Cleaning portafilter between shots

Cleaning portafilter between shots

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Without a portafilter, making that robust, flavorful espresso shot would be impossible. The portafilter, one of the key elements of an espresso machine, is where your coffee grinds sit while water is poured through them to make coffee.

This is about getting rid of grounds stuck to the group head after locking the portafilter into place.

The goal of this process should be to clean off just enough ground to expose the shower screen, nothing more, nothing less.

Any grounds that are covering the holes in the shower screen will be tough to get out and could clog up your machine, so make sure they’re completely gone!

When you put water through a portafilter into your cup, it’s going to seem like a lot of water, but it’s actually much less than you think.

If you can’t see any coffee in your spouts after cleaning them, then do another round of cleaning before setting up your shot.

There is a cost to this. If you work in a busy coffee shop, you’ll probably choose to make the coffee quickly rather than clean. In most cases, knocking out the coffee will remove >99% of the grounds from the previous pull. Therefore the difference in flavor between pulls will be negligibly little. In addition, the portafilter won’t often have a chance to dry out, which prevents the coffee from drying on and clogging the portafilter.

Reusing the portafilter is likely ok if you’re brewing several cups of coffee.

It’s best to at least rinse off the portafilter before you (or the next user) come to use the coffee maker if you leave it alone.

Once the coffee grounds or grounds begin to dry, the system will clog and become considerably more difficult to clean in the future.

After pulling the shot, the used-up grounds will be in the portafilter, often indicating that cleaning is necessary. Continue reading if you want to learn why and how to clean the portafilter in between shots.

Cleaning portafilter between shots

Portafilter baskets with single, double, and triple filters are available on the market.

1. A single portafilter basket produces one shot of espresso and can store 7 to 12 grams of ground coffee.

2. Double Portafilter Basket. It can accommodate between 14 and 21 grams of ground coffee.

3. Triple Portafilter Basket: This type of portafilter is the largest and can store more than 21 grams of ground coffee.

What does an espresso machine’s portafilter do?

What does an espresso machine's portafilter do

A metal filter that is installed in an espresso maker is called a portafilter basket. It primarily collects coffee grounds as you pull an espresso shot.

There are three different kinds of portafilters.

Single portafilters are the first, followed by double portafilters, then triple filter portafilter baskets.

Why Should the Portafilter Basket Be Cleaned Between Shots?

Why Should the Portafilter Basket Be Cleaned Between Shots

The main purpose is to prevent acquiring coffee granules and additional oil that are left behind after the beans are ground.

If you don’t frequently clean your portafilter basket in between shots, residual oil, and tiny coffee grains may wind up floating on the surface of your cup of coffee.

If you enjoy drinking coffee, you probably already know that the essential oils in your coffee beans are what create the thick crema that tops your espresso. However, these oils have a negative side; they are also the cause of the over-developed “off” flavor of the coffee.

This rancidity develops when the oils emulsify and adhere to the espresso machine’s metal water screen (and occasionally the area behind it). The filter basket and portafilter develop a film as a result of this.

This film will accumulate shot after shot to the point where it clogs the portafilter basket’s holes and deposits residue inside the portafilter spout. Now, why wouldn’t you clean out such unpleasant contaminants if you could?

Not even the most expensive coffee beans would taste decent with a dirty portafilter.

The film will accumulate after each shot and jam the portafilter basket’s hole.

Later, your coffee will have a mixture of this residue.

Therefore, you must periodically clean your portafilter basket after 1-2 shots if you wish to prevent these problems.

How to Clean Your Espresso Basket Between Shots

Between Shots, There Are Two Particular Ways to Clean the Portafilter Basket

You may clean the portafilter basket at your house using one of two straightforward techniques.

First Approach: Rapid Portafilter Cleaning

People occasionally neglect to clean their portafilters because they are too busy pulling shots over shots.

Use this quick and simple portafilter cleaning technique in that circumstance.

What You’ll Need:

1. Water

2. A dry, clean cloth

Cleaning Method:

1. After each shot, immediately flush the portafilter head away.

Keep going until the water is clean and running off.

