Bottomless Portafilters vs Naked Portafilters: What's the Difference?

At its core, coffee making is an art that requires precision and skill to produce the perfect cup. One important aspect of achieving that perfect cup is the type of portafilter used. In the world of espresso, two types of portafilters are commonly used: bottomless portafilters and naked portafilters. In this article, we'll dive into the differences between these two types of portafilters, the benefits of each, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

What is a Portafilter?

Before we dive into the differences between bottomless and naked portafilters, let's first understand what a portafilter is and how it works. A portafilter is a handle attached to a small metal basket that holds ground coffee. The portafilter is inserted into an espresso machine and hot water is forced through the coffee, creating a rich, concentrated shot of espresso.

What is a Bottomless Portafilter?

A bottomless portafilter, also known as a naked portafilter, is a type of portafilter that has had the bottom of the basket removed, leaving the coffee exposed. This allows the espresso shot to flow freely out of the portafilter and directly into the cup.

What is a Naked Portafilter?

A naked portafilter is similar to a bottomless portafilter in that it also has the bottom of the basket removed. However, it also features a spout that allows for the espresso shot to be directed into a cup or other container.

The Benefits of a Bottomless Portafilter

One of the primary benefits of using a bottomless portafilter is the ability to see the coffee as it's being extracted. This can help identify any issues with the coffee or the espresso machine, such as uneven extraction or channeling. Additionally, the lack of a spout means that the espresso shot is less likely to be affected by any leftover water droplets or residual coffee, resulting in a cleaner, more distinct flavor.

The Benefits of a Naked Portafilter

The main benefit of using a naked portafilter is the ability to direct the flow of the espresso shot. This makes it easier to control the volume and speed of the shot, allowing for greater precision and consistency. Additionally, the spout helps to prevent any splashing or mess while the shot is being poured.

Which Portafilter is Right for You?

Choosing the right portafilter ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs. If you're looking to fine-tune your espresso making skills and have a better understanding of the brewing process, a bottomless portafilter may be the way to go. However, if you're looking for greater control and precision over the espresso shot, a naked portafilter is likely the better option.

It's also worth noting that not all espresso machines are compatible with both types of portafilters, so it's important to check with the manufacturer before making a purchase.


In the end, whether you choose a bottomless or naked portafilter depends on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your espresso making routine. Both types of portafilters have their own unique benefits and can help you achieve that perfect cup of espresso. So go ahead and give them a try, and see which one works best for you.