Tea portafilter?

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?

#1: Post by rvrstrm »


I'm new to the group. I'm looking to get my first home espresso machine. I don't need a beginner machine, because I've used a commercial espresso machine before. One of my requirements is being able to make tea. Googling for a way to infuse tea using an espresso machine, I found a tea portafilter at decentespresso.com/portafilter. The description says it's compatible with La Marzocco style machines. Are there espresso machine brands out there that is compatible with La Marzocco, and that's relatively good in price. I drink way more coffee than tea, but I do like to drink tea also.


#2: Post by HH »

Hey! This may seem like a stupid question, but why not just get a kettle and a teapot? You can get a tea portafilter, however unless you're using it with a Decent it's not going to make great tea, as it needs several pulses of water and infusion to extract fully. Using the portafilter in a standard machine will either get you a very very small amount of tea, or some hellish tannin-beast that needs to be diluted with water to be anywhere near drinkable.

rvrstrm (original poster)

#3: Post by rvrstrm (original poster) »

I went to a tea café that served tea lattes (NOT bubble tea). They used a specialized tea espresso machine. I was impressed that they were able to whip up a tea latte without steeping the tea first. Black tea usually requires 2 to 3 minutes of steeping. I found the machine they used, but after doing some research, it's actually not the machine that extracted the full flavor of tea, but the design of the portafilter. I found the Decent tea portafilter, it can be used on a La Marzocco machine but they are pricey even for a home model. That's why I'm looking for an espresso machine that fits a La Marzocco style portafilter

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#4: Post by MNate »

(I don't have one yet but I've been following the threads a lot and will probably get one soon. But I might not have every detail correct)

The Decent tea portafilter really only works on the Decent machine, even though it fits in other machines. As the above poster mentioned, the Decent has a specific profile (that you can tweak how you like) that makes it work right. The portafilter has a spring on the bottom that opens at pressure level you set (say 6.5 bar). The profile fills to below that pressure, holds it for a set amount of time and then goes above that pressure to release your tea. Then it does that a few more times to extract the tea more fully. Here's a typical graph:

On a different machine you'd be limited in several ways...

And yes, the idea for these tea portafilter was from those tea houses that use something similar. Those places do a strong concentrate that they then add milk and sugar.

The Decent community has been experimenting quite a bit with the tea portafilter... different profiles, using different teas, etc. even tea bags. I think some have found things they like either as a regular tea or a concentrate for milk tea but at the moment it's not real standardized yet. If you think the world of coffee beans is diverse just think about all the types of tea!

One of the cool things about the Decent and it's community is all the experimenting everyone can do. There are some great standard espresso profiles/approaches but there are an infinite number of ways to try new things. If the Decent at all appeals to you, it is very impressive and makes great espresso of all types. As people experiment with the tea it will come along as well... in time. So yeah, highly recommend (for the espresso... not sure about the tea yet!)

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#5: Post by Nunas »

IMHO, using an espresso machine to make tea is a bad idea. To start with, infusions, including different teas, need to be made with different temperatures. Herbals, Earl Grey and other black teas require the water to be at boiling, for example, while some of the more delicate teas are better brewed at temperatures as low as 60/140 C/F. Then there's the optimal steeping time, which also varies greatly.

One can make decent tea with an espresso machine, but not with a portafilter. The appropriate amount of water is put in a jug, and it is steamed until the desired temperature is reached. Frankly, though, I side with those who have commented that a kettle is better. In that regard, I'd add that a digital kettle is the way to go.

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#6: Post by MNate »

The Decent can set very precise temps at whatever you like.

But right, this method isn't really steeping the tea, it's extracting at pressure, I think, and that's a bit different. Maybe good, maybe bad, but definitely different. I think those concentrated teas for milk drinks is the standard use. So yeah... more for exploring, not for your standard approach to tea.