A long shot for a long shot?
December 25, 2012 11:26 AM   Subscribe

Can I use my espresso maker without a metal filter?

I have one of those old-school DiLonghi Caffe Trieste coffee/espresso makers (actually my landlord's), and I wanted to make some espresso this morning. I've searched everywhere for the filter, but I guess the previous tenant lost or broke it. But I really, really want some espresso!

I have all the other parts, just not the little metal filter with holes. Is there any other substitute I can use? Tin foil with holes? a paper filter cut to size?

I realize this is a long shot (...hah), and I can't believe I'm wasting a question on it, but oh well. Is there a solution?
posted by hasna to Food & Drink (5 answers total)
I have no idea, but I would expect that the hot water is pushed through the coffee with high pressure. So I doubt any makeshift construction will withstand this.
posted by nostrada at 12:07 PM on December 25, 2012

It's called a portafilter basket, and unfortunately, no, there is no good substitute you can use.
posted by wongcorgi at 12:16 PM on December 25, 2012

hmph. :( ok, thanks!!
posted by hasna at 12:58 PM on December 25, 2012

If the rest of the machine is in good working order, a generic replacement portafilter will not be that expensive. However, you will need to look up your model and determine which size your portafilter is; even a millimeter off will not work and they come in all different sizes.

Given the age of that thing, I am skeptical that the pump and tubing is any good, though. Try running a shot of blank water through to make sure it sorta works before you waste money on a replacement portafilter.
posted by slow graffiti at 1:46 PM on December 25, 2012

Contact the manufacturer! They might be able to hook you up with parts. Worked for my little Bodum that had a design flaw where a plastic part was used instead of a metal part. They sent me the metal part free of charge. You probably won’t get anything for free, but they might be able to send you just that one part based off of that one experience. Get the model number first, and even firster, try the blank water thing that slow graffiti suggested.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:32 PM on December 25, 2012

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