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The portafilter is one of the most crucial parts of an espresso machine. It’s the place where hot water and coffee get mixed and pressurized into a delicious espresso shot.
Portafilters are made of a variety of types that will help you control your espresso shot size.
Not only that, but they also come in different sizes, some of which are more ideal for your machine than the other.
For that reason, it’s extremely critical for you to know more about portafilters and how to find the right size for you.
In today’s article, we’ll walk you through a quick sizing guide to help you know which one to go for.
Additionally, you’ll find a portafilter size chart for a quick reference.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
What Are the Common Portafilter Sizes?
As you now know, not all portafilters are created equal. One thing you should know is that the portafilter size is measured in millimeters (mm).
Portafilter sizes range from 49 mm all the way up to 58 mm.
Ideally, the 58 mm in diameter are the most common portafilter basket size on the market, while the other relatively rare, especially in commercial machines.
It’s regarded as a standard size for almost all high-end home espresso machines and commercial ones.
For the most part, a smaller portafilter size will usually mean a lower-priced espresso machine, although it’s not necessarily the case always.
This happens because a smaller sized portafilter usually means a lower level of flexibility when it comes to the amount of coffee grounds you can fit inside, limiting your espresso size choices.
Even if you opt for a deeper by smaller portafilter, you’ll be limited by the size of the machine itself.
Why It’s Important to Figure Out Your Portafilter Size
For the most part, portafilters don’t come with any information about their sizes. Determining the portafilter size is crucial to figure out the amount of coffee you’re dealing with, especially if you’re following a recipe.
Another reason why the portafilter size is critical for you is the espresso tamper. The tamper is the tool you use to press the ground coffee into the basket of the portafilter to keep them compact and ready for pressing.
Ideally, the tamper should be a little smaller than the basket, so it’s able to press the grounds without getting caught in the walls of the portafilter.
How to Determine You Portafilter Size
The easiest way to identify the size of your portafilter is by using a set of measuring calipers. However, unless you’re a seasoned barista or a production engineer, chances are that you don’t have one of these around.
So, here’s an alternative and easy way to measure portafilter size to pick the right tamper for it.
For this method, you’ll use a measuring tape (preferably the retractable steel one with 1/32 inches divisions) and your smartphone for calculations. Here’s how to do it:
- Measure the portafilter across the diameter (the centerline).
- Change your reading to a decimal unit. You can simply do this by typing your measurement. For example (type 2 1/3 to get 2.33)
- Convert the inches to millimeters by multiplying by 25.4 (2.33 x 25.4 = 59.18 mm)
- Get a tamper that’s 0.75 mm smaller by subtracting (59.18 – 0.75 = 58.43 mm)
Tamper sizes are usually standardized to a whole number. For that reason, you’ll need to round up your final number to the lower approximation.
In the example’s case, this means 58 mm, so you will have to get a 58 mm tamper for your portafilter, the most common size in that case.
A Reference Portafilter Size Chart for Espresso Tamper Sizes
Whether you’re unable to find your portafilter size for your machine, unsure about your measurements, or in a hurry, this section has got you covered!
In the following chart, you’ll find a brief list of some of the ideal tamper sizes for the most common domestic and commercial espresso machines in the market:
|Model Name||Ideal Tamper Size|
|Bodum Granos||51 mm|
|Breville 800 Series||51 mm|
|Breville Express and Infuser||53 mm|
|New Breville Models||58 mm|
|Cimbali JuniorDT1||58 mm|
|Cimbali Casa||57 mm or 58 mm (varies per model)|
|Delonghi (old models)||49 mm|
|Delonghi (new models)||51 mm|
|ECM Botticelli||58 mm|
|Elektra (Home and Commercial Models)||58 mm|
|ECM Commercial Models||58 mm|
|ECM Cellini||58 mm|
|ECM Giotto||58 mm|
|Espressione Cafe Retro||58 mm|
|Espressione Caffe Novecento||53 mm|
|Francis!Francis New Version||56 mm|
|Francis!Francis Old Version||57 mm|
|Gaggia Classic||58 mm|
|Gaggia Semi-Auto||58 mm|
|Gaggia Factory Lever||51 mm|
|Kitchenaid Proline||58 mm|
|La Pavoni Napolitana||57 mm|
|La Pavoni lever||51 mm|
|La Scala||58 mm|
|La Pavoni Lusso||53 mm|
|La Riviera||45 mm|
|La Spaziale commercial models||53 mm|
|La Spaziale home models||52 mm|
|La Valentina||58 mm|
|Mypressi Twist||53 mm|
|Nuova Simonelli (Appia, Grinta, and Oscar)||58 mm|
|Olympia Cremina||49 mm|
|Olympia Club||49 mm|
|Olympia Express||49 mm|
|Olympia Cremina||49 mm|
|Pasquini Livietta||58 mm|
|Quick Mill||58 mm|
|Rancilio Silvia||58 mm|
|Rancilio Espresso||58 mm|
|Starbucks Barista||52 mm|
With that said, you now have a detailed portafilter size chart as well as a sizing guide to help you pick the ideal portafilter for a delicious shot of espresso!
While measuring your espresso portafilter to pick a tamper, remember that a basket with ridges that faces inwards will decrease the space available for a tamper.
This means that you’ll need to go for a smaller size.
However, if you’re unsure about the sizing of your portafilter, you can refer to the table provided above for an easier picking process.