January 20, 2015

AeroPress Filter Comparison: The Big Test!


Ok, we all agree AeroPress offers near pressfection. But don’t you want to make your coffee even better? Everyone has different tastes (acidic, full bodied, bitter, sweet) and different filters accommodate different pallet.

Spanish Version: Comparación de filtros de Aeropress: ¡La Gran Prueba!

Our coffee consultant, N. Agca, cupped & tested the IMS Filter, Able Disk Normal, Able Fine and paper filter to discover which AeroPress filter is best for your tastes. Each filter is designed differently. For example, we found IMS filter offers a sensationally sweet cup whilst Able Disk offers more body.

We performed the test Murat & Mehmet at Coffeetopia in Istanbul. Coffeetopia is Turkey’s flagship for specialty coffee. Why? The owner Şerif Başaran is WBC Technical Judge, Roaster, San Remo team member and SCAE trainer.

Aeropress coffees being brewed

The big test that everyone has been waiting for…

The Filters

1) Paper

2) Able Disk Normal

3) Able Disk Fine

4) IIMS Superfine Disk

The Rules

We used 4 AeroPress’ and for consistency used the same recipe and coffee.  We chose Colombia Finca Cajones (roasted by Kahve Fabrikasi). A very clean, medium-bodied coffee characterised by green apple acidity, dried fruit notes.

We filled the AeroPress in order and then pressed them in order (Paper, Able, IMS, Able Fine).

Aeropress micro-filters and metalfilters

The contestants #nofilter

The Recipe

Inverted AeroPress

12 grams coffee (grind size in between filter & espresso (slightly finer than Ditting “paper filter” setting)

45 seconds bloom (75g water at 88 C)

45 second steep (85 C)

200g total water.

Press at 1.30 min.

Aeropress coffee being brewed

The steeping beauty… Credit: Mojo Coffee

SEE ALSO: 3 Easy-To-Follow AeroPress Brewing Videos

The Results

Paper Filter: Sacrificed some flavour undertones. In addition, the acidity and body is sacrificed too.

Able Normal Disk: It has a full body but sacrifices the acidity. It also has an intense aroma. The body of the coffee is what this filter is all about.

Able Fine Disk: Delicious juicy fruity flavour & strong acidity.  You get body but less than Able Normal disk. A fruity and sweet cup.

IMS  Filter: It’s love at first sip with a super sweet taste. A delicious acidity and similar body to Able Fine. Much fruitier and sweeter than the Able Fine. The IMS filter allowed the fruity-sweet flavorful notes to emerge in a very good way. We drank this coffee prior to the experiment with two or three different roast profiles (both filter and espresso) and never achieved the same IMS sweetness.

Acaia Pearl

We ensured consistent pouring via using an Acaia Pearl

The Conclusion

For a sweet, acidic cup with fruity notes – IMS or Able Fine.

Even sweeter – IMS.

If you like body but dislike fruity notes – Able disk.

We advise using paper filters if you dislike metal filter taste or “oils”. Oils? Metal filters permit more of coffee oils to pass into the cup, which significantly alters the flavour.

Aeropress machines and filters

The winner? Depends on what you like!

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