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                     Saeco Portafilters

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  e-mail inquiries to granita@rcn.com


Saeco Portafilters - Introduction

Saeco pressurized portafilters are specially designed tools used in all Saeco semi-automatic models.(like Espresso Classico, Aroma, Barista, Rio Vapore, Estro Vapore, Magic Cappuccino, Via Veneto, Gran Crema & Athena). The pressurized Portafilters provide the optimum 9 Bar extraction pressure. The locking ears in some older portafilters may be shorter. The portafilters come with one cup or two cup filter baskets. We do not recommend use of single cup. A small cup is available with a Pod adapter, for use of coffee pods only. We do not recommend use of coffee pods. The ground coffee packed in Coffee Pods is stale coffee. We consider it as 'Coffee in condoms'.

The pressurized Portafilters facilitate pre-infusion before extraction and also builds 9-Bar extraction pressure..Pre-infusion allows the use of coarser grind (like the table salt grain) and helps to reduce the extraction time from 25 seconds to 12 seconds or less. The reduced extraction time eliminates bitterness and burnt taste of espresso.

Watch the Saeco Portafilter Pressurized vs Non-Pressurized MythBuster Video



  Diagram Manually Pressurized Portafilter

Diagram Gran Crema Portafilter (Discontinued)

124652821/2-pc. - All Saeco portafilters are pod adaptable, using a special one-cup filter basket with an adapter.   

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124652821 pod filter basket+adapter tn.jpg

226551650 - Saeco maually pressurized portafilter. Used in Espresso Classico, Aroma, Magic Cappuccino, Gran Crema; Via Veneto; Athena, Estro Profi; Rio Vapore; Barista (SIN006), LaPavoni models Pisa, PAB SI.               

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226550250 - Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter.Used in all Saeco semi-automatic trditional pump models: Aroma, Espresso Classico, Magic Cappuccino, Via Veneto, Gran Crema, Athena, Barista SIN006, and other older models.

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226551563 and 226551363 - Saeco non pressurized Portafilter.The thumb tab is without spring.

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226550650 - Saeco Gran Crema portafilter (black). This filter holder has a movable distribution cap at the bottom that pushes out when the handled is pulled to the right. Makes espresso with pre-infusion at 9 Bars pressure for effortless extraction.  Use for all Saeco semi-automatic espresso machines (Espresso classico, Magic cappuccino, Aroma, Starbucks Barista SIN006, Barista Athena, Via Veneto, Rio Vapore


 226550850 - saeco gran crema portafilter.jpg

226551850 - Saeco pressurized filter holder heavy (Black); straight handle (handle tapered at two ends is Starbucks exclusive & not sold any longer). For Saeco semi automatic models Rio Vapore, Estra Vapore, Idea, Via Venezia, Espresso Classico, Magic Cappuccino, Aroma, Gran Crema, Estro Vapore Combi, Starbucks Barista SIN006, Barista Zia and Athena.           

Straight grip handle

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The following three types of Saeco portafilters are available:  

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226551850 manually pressurized portafilter heavy.png 

 226551650 manually press. portafilter.jpg

22651363 nor 226551563 Non-pressurized Portafilter grey

  226550250 - Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter

 226551850 - Gran Crema Portafilter with inset showing bottom view

 226551650 - Manually Pressurized Portafilter with inset showing bottom view

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Guru's Choice 95% Arabica blend med. roast. Buy 3 get one free. Free shipping in USA

Caffe Bella 100% Arabica blend med roast. 2.2lb. free shipping in USA

Sampler Caffe Bella one bag + 2 bags Guru's Choice Med. roast free shipping in USA

Caffe Bella 100% Arabica blend med. roast 2.2lb.Buy 6 get one free. Free shipping in USA

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Non-Pressurized Portafilter

Almost all semi-automatic machines use non-pressurized portafilters. The filter basket is held in a filter holder. It is filled with ground coffee, locked into the group tight and water pumped through the compacted coffee cake at 10 to 12 Bar pressure. In order to slow the water passage through standard (commercial type) portafilters, the ground coffee has to be powdery fine. It has to be compacted using a coffee press (tamper) using a tamping pressure ranging from 25 to 30 p.s.i. The extraction time with this method is maintained between 22 to 30 seconds. In other words, the temperature of water & the pump pressure remaining constant, the fineness of ground coffee and tamping pressure are used to delay the extraction (the consequence = bitter and burnt tasting espresso).

