Bottomless Portafilter vs. Regular: Which Is Better?

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Let’s discuss Bottomless Portafilter vs. Regular.If you are a freshie in the coffee-making world and came across using Portafilter, then a ‘customary‘ confusion must have been evoked.

Which makes the best shot, Regular Portafilter or Bottomless/naked Portafilter?

Don’t worry, and you are not the only one. We all baristas have faced such challenging decisions once in our lives.

But I am here to clear your conception on both types of Portafilter. So that, by the end of this guide, you can effortlessly decide which one will be your shot-making partner.

What Is A Bottomless Portafilter

Bottomless Portafilter has various names. You can also call it ‘naked portafilter’ or ‘filterless portafilter.’ It is called so because it lacks its bottom spout, which usually a standard portafilter has.

As a crucial part of an Espresso machine, this portafilter manufacturing is the same as the regular ‘standard’ Portafilter but without a spout.

The standard parts include a handle, filter basket, portafilter body, and a handle latch.

What Is A Regular Portafilter 

Regular Portafilter also has another name that is ‘Spouted Portafilter.’ It is also a necessary part of an espresso machine and has been used for ages in espresso-shot-making history. 

This Portafilter has a spout at the bottom, which is precisely the reason for visually making it different from the bottomless Portafilter. 

No doubt in usage. Both perform separately, but the primary end goal for both is to extract the perfect Espresso shots. 

It also has a handle, removable filter basket, portafilter body, handle latch, and spout.

Why the Battle? Bottomless Portafilter Or Regular Comparison Check

Bottomless Portafilter vs. Regular

You have now acknowledged the pin reason for the difference between bottomless and regular Portafilter. Now, the real question is why there comes a need to make two different designs and what is the specialty of each design in making espresso shots.

Let’s dig into the answers to these questions. Starting with;

Portafilter Design Role

Using a Bottomless portafilter, the extracted espresso shot falls directly into the placed cup. A naked or bottomless portafilter does not have the ‘spout’ part at its bottom.

When a Regular portafilter is used, there are two steps through which freshly brewed espresso flows and falls into the cup. 

First, the shot reaches the portafilter spout, then from this, it comes out through the spout nozzle and then becomes the part of the placed coffee cup. Also, see more about  Is a Frappe a coffee..


Bottomless Portafilter: 

Shot from filter basket → into a cup

Regular Portafilter: 

Shot from Filter basket → spout → cup.

Espresso Extraction Visibility

Bottomless Portafilter vs. Regular

When it comes to the visibility of extraction, a Bottomless portafilter takes the lead. With the absence of a spout, the barista can easily see the situation of the Espresso shot extracted from the Portafilter.

In the case of a regular portafilter, analyzing espresso extraction is impossible. The reason is because of the presence of spouts.

If there has been an issue with the espresso shot extraction using this Portafilter, it would be challenging for you to diagnose the problem and make real-time adjustments. 


Bottomless Portafilter: 

Give visibility of the shot extraction → allows you to make real-time adjustments accordingly

Regular Portafilter: 

Do not allow visibility to shot extraction. → make it hard to diagnose the situation. 

Diagnosis Of Extraction Issues

An ideal espresso shot is silky in texture and has a balanced mahogany color with the tiger stripping (alternative light and dark shades). Plus, the extracted espresso falls in a one-centered stream into the cup from the filter basket. 

Through a Bottomless portafilter, you can quickly diagnose the extraction. And you can, if there is any deficiency that needs to be amended, get the perfect shot both in texture, color, and taste.

With Regular Portafilter, you cannot have this luxury, and you have to be on your guess to diagnose and make corrections to get the perfect shot. Or you have to look at the extracted photo and see what needs to be added. 


Bottomless Portafilter: 

Gives Better diagnosis to solve extraction issues.

Regular Portafilter: 

Difficulty in diagnosing the extraction, and you can only look at the poured espresso shot and draw conclusions on what’s lacking in the shot. 

Crema Production

More than the average barista believes that Bottomless Portafilter takes the lead in making more Cream than Regular Portafilter. 

Which can be confirmed in a technical sense. Crema is light mahogany color layers residing on the surface of the espresso shot. It has coffee oil and bubbles, capturing the aroma and taste. 

In a bottomless portafilter, there is no hindrance in the flow of espresso from filter basket to cup. Crema directly falls into the cup along with espresso.

While in regular Portafilter, the crema, along with the shot, first falls into the spout and then into the cup. In this procedure, the crema sticks to the tap, resulting in a bit less crema reaching the cup. Also,see more about can i drink room temperature coffee after tooth extraction


Bottomless Portafilter: 

More Crema.

