Using the Aeropress with a mesh as a gravity dripper indeed is very interesting. I did try it and it lead to promising results. Indeed the mesh makes the drawdown faster with the Aeropress.DamianWarS wrote:Water takes the path of least resistance so as long as it can flow through the filter at any part of it, then it will flow through the filter provided it's alternative routes have greater resistance. Stuff like agitation may contribute to clogging the filter or changing the resistance of the coffee bed. So im sure it can affect bypass and it may decrease it if the filter pours are clogged up along the walls or if flow through the coffee bed has increased to a point that it's easier for water to pass through.
Stuff like the espro bloom may have lots of bypass or partial bypass from the walls of the brewer by perhaps traveling in and out along the walls. After reading Gange I think it has affected how I approach these brewers and filters and I now consider adding a mesh to any flat bottom.
When you seal the sides you are forcing all (or most) of the water to go through the coffee bed and it may not be desirable results but I think with your testing to know if the mesh does anything if you pressed in the folds and tried one with the mesh and one without you will probably get a faster draw down with the mesh. If you're not pressing in the folds then you will never know how much is bypass and how much is going through the coffee bed to determine if th mesh has a positive effect or not.
I added a mesh to the areopress and treated it as a gravity dripper. (So there is the cap, mesh, then on top of it all the filter) and despite the cap have a lot of holes the mesh made the draw down quicker from 7:00 to 4:30. Because the aeropress has no paper filter along the walls there is zero bypass and all the water must travel through the coffee bed. So the mesh made a difference and I'm a believer.
If the Aeropress is used like that, it can not have bypass. Hence it is much better suited for the no bypass style of brewing than the Stagg X. Nonetheless I am interested in the questions I asked previously, to understand better how I could pour to minimize bypass when not folding in the sides of the paper.