I frequently clean portafilter baskets and want to show you how to remove them. That led me to write this guide.
I’ll cover different methods you could use to remove portafilter baskets from bottomless and spouted portafilters.
Let’s do this.
- For removing bottomless portafilters, press your hand against the basket & wiggle the portafilter handle while lifting.
- For spouted, use a portafilter removal tool to wedge in the portafilter basket & remove.
- Remove portafilters for cleaning & troubleshooting issues.
- Place a new or cleaned basket inside a portafilter by pressing it against your accessory.
How to Remove a Portafilter Basket
The following sections will cover different methods of removing baskets from bottomless and spouted portafilters. These methods will work on portafilters from all brands—e.g., Breville (Sage) and De’Longhi.
Dive in to learn more.
Method 1: For Bottomless & Spouted Portafilters
Apply a bit of force to the back of your portafilter basket until it pops out of the portafilter. You’ll have more difficulty pushing out newer baskets because no one has pushed them out before.
If that’s the case, wedge the basket out by inserting something between the ledge and portafilter basket at a 45° angle, then twisting.
Use one of the following tools:
- Portafilter basket removal tool: Highly recommended; costs around $7
- Blind filter: Recommended
- Another portafilter basket: Recommended
- Paint can opener: Recommended
- Flat head screwdriver: Usable
- Butter knife: Last resort
Don’t jerk your arm when twisting, though. Otherwise, you may damage the basket.
I also recommend using a backup portafilter basket or removal tool to remove your basket instead of a butter knife. It’s more durable and won’t sacrifice a kitchen utensil.
Follow the same steps on the other side of the basket. Then, the basket should come out with ease.
The removal process is much easier for bottomless portafilters. Read the next section to learn more.
Method 2: For Bottomless Portafilters
Follow these steps as an alternative way to remove your portafilter basket:
- Place the portafilter flat on your counter.
- Press your fingers against the bottom of the portafilter.
- Lift & wiggle the portafilter handle.
If, when wiggling it, the portafilter doesn’t come out easily, you’ll need to apply a bit of elbow grease when wiggling.
Don’t use this method on a spouted portafilter, otherwise, you’ll hurt yourself.
Now that you have the basket removed, it’s time to clean. Check out the next tutorial to learn more.
How to Clean a Portafilter Basket
What you’ll need:
- Mild, non-abrasive soap
- Toothbrush or portafilter cleaning brush
- Microfiber rag
Here are the steps on how to clean a portafilter basket:
- Remove the portafilter basket from the espresso machine.
- Rinse under hot water.
- Use a mild detergent & a brush to scrub the basket.
- Rinse again under hot water.
- Dry with a clean microfiber rag.
Follow these steps to keep your portafilter basket clean and prevent build-up of coffee oils and residue. Oils which could affect the taste of your espresso.
Here are some tips for cleaning a portafilter basket:
- Clean the portafilter basket after each use.
- Do not use harsh chemicals to clean the portafilter basket.
- Be sure to dry the portafilter basket thoroughly after cleaning.
- Prevents mold growth.
Now that everything’s clean, it’s time to place the basket in your portafilter, again.
Putting in a New Portafilter Basket
When you put in a new portafilter basket, or the old one, look for where the springs meet in your portafilter. From there, place the ledge of your basket on the spring and push it into the portafilter. Afterward, snap it in.
Are there other reasons you should remove a basket?
Why Would I Need to Remove a Portafilter Basket?
There are a few reasons why you might need to remove a portafilter basket from your espresso machine:
- To clean it: Over time, it can get clogged with coffee residue & oils.
- To troubleshoot problems: If you are having problems with your espresso machine, you may need to remove the portafilter basket to troubleshoot the problem.
- Issues include weak or sour shots.
You may also want to replace your stock basket with a precision one. IMS and VST baskets can improve your espresso’s extraction consistency. Find the differences between them and learn whether they’re worth getting here.
A couple of ways of removing portafilter baskets exist. Press against a bottomless portafilter basket and lift the handle. Or pry the basket out using one of many tools. After removing and cleaning your basket, you just place it back in.
Want to learn more about espresso machine parts? Check out a guide we wrote detailing every component in an espresso machine.