What Different Types of Portafilters Are There?
The term “bottomless portafilter” implies that there are different types available. For a long time, only the standard portafilter, featuring a single or double spout at the bottom, was available. This is the type that most people think of when they hear the word “portafilter.”
But there’s also the bottomless portafilter. The top looks identical, but the major difference is the missing bottom. Turn it over, and you’re looking straight at your filter basket. Your espresso doesn’t first run through the spout, but directly into the cup underneath, allowing you to see precisely how your extraction looks.
Why Use a Bottomless Portafilter?
If you already have a standard portafilter, you might be wondering if a bottomless portafilter is necessary. Rest assured, it’s not a requirement, but it comes with many advantages. That’s why it’s certainly interesting to sometimes replace your old portafilter with a bottomless one. Here’s what you can expect:
- Ideal for analysing your extraction as you can see how the water flows through.
- Up to 50% more crema, significantly enhancing the flavour of your espresso.
- Crema is the frothy layer that adds a beautiful finish. Additionally, it provides a richer flavour and longer aftertaste.
- Easy maintenance, because there’s no worry about residues in the bottom of the portafilter, a bottomless portafilter is easy to clean.
- It looks irresistible, as often seen on Instagram, with the espresso falling into your cup like a stream of warm honey.
Basic troubleshooting with a Bottomless Portafilter
You can use the bottomless portafilter to identify flaws in your technique. Depending on the problem you encounter, we have a solution for you.
If the coffee sprays when extracting through the filter, it’s due to channeling, a dreaded issue for every home barista. This can have different causes. Make sure to use freshly roasted beans and distribute the coffee evenly before tamping.
If your coffee flows too quickly or too slowly, it has nothing to do with the bottomless portafilter or the filter basket. You will need to grind your coffee finer to extend the extraction time. You can easily time this with a digital coffee scale. We recommend starting with 18 grams of coffee to make 36 grams of espresso in about 25 to 30 seconds.
An extra tip is to film the extraction. This makes analysing your work easier, plus you can share the footage with friends and family.
Choose the Right Size Bottomless Portafilter
Before buying a bottomless portafilter, ensure you get the correct size. Not every espresso machine uses the same size filter holder. Consult our size chart to determine the size you need for your device. Here’s a quick overview of the different sizes and popular brands:
- 51mm Bottomless Portafilter (De’Longhi Dedica): Ideal for the Delonghi Dedica and more, such as Smeg machines.
- 51mm Bottomless Portafilter (De’Longhi La Specialista): Suitable for all type of La Specialista espresso machines
- 54mm Bottomless Portafilter: Fits 54mm coffee machines like the Sage Barista Express, Sage Barista Touch, Sage Bambino Plus, Solis Grind & Infuse Pro, Solis Barista Pro, and more.
- 58mm Bottomless Portafilter: Perfectly suitable for all E61 devices, like ECM, Rancilio, Rocket, VBM, etc.
- 58 mm Bottomless Portafilter (Sage): Tailor-made for the Sage Dual Boiler, Sage Oracle Touch, Sage the Oracle, Solis Gran Gusto, and Breville Oracle (Touch).
- 58 mm Bottomless Portafilter (Gaggia): Ideally suited for the Gaggia Classic and the Gaggia Classic Pro.
It’s incredibly stylish to mount your portafilter on the wall. This can be done effortlessly with the wall mounts from Barista-Essentials. We offer separate holders for 51 mm and 58 mm (E61).