Best Bottomless Portafilter: 5 Naked Group Head Handles

 Last Updated May 16, 2024

Bottomless portafilters look cool. There's something hypnotic about watching espresso trickle out and merge together to form one single stream. But when buying them there are a few things to lookout for, that's why in this post I'm giving a barista's guide on the best bottomless portafilter for espresso machines.

Bottomless portafilter extracting espresso

My bottomless portafilter in action on my Rocket espresso machine.

I'll start off by listing my favourite naked portafilters, then talk about what to look out for when buying them- the main factor being compatibility. As you want to make sure you get a portafilter that fits your machine. Below I have listed the best naked portafilters for popular machines and group sizes.

Best Bottomless Portafilter: Top 5

Normcore Bottomless Naked Portafilter

Best for Most and Breville Barista Express 

The hard thing about buying naked portafilters is you have to make sure it fits your machine. This one from Normcore is great as it has a large size range to fit many different types of espresso machines, including the popular Breville Barista Express with its 54mm group head. It also comes in 58mm and 51mm sizes.

58mm Bottomless Portafilter

Best For E61 Machines, Rancilio & Flair (58mm Group)

E61 machines are the most popular type of pro-sumer espresso machines. Thanks to that it’s easy to find compatible bottomless portafilters. I like this one from Seattle Coffee Gear as it’s well built and comes in 3 different colors: black, walnut and maple. It also works with Rancilio and Flair machines.

58mm Bottomless Portafilter Breville Dual Boiler

Best For Breville Dual Boiler (58mm Group) 

As the Breville Dual Boiler has a saturated group head, their fit is slightly different to E61 espresso machines, so you got to make sure you get one the latches nicely into the machine. I like this one from Crema. It also comes in a 54mm size.

Gaggia Bottomless Naked Portafilter

Best For Gaggia Classic and Pro (58mm Group) 

The Gaggia Pro and Classic is another saturated group head machine with a slightly different latch design. Because of this you need to make sure you get a naked portafilter that works with it like this one from Gurudar.

51mm Bottomless Portafilter DeLonghi

Best For DeLonghi (51mm Group) 

Popular DeLonghi machines have 51mm group heads, so you need to make sure your bottomless portafilter fits it. I like this one from Joytata as it has a great wooden design and fits popular machines like the La Specialista.


Naked Portafilter Buying Guide

Now that we've gone through some good options for bottomless portafilters, let's talk about what they're used for and what to look out for when buying one. 

Bottomless portafilter

My bottomless portafilter I use at home. 

What Are Bottomless Portafilters Used For?

There are two main reasons to buy a bottomless portafilter:

  • They make your espresso look sexy!
  • They're used for troubleshooting your espresso shot.

Naked portafilters look great

Let's be honest with each other. The first time you saw a bottomless portafilter was probably on a TikTok or reddit video and thought, wow they look cool! I want one for my machine!

As a user of one myself, I can confirm they do in fact look great. There's something hypnotic about watching espresso flow out and then join up into a single stream. And it is a valid reason to buy one.

However, they do also serve a practical purpose.

Troubleshooting your espresso shot

The original reason why naked portafilter was used was to troubleshoot your espresso extraction in a cafe environment.

In a cafe setting, it doesn't make sense to use bottomless groups over a normal portafilter as you're making multiple coffees at a time and need to split your shots. But what happens when your shot starts going funny, or want to dial in your shot at the start of the day to make sure you have an even extraction?

You use a naked portafilter.

A naked portafilter allows you to view how your shot extracts to see if you have prepped your coffee well.

If you haven't, you will notice that you shot will extract on one side more than the other, or worse, if there is a channel the puck, the stream will be all over the place or even squirt over your machine! And not the good kind...

Naked portafilter espresso extraction

A well prepared puck will extract evenly.

Choosing a Bottomless Portafilter: Factors to Consider

While I've given you my top picks for the best bottomless portafilters, it's also important to know what you should look out for when shopping around. As a barista, I've seen many types of portafilters and there are a few key factors I always consider:

  • Compatibility: This is the most important. There's no use getting a top-notch portafilter that doesn't fit your machine. Make sure to check whether the portafilter is compatible with your machine's group head size. 
  • Material and Construction: The portafilter should be sturdy and well-built. A good portafilter is usually made from stainless steel or brass for durability, or with a metal core with a strong wood exterior.
  • Price: This is always a factor. A good portafilter doesn't need to be expensive. You can find high-quality options at a range of prices.

Bottomless Portafilter Compatibility Guide

There is a big range of espresso machines with different sized group heads. So when buying a bottomless portafilter, you got to make sure you grab the right sized one. Below I have outlined what sized portafilters popular coffee machines take.

Bottomless portafilter for Breville

Breville has a wide range of espresso machines with different sized group heads. So you want to make sure you get the right portafilter for the correct machine. I've listed what size each of their popular machines takes below:

Normcore Bottomless Naked Portafilter

Breville naked portafilters

Normcore in my opinion make the best bottomless portafilter for Breville as they have a wide range of sizes for each type of machine. The black also matches most designs.

Bottomless portafilter for Gaggia Classic and Pro

The Gaggia Classic and Gaggia Pro use a 58mm group head. However Gaggia has a slight quirk as they use a saturated group head with a particular latch, so you need to grab a portafilter that works with it. I like the one below.

Gaggia Bottomless Naked Portafilter

Best bottomless portafilter for Gaggia Classic & Pro

The Gaggia Pro and Classic have a slightly different latch design. Because of this you need to make sure you get a naked portafilter that works with it like this one from Gurudar.

Bottomless portafilter for DeLonghi 

DeLonghi espresso machines use a 51mm portafilter, this includes popular models like the Dedica, EC685, and the La Specialista. So when getting one you need to make sure you grap yourself a 51mm group.

51mm Bottomless Portafilter DeLonghi

Best Bottomless portafilter for DeLonghi

All DeLonghi machines have 51mm group heads, so make sure you grab one that fits. I like this one from Joytata. 

Bottomless portafilter for Rocket Espresso Machine, Lelit, Rancilio Silvia, La Marzocco, ECM and other E61 Machines 

All these machines use a 58mm naked group head portafilter and all of them can take the same type of portafilter.

Now in saying that, some users have noted that La Marzocco sometimes doesn't lock in dead straight if you use third party portafilters, however all E61 machines will work with each other as they use the same design.

58mm Bottomless Portafilter

Best For E61 Machines, Rancilio & Flair (58mm Group)

E61 machines are the most popular type of pro-sumer espresso machines. Thanks to that it’s easy to find compatible bottomless portafilters among brands. I like this one from Seattle Coffee Gear.

FAQ

Now that we've reached the end of this guide hopefully you've found the right sized naked portafilter for your machine.

Below are some common questions people have asked me about naked portafilters. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I'll add it to the list.

Why use a bottomless portafilter?

A bottomless portafilter allows for real-time monitoring of espresso extraction, improving the consistency and taste. It may enhance crema quality and offer a purer flavor by eliminating contact with extra metal. This tool is easier to clean, visually appealing, and showcases a barista's skill, enhancing the coffee-making experience.

What size is E61 group head?

The E61 group head, a popular standard in many espresso machines, typically has a diameter of 58mm. This size ensures compatibility with a variety of portafilters and espresso accessories, making it a versatile choice for coffee enthusiasts and professionals alike.


About The Author 

Ivan Bez

Ivan is the founder of Latte Art Guide and a barista with 10 years of experience. He loves coffee and aims to help people improve their coffee making skills.


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