Bottomless Portafilter Vs. Regular – Which Is Better in 2023?

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Bottomless and regular – are two types of portafilters widely used in making espresso. Unless you are an espresso professional, these two variations of portafilter will raise many questions in your mind. 

The key difference between a bottomless and a regular portafilter is their bottom formation. A bottomless portafilter has no base, whereas a regular portafilter has a covered bottom with spouts. 

They have many dissimilarities, including their formations, amenities, and intention of use. However, you should pick one logically based on your necessities. 

This post will help you find which type of portafilter works best between a bottomless vs. regular portafilter.  

Their Structures Make A Primary Difference.

Bottomless Portafilter
Bottomless Portafilter

The appearance of a bottomless and a normal portafilter makes a big difference. Each item has a distinct construction. For instance, a bottomless portafilter has a simple construction than a regular one. It has a simple rim attached to a wooden or thermosetting plastic handle. 

To get the complete appearance, you will need a loose portafilter basket. When you place the filter basket into the rim, it becomes a functional portafilter. But, its base always remains open. 

A regular portafilter has a covered bottom with single or double spouts. These nozzles assist in dropping extracted espresso into cups directly. They give users more control when extracting espresso into single or double cups at once. Moreover, regular portafilters look more professional due to their complex formation.

Read: Our Recommended Best Naked Portafilter

A Bottomless Portafilter Delivers Better Crema

Bottomless Vs. Regular Portafilter Espresso

It might be surprising that a naked portafilter can affect your espresso quality. It happens due to its open base. The extracted espresso directly goes into the cup when it is ready to drink. Thus, it causes less metallic contact, which produces thicker crema. 

Better quality crema adds excellent flavor to espresso. That’s why many professionals intentionally use bottomless portafilters. 

On the other hand, a regular portafilter can weaken crema in some cases. Since the extracted espresso goes through the spouts, it gets extra contact with the metallic surface of a portafilter. This can fade the quality of crema. Though the differences in espresso quality are not even noteworthy, it happens inside a regular portafilter.

They Are Built for Different Purposes. 

Regular portafilter
Normal Portafilter

A bottomless portafilter is widely used as a barista training tool. It lets you check whether you have chosen quality grind for espresso or how good you are at tamping. This tool helps beginners understand where they need to improve. 

Sometimes, professional baristas also use a bottomless portafilter for a few reasons. For instance, unwanted channeling can ruin your espresso quality by causing uneven extraction. This tool makes the extraction visible so you can investigate the issues. 

In contrast, a regular portafilter offers no visible extraction. But, it is widely used due to its traditional feel and ease of use. This item is excellent when you need more control over pouring espresso directly into cups. Unlike novice baristas, professionals use this portafilter for low maintenance and effort.

Read More: Cleaning Portafilter Between Shots

Finally, Which Is Better for You?

Professionals widely use regular portafilters because of their easy operations. It helps drop espresso in cups precisely, which offers more control when you pull single or double shots at once. This is a way of straightforward extraction that requires low maintenance as well. So, users can save time and effort, a big reason they are commonly used in coffee shops. 

If you are a beginner learning dosing and tamping, go for a bottomless portafilter. Its complete extraction view will let you understand the actual issue. Thus, the tool also assists in improving espresso quality. Besides, if you are a big fan of rich crema on espresso, a bottomless portafilter can be your secret espresso tool.


I currently reside at Millburn, NJ, United States. I'm a skilled barista and roaster known for my passion for coffee and dedication to creating the perfect cup. I have a strong following of loyal customers who appreciate my expertise and friendly demeanor. In my free time, I enjoy trying new coffee recipes and experimenting with different brewing techniques.

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