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 like the buttons that Espresso Parts NW had made, and agree wholeheartedly, "Get The Puck Out!"
leaving a puck in contributes to inefficiency, too, as if it dries in the portafilter, you lose time getting it out -- often having to pick it out with your fingers. yuck.

and our "buck-a-puck" jar definitely makes me check twice to make sure i dumped it.
We had a lot of debate about this early on when we open up our shop. Eventually we came to a rough consensus that we need to knock the puck immediately and give basket a quick rinse. If the puck is sometimes knocked out and sometimes left in, then your espresso will be inconsistent. The grounds clog up the holes in the basket, and unless you rinse it REALLY well, the next shot will pour slower. The puck does maintain temperature but is that definitively a good thing? and is it worth the inconsistency? We didn't like this variation or the idea of having to rinse obsessively, so we figured knocking the puck was the cleanest and most consistent way to brew. Of course we backed this up with taste tests - and immediately knocking the puck out created cleaner, more consistent shots.
I always kick the puck out, rinse, dry, and get ready for the next shot. Keep it clean and dry. Maybe an extra step, but its well worth it.
+1

And make sure to look through the bottom of the basket to make sure there are no grounds stuck in the holes.


Samir Ali said:
I always kick the puck out, rinse, dry, and get ready for the next shot. Keep it clean and dry. Maybe an extra step, but its well worth it.
OK, so seeing a bit of trend here. What are the thoughts on the necessity of rinsing after you bang the puck out? I'll admit that I don't, mostly because with our PFs the water sticks in there and it makes a bit of a mess on the counter when I dose the next shot. Beginning to rethink this though.
I'm with you - I don't rinse every time. Rinsing gives me excess moisture, causes me to go through more towels, and simply makes things messy. If I wipe after every shot, nothing has time to dry to the PF; I only have to rinse irregularly.

Brady said:
OK, so seeing a bit of trend here. What are the thoughts on the necessity of rinsing after you bang the puck out? I'll admit that I don't, mostly because with our PFs the water sticks in there and it makes a bit of a mess on the counter when I dose the next shot. Beginning to rethink this though.
1) Pull out the portafilter
2) Flush the group (for a couple secs)
3) Knock out the puck
4) Rinse the portafilter basket (and the bottom-side if necessary)
5) Wipe the bottom of the screen
6) Quick flush again
7) Reinsert
8) Check your nose for boogers
9) Salute

Clean machine = tasty espresso.
Rinse, definitely. Old espresso in the next cup is far worse than a drop of water, in my opinion, and there's time to make it a non-issue, generally.

Did I read somebody say that they actually remove the filterbasket before wiping it dry for dosing? Silliness!

Brady said:
OK, so seeing a bit of trend here. What are the thoughts on the necessity of rinsing after you bang the puck out? I'll admit that I don't, mostly because with our PFs the water sticks in there and it makes a bit of a mess on the counter when I dose the next shot. Beginning to rethink this though.
If you wipe right after the shot, the portafilter is clean - no need to rinse. Rinsing a naked portafilter leaves excess moister between it and the basket and makes for a messy shot.
I remove the basket from the portafilter before dosing EVERY time to remove moisture. It's quick and painless, and it gives me good espresso. I've never worked a shift with a spouted PF, but perhaps they don't need to be rinsed every time.

Jason Haeger said:
Rinse, definitely. Old espresso in the next cup is far worse than a drop of water, in my opinion, and there's time to make it a non-issue, generally.

Did I read somebody say that they actually remove the filterbasket before wiping it dry for dosing? Silliness!

Brady said:
OK, so seeing a bit of trend here. What are the thoughts on the necessity of rinsing after you bang the puck out? I'll admit that I don't, mostly because with our PFs the water sticks in there and it makes a bit of a mess on the counter when I dose the next shot. Beginning to rethink this though.
You forgot to dry your basket, now I see why you have cicumnavigated the competitions. Tech judges would have a heyday with you picking you nose up there and all.

Nick Cho said:
1) Pull out the portafilter
2) Flush the group (for a couple secs)
3) Knock out the puck
4) Rinse the portafilter basket (and the bottom-side if necessary)
5) Wipe the bottom of the screen
6) Quick flush again
7) Reinsert
8) Check your nose for boogers
9) Salute

Clean machine = tasty espresso.
Ok, now rinsing after every shot. Kind of wondering what other critical step I'm missing without realizing.

I was checking for boogers though... that's why they make the machines so shiny (and put lights on the nicer ones), right?

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