The bottomless portafilter; a must-have for any barista
by Lucia Liang on Aug 04, 2023
Espresso done right
It can be stated with some certainty that whether one is pulling espresso shots for personal enjoyment or their cafe business a perfect shot is what we all aim for! That is why the bottomless portafilter is a must-have item for baristas the world over. Whether you enjoy pulling espresso shots at home or you run a busy coffee shop, the bottomless portafilter is the ideal item for you!
What is a bottomless portafilter?
A bottomless portafilter, sometimes called a “naked” portafilter, is a specialized portafilter that allows for one to see the shot of espresso as it is pulled. There are no spouts and the basket is left exposed to allow one to view the brewed coffee as it gets pulled into a special delicate shot of espresso. This also explains where the “bottomless” or more provocative “naked” nicknames come from!
So no, it is not “bottomless” as in unlimited, but bottomless in the very literal sense of there being no bottom components that might block your view of the coffee as it brews.
Why do baristas need a bottomless portafilter?
The reasons for using a bottomless portafilter are manifold and one does not need to be overseeing a cafe, coffee house, or other large coffee operation to want to add one to their coffee tool kit!
With a bottomless portafilter, one can check up on, troubleshoot, or just do regular maintenance with their espresso machine. Being able to see the espresso as it gets pulled can help one zero in on any brewing issues that may affect the final product's flavor, aroma, or mouthfeel, and it can also help with more technical issues that may arise.
Oftentimes, those go hand in hand and so keeping tabs on your machine and how it is brewing is always a wise plan. With a bottomless portafilter, a barista can keep an eye on their espresso’s crema, flavor, and aroma, and see how consistent their espresso pulls are.
This makes the bottomless portafilter an indispensable tool to keep on hand. While especially true for baristas who use their espresso machines for business to check quality and train new baristas, the bottomless portafilter can find a home with baristas who use their machines for personal use only, too.
Though not an item used to enhance espresso in the way a milk frother would, the role it plays in ensuring quality espresso pulls helps it to keep your espresso remain excellent.
The bottomless portafilter and you
For those who own an espresso machine, having a bottomless portafilter on hand is a must. With a naked or bottomless portafilter, your brewing can maintain consistency, enticing aroma, rich flavor, nourishing crema, and much more. Using your bottomless portafilter to check out your brewing regularly is an excellent way to keep one's espresso machine and espresso shots A-okay! So why not grab a bottomless portafilter today?
- Christensen, Asser. “Bottomless Portafilters: Do You Really Need One? [No +BS+ Guide].” The Coffee Chronicler, 2 Aug. 2022, coffeechronicler.com/bottomless-portafilter/. Accessed 18 July 2023.
- “Why Use a Bottomless Portafilter?” Espresso Parts, www.espressoparts.com/blogs/barista-basics-tutorials/bottomless-portafilter.