Bottomless portafilter - Improve your Espresso extraction

It's easy to understand what a bottomless portafilter is, but what are the advantages and disadvantages and how can you improve your extraction on the portafilter? We'll look at it together in this blog post.

As the name suggests, the bottomless portafilter is simply “bottomless”. So what does this mean for us? This means we can see directly into the sieve and follow the extraction very precisely. The BLS gives us feedback on how the extraction is going and we know before we have tasted the coffee whether it tastes good or not. This way we can see whether everything was done correctly with the puck prep or what we need to improve.

How to improve your technique with the BLS

A bottomless portafilter helps you discover errors in your puck prep (preparation for brewing espresso) and improve your barista skills.

On the one hand, we see when channeling forms, i.e. when there are splashes of water at the bottom of the sieve. The water that is pressed through the coffee shoots out of the bottom of the sieve like a jet. This can be caused by

  • Drops of water that were still in the sieve before the
  • coffee powder was inserted
  • Brew with old coffee powder
  • A crack in the coffee cake
  • Drops of water on the tamper causing small holes in the coffee cake

All of these errors result in uneven extraction on the portafilter and therefore an unsatisfactory result in the cup. The espresso may become watery or over-extracted, making it bitter. That's why proper puck prep is super important! We have put together a video for you that will help you avoid the most common mistakes when preparing pucks and help you prepare espresso correctly!

What we also see with the bottomless portafilter is whether the tamping was done correctly. If you tamped at an angle, the coffee comes out on one side first and only a few seconds later on the other side, or even just on one side of the BLS. This is an indication that

  • the powder was distributed unevenly in the sieve
  • slanted tamping

Next time, distribute the powder neatly in the sieve and press it as horizontally as possible to get the desired uniformity of the powder in the sieve.

The advantages and disadvantages of the bottomless portafilter

Advantages

  • The extraction can be followed precisely
  • The puck prep can be adjusted next time based on what you observed
  • Perfect for learning to better understand extraction
  • You can draw conclusions from tasting coffee about the extraction

Disadvantage

  • It is only possible to extract a double and a single espresso into one cup and not into two different cups

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Brewing groups fit Bezzera vs E61

With bottomless portafilters, the bayonets are directly at a 90° angle to the lever. So BLS fit perfectly on the E61 brewing groups. This is a little different with the Bezzera. The portafilter requires a smaller bayonet angle to the lever. So if you clamp a bottomless portafilter on the Berzzera, the lever would be on the side. Pretty inconvenient. However, it is possible to unscrew the portafilter holder, turn it to the correct angle and screw it back on. Now you can mount and use your BLS there too!

Conclusion

If you want to learn more about espresso and brew your espresso better, the bottomless portafilter is exactly the right tool for you. You can have fun with the portafilter, improve your extraction and have full control over the cup result!

In this video we show you what extraction with the bottomless portafilter looks like!

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Bottomless Portafilter

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Yout've got questions?

A bottomless portafilter brings you the advantages

  • The extraction can be followed precisely
  • The puck prep can be adjusted next time based on what you observed
  • Perfect for learning to better understand extraction
  • You can draw conclusions from tasting coffee about the extraction

With the portafilter you can produce coffee very quickly, at high pressure and therefore with a delicious crema. It opens up the most possibilities for manually regulating and refining the different variables such as the degree of grinding, quantity and homogeneity of the coffee powder, brewing time, water temperature and brewing pressure.

Accordingly, the traditional coffee craft requires a lot of practice, skill and precise work, for which this recipe serves as a basis.

Correct tamping is extremely important for a perfect extraction! You should make sure that the coffee powder is evenly distributed in your sieve. Then you can get started and press the tamper straight onto the coffee bed from above.

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