Saeco Pressurized Portafilters

Pressurized portafilters have a built in valve mechanism that is used to block the flow of water through the coffee grounds.

Pressurized Mechanism in the Saeco portafilters is a feature that helps to pre-infuse extraction of espresso. Pre-infusion is a process in which ground coffee is soaked with the pumping of hot water for 2 to 4 seconds, then allowing the coffee grounds to swell and allow soluble ingredients to be dissolved in the next three to five seconds and then pump additional water to take the extract out. To accomplish this 'pre-infusion' pressurized portafilters have a built-in valve below the filter basket. This valve should be mechanically closed for 4 to 5 seconds (see instructions for mechanically pressurized portafilter part #: 226551650). The pre-infusion delay valve in the Gran Crema portafilter arranged with an over-ride spring that holds the Portafilter handle pulled all the way to the right. As the pump pressure builds up to 10 Bars, it forces the spring to yield and push the handle back about 3/4" to open the flow of espresso through the coffee grounds. The Gran Crema Portafilter (Saeco Part.No. 226550850) opens automatically as the pressure to pump water through coffee increases. This explains the difference between the mechanically pressurized and Gran Crema portafilters. It allows coffee grounds to soak, swell and prepare aromatic elements to dissolve, before extraction.  After this extraction delay, the valve can be opened mechanically (by releasing the handle in the Saeco manually pressurized portafilter part # 226551650). In the Gran Crema portafilter (part # 226550850), the handle over-rides a spring and stays when pulled all the way to the right. When the pump starts, the pressure builds up inside the Portafilter and forces the water exit by pushing the handle slowly to open the passage. The handle grip can be seen moving to the left as pressure builds up allowing the dissolved coffee elements to flow through the coffee grounds and collect in the cup. 

Saeco Portafilter Cleaning and Maintenance Instructions

Espresso Quality and Pre-infusion

The best quality of espresso is extracted using pre-infusion method. Pre-infusion is the process of delaying the extraction of espresso for 4 to 5 seconds. In most coffee shops and standard portafilters, the coffee is ground powdery fine and tamped with a pressure of 20 to 25 lbs. p.s.i. to make a solid cake of coffee through which water has to be pumped.

Almost all pumps have to really work hard to build pressure to pump water through the tamped coffee cake (standard pressure required for espresso extraction is 9-bars). The pressure required to pump water through compacted cake of coffee, therefore, will be different depending on the fineness of grind and tamping pressure. Almost all pumps used in home or commercial espresso machines generate 15 Bars pressure. This is higher than the required 9 to 12 Bars. It is adjusted to be between 9 and 10 Bar. A good barista keeps an eye on the Gauge and maintains the fineness of grind and pressure of tamping constant, to make sure the extraction of espresso is of same quality every time. A higher or lower than 9 bars pumping pressure can change the quality of espresso extraction. Every coffee shop has its own fineness of grind settings. Also every barista has a different technique for tamping. The quality of espresso tastes different from one coffee shop to another.

It is important that owners of home espresso machines should know the essential elements of making espresso instead of relying on the espresso machine to do the job on its own.

 Saeco Pressurized Portafilters Make the Job Easy

All Saeco pressurized portafilters have built-in valve for pre-infusion delay. The operator does not have to worry much about the fineness of grind or tamping. The grind setting should be like the table salt grain. No tamping is necessary.

The valve inside the portafilter prevents flow of water through for 4 to 5 seconds allowing the extraction pressure to build to the required 9-Bars. The 4 to 5 seconds delay allows the coffee grounds to be soaked and swell allowing water to dissolve essential aromatic elements in the coffee before extraction.

As the valve opens up at 9-Bar pressure, the coffee extract drips into the cup as a classic shot of espresso. If the quantity of extract is limited to 2-Oz., it will not be bitter or have any burnt taste because the extraction time is never more than 12 seconds.

 Espresso Based Drinks: Americana, Cappuccino, Latte

 Even after 20 years since espresso was introduced in the USA, the drink and its recipes still intrigue many. It is still tough for many Americans to give up Americana coffee. The bitter and burnt taste of Starbucks espresso cannot win over McDonald's Americana coffee. Espresso machines or espresso drinks are still intimidating and confusing for many until they get the first taste of a good espresso served by a friend or forced to drink what is available during travels in Europe.


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