After reading the exploits of another blog in which the owner celebrates the brazen brass and chrom nakedness of his portafilter (the bottom is chopped off so the filter basket is exposed) I decided to take a closer look at my own um, equipment.  The Gaggia portafilter is a heavy marine brass beast clad in thick chrome - a 58 mm professional sized tool built with an eye toward quality.  The bottom of the portafilter drain is threaded on the outside to allow for a spout to be attached.  The one attached to my portafilter is a double spout (two openings so one for each shot glass when pulling a double shot espresso) but some portafilters come with only a single spout attached. Nuova Simonelli provides two separate portafilters - one with a single spout attached and the other with a double spout attached.

 

My portafilter remains clothed in chrome but with some effort and the help of a bench vice I did take the double spout off the bottom - thankfully without breaking anything in the process.  Here is what I found after going through this trouble - I now have a more modest version of a naked portafilter. If I hold the portafilter up to a light I see the screen from my basket through the hole - I guess in this small eraser sized hole my portafilter is naked too.  When pulling a shot the cone falls through this hole in a single stream, starting thin and dark while gradually increasing in diameter till the hole is almost filled with a light and dark stream. 

The results I describe seeing when pulling a shot are very similar (the same perhaps?) to what I see when observing a shot pulled from a chopped portafilter.  If my distribution is off I will see the smooth cone collapse and a more violent (but still well contained) stream develops and more often than not depending on whether the cone falls apart early or late in the process the shot will be of lower quality than when the cone stays intact until I end the flow.  Spare portafilters for the Gaggia cost over $50 new but they should last a lifetime under normal use. My advice then would be to remove the spout if you want to experiment since it is completely reversible before making a permanent change that you might not care for but would learn that fact after it is too late.  

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Comments

Submitted by jbviau on
Did you need to heat up the spout at all before torquing it off? On my "fully clothed" Gaggia portafilter I see some greenish thread sealant around where the spout is attached.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I never thought about heating it first. Since mine was not new I couldn't tell if there was any locktite sealant - it looked more like old coffee oil. It took enough effort to loosen it that I was afraid the spout would break before coming off. It might have been something like locktight sealant if it never was pulled off before - interesting that they apply that at the factory though.

I use it like this on my machine it lets me know when I hit the grind and tamp right, steady center steam, but without getting hot espresso in my eye. Although, no triple baskets are in my future and not nearly as pretty. But I have children so this is strictly PG.

Submitted by wakeknot on
Go all the way - you will love the feeling - come to the naked side. Then again your suggestion is a great middle ground.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>This is a good Saturday matinee type way to experience spout-less espresso ; )

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I am tempted to take a hole saw to this thing - I see Chris Coffee sells the naked PF's for the Silvano, hmm...

My Portafilter Is Too Modest

| by

After reading the exploits of another blog in which the owner celebrates the brazen brass and chrom nakedness of his portafilter (the bottom is chopped off so the filter basket is exposed) I decided to take a closer look at my own um, equipment.  The Gaggia portafilter is a heavy marine brass beast clad in thick chrome - a 58 mm professional sized tool built with an eye toward quality.  The bottom of the portafilter drain is threaded on the outside to allow for a spout to be attached.  The one attached to my portafilter is a double spout (two openings so one for each shot glass when pulling a double shot espresso) but some portafilters come with only a single spout attached. Nuova Simonelli provides two separate portafilters - one with a single spout attached and the other with a double spout attached.

 

My portafilter remains clothed in chrome but with some effort and the help of a bench vice I did take the double spout off the bottom - thankfully without breaking anything in the process.  Here is what I found after going through this trouble - I now have a more modest version of a naked portafilter. If I hold the portafilter up to a light I see the screen from my basket through the hole - I guess in this small eraser sized hole my portafilter is naked too.  When pulling a shot the cone falls through this hole in a single stream, starting thin and dark while gradually increasing in diameter till the hole is almost filled with a light and dark stream. 

The results I describe seeing when pulling a shot are very similar (the same perhaps?) to what I see when observing a shot pulled from a chopped portafilter.  If my distribution is off I will see the smooth cone collapse and a more violent (but still well contained) stream develops and more often than not depending on whether the cone falls apart early or late in the process the shot will be of lower quality than when the cone stays intact until I end the flow.  Spare portafilters for the Gaggia cost over $50 new but they should last a lifetime under normal use. My advice then would be to remove the spout if you want to experiment since it is completely reversible before making a permanent change that you might not care for but would learn that fact after it is too late.  

Category: BLOG

@wakenot

October 25, 2011 | by EricBNC


I am tempted to take a hole saw to this thing - I see Chris Coffee sells the naked PF's for the Silvano, hmm...

@intrepid510

October 25, 2011 | by EricBNC


This is a good Saturday matinee type way to experience spout-less espresso ; )

showcase it

October 24, 2011 | by wakeknot

Go all the way - you will love the feeling - come to the naked side. Then again your suggestion is a great middle ground.

PG strick

October 21, 2011 | by intrepid510

I use it like this on my machine it lets me know when I hit the grind and tamp right, steady center steam, but without getting hot espresso in my eye. Although, no triple baskets are in my future and not nearly as pretty. But I have children so this is strictly PG.

Heat - never thought about that.

August 26, 2011 | by EricBNC


I never thought about heating it first. Since mine was not new I couldn't tell if there was any locktite sealant - it looked more like old coffee oil. It took enough effort to loosen it that I was afraid the spout would break before coming off. It might have been something like locktight sealant if it never was pulled off before - interesting that they apply that at the factory though.

Cool

August 26, 2011 | by jbviau

Did you need to heat up the spout at all before torquing it off? On my "fully clothed" Gaggia portafilter I see some greenish thread sealant around where the spout is attached.

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