16 Espresso Machine Accessories & Barista Tools: The Ultimate Guide

Updated Apr 05, 2024 • Amélie Bigras

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For many coffee lovers, the perfect espresso is the ultimate indulgence. However, achieving that ideal shot requires more than a great espresso machine. You need the right accessories and tools to get the most out of your espresso maker. This blog post will explore the world of espresso machine accessories and barista tools and why they are essential for making great espresso.

In this post, we will cover crucial accessories for espresso machines, such as:portafilters tamper scale milk pitchers levelers blind shaker/dosing cups precision baskets naked portafilters WDT tools puck screens funnels Cafiza blind filters brushes bar mats. Whether you are a professional barista or a home enthusiast, having the right tools and accessories can make all the difference in your espresso-making experience.

What Are The Tools Of A Barista?

In this article, we will go over 15 espresso machine accessories if you want to specializes in the art of brewing and preparing high-quality espresso-based drinks. The tools of a barista vary depending on the specific tasks they are performing, but some common tools used by most baristas include:

  • Espresso Machine: This is the most important tool for a barista as it is used to make espresso-based drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and americanos. If you need a espresso machine guide, read Best Espresso Machine Under $500 For Your Kitchen and Best Espresso Machines Available For Under $200.
  • Coffee Grinder: The grinder is used to grind coffee beans to the appropriate consistency for the type of coffee being made.
  • Milk Frother: Used to create frothed milk for drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes.
  • Tamper: Used to press the coffee grounds into the portafilter before brewing.
  • Portafilter: The part of the espresso machine that holds the coffee grounds.
  • Shot glasses: Used to measure the amount of espresso being pulled.
  • Milk Pitcher: Used to steam and froth milk.
  • Thermometer: Used to ensure the milk is heated to the correct temperature.
  • Coffee Scale: Used to weigh coffee beans and ensure consistency in the amount of coffee being used.
  • Knock Box: Used to dispose of used coffee grounds.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Baristas must keep their work area clean, so they will need cleaning supplies such as towels, brushes, and cleaning solution.

What Tools Are Needed For An Espresso Machine?

To operate an espresso machine, you will need a few essential tools, including:

Espresso accessories

Best Barista Tools and Espresso Machine Accessories

Portafilter: CAPFEI

A portafilter is a handle with a small filter basket at the end that holds the ground coffee. It attaches to an espresso machine's brew head and is essential for making espresso. There are several types of portafilters available, including pressurized and non-pressurized. 

Portafilter 
CAPFEI Portafilter

CAPFEI Portafilter is made of food-grade Stainless Steel, eco-friendly and non-toxic, more sanitary and safer, has the characteristics of oxidation resistance, corrosion resistance, rust resistance and durability

Pros

  • Durable stainless steel construction Compatible with most espresso machines Allows for precise control over the brewing process 

Cons

  • Can be difficult to master for beginners Requires a separate tamper 

Tamper : Normcore

A tamper presses the coffee grounds into the portafilter to ensure an even extraction. It comes in different sizes to fit different portafilter baskets. 

 Espro Calibrated Tamper 
Normcore Calibrated Tamper 

Normcore has created a Spring-loaded Tamper that can help novice and experienced baristas with coffee tamping. Traditional coffee tampers can cause problems like skewing or oversampling, which can ruin a perfect shot and lead to strain injuries over time. The Spring-loaded Tamper has an innovative leveling guide that can solve these problems.

Pros:

  • Consistent tamping pressure Precision calibrated to ensure the correct amount of pressure is applied.
  • Comfortable ergonomic design

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other tampers Only available in a limited range of sizes

Scale : Hario

A scale is essential for measuring the coffee and water used in brewing. A precise scale ensures consistency and accuracy. 

Hario VSTM-2000HSV V60 Stainless Steel Drip Scale
Hario V60 Stainless Steel Drip Scale

The Hario V60 Stainless Steel Drip Scale is a coffee scale designed for precision brewing. It features a stainless steel weighing platform with a built-in timer and an easy-to-read digital display. The scale can measure up to 2,000 grams with a precision of 0.1 grams, making it ideal for measuring coffee and water accurately for pour-over brewing methods like the Hario V60. The scale is compact, durable, and easy to use, making it a great addition to any coffee lover's brewing setup.

