Last Updated on July 25, 2023 by Jorian
Some people keep the portafilter in the group head, others leave it on the drip tray or in a drawer. You may wonder what the proper way to store the portafilter is when you’re not using your espresso machine and does it really matter?
Should You Keep The Portafilter In The Group Head When Not In Use?
You should always keep the portafilter in the group head when your espresso machine is not in use. This will ensure that the group head gasket does not dry out and that the portafilter is preheated when you want to brew an espresso.
Table of Contents
- Should You Keep The Portafilter In The Group Head When Not In Use?
- If You Decide To Not Leave The Portafilter In The Group Head
It Prevents The Group Head Gasket From Drying Out
Leaving the portafilter out of the group head when not in use can cause the group head gasket to dry out more quickly. If you leave the portafilter in, it will keep the gasket moist and pressed into place.
You only need to put it in loosely when you are not using it. This way you also ensure that there is not too much pressure on the group head gasket. You can even leave the portafilter in the group head overnight.
If you just got a new machine or you recently replaced the group head gasket. It may expand a bit if not compressed by the portafilter. This can cause the portafilter to not fit nicely and even leak.
Leaving The Portafilter In The Group Head Keeps It Warm
Most modern machines heat the portafilter when it’s in the group head so that it’s nice and warm when you want to brew an espresso.
If you leave the portafilter out of the group head, it will be cold when you pull a shot. So when the water hits the portafilter it will cool off for the first few seconds of the extraction. This inconsistency in temperature can cause your espresso to taste sour.
More Benefits of Leaving The Portafilter In The Grouphead
Here are some more benefits to keeping your portafilter in the group head:
- It’s convenient that the portafilter is already in place when you’re turning on your espresso machine.
- It’s a convenient place to store your portafilter, you don’t have to hunt for your portafilter when you forget where you left it.
- When the portafilter is locked, you can’t knock it off the drip tray or the kitchen countertop onto the floor. It can be costly to replace a dented portafilter handle.
There is no reason, not to leave the portafilter in the gasket.
If You Decide To Not Leave The Portafilter In The Group Head
If you decide to keep the portafilter off the machine, ensure that you warm it up before using it again. You can do this by putting the portafilter in the group head (without coffee) and running water through it. This will warm up the portafilter nicely.
You do want to have a dry basket when you put the coffee in, so you can dry it with a towel or microfiber cloth.
Again, if you don’t do this, the espresso will cool for the first 2 seconds when you brew a shot. This inconsistency in temperature can cause your espresso to taste sour.
You always want to keep the portafilter in the grouphead. I discussed a few reasons why you want to do this, the two most important reasons are:
- It prevents the group head gasket from drying out
- it keeps the portafilter warm for when you want to use it again
I hope this article has cleared up some confusion about whether you should leave the portafilter in the group head or not.
Thanks for reading!