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Thread: Portafilter / Group Handle / Bottomless?

  1. #1

    Portafilter / Group Handle / Bottomless?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So, Ill admit out of the gate that I dont know a lot about making coffee, except that I like it to taste good. Ive worked in a few cafes but always was taught what I needed to know per that coffee machine and not a whole lot more -- For shame!

    Ive recently invested in a BES900 as per some recommendations from others and simply because it was the top of the line available from Myer where I live. I also bought the BCG800 Smart Grinder (Again, best available to me from Myer).

    Now after about 2 weeks of use Im wondering, are there better portafilters out there? Better baskets? I feel that sometimes the amount coming from the Smart Grinder is too much for the single or double baskets (Depending on which Im doing) and it would mean Id have to over-tamp it to make it fit. Even after fine-tuning the Smart Grinder (The "less" dial) to make do. I know I could probably buy a good set of scales and do the math to make sure but as with all products these days Im simply curious if there is a better alternative out there to a better portafilter / basket / etc to the default one Breville ships out in the box? The little black thing under the basket is disconcerning to me -- Ive worked in coffee shops before and Ive never seen it before. Ive read it is to regulate flow and all but ... still.

    Im curious to whether I should invest in a naked / bottomless, also -- Purely to make sure Im doing everything right. Good idea? Bad?

    Lastly, non-equipment related but surely if someone has read this far can tell me regarding the BES900 -- Is the perfect shot time still 25 seconds? I can nail it usually within a second or two but Im curious if the pre-infusion time is accounted into the equation here? And if not, how long is the perfect shot, supposedly? ... Ahh!

    Anyway. Some help would be fantastic!

  2. #2
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Portafilter / Group Handle / Bottomless?

    Hello and welcome.

    If you read through the thread on your machine, there is all the info there, plus lots more, spread over many pages. The stock baskets seems to be very good quality, I presume you are using the single floor basket and fresh beans?

    You should be able to adjust the dose down on the grinder to get the right amount. You want the tamped level to be the depth of the metal cap on the standard tamper. There are great guides by breville on youtube which will probably answer/confirm what you are doing is ok.

    The plastic thing in the handle is purely to isolate the pour hitting the metal of the PF that may not have been pre heated. Most people remove it and the current machines do not have it.

    Naked PF will highlight any deficiencies in your pour, and I always use one now as I find its also easier to clean up (no coffee residue on the bottom of the PF).

    The pour time sounds about right maybe a touch short, but if it tastes good to you that is the main thing. Is that where you are stopping the shot manually when it starts to blond?

    Also, check your OPV setting in case yours is set too high (some of them were), its an easy adjustment by a service centre. You should be getting no more than ~9bar even if the machine is choked.


  3. #3

    Re: Portafilter / Group Handle / Bottomless?

    Thanks artman, I appreciate all that! Ill definitely find my machines thread -- thats fantastic. Thanks!

    Re: OPV -- How do I check it? Ill have a google in a bit. The most I get out of my machine is 9 / 10 bar -- Ive seen it go higher when friends have had a shot at making coffee, but when I tamp it properly and use the right amount of ground beans (I assume its the right amount, anyway. Ha) -- It hits 9 bar every time.

    The plastic thing is now gone, also. Good to know.

    Lastly -- Definitely not doing it manually .. Maybe I should be? Eeek. I usually hit the one or two shot thing and let it go nuts. Typically Im bang on 24 / 25 / 26 seconds -- Which Ive been told is good. But Ive no idea. Time to hit google again and read up.

    Good to know the equipment Im using is adequate, though. Now to go read every coffee article known to man, ha ha!

    Thanks again artman.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Sydney North Shore

    Re: Portafilter / Group Handle / Bottomless?

    karizmatik, welcome to CoffeeSnobs and the Breville owners club.

    I too use a BES900 and a BCG800 Smart Grinder.

    I think the portafilter and filters provided are quite adequate to make great coffee.

    The variables that you must juggle to get your best results are the coffee beans used, grind fineness, the dose amount and tamp, as well as the temperature and volume of hot water. This is all part of the challenge to make great coffee.

    Donít try to force too much into the basket. I myself put just enough beans into the grinder to just fill the basket.

    Include the pre infusion in the brew time.

    The perfect shot is not when the numbers add up but when it tastes great in the cup.

    The only alterations I have made to my equipment is to remove the plastic from the portafilter and to add shims to the grinder to get a finer grind.

    There is a mountain of useful* information in the owners* thread,


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Sydney North Shore

    Re: Portafilter / Group Handle / Bottomless?

    A naked portafilter in its self does not make better coffee, but lets you see how even the water flow is through the coffee.


  6. #6
    Member chonski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Bit of a bump...but didn't want to start a new thread just for this particular question...

    Can anyone advise if there are naked portafilters out there that are the equivalent design (minus spouts of course) of the genuine Rocket Giotto portafilters that ship with Giotto Premium Plus / Evo?
    I have a generic one that I got for my Silvia. I have a few bucks spare at the moment and was looking to get one to better match my current Giotto portafilters.
    By equivalent design I guess I mean:
    - same shape design on the portafilter holder / handle
    - same shape handle
    - shinier type handle finish as opposed to matte
    - silver cap on the end of the handle

    I was happy to see the accessories released by Rocket and supplied through ECA distributors but Chris @ TC confirmed the naked available there is a generic one and not like the original portafilters...
    Some generic E61 ones I've seen pictures of look like they might fit the bill but I have never seen one in person to confirm

    Thanks in advance...

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