Pros

  • Large, easy-to-read display
  • Built-in timer for measuring brew time
  • Accurate to 0.1g

Cons

  • Not suitable for weighing more oversized items
  • It may not be as durable as other scales 

Milk Pitcher : Walfos

A milk pitcher is used to froth and steam milk for drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. They come in different sizes and shapes to suit different needs. 

Walfos Premium Frothing Pitcher
Walfos Premium Frothing Pitcher

The Walfos Premium Frothing Pitcher is a stainless steel milk frothing jug designed for making professional-quality frothed milk for cappuccinos, lattes, and other specialty coffee drinks. It has a capacity of 20 ounces (600 milliliters) and features a dripless spout for easy pouring and latte art creation. The pitcher has a sturdy handle and is made of high-quality stainless steel that is resistant to rust and corrosion. It is also dishwasher safe and easy to clean. Whether you're a professional barista or a coffee enthusiast, the Walfos Premium Frothing Pitcher is a great tool to help you achieve perfect frothed milk for your coffee creations.

Pros

  • Large capacity for frothing milk
  • Tapered spout for precise pouring
  • Durable stainless steel construction

Cons

  • Can be too large for some home espresso setups
  • More expensive than some other milk pitchers 

Leveler : XUNADA

A leveler is a tool to distribute the coffee grounds in the portafilter basket evenly. It helps to ensure an even extraction and can improve the quality of the espresso shot.  

Xunana leveler for espresso
X XUNADA

X XUNADA 53.3mm is designed to help achieve consistent distribution and tamping for espresso machines. It has a dual-head design that can adjust to different portafilter depths, ensuring consistent tamping pressure. It is compatible with various 54mm portafilters, including those from Sage/Breville's espresso machine models. The tamper sits on the rim of the basket, making it easier to ensure a level tamp. The product also includes a silicone tamp mat/stand and comes in a luxury gift box.

Pros

  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for a wide range of portafilter sizes

Cons

  • More expensive than some other levelers
  • May require some practice to use effectively 

Blind Shaker/Dosing Cup

Stainless steel dosing rings are a tool used in coffee preparation to ensure that the correct amount of coffee is used in each espresso shot. They are small, circular rings that fit over the top of the portafilter basket and create a consistent dose of coffee grounds.

To use a dosing ring, the barista places it over the basket of the portafilter and fills it with coffee grounds. Once the desired amount of coffee has been added, the excess coffee is scraped off the top of the ring with a flat tool, such as a dosing funnel or scraper, creating a level and consistent coffee bed.

The dosing ring helps to prevent over or under-dosing of coffee, which can result in an inconsistent or unbalanced espresso shot. Stainless steel dosing rings are durable, easy to clean, and can be used with various portafilter sizes.

Stainless Steel Dosing Rings Press
Stainless Steel Dosing Rings Press

The dosing ring helps to prevent over or under-dosing of coffee, which can result in an inconsistent or unbalanced espresso shot. Stainless steel dosing rings are durable, easy to clean, and can be used with various portafilter sizes.

Pros

  • Consistent dosing: Dosing rings ensure that the same amount of coffee is used for each espresso shot, resulting in more consistent and balanced coffee flavors.
  • Reduced mess: The ring helps to keep coffee grounds contained and reduces the mess that can occur when grinding coffee directly into the portafilter.
  • Easy to use: Once the dosing ring is set up, it is a quick and easy way to dose coffee, and it can save time during a busy coffee service.
  • Durable: Stainless steel dosing rings are long-lasting and can withstand repeated use and cleaning.

Cons

  • Size limitations: The dosing ring may only be compatible with certain portafilter sizes, so it may not work for all espresso machines.

Knock Box

A knock box is a tool used in coffee preparation to dispose of used coffee grounds. It is a small container that is typically made of stainless steel or plastic and has a bar across the top that is used to knock the used coffee grounds out of the portafilter. Learn more in our article What Is A Knock Box.

