Why have a puck screen when making espresso?

Have you noticed them? The wheels that go into the portafilter. That's the puck screen, and if you want to take your espresso to the next level, you need one. I'll explain why, and what they do.

What are the advantages of a puck screen?

What it's all about - the wheel that goes into the portafilter of a lever espresso machine. It's usually metal. It is not a full wheel, but a very fine (or coarser, depending on the manufacturer) screen.

It occupies the space that is between the surface of the brewed coffee and the shower head of the machine. With that, I puck screen would like to introduce it and now on to listing its advantages.

The puck screen takes your espresso preparation to the next level.

Why have a puck screen when making espresso?

  • it ensures even distribution of water through the coffee bed
  • prevents the problem of channeling during extraction ( channeling)
  • helps to compensate for excessive water temperature from the coffee machine

These three advantages together have a significant impact on consistent extraction. And this results in a pleasant and balanced taste of the coffee in the cup.

In addition to the above mentioned benefits of using this aid in espresso preparation, I must not forget the puck screen:

  • contributes to obtaining drier coffee buds after extraction
  • and maintains the cleanliness of the shower inside the head of the machine.

What happens when making espresso with the puck screen?

The benefits of using the puck screen can be seen from its position in the portafilter when making coffee. Let's quickly review the usual procedure for making espresso in a lever espresso machine.

So...you weigh out a batch of freshly ground coffee into a clean portafilter , tidy up - here we may differ a little in the procedure using barista tools for perfect coffee tidying such as WDT or distributor, followed by tamping thecoffee and watch out, now you insert the puck screen. Place the prepared portafilter in the coffee maker and start the extraction.

The main benefit: consistency when extracting espresso

From the positioning described above, it is clear that the puck screen affects the water flowing from the shower of the coffee maker to the coffee bed in the portafilter. Through the perforation of the surface of the metal wheel (perhaps better said a circular cut-out of superfine stainless steel mesh), the water flowsevenly over the entire coffee surface.

This means that the coffeeis evenly saturated, which is the optimum conditions for balanced extraction. No more unbalanced espresso whose flavour will flip between extremes of acidity and bitterness. What's more, the puck screen protects the coffee bed from the formation of channels that would again mean failure to brew the perfect espresso.

Finally, there's the advantage that owners of coffee machines with a single boiler or exchanger boiler will especially appreciate. If you have one, you may have already noticed the variability in water temperature between the first and second extraction. This is due to the water heating technology for the coffee in these machines. Some use a cooling trick, i.e., letting a little water out before extraction. The puck screen protects the coffee from direct contact with superheated water or residual steam.

For Flair Espresso machines, the puck screen is a must-have during preparation.

A clean shower after each espresso

With the puck screen in place between the coffee and the shower, you can enjoy a cleaner brew every time you make espresso. In fact, it also acts as a protective layer that prevents ground coffee particles from the portafilterfrom contaminating the shower head.

The cleanliness of the showerhead will delight you by makingcleaning easier and of course coffee residue in the coffee maker would be a risk of affecting the taste for your next beautiful espresso. If the puck screen is in place, your coffee maker's three-way valve will be more powerful as well. You'll also enjoy drier puffs after the coffee has been extracted and easily knocked into the knock-box.

Which puck screen fits your coffee machine?

The choice here is similar to that of a new portafilter for your coffee maker, or better, choosing the ideal coffee tamper. The size or diameter is decisive.

This is usually 58 mm, which is also the diameter of portafilters in most quality home coffee makers and professional ones. Then look for the style of perforation and the suitability of the material used.

Recommended products7