Why Do Espresso Machines Have Two Spouts? – Types Of Portafilter, 2 Superb Reasons Behind It In 2023

A common feature of espresso machines is the use of a two-spout design, with each spout serving a single shot of espresso. However, the reasons behind this design choice are not always clear. In essence, a dual spout enables you to simultaneously prepare two cups of espresso.

This kind of spout, which is affixed to the base of the portafilter, is frequently referred to as a “moustache spout” for obvious reasons. There is no denying that espresso machines, especially manual machines, have an odd appearance and contain numerous “pieces-parts”.

They are somewhat intimidating to beginners because of this. People who are accustomed to the typical drip coffeemaker are confused by this. 

What’s up with those spouts, for example? Why does an espresso maker have two spouts? A good query. In this article, we will delve into the mechanics of espresso brewing and explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of the two-spout design commonly found in espresso machines. 

What Is a Double Basket Espresso?

Single, double, and triple-basket espresso machines are available. These are based on how much coffee you intend to brew at once.

Double baskets, which can hold between 14 and almost 22 grammes of coffee, are said to be the best choice for double shots. Additionally, you might discover yourself searching for pressurised or unpressurized baskets. In relation to that…

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What Is a Pressurized Basket Espresso?

Have you ever noticed how certain espresso baskets are different in design, especially at the bottom?

You must learn the components of espresso in order to recognise the differences. The purpose of an espresso maker is to extract the exquisite flavour compounds from your ground coffee using steam and pressure. To get the espresso’s distinctive crema, this comes out in an oily form that must be carefully filtered.

The bottom of a non-pressurized basket is littered with tiny holes. It is frequently favoured in commercial applications and works well with high-pressure machinery (imagine eight or nine bars).

On the other hand, the pressurised basket favours an espresso grind that is a little bit coarser. This is because there is just one hole in the basket for the espresso to exit through. It is better to use a non-pressurized basket if you want to recreate cafe-quality coffee.

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Why use a double-spout portafilter?

Producing an even tamp is one of the keys to ensuring even extraction with espresso. It is critical to keep the ground level in your portafilter so that water flows evenly through the puck.

Why use a double-spout portafilter?
Source: Quench Essentials

You can spot an even tamp using a portafilter that has two spouses. A double-spouted filter produces equal amounts of coffee when brewed into two shot glasses. You can tell when the tamping is even. Enter the bottomless portafilter for even greater accuracy.

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The Benefits of Two Spouts

  • Faster serving times: With two spouts, an espresso machine can produce two shots at the same time, which means the overall serving time is reduced, allowing baristas to serve customers faster.
  • Increased efficiency: The use of two spouts can also increase the efficiency of an espresso machine, allowing baristas to serve more customers in a shorter amount of time.
  • Greater consistency: Using two spouts can result in more consistent espresso shots, as each shot is extracted in the same way, and under the same conditions. This can be especially important in busy cafes or restaurants where speed and consistency are essential for customer satisfaction.
  • Better workflow: The use of two spouts can also improve the workflow of a coffee shop, as it allows baristas to focus on other tasks while the shots are being extracted.
  • Easier to manage high volume: In high-volume environments, using two spouts allows baristas to handle more orders efficiently, without having to switch between single and double shot baskets, which can be time-consuming and less efficient.
  • Potential Cost savings: In commercial settings, using a two-spout machine may save on equipment costs as it reduces the number of machines required to produce the same volume of espresso shots.

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Why do espresso machines need two spouts?

Espresso machines have two spouts to allow for the simultaneous brewing of two shots of espresso. This is useful in commercial settings where multiple customers may be waiting in line, and also for individuals who want to make multiple shots of espresso at once.

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Why Two Spouts?

You can make two cups of espresso at once using a dual spout. This kind of spout, which is attached to the base of the portafilter, is frequently referred to as a “moustache spout” for obvious reasons. (The filter basket that contains the ground coffee is kept in the portafilter.)

Why do espresso machines need two spouts?
Source: Brewing Coffees

The majority of espresso machines come with two filter baskets or more. One container has just enough ground coffee for one shot, while the other has enough for two.

The moustache spout is the ideal device for dispensing two shots simultaneously into separate cups using this larger filter basket.

The bottomless portafilter is the alternative and a good way to learn how to pull the ideal shot because it enables the barista to see if tamping was done correctly.

Additionally, it produces espresso without losing heat or structure and with better créma (the thin layer of foam on top).

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What is the difference between a single shot and a double shot portafilter?

You can make one serving of espresso using naked portafilters. You will only need one cup to make one cappuccino. On the other hand, A double spout portafilter forces you to use one cup in addition to a container for the extra espresso that no one wants.

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How do I know when to replace the spouts on my espresso machine?

Over time, the spouts on your espresso machine may become worn or damaged. If you notice that the quality of the shots is decreasing or that there is a significant difference in the amount of espresso coming out of each spout, it may be time to replace them. Consult your espresso machine’s manufacturer or a professional espresso machine technician for guidance.

