Value Of A Bottomless Portafilter In Developing Skill?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
SEMIJim

#1: Post by SEMIJim »

I'm curious as to HB members' feelings on the relative value of a bottomless portafilter in developing one's espresso-making skill? Reason I ask is twofold: 1. They're kind of spendy, at $42-$65 on Amazon, and 2. It's a bit of a roll of the dice, since Breville, itself, doesn't make a 54mm bottomless portafilter.

So, on a scale from 1-10, where "1" is "not all that important/useful" and "10" is "possibly one of the most powerful tools you could have at your disposal": Where to y'all rate them?

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baldheadracing
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#2: Post by baldheadracing »

11 :lol:

(... until you know that you don't need one - but even then, they're easier to keep clean. A bottomless is literally the first thing I buy/make with a new machine.)
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

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thirdcrackfourthwave

#3: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave »

10

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JR_Germantown

#4: Post by JR_Germantown »

10

I still use the spouted one -- for backflushing! :D

Jack

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BaristaBoy E61

#5: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

10 - PRICELESS!!
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

guyy

#6: Post by guyy »

You don't need a bottomless portafilter. The most important question is "does the coffee taste good?" Nothing else really matters.

It's hard for me to filter out my experience, but thinking back on my early days, there are plenty of signals to pick up on even with a regular portafilter.

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baldheadracing
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#7: Post by baldheadracing »

guyy wrote:You don't need a bottomless portafilter. The most important question is "does the coffee taste good?" Nothing else really matters. ...
I'd counter by saying, "How do you know that the coffee is tasting as good as it can be?"

I believe that the OP has had a decent espresso grinder for less than two weeks. At that point, I'd say most folks would like to shorten the learning curve and minimize frustration. A bottomless helps do that.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

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jgood

#8: Post by jgood »

Another vote for a bottomless PF -- best investment you can make. I wish they would make them standard and not supply the spouted PFs. There must be truckloads of spouted PFs that Home Barista members have gathering dust. BTW they often come with a "triple basket" -- I don't find that basket useful, but prefer the "double basket" - so when you relegate your spouted to the bottom drawer keep the "double" basket handy.

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another_jim
Team HB

#9: Post by another_jim »

10.

I'd been making espresso (or something that looked like it) for 30 years before bottomless PFs came out (around 2003 - 2004, iirc). Nothing like getting squirted in the eye to find out you have a lot to learn. I wasn't even the most extreme squirted-in-the-eye expert; lots of the best competition baristas of the time found out that their technique needed fine tuning too.
Jim Schulman
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JR_Germantown

#10: Post by JR_Germantown »

another_jim wrote:Nothing like getting squirted in the eye to find out you have a lot to learn.
We've all been there, done that!

Jack