With a bottomless portafilter, you want to see the coffee extract evenly across the basket, and for the pour to coalesce into a single stream. These are signs that your grind setting and tamping are on the money. Hit slow motion and drop in a funky soundtrack and you’ve got yourself some classic coffee porn.
The spout of a regular portafilter sure makes it look like your espresso is coming out in a nice neat stream, doesn’t it? It gives you the impression that everything inside the basket is as it should be. How nice. Isn’t coffee wonderful and easy? La la la.
Once you take the bottom off your portafilter you may discover that it’s an absolute shambles in there. Coffee may shoot every which way and land anywhere but in your cup. I’m sorry to report it’s not the naked portafilter that’s letting you down – you have some homework to do.