Last Updated on July 19, 2022 by Timothy Byron Smith
Espresso machines are complex equipment with several parts, functions, and tricky mechanisms. But did you ever wonder why espresso machines have two spouts?
Well, the spouts are not going anywhere. What we can do is to know a little about them and improve our usage of the espresso machine at home.
It’s time to put on your smarty-pants and make sense of yet another mind-boggling feature of the espresso machine.
What is a Double Spout Portafilter?
In principle, a dual spout on an espresso machine enables you to simultaneously prepare two cups of coffee. For precisely this reason, this style of the dual spout, which seems mounted at the bottom of the portafilter, is commonly called a “mustache spout.”
It is a common sighting in commercial espresso machines at coffee shops. That’s because it produces more cups of espresso to cater to large crowds.
A double spout portafilter is typically larger. It has a larger capacity and holds more coffee, enough to produce two shots of espresso. And since you’re brewing two shots at one time, it’s only understandable that you be able to pour them at a time too!
Why Are There Two Spouts on an Espresso Machine?
The dual spout in espresso machines is usually referred to as the ‘mustache spout.’ We all can see why that is. But why dual, you ask? Well, dual spouts in an espresso machine allow you to extract two shots of espresso at the same time. This has many benefits!
For instance, in a fast-paced and busy cafe, you can easily brew two shots of espresso and cater to two customers in less time. The extra volume and flexibility are ideal for business.
Even at home, dual spouts save a lot of time. You get to make more coffee for the time of one. Who doesn’t want more coffee? No one, that’s who!
Naked VS Spouted Portafilters
Naked? Is that what we are really going for? Absolutely! The naked portafilter is a new style that is gaining much popularity. Typically, portafilters either have one or double spouts. We all know that. But what is a naked portafilter and why is it gaining so much hype?
Let’s break down the differences between spouted and naked portafilters.
These portafilters channel the shot of espresso down a funnel and through a spout into your coffee cup. These have either a single or double spout. Although, double-spouted portafilters have a greater hype.
Double spouted portafilters allow you to extract two shots of espresso both separately and together! With a large enough cup that fits the two spouts, you can get a double shot. If you want to extract two separate shots you can put a cup beneath each spout. And voila! You’ve got split shots.
However, with a single spouted portafilter, there aren’t many advantages. You can’t split it into two separate shots of espresso. This really takes away the single advantage of spouted (mainly double) portafilters over naked ones.
If you’re guessing a spoutless portafilter, you have guessed right! Also known as bottomless portafilters, they feature an exposed filter basket. You can actually see the droplets of espresso forming at the bottom of the filter basket and the espresso flows down to your cup directly from the basket.
Because of this exposed filter system, naked portafilters have a few advantages over spouted ones.
- You can easily notice any tamping error. If the droplets are forming on one particular side of the filter, you know you didn’t tamp well. Hence, you can easily correct it for the next batch.
- Being able to view your errors helps you correct them better. This will improve the consistency of your coffee and its flavors.
- Bottomless or naked portafilters have been seen to result in 50% more crema! In spouted portafilters, the trapped air particles are released as they slide through the spout. In Naked portafilters, they remain trapped for long. Creating more crema.
- Naked portafilters are exposed and hence, much easier to clean. Whereas coffee can be stuck in spouts and become harder to clean. This can result in grease or coffee build-up in spouts and add a bad flavor to the coffee.
One Spout VS Two Spout Espresso Machine
The only difference between one and two spout espresso machines is the number of spouts. The brewing and the extraction of espresso shots are exactly the same in both. However, people still gravitate more towards two-spout espresso machines.
The two-spout espresso machine is extra convenient. You can easily split two shots of espresso which saves ample time. With a larger mug size, you can get a double shot conveniently as well! Plus, a two-spout espresso machine has a larger portafilter too!
On the other hand, a single spout espresso machine doesn’t seem to have many benefits. Or any at all. You’ll probably need extra brewing for a double shot. You cannot split the extracted espresso. In fact, a naked portafilter will give you the exact functions of a single spout portafilter and will be much easier to clean too!
Do You Really Need Two Spouts in A Portafilter?
It is not much about the need as it is about the convenience. And who doesn’t want the added convenience? With two spouts, you get to save time, you get extra flexibility and more coffee with less effort. Why would anyone not want that?
Also, in a bustling cafe, a two-spout portafilter really becomes a necessity. When you have a large crowd to feed, a single spout portafilter will only slow you down. Whereas a two-spouts portafilter will speed you up!
How to Use a Two Spouts Espresso Machine?
If it confuses you how to operate an espresso machine with two spouts, don’t worry! It is actually pretty simple. All you have to do is keep your coffee proportions to extract two espresso shots. That is because with two spouts you are actually pulling two espresso shots.
On the drip tray beneath the spouts, place either two separate coffee cups if you want to split the shots. Or you can place one big mug if you want a double shot. When your coffee is brewed and ready, pull your shot! And that’s about it.
Hopefully, you are no longer wondering why do espresso machines have two spouts? Once you get to know its function, two spouts really become a desire since it gets you more coffee in less time.
So, whenever you’re exploring espresso machines to purchase, remember the convenience of the two spouts!
Tim is the author and webmaster of this blog. He is a coffee aficionado who has always strived to succeed by simplifying the many facets of the coffee business into engaging and informative writing. In addition to helping readers discover their next brew, he intends to educate them about espresso and coffee.