New perspective on value of the naked portafilter

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
MattB

#1: Post by MattB »

Hi everyone. First of all, thanks to everyone who posts here. I just registered, but I've been lurking for some time now, absorbing everything on home-barista i could. I've been pulling shots on my Gaggia Factory for a few months now, and came here before I bought it. The information has been invaluable, and with the helpful techniques here, I've learned a lot and am more in love with coffee than ever.

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a bottomless portafilter from espresso parts - i got the la pavoni millennium one they sell, with the double basket. And I have some feedback I thought someone here might appreciate.

First of all, it fits fine, and makes a great double. No issues there. If you really really want a naked portafilter and want to spend $60 plus on it, go for it. But so far, I haven't seen the value. I mean, sure, I can see when I get channeling, but since I follow the advice here to letter, and have practiced on the gaggia for months, that doesn't happen to me all that often anymore. So it's really not telling me anything I can't taste for myself in the cup.

If you bought a factory like me because it was the least expensive way to make real, honest to goodness cup of espresso, then taste and value are probably your two most important considerations. Save your money and trust your tongue. That's my two cents. Anyone with a different perspective, please weigh in.

User avatar
r-gordon-7

#2: Post by r-gordon-7 »

Well, as much as I'm enjoying the espresso from my Gaggia Factory, I for one am especially enjoying the "toy factor" aspect of the experience... and a naked p/f, if nothing else, is one more "part" to the toy... :lol: Simply put, the naked p/f is fun to play/tinker/experiment with... though I do find myself pulling more shots using the spouted p/f than the naked p/f - mostly because my wife and I usually like to split each shot...

OK, on a more mature note than the "toy factor", in addition to being an educational/instructive aid (and fun) when pulling, the naked p/f has been an especially invaluable aid in dosing... Even when I plan to pull using the regular spouted p/f, I grind into the basket with the basket in the naked p/f - it's much easier to keep the basket firmly pressed against the Ascaso i-Mini grinder's "slippery" little power button when the basket is in a spoutless p/f than when the basket is either not in a p/f at all or is in a spouted pf (the spouts get in the way...) Plus, when grinding into the basket in the naked p/f, it's much easier to gradually rotate the basket w/in the naked p/f to keep the grounds more evenly distributed... rotating the basket inside the spouted p/f while keeping the spouted p/f firmly pressed against the grinder's slippery little button requires no fewer than three hands (again, as the spouts are always in the way). I then tamp with the basket still in the naked p/f (also much easier/smoother than with the basket either in the spouted p/f or in no p/f at all). Only after the basket is tamped do I transfer the basket to the spouted p/f for the pull...

All-in-all I'm very glad I spent the $$ I did on my naked p/f... but I can certainly understand MattB's perspective.

r-gordon
r-gordon-7
LMWDP #188

User avatar
cafeIKE

#3: Post by cafeIKE »

MattB wrote:If you really really want a naked portafilter and want to spend $60 plus on it, go for it. But so far, I haven't seen the value. I mean, sure, I can see when I get channeling, but since I follow the advice here to letter, and have practiced on the gaggia for months, that doesn't happen to me all that often anymore. So it's really not telling me anything I can't taste for myself in the cup.

If you bought a factory like me because it was the least expensive way to make real, honest to goodness cup of espresso, then taste and value are probably your two most important considerations. Save your money and trust your tongue. That's my two cents. Anyone with a different perspective, please weigh in.
Welcome to my club. You're Vice President. :wink:

MattB

#4: Post by MattB » replying to cafeIKE »

Awesome! Is there a decoder ring?

User avatar
r-gordon-7

#5: Post by r-gordon-7 » replying to MattB »

Speaking of toys... :wink:

r-gordon-7
r-gordon-7
LMWDP #188

User avatar
Marshall

#6: Post by Marshall »

MattB wrote: ...but since I follow the advice here to letter, and have practiced on the gaggia for months, that doesn't happen to me all that often anymore.
If you follow the advice here to the letter, you'll soon be sending your letters from a long-term care facility, since there are at least five positions on every issue. :D

But, I agree, although the bottomless was a great learning tool, I put it away after I had learned what I could with it. I would probably pull it out again, if I developed a serious problem and wanted to diagnose it. But, I actually can't, since my wife accidently sent it to a friend who loaned me a Scace Thermofilter (i.e. didn't remove the Thermofilter!).
Marshall
Los Angeles

User avatar
AndyS

#7: Post by AndyS »

I love the fact that the naked pf doesn't need cleaning and doesn't go drip, drip.....drip...........drip after the shot has been cut.

I never tire of watching the extractions.
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

zin1953

#8: Post by zin1953 »

Marshall wrote: . . . although the bottomless was a great learning tool, I put it away after I had learned what I could with it. I would probably pull it out again, if I developed a serious problem and wanted to diagnose it.
Yup. I use it to hold my backflush disc.
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#9: Post by cannonfodder »

I do the same. If I am getting an off flavor in the cup I will pull it out to see what is going on or if I am changing blends/baskets/grinders/machine I will use it to aid in dialing in the shot. However once everything is set, it goes back in the cupboard. I also keep my backflush basket in it. I do however believe it is a good learning tool but with practice it becomes unneeded. One day I realized I was spending more time watching the shot and taking stupid photos of them, than I was on preparing and enjoying my drink. I would be kneeling down on the floor at the espresso alter praying to the coffee gods while pulling my shot. It hit me one day, this is silly. It is about what is in the cup, pay attention to that.
Dave Stephens

User avatar
cafeIKE

#10: Post by cafeIKE »

Marshall wrote:I would probably pull it out again, if I developed a serious problem and wanted to diagnose it.
Every so often, when having a particularly good or not so good series, I'll pull out the BPF to see if I can divine any information from the video. Correlation : ZERO
AndyS wrote:I never tire of watching the extractions.
Us old farts have trouble getting down that low that often :wink: