I have a Saeco espresso machine. When I place the portafilter into the machine, it is very difficult to turn and lock. Do you have any suggestions?

  • 3
    One suggestion: come over to the Coffee SE sister site! :) By "turn", do you mean locking the portafilter into the machine before pulling the shot? Try without any grounds in the portafilter; is it still difficult to turn? How much grounds, how much tamping? Feel free to edit your question with this info, or delete this question then re-ask over at the specialty Coffee site!
    – hoc_age
    Nov 29, 2015 at 3:49

3 Answers 3


As your question is very open I will try to answer two common roots of your problem.

1) Too much coffee. Per cup of espresso it should be 7g of ground beans.

2) No "tamping". You probably did not compress the powder in the porta filter (called tamping). This is what it looks like:


So maybe you compressed it when you tried to place it in the machine.


In addition to Damian's answer (too much coffee or insufficient tamping), have a look at how the portafilter seals onto the group head. There should be two things you'll notice: a) a shower screen and b) threads that seal the portafilter onto a rubber washer. The following things might make the portafilter hard to turn

  • Shower screen is grimed up and has protruding caked coffee on it.
  • There are coffee grinds in the threads.
  • There are coffee grinds caked onto the rubber washer.
  • The rubber seal is crumbly and has cracked or expanded, protruding lower than it should (this is unusual)

I had this issue. When I lifted the portafilter higher into the group head it was easier to turn and lock it.

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