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Cleaning portafilter baskets?
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DharmaBum
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DharmaBum
Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 53
Location: Kansas City
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia
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Posted Fri Oct 31, 2008, 6:05am
Subject: Cleaning portafilter baskets?
 

I have been using my simple Gaggia Espresso close to everyday for about a year. I almost always use the double basket. I rinse it thoroughly between each use, but the little teeny tiny holes in it have almost completely clogged (very few let light through when held up to a window), so I'm not getting very good results in the cup. Is there a way to de-clog those little holes, and more importantly, keep them open as part of my maintenance routine day to day, or when this starts to happen do you have to buy a new basket? Thanks for answers in advance!

Steve
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CraigA
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CraigA
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Posted Fri Oct 31, 2008, 7:28am
Subject: Re: Cleaning portafilter baskets?
 

Hi Steve,

You should use a product (espresso machine cleaner) that's designed to clean residual, rancid, coffee oils from the brew path & brew baskets, portafilter, etc off. A great product is Urnex espresso machine cleaner also called Cafiza. This is just buffered TSP.
Failing that, if you have a diswasher., you can use your dishwasher detergent powder which is just TSP (trisodiumphosphate) among other things.

 
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wenus2
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Joined: 2 Oct 2008
Posts: 621
Location: Reno, NV
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astoria, Oscar, GB5
Grinder: Mazzers
Vac Pot: TCA-5
Drip: Drop...clever
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Fri Oct 31, 2008, 7:33am
Subject: Re: Cleaning portafilter baskets?
 

Steve, an overnight soak in a water/coffee-cleaner-of-your-choice solution will solve this, ideally in combination with a good scrubbing with a group head brush.
(Cafiza, Cleancafe, Puro Caff, JoeGlo, ect.)

I guess my concern would be, if your filter basket has gotten this bad, hows the rest of your machine?
be sure to check this out: Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

 
enjoy the journey
-jw
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DharmaBum
Senior Member
DharmaBum
Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 53
Location: Kansas City
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia
Grinder: Peter Dienes wall mounted
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Chemex, hopefully
Posted Fri Oct 31, 2008, 2:46pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning portafilter baskets?
 

I actually run Cafiza through the machine every few months and the machine itself is in good shape. I never thought about soaking in the same stuff. Are group head brushes the ones with brass bristles?

Steve
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wenus2
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Joined: 2 Oct 2008
Posts: 621
Location: Reno, NV
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astoria, Oscar, GB5
Grinder: Mazzers
Vac Pot: TCA-5
Drip: Drop...clever
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Fri Oct 31, 2008, 11:39pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning portafilter baskets?
 

yep, some are nylon some are brass, who knows, some fancy pants out there might have one made from badger tail (if so I'm jealous).
a scrubin's a scrubin in this case, that's just the tool one usually finds handy in this scenario.

fingernails also work in a pinch

 
enjoy the journey
-jw
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Arthurian
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Joined: 10 Dec 2011
Posts: 1
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sat Dec 10, 2011, 7:41pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning portafilter baskets?
 

I alone on the planet seemed to have solved the endless problem of cleaning the fine holes of an espresso portafilter, or a Moka express fine steam filter. None of the liquid or abrasive cleaning apps work, period. Instead, in the past, one had to use a pin to poke out the minute holes. A task so laborious and hopeless than most espresso and Moka machines in the world are hampered by limited filtration.
No longer. The pin-holes are plugged with coffee fibre, which burns. Place the filter over a gas flame, either side, for 10 minutes, tapping it with tongs occasionally, and bingo . . . A CLEAN FILTER. All the minute coffee fibre plugs burn or pop out. Best to use a small coffee pot rack on top of your smallest hob gas burner for this. And metal thongs.  
Will I be knighted for this?  Arthurian
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TonyVan
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Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 276
Location: Pacific Northwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3, La Pavoni
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Posted Sat Dec 10, 2011, 11:52pm
Subject: Re: Cleaning portafilter baskets?
 

If you rinse well with water between shots (even better if released from the portafilter) your holes will stay clear.  Another trick is "steam cleaning" them with your frothing wand - shoot the baskets from both directions.
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MickeyT
Senior Member
MickeyT
Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 11
Location: Ballard, Seattle, WA, USA, Earth
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Saeco Via Venezia
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Dec 11, 2011, 11:38am
Subject: Re: Cleaning portafilter baskets?
 

Arthurian Said:

And metal thongs.

Posted December 10, 2011 link

Those sound painful, Arthurian. Is armor a necessary part of your process? :D
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