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Thread: the ideal portafilter / group handle

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    the ideal portafilter / group handle

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I understand that the ideal espresso is created by extracting coffee oils within an ideal temperature range. I dont know how the accepted diameter, depth, and volume came about and wonder if there is debate as to what is ideal.

    Im aware that La San Marco use a smaller diameter, deeper PF and wonder why they did this - its a big deviation from the standard!

    I would expect that a larger diameter, and more shallow PF would result in a better extraction?

    Am I way off track here?

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: the ideal portafilter / group handle

    Wouldnt the effect of a narrower deeper basket mimic updosing?

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: the ideal portafilter / group handle

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1189758613/0#1 date=1189760198
    Wouldnt the effect of a narrower deeper basket mimic updosing?
    I dont think so. The baskets are pretty deep, so I imagine the water would certainly be a few degrees cooler toward the bottom of the PF.

    Back to the orginal question.....

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    Re: the ideal portafilter / group handle

    I read somewhere once that the Illy scientists did a whole bunch of tests on extractions from portafilter/basket combos of all different diameters, and the 58mm portafilter gave the best extractions. But that could just be in my head, or hearsay.

    Ive also heard that with narrower baskets, channeling is minimised, but likewise ...

    In the end, if its tasting good, why worry?




    although, on second thought, my mazzer does throw a lot of coffee around, with plenty of grinds missing the basket ... with a narrower basket with which to catch the grinds, Im guessing thered be more wastage?

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: the ideal portafilter / group handle

    From the little Ive been able to find out.....

    The ideal particle size (grind setting) for extracting the best from the bean is most closely obtained with a 57-58mm diameter basket with regard to the Golden Rule of espresso (30/60ml shot using 7/14g coffee, pulled in 25 seconds at a pressure of 8.5-9.0 Bar). Smaller diameter baskets necessitate the need for ever coarser particle size as the diameter decreases whilst maintaining shot characteristics within the constraints of the Golden Rule.

    This ever increasing particle size must affect the quality of the resulting shot in some way, given that Brew Pressure and Temperature remain the same. I know that some proponents advocate a higher Brew Pressure in some of the small diameter basket machines, and perhaps this is in recognition of the larger particle size requiring the higher pressure to achieve proper extraction.

    In any case, the results from the bit of experimentation that I have undertaken from time to time is quite unequivocal with respect to the noticeable changes in flavour profile of the brew, as the particle size is gradually increased and dose/tamp is adjusted to keep the shot within the confines of the Golden Rule. The resulting shots get ever sweeter as the particle size is increased until such time as the shots can no longer be controlled with adjustments to dose/tamp and the pours start to fall outside the Golden Rule Parameters (pour too quickly). Its an interesting experiment to try and I would encourage others to give it a go too :).

    Cheers All,
    Mal.

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    Re: the ideal portafilter / group handle

    I find 53mm portafilters give greater clarity in taste compared to 58mm.

    The ideal portafilter isnt the issue...its the basket. La Marzocco believe one of the last untouched areas in R&D for espresso is basket shapes and sizes and are doing research in to the "perfect" basket.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: the ideal portafilter / group handle

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Yes, of course its the basket - I should have been more specific, though think most people undertsood what I was talking about.

    Mal - thanks for your insight. Im curious to know what you think would happen if the basket were wider in diameter, say 70mm, and shallower in depth to compensate?



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