Barista Basics: Basket and Screen Maintenance
Time to do that group maintenance again? Your baskets and screens need maintenance, not just your gaskets!
Water is lazy and it will find the path of least resistance. It could be the low spot on your screen or the crack in your basket.
Every time you tamp, you apply pressure to the bottom of your portafilter basket. Every time you pull a shot, you apply pressure to the bottom of your portafilter basket. That poor little piece of metal takes a lot, all day, every day.The holes on the base of the basket get deformed - whether it be they get stretched out or closed up, you are altering the basket and its hole shape every time you pull a shot. Overtime baskets can become so worn and out of shape they will crack, leading the water through channels right through the puck and out. Cut the problem off at the pass and change your baskets quarterly when you change your gaskets!
Screens can affect your shot quality as well. As hard as we all try, screens inevitably get damaged. Screw too tight? Check. Dented from too much coffee in the portafilter? Sure thing. Welds broken? Wouldn’t be the first time. Similar to your basket, if the screen becomes damaged, you’ll experience extraction issues. One side with a little over extraction and one side with some under extraction does not even out.
Additionally, screens with multiple layers it can be very difficult to get every last bit of coffee and coffee oil out, even when soaking your screens nightly. Who wants rancid oil affecting the flavor of their cup? Not us! Swap those screens out to keep them fresh, clean, and ready to make the best espresso around!
Screens and baskets can get pretty gross which affects flavor. We’ve got what you need to keep your machine running properly.