For many coffee lovers, a quick shot of espresso is the perfect way to start the day. But have you ever wondered why most espresso machines have two spouts? The answer has to do with the brewing process.

Espresso machines typically have two spouts to allow them to make two drinks at a time. This is especially helpful for busy coffee shops that need to quickly serve many customers.

If all of the coffee came out of a single spout, it would be very difficult to get an evenly distributed shot. By using two spouts, the espresso machine can evenly distribute the coffee as it comes out, ensuring that each shot is perfectly balanced.

Through this article, we’ll discover the reason behind the unique shape of espresso machine spouts and what mustaches have got to do with it.

Why Do Espresso Machines Have Two Spouts?

Here is how the entire system works.

Often known as ‘mustache’ spouts as it resembles the shape of a mustache, the spouts are attached at the bottom of the machine portafilter. Two spouts in a coffee machine allow the brewing of two cups of coffee simultaneously.

Almost all coffee espresso machines come with 2 filter baskets. One holds grounded coffee for an individual shot & the other holds coffee for 2 shots. The larger filter basket allows for brewing 2 shots at one go & the mustache spout perfectly dispenses the coffee into two separate cups at once.

Skip to the best part:

What is a Portafilter?

Pressurized basket Espresso portafilters:

These baskets are for beginner baristas and for grounding coarse coffee. This basket has 2 walls; the external wall only has a tiny hole, whereas the inner wall contains multiple holes. This helps in the continuous extraction by creating a constant pressure inside the basket. If there is any inconsistency, the pressure grig can compensate for that. Thus, these are considered the best with coarse coffee grounds. This is absolutely the best option for beginner baristas.

Non-Pressurized Portafilters:

These baskets will give you better flavor & can provide you with the best and most fine coffee grounds. The only setback is that you need expertise with this portafilter, and there will be a lengthy learning curve. A non-pressurized basket only has a single wall with many holes. Here the extraction is done with the help of the pressure created by the coffee puck. Thus, you need to prepare the puck well, and ultimately it delivers better control on the extraction. But the learning curve is relatively high, and you need to achieve expertise in handling this.

Bottomless Portafilters: 

These portafilters give information about your coffee brew. They make things easier for you if anything is wrong. There is no spout to obstruct your view. Therefore, you can clearly view your coffee getting passed through a puck. Suppose there is any abnormality or non-uniformity that can lead to uneven extraction. In that case, you could see it clearly and take the required measures.

Pod portafilter: These have an adjustable base and an integrated mesh filter. These are made to fit every size of a coffee pod. This portafilter works best with varied sizes of pre-portioned coffee pods that are packed.

What is a Double Basket Espresso?

A double basket espresso has a size to hold ground coffee of 16 to 18 grams. In the past, this size was used to grab ground coffee of seven grams. The terminology ‘double’ can no longer be assumed to apply to a double basket, as the ratios of the brew and sizes of the baskets have grown in diversity worldwide. Double Espresso will undoubtedly have different liquid volumes between various cafes.

So, in today’s time, what is meant by ‘double’? Actually, there isn’t any standard for this. Doubles can be anything that can be virtually pulled with triple or double baskets in a range of sizes from fourteen to one hundred and fifteen grams of espresso liquid.

What is a Portafilter
What is a Portafilter

What is a Double Spout Portafilter?

A spout is the most significant or notable feature of a portafilter. A spout is designed to regulate and direct the coffee flow into the container from which you want to have coffee.

Suppose you’re going to brew for one. In that case, you might use single-spout portafilters. Whereas, if you’re going to brew 2 glasses of coffee at once, you should opt for a double spout portafilter.

But, this is not everything a double-spout portafilter has to offer. With a double spout portafilter, you can ensure an even coffee extraction with the key to produce an even tamp. Keeping the ground level in the portafilter is essential because the water can easily flow through the puck. You can quickly identify the even tamp if your portafilter is double spouted. A double-spouted filter can brew into 2 shot glasses and contain equal amounts of espresso shots. Voila! Now you have the even tamp. If you wish to be more accurate, you can enter a bottomless filter.

You must have observed gorgeous espresso shots of the perfect color getting pulled directly from the screen of a portafilter. This thing is possible only if there is a bottomless portafilter. The filters of this kind ultimately come with removed spouts and a metal bottom. An excellent double spout portafilter should come with high durability to last for years. They usually are available in chrome-plated brass or stainless steel. Avoid the plastic-lined ones as they can wear and chip easily over time.

The build material can also impact the ergonomics of a double-spout portafilter. Heavy metal bodies might strain more if someone constantly or continuously operates the espresso machine. The heat conduction in a double spout portafilter is also crucial.

Suppose the filter’s bottom is comparatively less warm than its top. In that case, this will mean that the passing water might lose temperature. At the same time, it gets passed through the ground. In the case of stainless steel, the filter will remain hot for the entire time the machine is left on.

Keeping this in mind, the machines that generally depend on the flow of water for heating up a double spout portafilter, the brass with chrome plating material, can be a better conductor of heat.

What is a Single or Double Shot Espresso?

If you want to brew an espresso, the key is high pressure, giving you a small output known as a shot. Having said that, this is not supposed to be taken just as it is. Instead, it is poured into a cup and consumed like a regular cup of coffee.

These espresso shots generally are served as a double shot or single shot. These shots can also be consumed by combining with steaming milk to create flavored drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos. A single shot of Espresso contains 30 milliliters, while a double shot contains sixty milliliters. Thus, these are the key differences between a single and a double shot of Espresso.

There are three types of espresso shots, and several factors influence the Espresso’s style and quality. The first influencing factor is the size. If we go by sizes, you can achieve single, double, and triple for ground coffee; the sizes are seven, fourteen, and twenty-one grams, respectively. Another factor is the length.

This length can be short, regular, or long. This generally deals with the hot water ounces put into your drink. Further, if you wish to mix your drinks with different ingredients, create an entirely new drink like; cappuccino, Caffe Americano, caffe latte, or black coffee eye.

Do you need the spout in a Portafilter?

You usually do not actually require the spout in a portafilter. You can remove the spout from the portafilter so that it has a bare threaded tube in the middle. Even if you plan to attach a one-sided spout, it will work without a spout. There is no point in the spouts being angled at one side, as it seems even more logical if we think it to come just straight down.

Similarly, many use the bottomless portafilters to make the basket visible during the extraction. It still makes sense in the case of double-spout portafilters, as you will get two shots simultaneously with whatever basket is in use. But, in the case of single spouts, there is no such requirement.

There can be just one downside to removing the spout. The droplets of coffee will splash on your counter, making it an ultimate mess and a messy-looking espresso cup. If the spout is present, it will help minimize the mess and make cleaning post brewing easier and more organized.

Why Do Espresso Machines Have Two Spouts? Final thoughts

So, next time you find yourself at an espresso bar, wondering why the coffee gods have bestowed two spouts on each machine, know that it’s not just for show. It’s because they want to ensure your drink is perfect every time. And if it’s not perfect? Just blame the Barista.

If you’re in the market for an espresso machine, you may want to consider one with two spouts. Not only will it make your mornings a little more efficient, but you’ll also be able to entertain guests while you make their drinks. Plus, if you have a really big ego, you can brag about how your machine has twice as many spouts as everyone else’s.