2. To ensure there aren’t any leftovers in the basket, wipe it down with a clean, dry towel.

  • Deep portafilter cleaning approach, the second method

What You’ll Need:

  1. Dry and Clean Cloth
  1. Warm Water
  1. Cafiza Disinfectant Powder
  1. Scrubber
  1. Brush for Cleaning

Cleaning Method:

1. Start by giving the portafilter basket a good wipe-down and rinsing it with tap water.

2. Use the scrubber to clean the portafilter’s interior surface.

3. Fill the container with hot water, then stir in the Cafiza Portafilter Cleaning Powder and allow it to dissolve completely.

4. Submerge the portafilter basket in the soapy mixture for 15 to 20 minutes.

It is imperative to remember that the plastic, rubber handle, etc., shouldn’t be immersed in the cleaning solution. In order to prevent rust over time, this is crucial.

5. After soaking, rinse with fresh water.

6. Give it one last scrub before wiping it down with a fresh rag.

7. To eliminate trapped oils that were still present even after soaking, use a small round cleaning brush.

8. Put the portafilter basket back together.

How Frequently Should the Portafilter Basket Be Cleaned?

It is very advised to clean the portafilter basket regularly. Ideally, you ought to do it every one or two shots at the absolute least.

However, after ten shots, you can also clean your portafilter basket. There would be no incentive to leave it dirty when using it at home, where demand is much lower.

If you don’t use the portafilter regularly, you don’t need to clean it after every shot. However, you should still establish a routine of cleaning your portafilter after 5 to 10 shots.

What Sets a Pressurized Portafilter Apart from a Non-Pressurized Portafilter?

Before the espresso flows out, pressurized portafilters can demand a specific accumulation of pressure or restrict water flow.

The oils in the coffee are emulsified despite the low pressure it applies.

In this, the coffee goes through two filters in total.

The filter type, a non-pressurized portafilter, has a single wall with mesh at the bottom.

When opposed to pressurized portafilters, non-pressurized portafilters produce smaller layers of crema, which dulls the flavor of the coffee.

When using richly flavored espresso beans, the flavor can change dramatically.

What is the Best Cleaning Brush for Portafilters?

A brush that snugly fits inside the basket and offers thorough cleaning must be used for portafilter cleaning.

Today’s market offers a wide variety of brushes for cleaning espresso machines.

Your cleaning task would be made much easier if you used little, round brushes.

You may easily and with little effort remove all the residues with these kinds of cleaning brushes.

When should the portafilter be cleaned?

Every ten shots, we advise cleaning the portafilter. At home, where demand is much smaller, there is no motive to keep it dirty.

You might discover that cleaning is more convenient just to get that out of the way of the portafilter immediately after extracting your shot and before consuming your coffee.

Do I need to clean the portafilter after each shot?

The portafilter doesn’t need to be cleaned after each shot. 

In the long run, doing so will undoubtedly make things simpler, but it’s not feasible if you work in a coffee shop where you pull dozens of espresso shots daily.

How is the espresso filter emptied?

You only need to turn the portafilter upside down and shake it or lightly tap it over your knock box or sink until the puck becomes free and falls out if you’re wondering how to empty the portafilter.


A decent cup of coffee can truly make someone’s morning. But consider drinking coffee that has oil residue in it.

It won’t sound appetizing, of course. By constantly cleaning your portafilter basket every 5 to 10 shots, you can avoid this problem. Use of the Cafemasy espresso machine cleaning brush set, which includes four hardwood brushes, is highly advised.

If you want to rapidly clean all the portafilter pieces and the components of your espresso machine, this kit will be very helpful.

As you can probably see by now, regular portafilter cleaning is essential to preserving your espresso’s great, rich flavor. In addition, understanding how to clean a portafilter is essential in between shots so you can do the task without causing any damage to any components.

If you’re shooting for consistency in extraction, flushing your portafilter between shots is a good idea.

Now that you know the two techniques I stated above, you also know how to clean the portafilter basket. Keep your portafilter basket clean, so you may continue to enjoy oil- and residue-free coffee for a long time.

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