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Thread: Saeco Via Venezia Bottomless Portafilter

  1. #1
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Saeco Via Venezia Bottomless Portafilter

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    For those who may be interested, the only source of a Saeco Via Venezia bottomless filter I have found - Seattlecoffeegear - appear to have them back in stock.

    They sell both a bottomless and an unpressurised portafilter for the Via Venezia. These are a chromed brass I believe and appear to be a high quality item.

    See video below. It also serves as a warning in regard to the effects of consuming too much caffine - jerky camera, hyperactivity!



    I must state that ordering one has taken me 2 months, enduring 2 cancelled orders after payment was accepted for an item that was shown 'in stock' on their store website. Both transactions were refunded but it took time. 3rd time lucky, I was notified my order was on the way.

    Over the 2 month period that I was trying to order, they were in the process of rebuilding their online store. The Seattlecoffeegear person I dealt with was very apologetic and seemed concerned about the situation. I believe they are trying to rectify the issues with International orders to streamline the process.

    The main issue is that they still use a 3rd party carrier called Bongo International to process overseas orders. This means Seattlecoffegear send the items to them which are then processed for overseas shipment. Bongo International have really bad communication in regard to order status so be prepared!

    Anyway, if you're interested, the website is www.seattlecoffeegear.com.
    Look under 'Accessories' for 'Portafilters & bases'. At the top of the left column where 'Available Internationally' appears, click 'Yes'.

    You will need to register to order and at checkout click 'Overseas shipment' (something like that?). This takes you to the Bongo International page to complete checkout.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 17th August 2012 at 09:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Bottomless Portafilter arrived safe and well. There was no contact for 7 days after ordering but tracking was available after this time. If anyone wants photos in addition to what is shown in the video please let me know. The portafilter works well.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Just an update on the bottomless Portafilter and its performance (I should say my performance).

    Up until now I have been using a depressurised standard Saeco portafilter that came with the Via Venezia.
    I'd experimented with fineness of grind, tamping pressure, temperature surfing etc and was reasonably happy with the result using fresh roasted beans.

    I had read the bottomless Portafilter is a good training tool and makes any flaws in technique quite obvious. This is an understatement!
    The first few days I used the bottomless it was obvious I needed to improve my technique. Little spurts coming out sideways (channeling?) and none of that nice tiger striping you see on Youtube.

    I started playing with grind settings again, different tamp pressures but was still not getting the result I wanted. I was becoming a little disillusioned about not being able to nail it.

    After being distracted this morning while brewing, I had levelled the grind in the filter basket but forgot to tamp. This meant the shower screen lightly tamped the grind and quite suprisingly there was a better extraction with no spurting although a little fast. I tried another brew with a light tamp to half the depth of the tamper base and finally achieved a tiger striped extraction of correct duration and a greatly improved taste. A 15 sec delay from when the brew light came on and then a 3 sec preinfusion burst with a 3 sec delay to brewing all helped to get the result I'd been chasing.

    Just goes to show that there are many paths that lead to the result you're after. In my case a lighter than normal tamp togther with a finer grind was the ticket. Without the bottomless portafilter I wouldn't have seen there was a problem with my tamping technique even though I'd checked the pressure with a set of scales.

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    Senior Member C-man's Avatar
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    I came across one of these machines at a garage sale asking $80 could most likely get it for $50

    was temped just for the swivel steam spout, I wounder if it would fit my Sunbeam EM 4800?

    the portafiller still had the plastic thing at the bottom, I can see why you needed a new non pressurized one

    how is it going now?

  5. #5
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-man View Post
    I came across one of these machines at a garage sale asking $80 could most likely get it for $50

    was temped just for the swivel steam spout, I wounder if it would fit my Sunbeam EM 4800?

    the portafiller still had the plastic thing at the bottom, I can see why you needed a new non pressurized one

    how is it going now?
    Very happy with the results from the Bottomless Portafilter and it's definetly the way to go to refine your grinding/tamping processes.

    There's no mistaking when you haven't quite got it right! The downside though is that I need to buy a new grinder for that extra bit of fine tuning I want so I can get the most out of my Behmor roasts!

    As I've mentioned in an earlier post, replacing the original Saeco Via Venezia steam wand with one from a Breville 800ES (around $23?) was the other essential modification (I feel) for this machine.

    After both these mods the Saeco Via Venezia becomes a really handy entry level boiler machine to learn the basics of priming a boiler and temperature surfing etc. I paid $150 for mine which was the current model at the time and under a year old with little use. Much better than paying $450 new!

    Its body is Stainless Steel, very quick to warm up especially if you steam first then flush through the brew head and alot cheaper than burning out a Rancilio if you forget to prime!

    Very under-rated machine I feel if bought 2nd hand at the right price. (If buying 2nd hand try to check the duration of the steam after priming boiler fully to be sure the heating element is okay)



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