Starbucks Barista (rebranded Saeco Via Venezia) that I got for just under $50, shipping included, from eBay.
Here’s the stock pressurized portafilter. Pressurized portafilters make tamping unnecessary, but what fun is that?
There’s a whole lot of coffee residue caught in the pressurizing mechanism.
Completely disassembled portafilter. The pressurizing mechanism is removed.
Portafilter got a little cleaned up.
First attempt at making the portafilter bottomless wasn’t very successful. The hopper was too close to the lower lip, and espresso would cling to it and then drip down the edges of the portafilter.
I had to widen the bottom of the portafilter a little bit to solve the problem.
That’s a decent pull with a little bit of tiger striping. I’m tamping pretty hard (40 lb on a 53mm portafilter), so to solve this, I probably just need to increase the amount of coffee grounds.
So I decided to take another step in my coffee adventures, and got myself a second-hand Starbucks Barista (rebranded Saeco Via Venezia) off of eBay. After cleaning up the device a bit, modifying the portafilter, and pulling 20 or so shots, things seem to be working reasonably well.