First a little backstory. If you’re familiar with pour over coffee, you might be familiar with the Coava Kone. It’s a stainless steel reusable filter for use with Chemex brewers, made in the USA by Coava Coffee. The Kone’s creator Keith Gehrke has since left Coava to start up Able Brewing, focusing on these filters. The Kone is rumored to be seeing it’s third iteration soon, and they’ve already produced an Aeropress disk.
The pre-production model that they are testing is a finer version of the existing disk. They’ve been calling it the “DISKfine”. You see, with these steel filters you get a bit more sediment in your cup compared to a paper filter. This fine disk filter is meant to minimize that by significantly reducing the diameter of the holes.
Which leads me into the actual review.
Spoiler alert: The DISKfine does minimize the sediment. Quite a bit.
For my testing, I’ve been using some Dark Matter Brasil. I won’t go into detail about the coffee – I’ll save it for its own review – but I will address the paper filter vs. DISKfine brewing. My recipe was the same for both filters:
Coffee: Dark Matter Brasil.
Grind: Slightly finer than auto drip. Baratza Virtuoso #20.
Ratio: 22 grams coffee to 220 grams water.
- Invert Aeropress and place ground coffee inside.
- Pour in 30 grams hot water, stir and let bloom for 20 sec.
- Pour in remainder of water and stir.
- At the 1 minute mark, invert onto receiving cup and plunge (approx 30 sec).
Total brew time: 1 minute 30 seconds.
I did make one change when brewing with the DISKfine. Once most of the coffee has been plunged out of the coffee bed, you can start to hear the hiss of the leftover air being pushed through. With the paper filter, I pushed all the way through, forcing as much coffee as possible out of the coffee bed and leaving an easy-to-clean dry puck behind. With the DISKfine, I stopped plunging as soon as I could hear the hiss. The theory here is that while it does push out the last of the coffee, it can also force out more sediment through the DISKfine. This is less of an issue for paper filters due to the size of the filter holes. (A paper filter has very small holes – you can’t even see them. The DISKfine has visible perforations. Tiny perforations, but still notably larger than paper.)
Feel free to click either of these for the full-sized versions.
I will say that, as evidenced in the photos, there is a bit more sediment in the DISKfine cup. This is not surprising. What matters is the taste, the aroma, the experience. The sediment we are dealing with from the DISKfine is arguably meaningless. The mouthfeel was virtually identical between the two cups. This is in stark contrast to pour over vs. french press, where french press coffee tends toward a bolder, heavier experience.* The aroma and flavor were indistinguishable. Granted, this was not a side-by-side blind taste test – it was a “first one, then the other” test – but I’m not going for scientific accuracy here. Only practical analysis.
* This is of course also due to the significantly increased immersion time of french press compared to Aeropress: 3 minutes and up vs. less than 1 minute.
The cleanup is a breeze. What little bit of grounds get stuck to the DISKfine are washed away with ease. It does seem a little flimsier than I expected (what was I expecting?), but not so much that you’ll feel the need to be overly cautious. I would avoid serious bending as it seems like that would result in a permanent crease.
I have to say, I was skeptical when I got it. (I’ve never used their original Aeropress disk or their Kone.) I really like paper filters. They brew a fantastically clean crisp coffee and they are incredibly easy to deal with. This DISKfine has me convinced.
In summation, comparing the Able Brewing DISKfine Aeropress filter to the stock paper filters:
There is no appreciable difference. It is highly recommended.