HOW TO REPLACE YOUR BASKET AND SCREEN?
- Remove the portafilter from the group head and use a bar spoon or screwdriver to pop the basket out of the portafilter. The portafilter can be very hot. It is recommended that you run it under cold water until cool to the touch.
- If you need to clean the portafilter do so now, we recommend removing the metal Portafilter basket spring and using our EP Clean with hot water. Only soak the metal parts of the portafilter. The cleaner can damage plastic and wood parts.
- Check the basket retaining spring inside of the portafilter. If your basket ends up in the knock box sometimes, this spring needs to be replaced. Place the new basket over the portafilter and with the palm of your hand apply pressure to pop it into place.
- Use screwdriver to remove the screen and dispose of it properly. Be sure to keep the group screen screw safe or replace it, it’s special.
- Place new screen in the group head and carefully turn it into place with your hand. No need to tighten it with your screwdriver or it could cause problems later on. This screw should be barely finger tight. It will swell with the heat and can get stuck in the group head.
WHY CHANGE YOUR ESPRESSO BASKETS?
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 to an uneven extraction as water searches for the path of least resistance, i.e. the crack in your screen.
WHY CHANGE YOUR ESPRESSO SCREENS & SCREWS?
Similar to your basket, if the screen becomes damaged, you’ll experience extraction issues. As hard as we all try, screens inevitably get damaged. Screw too tight? Dented from too much coffee in the portafilter? Welds broken? One side with a little over extraction and one side under extraction does not even out.
This is also a good time to replace the screw for the diffusion screen. The screws can wear out and fatigue over time, and are prone to cracking. Some models have a hollow screw for the diffusion screen that hot water passes through. Over time they can weaken and break off inside the head! Changing them semi annually can save a lot of trouble. If you do not know the last time it was changed, it is probably time.
Screens with multiple layers are difficult to clean. Coffee and oils can stick between layers even when soaking your screens nightly. Who wants rancid oil affecting the flavor of their cup? Swap those screens out to keep them fresh, clean, and ready to make quality espresso!
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR BASKETS AND SCREENS?
Espresso machine group maintenance services should be performed quarterly or at the very least twice a year for lower volume shops.