Published : 15.06.2022 20:07:36 Categories : General
The portafilter is one of the most important components of a espresso machine. The portafilter normally exists out of various components such as:
Portafilter filter basket
The portafilter body is the main section of the portafilter. With most brands this is made from casted and machined brass. The surface finish is made by polishing, Nickel plating and chrome plating.
In some cases the portafilter body is made from casted and polished stainless steel, you can find this with brands such as Kees van der Westen, Pesado, Victoria Arduino, Nuova Simonelli, Sage, Marzocco.
The disadvantage of the chrome plated portafilter bodies is that quite often scouring pads are used to clean the inside of the portafilter. This will eventually result in removing the layers of chrome and nickel.
One of the most important things of a portafilter is the ear orientation. With most brands they are 90/180 degree, this means that the ears are located at 90 and 180 degree in correspondence of the portafilter handle. For instance brands as Faema, Vibiemme, San Remo, Rancilio, La Cimbali, Casadio, La Pavoni, Marzocco, Slayer, La Spaziale, Bezzera, Astoria, Wega
Then you have the ear orientation of 45/135 degree, versus the portafilter handle. This type of portafilter body can be found on Nuova Simonelli, Victoria Arduino, Bezzera, Astoria, Wega
Then you also have the, one off, ear orientation of La San Marco and La Carimali. These brands use 3 ears. This is not used with any other commercial espresso machine brand.
The ear thickness plays a vital role if a portafilter will fit or not. A lot of portafilters will look the same optically but these dimensions vary a lot. They range from 5,5mm all the way up to 7,4mm. If you want to measure your original portafilter, keep in mind that due to wear they can be smaller then original.
There a numerous types of portafilter handles. The most common one is a black shiny handy.Mainly fitted with a male m8/m10 thread. But various espresso machine brands have their own unique design of handle such as Bezzera, la Spaziale, Faema, Rancilio. There have for instance more ergonomic handles or the brands logo/name embossed in the handle.
Besides the plastic handles you do also have some more exclusive style of handles made of wood. You need to think of Italian walnut and olive wood. The disadvantage of these handles is that they make it more difficult to clean the portafilters. Seen they can´t be submerged in water.
Some of the portafilter have a straight connection with the portafilter, but with various brands you will see that the handle has a inclination of approx. 10%. The idea is that this improves the ergonomics.
The coffee spout is made in numerous versions. This ranges from 1 coffee all the way up to 3 coffee spouts, the 3 coffee spouts are uncommon nowadays. But the single and double coffee spouts can be found in various versions like completely closed, partially open or completely open. These are in most cases made from casted and machined brass, which has been nickel and chrome plated. Some brands do also made them from casted, machined and polished stainless steel. The thread sizes commonly used for the coffee spouts is a 3/8” BSP-G thread. A other thread size which you see besides the 3/8” is the M16 thread with a finer pitch then the standard M16
The bottomless portafilter is to say it simple, a standard portafilter with the bottom machined out of it. For some barista’s this is the main preference over single or double spout portafilters. The advantage of this portafilter is that this portafilter can hold a lot bigger filter basket then a standard type of portafilter and that the coffee doesn’t contact the portafilter first but right away the coffee cup. A other advantage is that the cleaning is quite simple, seen there is no spout nor a bottom of the portafilter. The disadvantage is that you can only make 1 espresso at a time.
The filterbasket is one of the most important features of the portafilter. Using the portafilter without a filter basket is quite useless. The most standard size of filterbasket is the 68-70mm. this size is used with brands such as Faema, Marzocco, Kees van der Westen, Bezzera, Rancilio, San Remo, Brasilia.
It is also possible that some brands use different types of filterbaskets, seen they also use different types of espresso machine brewing groups. You can find this with brands such as Astoria, Wega, Bezzera
The portafilter spring, or filterbasket spring, is used to hold the filterbasket in place. This is ideal when you use a knockbox or a knockbox drawer. This prevents falling the filterbasket out of the portafilter.
These springs are made from stainless steel and come in various shapes and sizes. The smallest wire diameter used for theses springs is 1,00mm and can go up to 1,4mm.
Portafilter pressure gauge
A portafilter can also be converted in a handy tool. When you screw a pressure gauge on the fitting where normally a spout is located you can measure the brewing group pressure. Always install a exhaust valve, like a ball bearing to take of the pressure of the brewing group.
A other new type of feature is the portafilter funnel. These funnels can be put on the edge of the filterbasket and make sure that these ground coffee gets inside the filterbasket. You can find these from brands such as Motta which are made in Italy
Portafilter filterbasket removal tools
The idea of these tools is to easily remove the filterbasket from the portafilter without using a spoon or a flat screwdriver.For this reason companies like IMS and Pällo have developed filter basket removal tools.