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Precision Filter Baskets – Why You Should Make The Change

Precision Filter Baskets – Why You Should Make The Change

Making beautiful, rich, sweet espresso, consistently, is all about controlling the variables (assuming you are using fresh, well roasted Specialty Coffee of course!). While there are many things required to make espresso, there are a few variables, that need to be managed. Once variables are controlled and can be reproduced accurately every time, perfect espresso will result.

Of course prior to thinking about controlling variables, we must remember to check water quality. Water quality is one of the most overlooked and most important aspects in producing perfect espresso, and needs to be addressed prior to setting up a machine. Dodgy water will never produce good espresso no matter how well the variables are controlled (as well as potentially ruining a machine in no time). See more about water quality in our earlier blog here:

When talking about controlling variables, the most frequently discussed and probably considered the most important are dose and extraction yield. Dose is the weight of the ground coffee in the basket and needs to be consistent. We suggest you aim to get within less than 0.3 gram every time. The next is  extraction yield, this is the mass of the fluid extracted from the portafilter spouts. The extraction yield needs to be consistent and match your predetermined brewing ratio. Dose, extraction yield and espresso brewing ratios are beyond the scope of this blog, for more information about brewing ratio’s head over to our previous blog:

Precision filter baskets are a tool to aid in consistency. Each basket, as the name suggests, has been precision machined to ensure that each one is produced to extremely fine tolerances. Each of the holes is identical in size and each basket (from the same manufacturer) has the same number of holes and same internal diameter.

Most commercially produced filter baskets, such as those supplied with a new machine, are mass produced, punched out and very inaccurate in hole size and number. A large deviation of internal diameters between and within manufacturers also exists, this creates the potential for uneven / inconsistent tamping. All this creates extraction inconsistency, even within the same basket. Having identical baskets is of vital importance when using a 2 or more group machine to eliminate the inconsistencies found between baskets.

The precision baskets manufactured by companies such as VST, IMS, Pullman and Pesado (by IMS), are beautifully crafted and precision engineered to eliminate the variability found in standard baskets. A matched tamper is also essential. For those seeking espresso perfection, a precision filter basket is an essential bit of kit which will outlast a standard basket by a long way.

Boston Bean Coffee Co. have a selection of precision filter baskets and matched tampers. We would love to have a chat, feel free to contact us via email or phone:

Please follow the links below for more information from a few manufacturers.