EXPERIMENTING WITH THE DISK FINE FROM ABLE BREWING
BY: Jamie Ferguson
On March 30th, 2012 Prima Coffee and Able Brewing partnered up to host a contest. The prize was a pre-release of the new AeroPress stainless steel disk titled, “Disk Fine.” Including me, there were 100 winners chosen to test the new prototype to see whether or not Able Brewing should move forward with full production.
I was very honored to be one of the lucky 100 to have the opportunity to give this new filter a good run through.
When the Disk arrived I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. I had a lot of questions running through my head and fear for feeling slightly on the spot for feedback. Would the sediment in the bottom of the cup be gone completely? How would the Disk hold up now being even thinner?
"This new design of the Disk answers the call for an even finer metal filter. The holes measure to half of the diameter of the standard Disk, therefore resulting in a greater density of precisely etched holes. To achieve this, however, the metal had to be thinner. This finer Disk is a bit more delicate; while the standard Disk has the potential to hold up for a lifetime, the finer Disk sacrifices some durability to achieve a greater degree of fineness, resulting in an even cleaner cup. While thin, the Fine is still made of high quality stainless steel and with careful cleaning and storage techniques, the user should ensure that they get lots of use from the finer Disk. ~ Able Brewing"
What about the taste? How would the even smaller holes affect the outcome of the cup?
"… We do feel that the standard Disk yields a considerably clear cup, but of course there are others who want an even cleaner, less sediment-containing brew. We have experimented with this finer version, and the results were extraordinary! The cup tasted like it had been brewed using a cloth filter, with oils present but sediment unperceived. For those desiring a cleaner metal filter, the finer Disk is a success. ~ Able Brewing"
For my experimenting I’ve been using the following baseline parameters:
- Grind: On the fine side. Baratza Virtuoso Preciso #22
- Ratio: 17 grams coffee to 220 grams water
- Invert the Aeropress and place ground coffee inside.
- Pour in 220 grams of water and give a quick stir.
- Seal on cap and let brew for 1 minute then flip over cup and press within 45 seconds
- Total brew time: 1 minute 45 seconds
The results with the new Disk Fine were definitely extraordinary, and maybe even a tad magical. What I found was that the Disk Fine produced an even tastier cup than the standard disk currently on the market. The cup was noticeably less acidic, sweeter, much cleaner, and on top of that did not have near as much sediment. From the taste, it was like the little sediment that was there was nonexistent.
With the Disk I have now, I normally don’t plunge all the water out to keep the sediment in the cup down, but with the Disk Fine I have found that I don’t need to worry about this step as the sediment is so minimal that it’s starting to become an unnecessary step.Overall, I love the new Disk Fine. This new Disk for the AeroPress is like the icing on the cake to an even cleaner, less sediment filled cup. I’m glad to see that they will be keeping the current Disk around and adding the Disk Fine as an option, though I think current users will find that this Disk is even better than the last if they are coming from previous versions. And to the completely new users out there, I think you’ll find this Disk makes for a spectacular cup of coffee.
THE NEW “FINE DISK” FROM ABLE
BY: Paul at Brewrista Talk
Brew recipe for Fine Disk:
- Inverted method
- 15g coffee
- 200g of water (94°C)
- TDS 1.40
- Start the timer and pour the water on the grounds
- Stir 3 times
- Put the disk on the top (logo outwards)
- Close the AeroPress and push it gently down until you see the first drops
- After 40 to 50sec. invert the AeroPress and press gently downwards
- Total brew time: 1:20 minutes
DISK FINE REVIEW
The new DISK Fine produces a cleaner cup - BY: Niels Verkade
Being one of the lucky hundred, receiving the pre-production DISK Fine from Prima Coffee Equipment also meant writing a review. Here it is.
