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Cafelat XT Portafilter
QuickShot Review Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Author: Mark Prince
Machine Class: n/a
Cafelat XT Portafilter
Product Supplier

This product was supplied by Cafelat direct. You can buy these portafilters direct from the source (all 11 different versions); also there are vendors in Australia, North America, and Europe that will sell them locally - check Cafelat's site for vendors.

Product Pricing

The Cafelat XT Portafilter with spout, bottom plate, is available for $110 USD. Additional spouts are $10. The Portafilter can be purchased in just the chopped form for $85.

The Chopped Portafilter. Invented by a couple of Baristas at Zoka Coffee in Seattle in 2004, it has proven to be a huge boon in the analysis of espresso. By removing the bottom of a portafilter, we expose the bottom of the internal filter basket and can see espresso develop through the dozens and dozens of tiny filter holes. We can identify problems, visualise the extraction much better than before, and the result has been countless thousands of espressoporn photographs.

From 2004 to around 2007 or so, if you wanted a chopped portafilter, you did it yourself with a heavy duty press drill, literally cutting the bottom off a standard portafilter. Or you could buy one from aftermarket sellers who did the same thing (chopped the bottom off a standard portafilter) and sold it to you at an inflated price. Around 2007, a few manufacturers realised this was a thing that wouldn't go away, and started selling factory modified chopped portafilters, with a nice, polished finish. But again, these were after market, of sorts - the manufacturers would take their stock portafilters, drill press cut out the bottom, polish them up, and sell them. They were nicer, but still just modified, altered versions of a standard portafilter.

Up until last year, you had one option of you wanted a chopped portafilter and a traditional spouted portafilter: you had to own two - one chopped, one not. This all changed in late 2013 when a small independent company came up with something innovative. That company is Cafelat.

Cafelat is a tiny company based out of Hong Kong formed by long standing La Marzocco representative and machine restorer Paul Pratt, and for a few years now, they've been designing some great tools for the home and commercial espresso market, including tampers, tamping mats, knock boxes, cleaners and more. The products have been fantastic not only because of their design but because of their approachable price points for consumers.

Most recently, Mr. Pratt has been working on his most ambitious project -- something that he hopes will redefine the aftermarket portafilter market -- the Cafelat XT Portafilter. It is what can be best described as a convertible portafilter.

Click for larger image

We had a chance to see an early prototype of this portafilter last year and it showed a lot of promise. More recently, we were able to get a final, shipping version of the Cafelat XT Portafilter, and the improvements over the prototype are impressive and very ready for prime time. This is our Quickshot Review of the Cafelat portafilter.


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