Dreamfarm Grindenstein Knock Box 
Dreamfarm Grindenstein Knock Box 

The Dreamfarm Grindenstein Knock Box is a compact and durable espresso waste bin designed to make it easy to dispose of used coffee grounds from your espresso machine. It features a thick and sturdy rubber sleeve that can absorb the impact of knocking out the used grounds, preventing noise and minimizing mess. The knock box can hold up to 6.5 ounces (190 milliliters) of used coffee grounds and has a non-slip base to keep it steady on your countertop. It is easy to clean and dishwasher safe, making it a convenient and practical addition to any home barista's coffee setup.

Pros

  • Compact and easy to store
  • Durable construction
  • Rubber base to prevent slipping

Cons

  • Only suitable for single or double shots
  • May be too small for some users 

Precision Basket: IMS Competition

A precision basket is a specially designed portafilter basket designed to improve the consistency of espresso shots. It has more perforations than a standard basket, which allows for more even extraction. 

 IMS Competition Precision Basket 
IMS Competition Precision Basket 

The IMS Competition Filter Basket is designed for use with La Pavoni Lever post-millennium double espresso machines, including the Picopresso model. It is a high-quality filter basket made of stainless steel, with a precision cut design that ensures uniform extraction and optimal coffee flavor. The basket has a 14-gram capacity and features a unique design that allows for greater surface area and even water distribution, resulting in a more consistent and balanced espresso shot. The IMS Competition Filter Basket is a great upgrade for any coffee enthusiast looking to improve their espresso brewing and achieve a more professional and flavorful result.

Pros

  • Made from high-quality stainless steel
  • Improves espresso shot consistency
  • Compatible with most espresso machines

Cons

  • More expensive than standard baskets
  • May require some practice to use effectively 

Naked Portafilter: MATOW

A portafilter without a spout, allowing for a better view of espresso extraction.

MATOW 54mm Bottomless Naked Portafilter 
MATOW 54mm Bottomless Naked Portafilter 

The MATOW 54mm Bottomless Naked Portafilter is a specialized espresso portafilter designed for use with compatible espresso machines. It features a unique bottomless design that allows for a clear view of the espresso extraction process and helps baristas identify any issues with the tamping or distribution of coffee grounds. The portafilter is made of high-quality stainless steel and has a 54mm diameter, making it compatible with various espresso machine models. The handle is ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip, and the portafilter is easy to disassemble and clean. The MATOW 54mm Bottomless Naked Portafilter is a great tool for espresso enthusiasts and baristas who want to improve their espresso brewing skills and achieve a more consistent and flavorful result.

Pros

  • Allows you to see the espresso extraction process
  • Helps with diagnosing extraction problems and improving technique

Cons

  • Can be messy and requires careful cleaning

WDT tool

WDT tool is used to distribute coffee evenly in the portafilter basket, preventing clumping and ensuring consistent extraction. 

WDT Tool Espresso Coffee Stirrer
WDT Tool Espresso Coffee Stirrer

The WDT Tool Espresso Coffee Stirrer is a specialized tool designed to improve the consistency and quality of espresso shots. It features seven thin needles that can be used to stir and distribute coffee grounds evenly in the portafilter basket before tamping, preventing clumping and ensuring a more consistent extraction. The needles are made of high-quality stainless steel and are attached to a comfortable and ergonomic handle for easy use. The WDT Tool Espresso Coffee Stirrer is a great addition to any coffee enthusiast or barista's toolkit, helping to achieve a more consistent and flavorful espresso shot.

Pros

  • Improves consistency and quality of espresso shots.

Cons

  • Additional step in the preparation process. 

Puck screen: Normcore

A fine-mesh screen that sits at the bottom of the portafilter basket, helping to prevent coffee grounds from entering the espresso machine. 

Normcore 58.5mm Puck Screen
Normcore 58.5mm Puck Screen

The Normcore 58.5mm Puck Screen is a specialized accessory designed for espresso machines that use 58.5mm portafilters. It is a precision-cut screen made of high-quality stainless steel, designed to sit on top of the espresso puck to ensure an even distribution of water and optimal extraction. The puck screen helps prevent channeling and uneven extraction, resulting in a more consistent and flavorful espresso shot. The Normcore 58.5mm Puck Screen is a great addition to any coffee enthusiast or barista's espresso setup, helping to improve the quality and consistency of espresso shots.

