The AeroPress offers almost near perfection when it comes to brewing coffee at home; I’m sure we can all agree on that.
But what if I told you there’s a way to elevate your AeroPress and take it to the next level by simply ditching those paper filters and replacing them with an AeroPress metal filter.
The Able Disk is one of those filters. It has been designed for the AeroPress and it will completely change the taste of your pressed coffee by allowing more oils to pass into the cup – the change is so noticeable you may never go back to paper filters again!
Have I piqued your interest? Keep on reading this review, and I will show you the ins and outs of this pocket-sized reusable AeroPress coffee filter and why I think you should make the switch.
Overview Of The Able AeroPress Metal Filter
I’ve been using the Able Brewing Disk for over 12 months now, and I thought it was about time to write a review.
I often do a week using paper filters and then switch it up by brewing another week with the Able or the Fellow Prismo AeroPress attachment. I find that switching between different filters regularly ensures that brewing with the AeroPress never gets boring.
There was a time when reusable metal filters for the AeroPress were unheard of, and it was actually the Able Disk that was one of the first to enter the market.
Over the years, the Able Disk has made quite a name for itself. Many others have followed, but they seem to never be as popular as the Able product.
One of Able’s main points is that its products are designed and manufactured in the USA, which is prominently printed on the front packaging sleeve.
Many other competing AeroPress filter brands are shipped out of China. I like to think this is why they aren’t as popular as the original Able Disk because they are all very similar in their functionality.
The durability of the Able Disk is excellent, and even after all these months of “heavy use,” the stainless steel filter still looks in great shape – no bending, warping, or blocked holes.
It doesn’t matter what type of coffee grind I throw at the metal filter, it never seems to get blocked, which is an issue I struggle with when using the Fellow Prismo or other metal filters like the CremaCraft range.
The overall design of the Able Disk is what you would expect from a metal filter such as this. It has a very low profile design that’s paper-thin. The metal is smooth with no visible burrs; however, the edges of the disk are sharp, so a pre-warning be careful, it will cut your finger.
But most importantly, you want to know just how good the Able Disk brews coffee. Let’s take a closer look.
Brewing Coffee With The Able Disk
When opening the cardboard packaging, you will be greeted with a welcome card that includes AeroPress brewing instructions on the reverse side.
It only makes sense to follow their instructions to the letter for this review since that’s what they recommend works well with their Disk Filter.
The brewing instructions are very similar to my daily routine using the AeroPress with paper filters, so I already have a hunch it will be on the mark.
However, I will slightly change their instructions, and I will be brewing using the AeroPress in the inverted position rather than the regular as indicated in the instructions.
Everything else stays the same ratios etc. I just find the whole process to be a lot easier and less messy.
Here are the standard Able Disk brewing instructions using my inverted method.
1. Place the disk inside the AeroPress filter cap with the text on the outer rim facing upwards and put it to one side.
2. Invert your AeroPress and push the plunger to just below the number 4.
3. Add 18g of fresh medium ground coffee and gently shake to even the bed of coffee.
4. Slowly pour in 220ml of 200°f of water, aiming for the 30-second mark on your timer.
5. Wait for 50 seconds.
6. Gently stir the coffee for 10 seconds.
7. Screw in your AeroPress cap containing the metal filter. Gently flip the AeroPress and plunge slowly for 40 seconds.
8. Enjoy your coffee.
Compared to coffee brewing in the AeroPress using paper filters, I find that the end result with the Able Disk does contain more fines or sediment.
You’ll end up with some “sludge” in the bottom of your cup, and it will turn your coffee bitter more quickly because of more extended contact with the grounds after brewing.
It’s not quite as intense as the sediment you would typically get from a French Press, but it’s definitely noticeable.
On the plus side. That sediment helps transform your coffee into a cup with a very intense aroma and a much “fuller” bodied cup with a richer flavor due to all of the oils allowed to pass through the filter, which would otherwise be caught in the regular paper filter.
The body and mouthfeel of the coffee are what this filter is all about.
Personally, I prefer the taste of AeroPress coffee using a reusable filter such as the Able Disk.
Some say that the difference between paper and metal disks is barely noticeable. For my palate, I would definitely be able to distinguish between the two in a blind taste test.
The bolder, more decadent flavors which are let through the metal disk filters are hard to dismiss.
I believe that “an average coffee drinker” would be able to tell the difference in a side-by-side test using old school paper filters and the Able Brewing Disk, and probably enough to determine preference.
How does the Able Disk perform? I prefer to use slightly more ground coffee and typically use 20g rather than the 18g in their brew instructions. Apart from that slight change, it’s an A + from me.
Cleaning The Able Disk Filter
I’m not going to sugar-coat it, but it is slightly more challenging to clean the Able Brewing Disk versus the paper filters.
When you get used to ejecting paper filters straight into the trash, anything else that requires a bit of additional cleanup will seem like a chore.
With the Able Filter, you have to remove the metal filter from the coffee puck carefully.
Once you have the metal filter, scrub it under the faucet using warm water, detergent, and a good bristled brush. Slightly flex the disk to help unclog the holes, and it looks brand-new again.
I find that the puck becomes more solid and dry and is far easier to remove. The metal filter drops away, and you can then shoot the coffee puck into the trash.
The Verdict: Is The Able AeroPress Metal Filter Worth A Buy?
The Able Disk is an awesome upgrade that every AeroPress owner should have in their kit.
Even if you don’t use it every day, it’s nice to use it every other week to bring life back into your mundane AeroPress routine.
The change in flavor and taste is noticeable, and that alone should be enough to tempt you to give it a try.
If you enjoy the mouthfeel of brewed French Press coffee, you will like the Able coffee filter.
I will say, however, that the filter can only do so much, and making delicious coffee starts with the beans!
Start with freshly roasted (within 14 days of roasting) coffee, and you’ll be able to brew a great-tasting cup of coffee, no matter what filter you use.
What We Love
- Save money long-term by not using disposable paper filters.
- There is no paper taste or waste.
- A fuller-bodied cup of coffee with a bit more fines.
- Well-made, strong, and durable despite being very thin.
- Slightly more work is required for cleanup and maintenance compared to paper filters.
- It requires significantly more pressure to plunge the AeroPress.
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Since the creation of the Bean Ground coffee blog in 2014, Mark and a small circle of coffee hobbyists have rigorously tested, reviewed, and researched coffee gear. In most cases, they have purchased the items themselves with the sole intention of rating and evaluating.
In that time, they have built up a list of quality points to look for and what makes specific equipment better than others. They cut through the noise and marketing hype that often surrounds products to give you their unbiased opinions so you can make clear decisions on your next purchase.