I posted this on the official product page for the AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap but you never know if they’re actually going to publish negative reviews or not, so here it is for posterity.
Not a great version 1.0 – ★★★☆☆
I’ve been using the cap for well over a month (or two?) now, every day, since I got it, and it’s time to weigh in. Unfortunately, this cap does not live up to my expectations from AeroPress. I’d passed on third party caps like this because I’m a purist, I guess, so I jumped at the chance to grab one of these. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like it was designed with proper care and it feels like a third party accessory to me.
The main reason? It leaks. I’m not a weak person, I think, and I’ve never had any issue screwing the default cap onto my AeroPress all the way, and I’ve never had any issues with leaks that run down the outside of my cup before. With this cap, leaks are a fact of life, and no matter what I do I cannot screw the cap on “all the way” the same way I can with the default cap. I’ve noticed that the paper filters don’t fit quite right into this cap, and maybe that can explain why the cap leaks?
In addition to the leaky cap, which leaves coffee around the rim of my cup and often on the outside, the cleanup process is not as nice. With the original cap, I can usually pull the cap off and the coffee and filter are stuck in the chamber still, and I can plunge both right into a container. Easy, clean process that usually doesn’t even get my fingers dirty.
With this filter cap, what usually happens is this: I grab the cap and twist, getting hot coffee all over my fingers. When I pull the cap off, a bunch of grounds fall off the cap and into the container, the other half stay in the plunger, and the paper always stays stuck to the cap. So then I have to plunge out the coffee grounds with one hand (because I am holding the hot cap in my other hand), and then grab a utensil (like AeroPress recommends in review comments!) so that I can gently ‘lift’ the filter off the cap to let excess coffee drain out from under it, then scrape the filter off the cap into the container with the utensil. Then I’ll grab a paper towel and wipe off any coffee that leaked over the rim and sides of my coffee cup. It’s a first world problem, for sure, but this inconvenience adds up over time and adds a little hassle to every morning.
I don’t believe for a moment there isn’t a design for this sort of cap that can replicate the ease and solid seal of the original AeroPress cap, and because of that, I’m inclined to believe this product can improve and doesn’t deserve 5 stars like many here are giving it. It’s unfortunate, because there are perks to this cap: 1) I do believe my coffee tastes just a bit better when using this cap. 2.) When doing the Stumptown method, you no longer have to be in a bit of a rush to create negative suction. But ultimately the fussiness of the cleanup operation really defeats half the joy of using the AeroPress for me and I do not recommend this flow control cap.