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My favorite baskets

November 27, 2011

My favorite baskets


Yes believe it or not once you get obsessed enough over espresso you may go crazy enough to have favorite baskets to place in your portafilter.  Not only do I prefer some baskets to others, I prefer machines that have numerous baskets as options over machines that do not.  A huge percentage of commercial and prosumer machines have 58 mm portafilters.  The portafilters are not interchangeable even from one 58 mm machine to another.  Some will easily exchange and others will not. This is because the “ears” are sometimes slightly higher or lower and thus locking in the portafilter may or may not work from one machine to the next even if the diameter is the same, but the baskets are for the most part interchangeable.

There are limits, of course.   Some baskets are especially tall and others are shorter.  If your portafilter has less clearance than another one then you may not be able to use as tall a basket.  Triple baskets almost always require a bottomless portafilter.  



Now the shapes of the basket (ie the cross section) is not always the same from one brand to the next for example you see a few options in this link…

http://www.hardwaresphere.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/espresso-filter-basket.jpg

One of the clever goals is that even though a single is roughly intended to produce 1 oz and double 2 ozs and a triple three, the baskets are designed so that they produce that much in the same time (say 24-30 seconds).  The key is in the geometry of the basket, for example one usually has more holes in a double basket than a single and the bottom is usually wider.

My favorite basket is the ridgeless “La marzocco style” basket because it allows for flexible doses from 14 grams to 19 grams on my machine even though my machine likes some head clearance (ie it does not work as well if the coffee is too close to the shower screen when inserted).



I also like that it is easy to slip it in and out of the portafilter so I can prepare It outside of the portafilter and add it in later keeping the portafitler in the machine and nice and hot until the last second.  



There is a comparable triple that I like to use when I want even higher doses.






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