What are these portafilters you speak of? Let's find out.
One of quickest ways to up your espresso game is to use a bottomless portafilter. Read on to learn about why you would want to purchase one or convert an existing filter to a bottomless one.
The most common portafilters available in cafes are the spouted ones. In the bottomless portafilters, there are no spouts and the basket is exposed which allows the barista or you, to observe the extraction process and marvel at the delicious warm brown liquid pouring through it. Instant eyegasm!
Bottomless portafilters are gaining a lot of popularity especially in barista training schools where young and upcoming new barista trainees are able to see exactly what goes on in the extraction process and how it should look like.
Reasons to use Bottomless Portafilters
Visual Experience and Training: Having a bottomless portafilter allows you to see how well your coffee beans are being extracted and also to make sure nothing is hindering you from having that perfect shot. If the stream is leaning to one side, the grounds haven’t been tamped properly and there is an uneven consistency in the puck of ground coffee. This leads to a disappointing shot. You want the stream to be dead centre, creamy brown and steady. If it flows too fast, the tamping pressure was inadequate. This is great for training future baristas also, it’s extremely satisfying to watch a perfect stream of espresso fall gently into the ceramic demitasse.
CREMAAAA: Crema is the bubbly foamy layer which is extremely flavourful and provides that smooth, sensuous feel to the espresso. More crema, more taste and a lot more crema is produced using bottomless portafilters! Around 50% more, if you have the perfect beans and barista. Why? Because there is no other object to block the path of the extracted espresso shot like the spouts in spouted portafilters. This means, more of the crema produced makes its way into your espresso.
Taste: More crema, more flavour. Also, the bottomless nature of the portafilter makes it easier to clean thoroughly after each shot. This saves time, effort and makes for a rich, creamy cup of espressos back to back!
Consistency: If you are a novice barista, you know that brewing a perfect shot once in a blue moon is not going to cut it. You need to be able to pull ideal shots one after the other in succession. Since you are able to observe the extraction process in real time, it makes it a lot easier to troubleshoot your espresso shots. Cons: Bottomless portafilters are relatively less sturdy as compared to spouted portafilters and might need replacement eventually. However it still lasts for a long time. There you go! If you want to buy one for yourself or your coffee aficionado friends, there are tons of models to choose from. Just make sure to choose the model which is compatible with your espresso machine and then choose a flat metal precision tamper to complete the set! Rancilio OEMs are great portafilters to buy and the La Marzocco OEMs are really good as well. Feel free to browse more here to select the one that you need.
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