i seem to get conflicting points of view on this. until recently, i had been under the impression that leaving the puck in the portafilter is the way to go in order to maintain the temperature on the group head. however, lately, i've been told by baristas that you want to keep them clean. i've heard very good baristas say to both things.

let the suggestions fly!

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I think it all depends on how long you leave it in. I don't think i would feel comfortable leaving the puck in there for more than an hour.
For me definatley puck out! The portafilter cleaned and placed back into the empty group head to maintain a decent temperature for the next shot. Leaving a puck in often results in a solidification of the used coffee, sometimes sticking to the bottom of the portafilter.
.... Or the burning of coffee grinds due to heat and then crap extraction thereafter...
i don't either, i usually clean 'em before they get gnarly or pull test shots.

Miro Lomeli said:
I think it all depends on how long you leave it in. I don't think i would feel comfortable leaving the puck in there for more than an hour.
Immediately after every shot knock puck out and then flush group simultaneously rinsing PF. Then return rinsed PF to group. Oils and grinds bake on in well less than an hour, more like minutes. I use and teach the same whether only one shot or dozens to make in a row. Always rinse group and PF after every shot. Before next build wipe basket dry of course. Dirty groups or PFs pull dirty shots.

Some don't agree with rinsing the basket saying it'll cause channeling. Sure, if you don't wipe it dry! Since ALL our shots pulled nekkid, if channeling was an issue from rinsing and wiping between builds would be quite obvious, and it's not an issue period.

Any barista that doesn't adhere to this procedure will be gone at my cafe. No excuses.
Workstation cleanliness is really important to me - I clean the puck out after every shot. With that said, some people DO leave the puck in the PF right before their competition because it may keep the PF's heat up. However, the effects are so minimal it really doesn't matter; and when discussing workspace, it's important to keep things clean, shot after shot.

PS. I don't actually rinse my PF after every shot because it makes everything moist, cause channeling if the basket isn't removed and dried EVERY time.

Funny story: we actually have a 'puck a buck' jar into which each barista puts a dollar every time one of their cakes is found left in the PF. Maybe we'll have a pizza party or something:)
I knock the pucks ASAP in my shop. Particularly because with bottomless ports, the puck drys out much faster than with spouted and cakes onto the baskets in a minute or so. I did not rinse after every shot when we used spouted because first off, the effect did not seem to justify the time and second off no matter how dry you get the basket some water is still trapped below it and in the spouts... this ends up in your shots... gross. With the bottomless I dont rinse to often because they simply dont really get that dirty. Scrubbing the group screens is far more important than the basket for bottomless if you ask me.
Get the puck out. Definitely.
Schomer recommended leaving pucks in the portafilter for greater temperature stability years ago in his book. The gist of it is, the extra mass and heat retention of the puck make for better temperature stability, Schomer's holy grail. However, as he owned a very busy espresso bar, he mainly meant between shots, not for 10 minutes at a time. While there is something to the argument, almost every modern barista currently believes in dumping the puck ASAP, for the reasons mentioned above.
Aaron McNany said:

Funny story: we actually have a 'puck a buck' jar into which each barista puts a dollar every time one of their cakes is found left in the PF. Maybe we'll have a pizza party or something:)

Love it - might steal this idea. I am with everyone else here and strongly believe that it is a good idea to dump the puck ASAP for all reasons stated. But, in practice this is not always adhered to because the barista moves right into building the drink & sometimes forgets to empty the PF if not going right into another drink. Creating a little challenge will help bring awareness and competitiveness among the baristi and thereby ensure better compliance.
Definately puck out, cleaned and put back in the group head.
GET THE PUCK OUT!
haha!
XD
as far as keeping the temperature consistent, you can pump hot water for a few seconds in the head when ur not busy. If you forget to eject the puck right away, that's no big deal either, but it does make the basket harder to clean sometimes.

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