How to Measure Portafilter Size? With Chart Guide

While brewing a coffee, every single detail matters. Even a single mistake can ruin the whole taste of coffee. One of those details is the portafilter size, which determines the amount of coffee grounds to be used in brewing that greatly impacts the final taste of the coffee. Here is a quick guide on how to measure portafilter size.

The best way to measure portafilter size would be to use a vernier caliper to measure its diameter. But, if you cannot access this tool, you can measure the portafilter size using measuring tape to see the diameter, convert the measurement to millimeters, and take a tamper 0.75mm smaller. Finally, round off to the nearest whole number.

Whether you become a seasoned barista or just want to be a home coffee enthusiast, accurately determining the portafilter size will always be paramount. Further ahead, you will learn much more about the portafilter size. So, stay tuned till the end and take it all away.

Here is a Quick Guide on How to Measure Portafilter Basket Size

1Use a Vernier Caliper– Measure width of portafilter basket in millimeters
2Check Inner Diameter– Focus on inner diameter for optimal attachments
3Refer to User Manual– Consult machine manual for manufacturer’s info
4Check Online Resources (if needed)– As a last resort, verify portafilter size online
Alternate Method
1Measure Portafilter Diameter– Use measuring tape across centerline
2Convert Inches to Millimeters– Multiply decimal measurement by 25.4
3Select 0.75mm Smaller Tamper– Subtract 0.75mm for accurate tamper size
4Round Up to Nearest Whole Number– Express tamper size as a whole number

What are Common Portafilter Sizes?

We must understand the common sizes found in the market before going into the complexities of determining portafilter size. Many sizes are available for portafilters, but the most common are 58mm, 54mm, and 53mm. The diameter of the portafilter basket, which holds the coffee grounds, is what these measurements refer to.

The industry standard portafilter size for commercial espresso machines, often found in cafes and professional settings, is 58mm. It is perfect for making double espresso shots because it can hold more coffee grinds.

A common feature of mid-range, home-use espresso machines is the 54mm portafilter. It is a little smaller than the industry one, but it is still sized for a single or double shot of espresso.

Although less frequent, some small or budget-friendly espresso machines have a 53mm portafilter. Understanding the exact size of your portafilter is important because using the incorrect size could result in inconsistent extraction and affect the espresso’s flavor.

Why is it Important to Measure Portafilter Size?

How to Measure Portafilter Size

Although measuring the size of your portafilter may seem small, it has a big effect on the consistency and quality of your espresso. The following are some factors that state why measuring portafilter size is important:

1. Extraction Consistency

Coffee grinds can be held in different amounts by different portafilter sizes. The water flows through the grinds in a way that extracts flavors and aromas when the right size is used, ensuring a consistent extraction.

2. Brewing Ratios

The coffee-to-water ratio is majorly impacted by portafilter size. Due to improper measurement, espresso that is either over-extracted or under-extracted could taste weak or too strong. You can keep the balance by measuring the portafilter size.

3. Equipment Compatibility

It is important to know the size of your portafilter when buying tampers or other coffee supplies. To guarantee equal extraction and best tamping, tamper sizes must be according to the portafilter sizes.

4. Consistent Tamping

A significant stage in the production of espresso is tamping. Even water distribution through the coffee grounds is promoted by consistent tamping, which is ensured when the right tamper size is used for your portafilter.

How to Measure Portafilter Size? Step-by-Step Guide

How to Measure Portafilter Size

Now that we’ve understood the importance of measuring portafilter dimensions let’s look at the process for measuring the size of your portafilter:

1. Use a Vernier Caliper

Using a vernier caliper is one of the best ways to measure the size of your portafilter. Measure the width of the portafilter basket in millimeters by placing the caliper across its widest point or centreline.

2. Check Inner Diameter

Give close attention to the portafilter basket’s inner diameter measurement, which is significant for choosing the optimal attachments. The outer diameter measurement could result in errors impacting the equipment’s compatibility with tampers and other tools.

3. Refer to the User Manual

If your espresso machine has a user manual, go through it for detailed instructions on portafilter size. The dimensions of the portafilter basket are one of the many characteristics manufacturers frequently offer. This can be an efficient and trustworthy method of checking your measurements.

4. Check Online Resources as Last Resort

Use online resources as a last resort, although direct measurements or manufacturer information are best. Look up the model of your espresso machine on the internet. Additionally, you can search community conversations or coffee forums for information about portafilter sizes. However, prioritize direct measurements.

Alternate Method to Measure the Portafilter Basket Size

How to Measure Portafilter Size - Best method

Although the simplest method for determining your portafilter size is vernier calipers, not everyone can access this instrument. Here’s a simple and alternate way to measure the size of your portafilter and select the best tamper; if you don’t have vernier calipers, just use a measuring tape and your smartphone.

1. Measure Portafilter Diameter

Measure the portafilter’s diameter across its centreline with a measuring tape. Make sure the measurement is as precise as it can be.

2. Convert Inches to Millimeters

To convert a decimal measurement from inches to millimeters, multiply it by 25.4. If the measurement in decimal is 2.33, for example, the conversion would be 2.33 x 25.4 = 59.18 mm.

3. Select a 0.75mm Smaller Tamper

Subtract 0.75 mm from the translated value (e.g., 59.18 – 0.75 = 58.43 mm) for the accurate tamper size.

4. Round Up to the Nearest Whole Number

Usually, tamper sizes are expressed as whole numbers. The estimated measurement should be rounded to the lower whole number. The rounded measurement in the ongoing example is 58 mm.


Every detail counts in the world of coffee brewing, and knowing the size of your portafilter is no different. The size of your portafilter is an important factor in deciding the flavor and quality of your coffee, whether brewing shots in a professional setting or making your at-home espresso practice better.

You will improve your espresso experience by being familiar with standard portafilter sizes, realizing the value of best measures, and following this step-by-step guide on measuring portafilter size. Consistency in brewing ratios, tamping, equipment compatibility, and extraction are all important to get that perfect cup of coffee.

Remember that accuracy and focus are significant during your coffee adventure. Enjoy regularly making excellent espresso at home or behind the counter of your coffee business by measuring your portafilter and selecting the best tamper size easily using this guide.

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