Pros

  • Prevents clogging and damage to the machine.
  • Protects the espresso machine from clogs and damage.

Cons

  • Additional cost and maintenance. 
  • Can be difficult to clean

Funnel: Walfos

A funnel that fits over the portafilter, allowing for easier and more precise dosing of coffee into the basket.

Walfos Stainless Steel Funnel Kitchen
Walfos Stainless Steel Funnel Kitchen

The Walfos Stainless Steel Funnel Kitchen is a set of three funnels of different sizes, designed to make pouring liquids and dry ingredients into containers easier and mess-free. The funnels are made of high-quality stainless steel, making them durable, rust-proof, and easy to clean. The funnels come with a detachable strainer to filter out solids, making them suitable for use in a wide range of kitchen tasks, including pouring oils, vinegar, spices, and dry goods like flour and sugar. The Walfos Stainless Steel Funnel Kitchen is a versatile and practical addition to any home kitchen, making cooking and baking tasks more efficient and less messy.

Pros

  • Reduces mess and improves dosing accuracy.
  • Helps with precise dosing of coffee grounds.

Cafiza

A cleaning powder specifically designed for espresso machines, used to clean group heads, portafilters, and other parts of the machine.

Urnex Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets
Urnex Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets

The Urnex Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets is a pack of 100 specialized tablets designed to clean and maintain espresso machines. The tablets are formulated with a powerful cleaning agent that removes coffee oils, residue, and stains from the brewing group, portafilters, and other machine parts. They are safe for use on metal and plastic surfaces and dissolve quickly, making them easy to use. Regular use of Urnex Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets helps to prolong the lifespan of the machine, prevent clogging and blockages, and ensure a consistent and high-quality espresso shot. The tablets are suitable for use with various types of espresso machines, including semi-automatic, automatic, and super-automatic models.

Pros

  • Effective cleaning agent for espresso machine parts
  • Improves machine lifespan.

Cons

  • Can be harmful if not used correctly
  • Require some training to use properly. 

Blind Filter

A filter used with a portafilter to clean the group head of an espresso machine. Blind filters are typically included with espresso machines, but if you need to purchase additional ones, you can find them online or at specialty coffee shops. 

Blind Filter
Disc Blind Insert Coffee Machine Cleaning Tool

The Disc Blind Insert Coffee Machine Cleaning Tool is a specialized accessory designed for cleaning and maintaining espresso machines. It is a circular disc-shaped insert made of high-quality materials, designed to fit into the portafilter of the machine. The insert is used in conjunction with a cleaning solution to remove coffee oils, residue, and stains from the brewing group and other machine parts. The Disc Blind Insert Coffee Machine Cleaning Tool is an effective and easy-to-use solution for maintaining the cleanliness and performance of the machine. It is suitable for use with various types of espresso machines, including semi-automatic, automatic, and super-automatic models.

Pros

  • Helps maintain machine cleanliness and prevents clogging.
  • Helps with backflushing and cleaning the machine

Cons

  • Additional cost and may require some training to use properly. 
  • Additional accessory to clean and store) 

Brush: Soulhand

A small brush used to clean espresso machine parts, such as group heads and portafilters.

https://amzn.to/427KllC
Soulhand Professional Coffee Grinder Brush

The Soulhand Professional Coffee Grinder Brush is a specialized cleaning brush designed for coffee grinders and espresso machines. The brush features natural boar bristles that are gentle on delicate machine parts and effectively remove coffee grounds, oils, and residue from hard-to-reach areas. The brush has a beautiful walnut wood handle with a lanyard that provides a comfortable grip and convenient storage option. The Soulhand Professional Coffee Grinder Brush is a versatile and practical tool for baristas and home coffee enthusiasts to maintain the cleanliness and performance of their equipment. It is suitable for use with various types of coffee grinders and espresso machines, including manual, electric, and commercial models.

Pros

  • Helps with cleaning hard-to-reach areas of the machine
  • Easy to use and effective at removing debris

Cons

  • Can shed bristles if not made well.
  • May require frequent replacement. 

