By Jonathan Parent

Espresso machine:Distinguishing the pressurized basket from the standard basket

Some machines like theGaggia Classic Pro and theAscaso Dream One come with a series of baskets (single and double dose) including one, pressurized, also called double wall (Dual Wall). Seen from above, the pressurized basket is identical to the standard baskets. On the other hand, once turned over, there is only one hole on its surface, compared to the other filters, which are covered with small holes. The purpose of this system is to restrict the flow rate in order to produce enough pressure at the outlet to form a foam on the espresso. The pressure that builds up behind the second wall ensures even extraction of all the grounds in the basket and helps better extract the oils from the coffee. In this case, it is not necessary to tamp the coffee as is done with standard baskets. Just make sure the grinds are evenly distributed inside. Rather than being generated by the coffee puck (the size of the grind and its packing), the pressure is produced by the basket device.

Its advantages are that it increases the consistency of extractions and tolerates enough imperfections in the grind to achieve a successful shot. This basket is particularly useful for those who do not have a grinder at home and must grind their bag of coffee in advance.

There are also espresso machines that only offer a pressurized handle: Breville Cafe Roma, Saeco Aroma, De'Longhi Dedica, etc. If a standard portafilter allows to interchange the baskets inside, the pressurized handle does not allow this manipulation. It is good to know that some espresso machine models work with standard portafilters that you can purchase separately. With a quality grinder, this will allow you to have more control in the preparation of your coffees.

The pressurized or double-walled basket is preferably used in two situations:

  • When you don't have a grinder nearby and you have to extract pre-ground coffee with a more or less adequate grind.
  • When you want to extract a coffee quickly and conveniently without having to adjust all the preparation parameters.

Otherwise, we strongly advise you to use a standard basket if possible. In addition to producing a real crema, the standard basket makes it possible to extract a higher quality espresso with a better perception of its texture and notes. On the other hand, it requires learning and, above all, patience. Slight variations in the dose, the grind of the coffee, the way it is distributed and the pressure applied when tamping make significant differences in the final cup.

When requesting coffee grind bags from Société des Cafés, the type of baskets or the name of the espresso machine you intend to use are required information to make the proper grind. You are offered a slightly coarser grind for a pressurized basket than for a standard basket. This allows a good extraction while preventing the single opening from blocking.

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Research and writing by Chloé Pouliot