How do I know when to replace the spouts on my espresso machine?
Source: Luce Home

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Types of Portafilter

Single spout portafilter:

This portafilter is designed to hold a single shot of espresso. It has one spout that delivers the espresso into a cup. It is typically used in home espresso machines or in cafes that serve a low volume of espresso.

The single spout design allows for better control of the flow rate and is ideal for brewing smaller amounts of espresso.

Double spout portafilter:

It has two spouts that deliver the espresso into two cups simultaneously. It is the most common type of portafilter used in commercial espresso machines.

The double spout design is ideal for high-volume coffee shops as it allows for faster service and greater efficiency.

Double spout portafilter:
source: Walmart

Bottomless and naked portafilter:

A bottomless portafilter, also known as a naked portafilter allows the espresso to flow directly into the cup. It’s often used by professional baristas to visually inspect the quality of the espresso extraction and to fine-tune their espresso brewing skills.

The bottomless design also allows for better control of the flow rate and is ideal for brewing speciality espresso drinks.

Pressurized portafilter:

It has a special basket that uses a built-in valve to regulate the flow of water through the coffee grounds. It’s often used in home espresso machines to make it easier for beginners to produce a consistent shot of espresso.

The pressurized design compensates for variations in grind size and tamping pressure, making it ideal for beginners who are just starting to learn how to use an espresso machine.

Pressurized portafilter:
source: Craft Coffee Sopt

Non-pressurized portafilter:

Non-pressurized portafilter has a standard basket that doesn’t have any built-in pressure regulation. It’s typically used in commercial espresso machines and requires more skill and experience to use effectively.

The non-pressurized design allows for greater control over the brewing process, making it ideal for experienced baristas who want to fine-tune their espresso brewing skills.

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Is there a difference in quality between shots brewed from each spout?

There should not be a difference in quality between shots brewed from each spout, as long as the machine is functioning properly.

Is there a difference in quality between shots brewed from each spout?
Source: Acquired Coffee

However, it is possible that one spout may become clogged or otherwise malfunction, in which case the quality of the shots from that spout may suffer.

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How many shots are in a cappuccino?

In a cappuccino, there is one delicious shot of espresso. They are equal parts espresso coffee, steaming milk, and creamy froth. This means that whether you drink a cappuccino or a single espresso shot, you receive the same quantity of coffee (and caffeine).

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Why is espresso always a double shot?

There is no longer a dependable standard for single and double shots. Some establishments call their shots “double shots” because they use more than 14g of coffee. Some claim that they pull double shots because they have enough yield to split the shot in half with a split portafilter.

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Why do espresso machines make 2 shots?

The most popular versions of both commercial and household espresso machines have two spouts, but why? Simply put, having two spouts allows you to brew two shots at once, increasing your volume and flexibility. This is perfect for busy pubs, restaurants, and cafes.

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What is a double shot of espresso?

One single-serve capsule of a double espresso contains two espresso shots. Any size of coffee craving can be satisfied by it because it has a stronger aroma and more intense flavour. The double espresso, often known as a double shot, maybe the beverage for you if you want a powerful and robust espresso made in Italy.

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How do I clean the spouts on my espresso machine?

It is important to regularly clean the spouts on your espresso machine to ensure that the quality of the shots remains high. Simply wiping them down with a damp cloth after each use can help prevent the buildup of coffee oils and residue.

You can also use a brush designed specifically for cleaning espresso machine parts to reach any hard-to-reach areas.

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How much espresso is in a latte?

Lattes typically have 8 to 15 ounces of steaming milk and 1-2 ounces of espresso. Anything bigger than 8 ounces is referred to as a latte in the speciality coffee industry. Two or three latte sizes are not unusual to see.

Is an espresso 1 shot or 2?

Single or double shots are the usual serving sizes for shots. They can also be used to make flavour-infused beverages like cappuccinos and lattes by mixing them with steaming milk. Espresso comes in 30 ml single shots and 60 ml double shots.

Can I use just one spout on my espresso machine?

A: Yes, you can use just one spout on your espresso machine. However, if you want to make two shots of espresso at once, using both spouts is more efficient.

Can I adjust the amount of espresso that comes out of each spout?

A: Yes, many espresso machines allow you to adjust the amount of espresso that comes out of each spout. This is usually done by adjusting the amount of water that is used in the brewing process.

Do all espresso machines have two spouts?

A: No, not all espresso machines have two spouts. Some smaller, more compact machines may only have one spout. However, most commercial-grade espresso machines have two spouts to accommodate higher volume use.

Can I use different types of cups with each spout?

A: Yes, you can use different types of cups with each spout. Some espresso machines even have different size spouts to accommodate different cup sizes.

Can I use one spout for regular coffee and the other for espresso shots?

A: No, the spouts on an espresso machine are designed specifically for brewing espresso shots. Using one spout for regular coffee could damage the machine and may result in poor-quality coffee. If you want to brew regular coffee, it is best to use a separate coffee maker or drip brewer.

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