What are the Different Types of Portafilters, and How to Use One?

Coffee is not just a beverage; it’s a passion for millions worldwide. To pursue their passion for coffee, many people buy equipment to brew the best cup of coffee for themselves at home. An espresso machine is the most commonly bought machine for brewing coffee every day. 

Espresso machines are used worldwide, and according to many baristas, the portafilter is the most important component of the espresso machine in brewing a perfect cup of coffee. Although professionals say it is easy to use a portafilter, it can be challenging for beginners.

If you want to take your coffee game up a notch, here is all you need to know about portafilters.

1.      Parts of a Portafilter

A portafilter is composed of many little components that define the process of making your perfect cup of espresso safely and effectively. Here is your guide to the basic components of a portafilter.


The basket is one of the most important components of a portafilter. As the hot water passes through the coffee grounds, the basket holds the coffee from falling into the cup. It can be made of metal and plastic. It is suggested that the basket is cleaned properly before reusing the portafilter.


The handle is very important when it comes to handling the portafilter. These handles are made of plastic or wood so that they can be handled easily at high temperatures. It is suggested that you choose only strong handles so that they do not break.


The spout is at the bottom of your portafilter, where the espresso passes into your coffee mug. If double shots are needed, having two spouts can help your coffee flow evenly in two cups. The bottomless portafilter does not have a spout as a component.


When cleaning the portafilters, the springs are a very helpful part of a portafilter. The springs can help hold the basket in place when cleaning the basket place.


It is important to have a gauge on your portafilter when operating your espresso machine smoothly, especially for commercial use. It helps you control the output pressure and defines the taste of your espresso. 

2.      Types of Portafilter

The portafilter is doubtlessly one of the most important components of your espresso machine. It is where coffee and water mix to create a magical espresso shot.

Different portafilters are available in the market, suitable for different needs and machines. To brew a perfect cup of espresso, you must know about different types of portafilters, their uses, advantages, and disadvantages.

Pressurised Portafilters 

A pressurised portafilter is one of the most common types of portafilters worldwide. In this type of filter, a small hole in the bottom of the basket through which the coffee is forced out. It is also known as a double-wall portafilter.

·         Advantages: Pressurised portafilters are easy to use and do not require much expertise. In addition, these filters create more crema for your coffee and do not require tamping.

·         Disadvantages: Pressurised portafilters may be hard to clean. These filters are also known to alter the flavour of your coffee sometimes.


Non-pressurized Portafilters

Non-pressurized portafilters require relatively more expertise to function. Hot water flows into the space above the puck. As the pressure builds, the smooth flow will begin. With tiny holes at its bottom, non-pressurized portafilters let the coffee pass from its holes straight into the cup.

·         Advantages: Non-pressurized portafilters are known to create the best crema for a perfect cup of coffee. These filters can also help you adjust the water temperature and grind size; the shots will be adequately extracted.

·         Disadvantages: Non-pressurized portafilters can be a bit tricky to use. It may take the users a lot of time to get completely over its functioning. These filters require a very fine grind. In addition, it can also be more expensive.

Bottomless Portafilter 

A bottomless portafilter is not that different from other portafilters in functioning. Although there are many similarities with other portafilters, people still are amused by how a bottomless portafilter works. These filters do not have a bottom or spout, so you can see your coffee dripping directly into the cup.

·         Advantages: bottomless portafilters are easiest to clean among all the types of portafilters. These portafilters are also known to produce thicker crema. The best part is that you can watch the crema flow directly, bringing joy to your eyes before the taste buds.

·         Disadvantages: Bottomless portafilters are not beginner friendly and require expertise to operate. These filters can also create a lot of mess if something is slightly off. It is also unable to pull two shots at one time.

3.      How to Use a Portafilter

Although using a portafilter can look like a hard task, with practice, you can excel in your skills to achieve a perfect cup of espresso.

Here is a step-by-step guide to becoming an expert at brewing coffee.

Clean the Portafilter

It is very significant that after brewing every cup of espresso, you make sure that the portafilter is thoroughly cleaned. A properly cleaned portafilter will ensure the perfect taste for your espresso.

Add Coffee Grinds to the Portafilter

After cleaning, add the coffee grinds to your portafilter. You can manually add your coffee grounds. Make sure that the grounds are not too packed.


For this step, you need a tamper. Ensure your tamper is slightly smaller than your basket to fit properly. Compress the coffee grinds with the help of a tamper to extract the maximum flavour.

Adjust the Portafilter in the Espresso Machine

Lock your portafilter in place. Make sure that it’s not loose. After pressing go, be prepared with a cup to receive the freshly brewed cup of espresso.

4.      It’s all About Experimenting

There are millions of people that drink coffee every day. Everywhere you go, you will find more tips, dos and don’ts, suggestions, and cautions from every coffee lover. All of that information presented at once can lead to confusion.

The best way to make a splendid cup of espresso is to indulge in the process. It is impossible to brew a perfect cup of espresso until you do not try it by yourself and get your hands dirty in the process.

So relax. Every new day is an opportunity to improve your coffee game!

Leave a Reply