Puck In or Out For Espresso Machine


As stated on the topic, any saying on this? Leaving puck in your portafilter for the sake of maintaining the temperature or get rid of the puck to maintain cleanliness? Have your say! Looking forward to all replies!


When you’re not busy, I say out. If you leave it in, it dries to the basket even after you have knocked it out. In which case you then need to rinse it and then wipe it again. Always cleanliness first.

I always try and knock out a puck as soon as possible after every shot, as well as purge the group head and clean out the portafilter. I put in a blind basket and backflush as frequently as possible, as well as remove the shower screen and scrub the back side of it and the group when there’s time.

I just can’t justify a slight increase in temperature stability for the tradeoff of a far dirtier machine, which is way easier to taste.
Try leaving the puck in for one group head and immediately emptying and cleaning the group and portafilter of another some day. Look at how much coffee solids and oils are left on each of the group heads after your shift, especially the back of the shower screens. Then taste a shot from each group, and see if you want to keep serving coffee from a machine as dirty as the one with coffee baking into it all day gets. Purging extra water through the group while grinding, dosing, distributing, and tamping should be plenty to bring the group temp back up if it’s been a while since you pulled a shot, and will help maintain cleanliness.

Dirty equipment is one of the easiest ways to ruin great coffee IMO, and it’s hard to get a machine dirtier than leaving coffee in it.


Just a side story, there was a “cafe” at the Nashville, TN airport that would “pre-load” the portafilter with espresso and have it loaded into the machine. :fearful:

The person working behind the counter was very proud of the idea… Who doesn’t want faster service?

So just keep all the portafilters pre-loaded ready for those discerning espresso drinking customers…

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