Regular Portafilter: 

A bit less Cream than with Bottomless Portafilter. 


The taste of your espresso shot doesn’t get affected by the type of Portafilter unless you are very conscious of the crema produced.

Many Baristas are not much bothered with the type of Portafilter as it will not affect the taste of espresso. 

However, it is generally believed that more crema leads to more taste, so bottomless Portafilter can be considered a suitable type in this scenario. But it will not make a Regular Portafilter any less in providing tasty coffee shots. 


Bottomless and Regular Portafilter effectively provides the best taste of coffee ground in your Espresso shots unless you are a bit of a conscious aficionado.

Splitting Espresso Shots

In splitting Espresso Shots with a Bottomless portafilter, you must stop the extraction process midway, replace the cup with a new one, and let the remaining process occur.

In Regular Portafilter, you can use a double portafilter spout to split the espresso shot into two cups. 


Bottomless Portafilter: 

When splitting the Espresso shots, the Bottomless Portafilter gives a direct and visual split. 

Regular Portafilter: 

It uses a double spout Portafilter for breaking the Espresso shot. 

Skill Level

Handling Bottomless portafilters requires excellent skill and precision. If you are new to Portafilers, it is recommended first to grip the regular Portafilter, and then, if you want, you can start using the Bottomless Portafilter. 

The reason is that Bottomless Portafilters, at first, are prone to making a mess if you need vital instructions.

On the other hand, regular portafilters are easy to use, and even freshies can become experienced after a bit of usage. Master and newcomer baristas use both Regular and Bottomless portafilters.


Bottomless Portafilter: 

Preferred to use by experienced Baristas.

Regular Portafilter: 

Can be used by both Newcomers and experienced baristas. 


When the factor of experience comes to be highlighted in terms of messiness. 

If you are new to bottomless Portafilter, there is a high chance that you will make a mess due to coffee splashes around the area. Don’t worry. It’s normal, but not making it a habit is essential. 

Tamping down the ground coffee is the key to avoiding this mess or splashing.

However, the chances of creating a mess are minimized when using a Regular Portafilter. The extracted coffee is continuously gathered at the nozzle and streaming into the placed cup. 


Bottomless Portafilter: 

Make a mess if you are a freshie with handling it.

Regular Portafilter: 

Rarely makes a mess; overall, it proved mess-free.

Why Bottomless Or Regular Portafilter ~Pros


Bottomless Portafilter 

Regular Portafilter 

Aesthetically Pleasing 


Allow Diagnoses

Consistency in Extraction 

Improve coffee technique

The best option for Trainers or learners

Good Cream Quality

Create no Mess or very little Splash 

Skill Development 

Wider Availability 

Customizing availability 

Less Coffee waste 

Improved shot quality

Easy to handle 

Maintenance in extraction taste

More Pressure during Extraction



Why not Bottomless or Regular Portafilter ~Cons 

Bottomless Portafilter vs. Regular


Bottomless Portafilter 

Regular Portafilter 

Messy procedure

Limited visibility 

Higher learning Curve 

Inconsistent Crema

Less forgiving 

More Guesswork

Compatibility issues with espresso machines 

Reduce control 

Require high maintenance 

Less precision

Cannot Split shots automatically 

Hidden Issues 

Less pressure during extraction.

Reduce Skill Development 

Maintenance Of Bottomless Portafilter vs. Regular

Whatever you buy, it will demand maintenance.

Whether it is a bottomless portafilter or a regular one, you must keep it in good condition to serve you effectively over a long period. 

Regular Portafilter requires more attention as it has more equipment availability, and cleaning spouts (single or double) can be difficult, too. Besides this, both filters must be given proper and timely cleaning care. 

Final Verdict ~Which Wins the Battle 

Choosing what type of Portafilter will be best does not solely depend upon its features; rather, it questions your skill.

It questions your needs and preferences, and once you have a clear idea about these, your machine compatibility comes. 

Overall, Bottomless Portafilters carry features geared towards gaining skill and precision in coffee making, while regular portafilters focus more on a user-friendly way to extract shots. 

Both compete in extracting the ideal coffee shots.

Thus, if you have the experience of using Regular Portafilter and want to polish your skills, moving to a Bottomless Portafilter would be a good decision. 

Solely relying on Regular Portafilter will help in building precision over time.

Let’s give both filters a round of applause and let the choice be based on one’s preference for making coffee shots. 

~Have a great Coffee making Experience!

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