Why Use A Bottomless Portafilter For Espresso Coffee?

By Evelina •  Updated: 11/06/22 •  5 min read

So you got a brand new espresso machine and you’re feeling pretty confident about your espresso-making skills. You’ve watched a few YouTube videos, read a few articles (like this one), and you’re feeling pretty good about yourself.

But then you realize that there’s one more thing you need before you can start making espresso like a pro – a bottomless portafilter.

So what is a bottomless portafilter? And why do you need one? Keep reading to find out.

What is A Bottomless Portafilter?

A bottomless portafilter is a type of espresso filter basket that doesn’t have a spout. That means that when you’re done brewing your espresso, the coffee will just come out of the basket and into your cup.

Baristas use this method mostly when brewing a double shot of espresso because it allows them to see if the shot is evenly extracted. If the shot is evenly extracted, the coffee will come out of the basket in a steady stream. If it’s not, the shot will be uneven and the coffee will come out in a dribble.

A bottomless portafilter is also a great way to practice your espresso brewing skills because it allows you to see exactly what’s happening during the extraction process. And trust me, there’s a lot that happens in those few short seconds.

Read Also: Best Espresso Accessories You Can’t Live Without

5 Reasons to Use A Bottomless Portafilter

Now its time to get into the nitty-gritty of why you should be using a bottomless portafilter. Here are 5 reasons:

1. Better Espresso Crema

The golden crema that tops a freshly brewed cup of espresso is one of the things that makes this coffee so special. And it’s also one of the hardest things to achieve.

But using a bottomless portafilter can help you get a better espresso crema. Since there is no contact with the spout, the crema has a chance to settle on top of the espresso before it’s poured into the cup.

Keep in mind that a good crema is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also indicates that the espresso shot was brewed correctly. So if you’re having trouble getting a good crema, a bottomless portafilter might be the answer.

2. Diagnose Espresso Extraction Problems

As I mentioned before, using a bottomless portafilter is a great way to see exactly what’s happening during the espresso brewing process.

Many issues start when the espresso is being extracted from the coffee grounds. So by using a bottomless portafilter, you can easily diagnose any issues that might be occurring.

For example, if you don’t feel comfortable yet with tamping your own espresso grounds, you might be worried about over-tamping or under-tamping. With a bottomless portafilter, you can quickly see if your tamping was too light or too hard, and make the necessary adjustments.

3. Better Consistency

Constistency is key when it comes to making espresso. If you want to make a good espresso, you need to be able to replicate the same results every time.

Although expert baristas make it look easy, making a consistent espresso shot is actually quite difficult. But using a naked portafilter can help.

You can try different coffee beans, grinds, and doses to find the perfect espresso recipe. And once you find that winning combination, you can do it over and over again with the help of a bottomless portafilter.

4. Save Coffee

When you’re first starting out, it’s not uncommon to waste a lot of coffee. I know I did. I would brew shot after shot, only to pour them down the drain because they were over-extracted, or under-extracted, or just tasted bad.

But with a bottomless portafilter, you can save a lot of that coffee. It makes troubleshooting so much easier, and it allows you to make adjustments on the fly. So if you’re worried about wasting coffee, a bottomless portafilter is definitely the way to go.

5. Impress Your Friends

Let’s be honest, making espresso is impressive. It looks like magic, and most people have no idea how it’s done. So if you want to impress your friends, family, or even yourself, try making espresso with a bottomless portafilter.

Not only will you get to show off your mad espresso making skills, but you’ll also get to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. It’s a win-win!

How to Use A Bottomless Portafilter

Using A Bottomless Portafilter

The technique is pretty simple. Just like you would with a regular portafilter, the first part is always the same. Let’s take a look:

Simple and easy, right? The only difference is that you won’t have a spout for the espresso to come out of. So instead, the espresso will just pour directly into the cup.

Final Thoughts

A bottomless portafilter is a great tool for any coffee lover, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. It’s a great way to see exactly what’s happening during the brewing process, and it can help you troubleshoot any extraction problems you might be having.

Plus, it’s just really cool to watch the espresso shot being brewed without a spout. So if you’re looking for a way to up your espresso game, definitely give a bottomless portafilter a try.

Happy Brewing!


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.

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