A little background about me. I have been busy with coffee for 3,5 years now. About the last 1,5 year I started to improve my skills rapidly. Reading all about coffee, being inspired by many people and getting some good equipment. The last few months I have sort of been trying to develop my own ‘style’. Getting this DISK Fine and reviewing it was a nice opportunity to contribute some serious word to the world of coffee. So here it goes.
Paper - DISK
Versatility is one of the things I love about the AeroPress and I think I am not the only one. Though it looks a bit odd for a brewing device, it does the job quite well every time. Furthermore it is virtually unbreakable, which is nice. The paper filters give a very clean and crisp taste. Acidity and sweetness scores high numbers. Having a cooled down coffee, the taste is very pleasant. The only drawback of paper is of course its papery taste. Even rinsed properly, coffee tends to taste a little bit dry. Take a dry filter in your mouth and wet it, not nice.
The DISK 2 is different. Though a great coffee can be made with the DISK, it has lost its sweetness and acidity a little bit. Especially when cooled down, the added sediment (of course, the DISK has bigger holes than paper filter) gives a bit a dry mouth-feel due to over-extraction. Something I do not really like. I do not drink french press coffees for the same reason
The DISK 2 always has some clogged up holes after quick cleaning.
Much finer holes
This new DISK has much finer holes. Much finer! This way less sediment gets in the cup and the coffee should taste more like paper filter. I agree with that. During the testing I compared DISK 2 coffees with DISK Fine coffees and DISK Fine coffees with paper filter ones. I used several fresh roasted coffees: Square Mile’s Sertao Carmo de Minas and Vista Hermosa Huila as well as Caffènation’s Burundi (BAC roast) and their Yirgacheffe.
My conclusion is that compared to the DISK 2 the new DISK Fine produces a cleaner cup with less sediment. There is more acidity and sweetness in the cup, which is very pleasant. The taste is fresher than with the DISK 2 and stays fresh, as the second half of the cup is not influenced by over-extraction. Compared to paper filter the DISK Fine stills lets through some oils and sediment, so it is not as clean but gives a more full bodied coffee. It takes away the risk of a papery taste as well.
DISK FINE no clogging
Of course the use of the DISK is important as well. For example it is very easy to clean. The DISK 2 always has some clogged up holes after quick cleaning. This seems past tense with the DISK Fine as it did not clog up during the testing.
One thing that does worry me is the durability. I like the DISK 2 because is it quite sturdy. The DISK Fine is very, very thin. Though I didn’t damage it during the testing, I am still very careful with it and I have doubts about the usability for shops.
- Cleaner cup
- Less sediment
- More versatility for the AeroPress
- Easy cleanup
- Very thin and fragile
- Too fragile for shop use?
Altogether I am very positive and impressed about Able’s DISK Fine. You can produce a coffee that comes really close to paper filter brew without the papery taste. If you handle it with care there should not be any problems with the fact that is very thin. Though it might just be possible to improve the firmness of the edges.
Two-cup AeroPress recipe
Last but not least: a nice two-cup AeroPress recipe. Many recipes use around 200-220 ml of water. When I enjoy my coffee with someone else, that is just not so much.
- Preheat AeroPress and filter (NOTE: use normal method, so NOT inverted)
- Grind 18 grams of coffee a tad coarse
- Add ground coffee to AeroPress
- Pour over twice the amount of water to bloom (so 40 ml)
- Give the AeroPress a good twirl
- Pour over water along to sides of the AeroPress
- Stop when the AeroPress is almost full (you just added 260 ml)
- Give it two short bottom stirs
- Press slowly without pressing out any air
ABLE BREWING DISK FINE
BY: Randy Levine
Recently Able Brewing – with the help of Prima Coffee – gave away 100 pre-production stainless steel reusable AeroPress filters. I was a lucky recipient. This is my review.
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.
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.)
I will say that, 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 mouth feel 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.
Comparing the Able Brewing DISKfine AeroPress filter to the stock paper filters:
There is no appreciable difference. It is highly recommended.