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Updated for 2021
You're pulling shots and everything looks fairly good coming out the spouts, but something is a little off. Maybe your shots are a little thin? Or maybe your timing is perfect yet you still get hints of over extraction?
When you think you’ve got it all right, but something is still a little wrong, it’s time to get out a bottomless portafilter. A good extraction through a bottomless portafilter is a beautiful thing. But they’re also one of the best tools to confirm even dosing and tamping technique.
When everything is right, you’ll see tiger stripping originating evenly from all areas of your filter basket and congealing into a single stream centered on the bottom of the basket.
When something is off, well things can get a little messy with spurts of under extracted espresso due to channeling. Always start with a clean filter basket. Plugged holes can cause spraying as well. Or, you might see areas with nice striping next to spots that are all blonde or have little or no flow indicating variations in coffee density.
Bottomless portafilters give you a clear view into what’s going on in your filter basket. You’ll be able to visualize areas that are not extracting properly and adjust your technique for a more even extraction. Run a check with a bottomless portafilter. You might find you’ve got a consistent issue. Once identified you’ll be able make adjustments and get back to pulling beautiful, evenly extracted shots.
In need of a bottomless portafilter? Well luckily for you, we have styles available to work with most machines. Learn more about Portafilters and Filter Baskets.