Unifilter Review

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#1: Post by btalcox0715 »

I've been eyeing the Unifilter for months now and I finally bit the bullet--I blame /u/lance-hedrick recent video for reinvigorating my interest in it! At the $365+ price point, it's not exactly "let's just try it out" and surprisingly there isn't a ton of information or reviews on it. Regardless of everyone's thoughts on Weber Workshops or the Unifilter/Unibasket itself, I figured I'd make a post highlighting my experiences with it thus far, and outline some of the information I was looking for prior to purchase. I don't intend to make this post scientific or based around its claim to higher extraction percentages compared to other baskets etc., but rather workflow, usability, quality, and look n' feel.

The Box

I opted for the rubber version since the teak wood didn't exactly match the walnut theme I've got going on with my Saint Anthony Industries accessories. I was pleasantly surprised to see the paper filters included in the box since the website indicates the only things contained within are the Unifilter itself and the puck screen (and for $365, they better be).

Build Quality / Weight / Feel

I'm definitely pleased with how premium it feels. The FKM rubber sleeve is quite soft yet has very little give. It is deceptively heavy but IMO adds to the premium design its shooting for. It's completely flat across the bottom (basket end to end of handle). Coming from "The Harold" portafilter (Saint Anthony Industries) and 18g VST basket, its about twice the weight. I also really like the uni-body design and not having a separate basket, spring clips, hard to clean areas etc.

302.5 grams

550.8 grams

The Harold vs the Unifilter

The puck screen is quite hefty but I don't really have any frame of reference--never used one before. Comes in right over 18 grams and is a couple millimeters thick.


From your initial dosing workflow, everything is as you'd expect--dosing collar fits fine, sits on the portafilter holder of my E37S just fine, etc. However, after dosing my usual 18.5 grams, you find out how deep this thing is.

18.5 grams WDT'd pre-tamp

It's such a deep basket that my Levy tamp and BT Wedge distributor have to be almost completely unscrewed to distribute and tamp the grounds. The puck screen definitely adds some height, but it's only a couple millimeters.

20.0 gram dose, tamped with screen on top

For the beans I'm using currently, a 20 gram dose (with or without the puck screen) gets me enough bed height to work with my other tools.

First Shot(s)

Flow rate didn't seem too crazy to me or at least I didn't have to modify my grind as much coming from my VST basket. Every shot so far has been sorta donut-ish--my preinfusions starting from the edges then almost simultaneously the center, moving out towards the edges.

I haven't done any A/B comparisons yet between my VST and Unifilter, but I know these beans well, and I can pick out some differences. It's subtle, but I notice 2 things: 1) a slightly brighter, more acidic taste--but not offensive, and 2) a slight sweetness that is almost reminiscent of a V60.

Another thing to note is that your typical espresso demitasse will not work. Since it's 58mm at the bottom, drips from the edges of the basket will land on the edges of your cup. I had to switch to my 5oz Fellow mugs.

Post-shot Clarity

Finished my first shot and knocked the puck out...after about 15 knocks. It is extremely difficult to knock the puck out. I experimented a little bit and its the puck screen. After a shot, there is a fair amount of water on top of the screen which doesn't reabsorb into the puck unless you kinda swirl it around for 30 seconds or so. Removing the puck screen and pulling a shot without it has the puck coming out with 1-2 whacks. I didn't notice any appreciable difference with or without the puck screen (or "flow disrupter" as Weber calls it) and my pucks were not soupy either.

Cleaning is not as difficult as some make it out to be--rinse it and use a thin towel to wipe out the inside. I've played around with and without the filters and I do notice some minor clogging in a few holes if I do not use a filter paper. The instructions included in the box actually recommend using the steam wand to "blast" out the clogs if needed.


For $365, it's unfortunate that it has some of the cons that it does (I don't necessarily know how much is Unifilter-specific--re: clogged holes, difficulty knocking out pucks in deeper baskets) but in my pursuit for the best espresso, its an acceptable compromise for me and I have other options (VST or other baskets) if needed.

  • Benefits to taste (subjective)
  • Extremely premium feel
  • Easy to clean
  • Uni-body design
  • Normal cups don't work
  • Very hard to knock out pucks if using puck screen
  • Very deep basket which can be problematic for some tamping/distribution tools like Saint Anthony's
I'm big on the aesthetic and any minor enhancement I can provide to the end result in the cup, so for me its enough :) Thanks for reading!


#2: Post by meshkaffe »

While I am not the intended target for such an item I appreciate the review as I'm sure others do as well. As soon as I finish pulling a shot I immediately remove my standard profitec pf and wash out the soupy puck. I rarely have to eject the basket for cleaning as there is never any grit leftover so the cleaning differential is a non-issue for me if I were to consider that.

With all that said, that is undoubtedly a princely sum for a portafilter and I've been known to be an unscrupulous spender.


#3: Post by Quester »

btalcox0715 wrote: [*]Very hard to knock out pucks if using puck screen
People with the Unibasket have said the same thing on Decent Diaspora, but I've had no trouble getting my pucks out. I wonder if some of the puck screens are slightly larger or not uniform. My screen falls out easily and my puck knocks out on the first try, but I'm in the minority.

Nice writeup.

btalcox0715 (original poster)

#4: Post by btalcox0715 (original poster) »

I should note, the puck screen comes out super easy, it's the puck that doesn't. I think it something with the water not being absorbed back into the water (since it's kinda sitting on the screen).


#5: Post by BaristaBob »

Thanks for your write up, well done.

As for ease of puck removal, my opinion is it's geometry based. The straight sides on the bullet basket creates more resistance making it harder to remove. I don't use a bottom paper filter, which would make it easier to remove, among other things. I've never had a problem removing the top screen, however, the 0.2mm screens do stick to the wet pucks more easily than the 2mm screens. Since as the original PO mentioned they are beefy (mine weigh 19.3g) they just tend to fall out from the force of gravity.
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"