How to Clean Portafilter Between Shots – Learn 2 Specific Cleaning Methods

About 85% of US citizens start their everyday morning with a fresh cup of coffee.

There are so many health benefits of coffee when you drink it every day (of course only 1-2 drinks at max is recommended for optimum results).

Here are a few health benefits of coffee consumption:

1. It increases your energy level.

2. It can help in burning fat when taken without sugar.

3. Coffee contains some essential nutrients.

4. It Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.

5. It also protects your liver to some extent.

6. It is rich in antioxidants and fights depression to some level.

7. It lowers the risks of having heart diseases.

Majority of coffee lovers use coffee makers and espresso machines to prepare their daily dose of coffee.

The devices used while processing espresso plays an essential role in enriching the taste of the coffee that you drink.

One of the most significant parts of these espresso machines is a portafilter.

The coffee filtration done by the Portafilter basket plays a pivotal role in enriching the overall taste and flavor of your espresso coffee.

However, portafilter baskets come in a wide range of different styles and sizes which sometimes makes it confusing and daunting task for the right selection.

Cleaning portafilter between shots plays a pivotal role in improving the right flavor, taste and creamy texture of your coffee.

Today, I am going to discuss about what is portafilter and how you can clean portafilter between shots.

I will also explain why it is important to clean portafilters regularly and what is the best method to clean the portafilter.

What is a Portafilter in an Espresso Machine?

A portafilter basket is a metal filter which is fitted in an espresso machine.

Its main function is to trap the coffee grounds while pulling an espresso shot.

There are three types of portafilters available.

One is single portafilter, then comes the double portafilter and the third one is triple filter portafilter basket.

When you want to clean a portafilter between shots, you need to first unscrew the portafilter from the machine.

Now to clean the portafilter properly, you need to make a soapy solution first.

Here, I recommend you to use a good quality espresso machine cleaning powder to clean the portafilter.

I suggest you to use Cafiza powder in this case to get the best cleaning results.

Take a cleaning bowl, add some hot water in it and then add Cafiza cleaning powder in the water.

Now put portafilter in this solution for about 15-20 minutes and brush it to remove the leftovers.

Finally, use a cotton cloth to properly clean and dry the portafilter.

It is vital to clean the portafilters between the shots.

Just imagine pulling espresso shots containing dirty oils and leftovers.

Essential oils play a significant role in the thick creamy topping, but the bits bring a sour taste.

Most experienced baristas say that it is highly important to clean the portafilter after or less than ten shots.

The best way to clean is by using a Cafiza espresso machine cleaning powder, hot water, and a small cleaning brush.

Table of Contents

How Many Types of Portafilter Baskets are Available in the Market?

Portafilter in an espresso machine comes in 3 different styles and varieties.

There are single, double, and triple filter portafilter baskets that are available in the market.

1. Single Portafilter Basket: It holds about 7-12 grams of ground coffee, and it makes one shot of espresso.

2. Double Portafilter Basket: It holds about 14-21 grams of ground coffee.

3. Triple Portafilter Basket: This type of portafilter holds more than 21 grams of ground coffee and has the biggest size among the other options.

Why is it Necessary to Clean the Portafilter Basket Between Shots?

The main reason is to avoid getting leftover coffee granules and extra oil produced by the grinding of the beans.

If you don’t clean portafilter basket between shots regularly, then your cup of coffee might end up getting leftover oil and minute coffee granules floating on the surface.

Not even the most expensive coffee beans would taste good when pulled out of a dirty portafilter.

After every shot, the film will build up and it will clog the hole of the portafilter basket.

This residue will get mixed up in your coffee later on.

Therefore, if you want to avoid these issues, then you must regularly clean your portafilter basket after 1-2 shots.

Recommended Articles for You:

5 Simple Methods to Quickly Remove Stuck Portafilter Basket

5 Easy Methods to Clean Your Portafilter and Unclog it Quickly

A Complete Guide to Learn How to Use Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaner

2 Specific Methods to Clean the Portafilter Basket Between Shots

There are two simple methods that you can use to clean the portafilter basket at your home.

Method 1: Quick Portafilter Cleaning Method

Sometimes people can forget to clean portafilter being busy while pulling shots over shots.

In that situation, use this quick and easy portafilter cleaning method.

Things You will Need:

1. Water

2. Clean and Dry Cloth

Cleaning Procedure:

1. First, flush away the portafilter head immediately after every shot.

Keep it up until the water runs away and is clean.

2. Wipe it up using a clean and dry cloth to ensure there are no leftovers inside the basket.

Method 2: Deep Portafilter Cleaning Method

Things You will Need:

Clean and Dry Cloth

Hot Water

Cafiza Cleaning Powder


Small Cleaning Brush

Cleaning Procedure:

1. First thoroughly wipe and rinse the portafilter basket under the tap water.

2. Scrub the inner surface of the portafilter with the scrubber.

3. Add some hot water into the container and mix some Cafiza Portafilter Cleaning Powder into the water and let it dissolve completely.

4. Let the portafilter basket soak in the soapy solution for about 15-20 mins.

An important thing to remember here is you should not submerge the plastic, rubber handle, etc. in the cleaning solution.

This is important to avoid rust over time.

5. Use clean water to rinse after soaking.

6. Scrub it one more time and wipe it with a clean rag.

7. Use a small round cleaning brush to remove trapped oils left behind even after soaking.

8. Reassemble the portafilter basket.

If you want to learn this simple step by step process through visual instructions, then kindly watch the following video.

How Often Should You Clean the Portafilter Basket?

Regular cleaning of the portafilter basket is highly recommended.

Ideally, you should do it at least after every 1-2 shots.

But you can clean your portafilter basket after 10 shots too.

However, while using it at home, the demand is far less, so there would be no reason to leave it dirty.

You don’t need to clean the portafilter after every shot when you don’t use it frequently.

However, I still recommend you make it a habit of cleaning your portafilter after every 5 to 10 shots.

What is the Difference Between a Non-Pressurized Portafilter and a Pressurized Portafilter?

Pressurized portafilters either require a certain buildup of pressure or restrict water flow before the espresso spills out.

It does not provide a high amount of pressure but still emulsifies the oils in the coffee.

In this, the coffee actually passes through two filters.

Non-pressurized portafilter is a type of filter that contains a single wall and mesh at the bottom.

Non-pressurized portafilters produce thinner layers of crema which weakens the taste of the coffee when compared to pressurized portafilters.

You can experience a drastic change in the taste when a rich flavored espresso beans are used. 

What is the Best Portafilter Cleaning Brush?

A brush, that perfectly fits into the portafilter basket and provides thorough cleaning, must be chosen for portafilter cleaning.

Today, in the market, you will see lots of varieties of espresso machine cleaning brushes.

Using small and round brushes would make your cleaning job much easier.

With such types of cleaning brushes, you can comfortably remove all the deposits with few efforts.

I highly recommend to make use of Cafemasy espresso machine cleaning brush set which contains 4 wooden brushes.

This set is highly useful for you if you want to quickly clean all the portafilter parts along with your espresso machine components.

Final Thoughts

Having a delicious cup of coffee makes the morning for many people.

But just imagine having coffee that contains leftover oils in it.

Of course, it won’t sound delicious, right?

You can prevent this issue just be regularly cleaning your portafilter basket between 5-10 shots.

Now, you also know how to clean the portafilter basket with the help of the 2 methods which I have mentioned above.

Maintain the cleanliness of your portafilter basket and keep drinking oil free and residue free coffee for long term.


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