Getting To The Bottom of Bottomless Portafilters
When it comes to making espresso the only thing that really matters is that your drinks taste good, right? Yes. However, like any hobby enthusiast this one comes with plenty of fun gadgets and upgrades which can make your brewing experience much more rewarding.
A bottomless portafilter is a great example of one of those tools. Some people are still left scratching their heads when they hear the term bottomless, or naked portafilter. What exactly is this mysterious tool and why is it walking around in the nude?
Whether you are a novice barista or have been brewing espresso your entire life a bottomless portafilter is a great tool because it allows you the ability to visually see if you’re achieving an even extraction. You might be tamping unevenly or using too much coffee which creates channeling and without the bottomless basket you may not realize. By exposing the base of the insert basket any of these variables were once hidden beneath a spouted portafilter will now be visible. Having the ability to see your shots being extracted each and every time will give you consistency and overall better tasting shots time and time again.
Additionally, one of the benefits to using a bottomless portafilter is that there is less heat loss from the portafilter to the cup as well as the achievement of more crema. You have the option to use a deeper insert basket (22 – 25 grams) that wouldn’t fit into a traditional portafilter so if being used in a commercial application you have the ability to pull a triple shot.
Although somewhat frustrating and messy at first, you will find yourself becoming obsessed with perfecting your technique... which isn't necessarily a bad thing! Just try to remember one thing. If you're happy with how your cappuccinos, lattes or espresso shots taste, than you're doing a good job!