Portafilter Baskets

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When I got married, my wife and I asked our good friend Lauren Vail to say a few words about her friendship with us. She took this opportunity to call me a coffee snob. Well-played.

I was on CoffeeGeek looking for reviews on different espresso machines to be considered in my upcoming purchase (a financially dangerous activity) when this article was on the front page.

It describes, essentially, a massive amount of effort that a company has put into new portafilter baskets. These are the baskets within which coffee grinders are placed to have high-pressure water run through them to produce espresso.

The baskets are very important in the brewing process; I’ve gone to some lengths to make sure my baskets are up-to-snuff. Most sub-$500 machines today come with portafilter baskets “featuring” crema-enhancers which abide by the North American tradition of charging more for something that doesn’t work. Anyways, these new filters have been designed very accurately - using computer models to simulate how water moves from the grouphead, through the grinds, and out of the pores in the filter basket.

They’re everything Lauren was talking about when she said “coffee snob”; they’re exclusive, unnecessary, expensive, and I want them.


Posted on May 29, 2011