Getting to know the different components of your espresso coffee machine is a great way to ensure you not only use it correctly but also enjoy the heavenly beverage consistently. Here we give you some important information on portafilter baskets.
When you’re deciding which espresso coffee machine to buy, something you might overlook is the type of basket it comes with. Most semi-automatic espresso coffee machines come with a two-shot basket that holds enough powder for two shots. Have you unwittingly been starting your day with a double shot of espresso? Our latest espresso coffee maker, the Tecnora 107M, comes with a single-shot and a double-shot basket. Yes, two baskets.
Overkill, you say? Why can’t you put just half the amount of powder in your basket? You can, of course, but you won’t get the full flavour from your coffee as the resistance you need is missing. You could fill the double basket and run only half the amount of water through it, but that’s a waste.
If you like less caffeine but still enjoy the whole espresso experience, or want just a single shot for a cappuccino, this is the one for you.
And if you’re partial to using coffee pods, you can use them in all our machines, including the fully-automatic Epic TCM 801A and the semi-automatic Classico 107M. But be careful that you don’t confuse coffee pods and coffee capsules. Coffee pods are made by compressing coffee powder between two circular pieces of filter paper. Coffee capsules are made by sealing coffee powder in small plastic containers. Our machines can use Coffee Pods, but not Coffee Capsules.
There’s another difference, too, when it comes to baskets: pressurized and non-pressurized. Machines like Tecnora Classico 106M have pressurized portafilter baskets in stainless steel. They’re what’s known in the business as double-walled. The basket itself has a mesh base and the fluid separator has a small hole through which the coffee liquid is forced. This helps to create more pressure when you’re brewing your coffee.
They’re designed to make life easy for you. To give you one thing less to worry about when you’re making your morning espresso shot. The portafilter is designed to let the water pass through the coffee when the correct pressure has been reached and not before.
If you’re more adventurous, more experienced, and want more control over your coffee, you might try a non-pressurized portafilter basket. Non-pressurized baskets only have one wall. You determine the pressure by varying the grind of your coffee and by varying how hard you tamp. If you use a finer grind and a harder tamp, you’ll generate more pressure as you brew. It takes practice. This is how the professional baristas do it. Trial and error. Practice and experience.