I never really thought about it until today. Early on, maybe 3 years ago, I unscrewed all the spouts on my La Spaz porta-filters and just let the extractions drop straight down. Other than splitting a double shot, I can't figure out why I'd want the spout at all? I put a double spout back on today, and realized how damn clumsy the PF became with both the extra weight and added attachment.....seems it bumps into stuff too. I've never done single extractions; only doubles. And I can't come up with a reason to have any spouts at all? Sure, some operators machine off the bottom of the PF's for that naked view, but since everything is realtively dialed in and I don't suffer channeling or premature blonding, I have left well enough alone. I'm just curious..... is there anyone else out there that's evolved off to the side, so to speak, like I did? From the attached photo, you can see my PF in the brewgroup, minus the spout and showing threads.

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i've never seen anyone using the pf's with the spouts removed. weird. i wonder why more people haven't thought of it?
it seems as though it would be a solution to the biggest issue i have with naked porterfilters. with machining off the bottom of the porterfilter, and thereby exposing the bottom of the brew basket to the elements, there is so much heat loss. i've heard anywhere from 10-15 degrees. with that sort of temperature instability i've always been put off using them...although many, many, many stores here in milwaukee do.
I like bottomless. I have used de-spouted doubles as well, they are unstable when tamping. If you have a tamp stand this isn't an issue, we don't have one and I have a pretty hard tamp, so I didn't like how the PF seemed like it could flip to the side at any time.

I would like to make the point that: When you put room temp coffee into the PF basket, the temperature drops. It doesn't matter if you have a bottomless or not. The coffee is at a much lower temp than your basket and they effect each other. I don't really believe that the heat loss on a bottomless has a truly drastic effect on the shot.

Sorry I'm off topic.
We just started doing this in our Roastery's "espresso lab". It is easier to keep the porafilter clean without the spouts, but is is harder to see all the colors and textures of the shot as it pours. Thats what I like about the spouts- it keeps the pour out there in the light. I don't think there would be any quality difference though....
I played around a bit with this when we first opened. The super-cleanability is great. Can we call it the "ghetto bottomless"?

I didn't like the instability when tamping and we do split shots, so I put them back on.

On a related note, I don't understand why you'd use that little cover that screws on to the top of some double spouts. Mine came off week #2 and have not been back on since.
To address the "instability" of the PF when tamping, I installed black, hard rubber mats, about the size of a mouse-pad, right in front of the grinders. The bottom of the PF sits firm, and being it now has a lower center of gravity, I've always had plenty of control. Granted, I wouldn't work the PF on a hard slippery surface this way. BTW....... comforting to see I'm not the only one to go "Ghetto Bottomless".... (LOL)

Brady said:
I played around a bit with this when we first opened. The super-cleanability is great. Can we call it the "ghetto bottomless"?

I didn't like the instability when tamping and we do split shots, so I put them back on.

On a related note, I don't understand why you'd use that little cover that screws on to the top of some double spouts. Mine came off week #2 and have not been back on since.
Here at Espresso Parts we make quite a few bottomless portafilters, and we use them both in our cafe and in our R&D. Our view, primarily, is this: shots coming out of the naked pf's taste incredible. Shots coming out of a spouted pf taste the exact same.

But to get into the ideas behind temperature stability... the espresso coming out of the screen is at the perfect temperature. If it touches the pf bottom, which is surely of a slightly different temperature, then that is introducing instability. On a bottomless, the espresso touches nothing till it hits the cup. Secondarily, as Jesse -D-> pointed out, the coffee is immediately going cool the basket as it is dropped in, anyways.

To be honest, it's unlikely that there is more than a tenth of a degree of difference between bottomless and normal. But bottomless pf's are easier to tamp, easier to clean, and Most Importantly, they allow you an unprecendented level of shot monitoring. You can see so much more of the extraction process, and you can learn how to read the colors and viscosity with a much higher level of precision than with the (already slightly cooled and stirred) coffee coming out a spout. So, truly, you can consistently produce better espresso with a bottomless.
Al, I use a similar set up on the main, double dose, PF basket. It has a straight drop spout that only extents 3/4 of an inch from the bottom of the PF bowl. I have carried it over from two machines back and wouldn't have a split spout for I don't serve singles or split doubles and I have never seen a split spout give the same amount of espresso in both cups. One side is always shy. The straight drop works for me and when the grind is right a big bubble forms at the bottom of the spout as the thick brown honey consistency coffee drops into the cup.
Although split shots often give different volumes in the cup, I would say that if you never get the same volume from split shots then you need to work on tamping level. Another thing that is easier to do with a bottomless PF.
More and more, I find there are no rules. When I started in specialty coffee, I was told that for quality purposes, always run doubles, not singles. That made sense to me for a number of reasons. The one thing I haven't done is machine off one of my PF's, which after re-reading EP's comments, I will do. I'm very much into the business and marketing of coffee at the retail level, and much of what drives me is efficiency, as long as it doesn't cross the line into super-auto robotics. Specialty coffee, in my opinion, is very much about the balancing of the art, science and business of coffee. I have always looked at the spouts as part of the art, but couldn't find support for their participation in the "science" of the extraction, other than splitting the shots. I suppose that the bottomless PF supports the very opposite opinion about spouts and anything else below the basket. My appreciation of the "naked spout" is more about containment and directed flow of the extraction directly into the cup or container. That's the practical side. And I'm always observing the flow of the extraction out of the spout. It may mix the colors, but I've adjusted for the homogenous colors, and I'm looking at viscosity and the moment when the operator has to anticipate and stop the extraction short of blonding.
I have one of those things, Jesse. A triple shot one and I use it for myself once in a while, drawing 2.5 oz of coffee but I have only one person that appreciates the drink using the bottomless PF. The straight shot spout gives me very consistent espressos and using a light tamp works best for me.

Jesse -D-> said:
Although split shots often give different volumes in the cup, I would say that if you never get the same volume from split shots then you need to work on tamping level. Another thing that is easier to do with a bottomless PF.

I don't understand the idea of the single spout as shown in your picture, N. F... seems like it accomplishes the same function as Al's half-naked, but with less clearance for cups and less easy cleanability. What are the benefits of running this over just having nothing screwed on? Cosmetics?
I like this single spout better than the ones I have used. At least the spout is in the center, all the others that I have seen are like half of a 2 spout PF so the are not stable at all.

However, I second Brady's question, What is the point?

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