Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Domestic vs Commercial size portafilters

  1. #1
    Senior Member iggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    206

    Domestic vs Commercial size portafilters

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all

    just a topic that came up from a random chat I had with some mates today

    most lower end domestic portafilters are 51mm while commercial ones are 58mm
    (and then there are anomalies like the la pav 49mm and lelit 57mm - i think thats how big they are?* haha)

    What effect does the diameter size have on the extraction of the coffee? Is there an ideal size?

    we had a few theories about bigger= the coffee being spread out means less pressure needed etc.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Zaneus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    228

    Re: Domestic vs Commercial size portafilters

    A smaller diameter basket means that water travels through more coffee before exiting the basket. Because of this there is a noticeable flavour difference. Aside from 58mm ive only tried a 53mm la spaziale. I prefer 58mm but i do know someone who swears by the smaller basket.

    My rule of thumb to get a better extraction from smaller baskets was to take off a second or two from the ideal extraction time. The tastiest coffees ive had from a 53mm basket were in the 20-23 second range. Could have been the specific coffee i was using however. I havent experimented with it further than that so i cant be of much more help

  3. #3
    Senior Member shapeshifter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    726

    Re: Domestic vs Commercial size portafilters

    Personally having had both now, I do prefer the smaller portafilters. Ive found that I get more out of the sweet coffees with the smaller ones.

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    17,229

    Re: Domestic vs Commercial size portafilters

    Quote Originally Posted by 564D445540564D4C43514057250 link=1318248441/2#2 date=1318578085
    Personally having had both now, I do prefer the smaller portafilters.* Ive found that I get more out of the sweet coffees with the smaller ones.
    Thats my experience too shifter.... :)

    You do seem to get more body out of a 58mm basket though so I guess it depends what sort of coffee you prefer.... :-?

    Mal.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    459

    Re: Domestic vs Commercial size portafilters

    Technical review:
    Say you start with a constant amount of ground coffee (may not be true, but makes thinking about it easier). Then you shape this into a puck of 51 or 58mm. The 58mm puck will be shallower. This reduced thickness, in combination with the larger diameter, means this puck will provide less flow resistance than the smaller diameter one. (You can mentally extrapolate this to either a narrow tall column or a large flat disc.)

    So if your grind setting was the same for both, then the 58mm would gush, with less pressure required to force the water through.

    The "rules of thumb" for good flavour (9 bar, 60 ml in 30 seconds) mean you need to slow down the flow rate, so to compensate, you need to make the grind finer with the larger filter.

    This will extract more flavour out of the beans.
    The converse of this requirement is that the 51mm filter will be more forgiving of coffee that is not ground so finely or consistently, which is probably why you see smaller filters in cheaper machines.

    The shorter flow path of the 58mm puck means the first water going through it will be cooled less. This will keep the temperature inside the puck during extraction more consistent, which will contribute to the flavour. The 51mm puck will initially pour colder, then warm up more.

    I would assume that the reason 58mm is used is that years of Italian experimentation found this to be the ideal size/shape of puck. However this is probably a legacy from the days of manual lever machines, and the ability of a barista to physically perform the extraction of a certain volume and pressure.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    206

    Re: Domestic vs Commercial size portafilters

    Matt - that sounds like a good explanation to me :)

    thanks everyone for help on the topic. I think my curiosity has been abated! (until my next question...on filter basket shape! will post it soon)

  7. #7
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,288

    Re: Domestic vs Commercial size portafilters

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 664A5F5F746042454C2B0 link=1318248441/4#4 date=1318806184
    However this is probably a legacy from the days of manual lever machines, and the ability of a barista to physically perform the extraction of a certain volume and pressure.
    Well...maybe.

    A number of the best lever machines have baskets and portafilters less than 58 mm in diameter.

    Greg



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 19th December 2011, 04:34 PM
  2. Light commercial vs premium domestic
    By Bames in forum Brewing Equipment - Pointy End ($1500-$3000)
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 27th September 2011, 12:00 PM
  3. Transition from Domestic to Commercial....
    By Thundergod in forum Milk Froth and Bubbles
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 29th May 2009, 01:49 PM
  4. Commercial portafilters compatible with Silvia?
    By Healey in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 20th April 2009, 11:42 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •