What is a Bottomless Portafilter: how to use and advantages
The bottomless portafilter is a well-known accessory among espresso lovers. Used during the brewing process, this element has as its main feature the absence of the classic perforated metal bottom, which is instead replaced by an open version on the bottom, equipped with numerous small holes.
Compared to the classic version, the use of the bottomless filter holder requires some skill and practice, but once the technique is mastered it can lead to achieving a different control of the infusion phase.
The advantages of a bottomless filter holder
The process of espresso brewing with a bottomless portafilter is slightly different from the traditional one: instead of being filtered through the classic holes, in fact, the coffee is in this case extracted through the numerous openings on the bottom, an aspect that brings a number of advantages such as a more precise and uniform infusion, free of pressure buildup or obstructions.
The elimination of these possible issues related to coffee brewing will also allow us to better assess the quality of the coffee we are going to use, and to vary the flavors of our espresso by acting on other factors such as grinding.
In addition, the bottomless filter holder allows us to observe the coffee as it is being extracted. This makes it possible to immediately detect any problems during the extraction process, such as a possible obstruction in the extraction channels or poor coffee distribution. This type of observation is especially useful for coffee experts who want to achieve the highest quality and consistency in espresso brewing.
How to use a bottomless filter holder
The bottomless portafilter is used not too differently from a traditional portafilter, but some specific steps should be carefully observed.
First of all, it is important to prepare ground coffee with the right grain size. If the beans are too fine or too coarse, it may be difficult to extract a good aroma. In general, ground coffee should be fine enough to be easily compressed inside the portafilter, but not so fine that it forms a paste.
Once you have the ground coffee, fill the bottomless portafilter with an appropriate amount of coffee. The exact amount depends on the size of the portafilter and your personal taste, but in general, you can use about 7 to 8 grams of coffee for a single shot.
After filling the bottomless portafilter, you need to compress the coffee using a pad. Be sure to evenly distribute the coffee inside the portafilter and apply even pressure with the tamp to get a smooth, firm surface.
Now it is time to insert the bottomless filter holder into the coffee maker. Make sure it is firmly seated and ready to be pulled out, then start the coffee extraction and carefully watch the flow out of the bottomless filter holder. The coffee should flow out steadily and evenly, but if you notice uneven flow or annoying splattering during extraction, you may need to adjust the coffee grind or the compression of the coffee in the portafilter.
Finally, when the extraction is complete, you should remove the bottomless filter holder from the machine and rinse it immediately under running hot water to remove coffee residue.
Bottomless filter holder: final thoughts
Clearly, the greater control possibilities offered by the portafilter mean that more attention is required on the part of the operator, especially with regard to the brewing process.
At the same time, however, the greater effort required represents a real challenge for true espresso lovers, who will therefore be able to derive even more satisfaction from every single cup of coffee prepared, while improving their control skills and overall technique.
Of course, if you want to get closer to the preparation of high-quality espresso coffee, the first essential step is to own a premium coffee machine, such as a lever espresso machine.
Through these models, in fact, it is possible to prepare a professional-quality brew in a way that is 100% true to the canons of tradition.
If, on the other hand, you are fortunate enough to already own one of these splendid models, the bottomless portafilter might be the right choice to try to further deepen your skills and challenge yourself in creating a high-class coffee through a new and very useful accessory.