One great benefit to getting an espresso machine in the home or office is it does not require a paper filter. Espresso machines have reusable metal portafilters.
A portafilter is a device that attaches to an espresso machine and holds the coffee grounds for brewing. The portafilter is an essential part of the espresso brewing process, as it helps to control the flow of water through the coffee grounds and determine the final taste of the espresso.
Portafilters come in different designs, but the two most common types are the “pressurized” and “non-pressurized” portafilters.
Pressurized portafilters have a small valve that regulates the flow of water through the coffee grounds, which creates a consistent and balanced extraction of flavors. These types of portafilters are typically found in semi-automatic and automatic espresso machines, and are generally easier to use, making them a good choice for home users.
Pressurized portafilters typically come in two sizes: 58mm and 53mm. The 58mm is the standard size for most home and commercial espresso machines, while the 53mm is typically used on smaller machines or for specialty applications
Pressurized portafilters also come in different micron sizes, which refer to the size of the holes in the filter basket. A smaller micron size means that the holes are smaller, which can help to create a stronger and more concentrated espresso. However, a smaller micron size also means that the coffee must be ground more finely, which can be more challenging to achieve and may require a higher-quality grinder.
Non-pressurized portafilters have no valve, and the flow of water is regulated by the barista by adjusting the grind of the coffee. This can lead to a more unpredictable extraction, but it allows for more control over the final taste of the espresso. These types of portafilters are typically found in manual espresso machines and are generally more challenging to use, making them a better choice for professional baristas or experienced home users.
Both types of portafilters are important for the espresso brewing process, as they affect the final taste and quality of the espresso. Pressurized portafilters are more convenient and easier to use, but non-pressurized portafilters offer more control over the final taste.
The portafilter is also an important aspect of the maintenance of an espresso machine, as it is essential to clean and properly maintain the portafilter to ensure that it is free of coffee oils and residue that can affect the taste and quality of the espresso.
Here’s my favorite double portafilter making lovely local specialty roast!