Naked Portafilter (pics)


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Sep 17, 2008
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Anyone have some experience with the bottomless portafilters?

I just purchased one for one of my commercial machines and it seems to changed my espresso shots dramatically.

Before with my standard dual spouted portafilter, 14g basket, I was pulling consistent shots with a good crema. The flavor was, in my humble view, very decent. The body, a bit light. The crema was actually a bit lighter in color than what I was expecting, on the slightly lighter side of tan.

Enter naked portafilter.
The shots coming out of this thing is just amazing to look at. The crema fully doubled. At the end of the shot, nearly the entire thing was crema. Settled at two ounces with about 3/4 of an inch crema.
Color, Medium brownish orange with darker speckles.

Like anyone who gets excited about espresso, I was just about freaking out. However, now we come to the flavor difference.
The shot is overall good. Much heavier body, much more flavor. The finish however... seems a bit on the sour side. Or is that considered fruity? I can't seem to be able to decide. It is pretty tolerable, but it seems to leave a taste in my mouth that I don't find too desirable. As where before with a standard portafilter, the finish didn't leave any lingering taste (at least not to strong).

Has this happened to anyone else? I can't understand what is making such a big change, but I think I like it. Maybe something to do with the shot touching the body of the portafilter, then having to run down spouts before getting in the cup?
I’ve tried different baskets, the body is clean as it can get, and all of my shot conditions are good (ei time temp pressure tamp)

I'm considering going out and getting a hole saw bit and changing all of my portafilters!
flavor is different, I really wouldn't say better or worse, but adjust your grind to hit the best sweet spot for your espresso. Crema is fluffier, but it tends to dissipate faster.

I think naked PF make a great training tool, helping you see flaws in your distribution, but as an everyday PF, I prefer the spouted version.
I have a pretty light blend If pull right, it is bright and acidic but if I am not careful, I'd get sour shot. When I have a sour shot I grind a bit coarser and pull a little longer; if the problem does not go away, I'd raise the temperature a bit. BTW, The pics you posted show a channeling shot, you probably need to replace grinder's burrs.
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ElPugDiablo said:
BTW, The pics you posted show a channeling shot, you probably need to replace grinder's burrs.

Eh I don't know if I'd go so far as to call that channeling. That picture (with the two tails) is about 5 seconds after the first "drop" the picture right afterwards is a couple seconds afterwards. those two pictures are of course from the same shot. That picture is a bit grainy, but I could see fluid flowing from all parts of the basket. It just took a few more seconds
to get enough flow to push it all from the center. That's what I think at least.

my burrs are all sharp, and I'm not as of yet having a problem with consistency.

Oh, and what kind of machine do you have to where you can adjust your temperature? My machines are pretty ok but definitely not top of the line. No dual boiler for me :(. One day though... by then hopefully I'll be able to come across some gently used la marzocco gs3 and put my lovin all over it.
I wouldn't really call that channeling either, just the cone starting to form.

I always look at the puck to see how the shot went.

Some people seem to think that a naked portafilter may cause a slightly cooler shot because there is less metal for the espresso to come in contact with. Seems logical........

Goes to show that an awesome looking shot may taste less than perfect. Later!
check your pm...

I have a 3 group La Marzocco Linea which I PIDed, I also have a 3 group Dalla Corte. It is a 4 boilers fancy schmancy machine, each boiler is individually PIDed, I can alter each group head and steam boiler temperature on the fly. A bit over kill but it's fun to play with. Took a while to get use to the 54mm portafilter though.

There are a lot of used La Marzocco out there, try to find one with welded group head. They are more expensive, but they are better for temperature stabilization and better if you want to PID it. And if you can, disassemble both boilers and get them pressure tested. I spent so much on fixing my used La Marzocco I could have bought a new one.