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I own a DeLonghi Dedica coffee machine for a year now and recently invested in a good burr grinder (Sage Dose Control Pro). I like drinking long coffees with milk and I’m satisfied with the coffee the DeLonghi machine produces.

The machine comes with pressurized filter baskets, and after doing some research online I found that non pressurized filter baskets can actually produce even better espresso. So I decided to buy a naked portafilter with a non-pressurized filter basket on AliExpress.

However, I am still struggling to get something good out of the non-pressurized one. Often it is so strong and bitter that I can’t even finish it and I can’t wrap my head around why this is happening.

How is it possible, given the same dose of ground coffee and the same grind setting, that with a pressurized filter basket I can create a coffee that’s actually pretty nice, and it doesn’t even matter how much water runs through the coffee grounds, if my tamp was level, etc., but with the non pressurized basket I can’t get anything drinkable?

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  • In a pressurized basket the single or few holes in the bottom provide the pressure. In a regular basket, the coffee itself provides the resistance to create enough pressure. If the water runs through the coffee too fast, you need to grind finer (assuming your tamping is even and consistent). If you cannot grind finer, then your grinder is probably not suited for espresso. Also the holes in a cheap basket are probably not as evenly sized as the ones in a VST (high precision) basket. Sep 27 '20 at 16:03
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You will need to grind a lot finer with the non-pressurised baskets.

With a pressurised filter basket, the resistance is mostly produced by the one tiny hole in the filter basket. For non-pressurised ones, the coffee needs to provide the resistance.

If the grounds fail to provide enough resistance, the water will run through the coffee really fast, probably creating a bunch of channels which you can usually see as little holes in the coffee bed after the extraction. The problem with the channels is that most of the water goes through the channels (over extracting the coffee there) instead of evenly extracting all available grounds.

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