions about insignificant things, then you'll love how people debate on Reddit about which one is easier to clean after.

Kaffeologie S-Filter, Metallic Mesh Filter for AeroPress

  • This is the original mesh filter for AeroPress.
  • It is a sturdy product, built in the USA and guaranteed for life.
  • The disk is made of 316 stainless steel, which ensures corrosion resistance.
  • The mesh is very fine, which means you can use finer grinds, but still get the aromatic coffee oils passed into your cup. (100,000 holes per square inch)
  • If you want a coffee similar to French press, but completely clean of escaped grounds, this is the filter for you.

I have tried other mesh disks, and they were either too flimsy, or they rusted, or the coating washed off.

Prismo for AeroPress

The Prismo was developed in late 2017 by Fellow, a coffee company that makes coffee brewing accessories. Prismo is a device that contains a pressure actuated valve on a custom screw-cap and a metallic filter. 

The metallic filter is probably one of the best on the market, and if you buy it for the filter only you are still getting a great deal.

However, the secret weapon of this attachment is the special valve that remains sealed until you press down the plunger. This creates more pressure in order to brew coffee closer to espresso.