The Inside Take On Bottomless Portafilters
What’s up you all? This is Baca and I just wanted to talk for a second about the bad rep that bottomless portafilters have been getting in the streets lately.
So, I’m usually a spouted portafilter guy, but the shop that I’m working at currently uses bottomless portafilters so I’ve been getting reacquainted with them and loving the experience honestly. When I talk to other baristas about this, a lot of them say “I really like the idea of bottomless portafilter but I don’t use them because they’re just too messy.
They spray coffee everywhere, they spray water everywhere and they just make my machine a total disaster.” Now, I understand the concern but my fear is that people don’t actually understand why the mess is happening and they’re blaming the bottomless portafilter for making the mess and in reality, it’s their fault that that mess is happening.
Now, if you’re getting a mess with the bottomless portafilter, you have some sort of uneven extraction happening. Those are channels that you’re seeing and they’re your fault and they’re not going away with the spouted portafilter, you just can’t see them, they’re still happening. Your real concern shouldn’t be the mess but the negative impacts on taste that these channels will have.
So, how do you fix this? Well, you have to go step by step and look at what you’re doing and dissect it yourself. Step one, you got to make sure you’re getting your coffee from the grinder into the basket as evenly as you possibly can.
You want a nice, even pile. You don’t want coffee piled way up on one side with very little coffee on the other side of the basket, you want to set it up pretty evenly from the get-go. Then you’re going to look at your redistribution if you’re doing any or using stock flasks, maybe stirring or the tapping.
And you want to make sure that you’re doing that properly and consistently with great care. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it fast and quickly, but take it down to zero for a little bit. The third thing would be the tamp.
Bottomless Portafilters – Tamping
Make sure you’re tamping really level, really evenly and really consistently. And if you nail these three things, you’ll be able to use a bottomless portafilter with no spraying, no channeling, no mess, which awesome, but the biggest bonus is that your coffee will taste better because you’re extracting it evenly and this is a good thing.
Now, you want to do this and take care of these things even if you’re using spout because just because you can’t see the mess like I said, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. There are a couple of ways you can check for even extraction with spout.
Something we used to do, which I learned from Jeremy Tucker, was he would take the spring clip out of the spouted portafilter, so you just have the basket in there with the spouts.
You could dose, redistribute and tamp and then you can pull that basket out with no spring clips so you wouldn’t be jostling it around or anything, slide that into a bottomless portafilter, fire it off and check your extraction that way, then you can see what’s happening behind the scenes, but you still have that same feel of grinding, dosing, redistributing and tamping with the spouted portafilter.
So, try that out if you’re getting a huge mess with your bottomless portafilter and you want to fix it and you want to make your coffee taste better or if you’re using spouts and you just want to do a QC check, get into it.
Distribution is key, even extraction is key. All right. Hope that helps you guys. Have an awesome day and I’ll talk to you soon.
Deal Direct With The Commercial Espresso Machine Wholesalers
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