Bar mat: PoYang

A rubber mat placed on the counter under the espresso machine to catch spills and prevent damage to the countertop.

PoYang Coffee Maker Mat
PoYang Coffee Maker Mat

The PoYang Coffee Maker Mat is a specialized mat designed to protect countertops and other surfaces from stains caused by coffee spills and splatters. The mat is made of high-quality silicone material that is durable, heat-resistant, and easy to clean. Its non-slip texture ensures that the coffee maker stays in place while brewing, preventing accidental spills. The PoYang Coffee Maker Mat is also designed to hide stains, so even if spills occur, they won't leave a visible mark on the mat. The mat is suitable for use with various types of coffee makers, including drip, pour-over, and espresso machines, and it is available in various sizes to fit different countertop spaces. The PoYang Coffee Maker Mat is a practical and convenient solution for keeping countertops clean and free of coffee stains.

Pros

  • Protects countertops and absorbs spills
  • Helps keep the workspace clean and prevents damage.

Cons

  • Can accumulate dirt and grime if not cleaned regularly
  • Additional cost and may only fit some countertops. 

Our Picks In Detail

FLATE Barista Rack for coffee accessories

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4.3 out of 5 • Buy it for $132 at Etsy • Price last checked May 02, 2024

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4.3 out of 5 • No price available, check stock on Etsy • Price last checked May 02, 2024

FLATE Barista Rack for coffee accessoriesFLATE Barista Rack for coffee accessories

Features

  • Height: 53 cm
  • Width: 30 cm
  • Depth: 12 cm
  • Materials: Powder-coated steel
  • Mounting kit included
The FLATE® Barista Rack is the ultimate companion for all espresso lovers and brings order to your coffee bar! It is made of powder-coated thick steel and gets mounted on the wall. With three holders for portafilter and tamper, a hanger for barista towels and two shelves for additional accessories, you have everything you need to tidy up your coffee bar.

Pros

  • High quality and durable
  • Powder-coated steel
  • Holder for portafilters and tampers
  • 2 shelves for accessories
  • Hanger for towels and jugs
  • Magnetic wooden strip made of oiled oak
  • Mounting kit included
  • Fairly produced in Europe
  • Worldwide shipping

Cons

  • Not suitable for all portafilter models

Tips and Techniques for Using Barista Tools

Using the right espresso accessories is essential, but using them properly is crucial for achieving great results. Here are some tips and techniques for using your espresso accessories effectively: 

How to use a tamper properly

A good tamper ensures that the coffee is packed tightly and evenly in the portafilter. To use it properly, place it on top of the coffee grounds and press down firmly and evenly, twisting it slightly at the end to polish the surface. 

Importance of a precise scale 

A precise scale is essential for measuring the right amount of coffee grounds and water. This ensures consistency and accuracy in every shot. Always weigh your coffee and water to get the perfect ratio. 

How to use a milk pitcher for latte art 

A milk pitcher steers and froth milk for lattes and cappuccinos. For latte art, pour the milk slowly and steadily into the espresso, and use a spoon or a toothpick to create your desired design. 

How to use a leveler for even distribution of coffee 

A leveler helps to distribute the coffee grounds in the portafilter evenly. Place the leveler on top of the coffee and twist it to spread it evenly, then use a tamper to pack it down. 

How to use a WDT tool to prevent clumps 

A WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique) tool helps to break up clumps in the coffee grounds, ensuring even extraction. Use it to stir the coffee before tamping to prevent uneven extraction.

Best practices for using other accessories

Always clean and maintain your accessories regularly to ensure their longevity and optimal performance. Use Cafiza to clean your espresso machine and accessories regularly.

Conclusion

Having the right espresso machine accessories and barista tools can significantly enhance the coffee-making experience, whether you are a professional barista or a home coffee enthusiast. From tampers and frothing pitchers to cleaning tablets and filters, there is a wide range of tools and accessories available to help you achieve consistent and delicious results. By investing in high-quality tools and accessories, you can not only make great coffee but also prolong the lifespan of your espresso machine and keep it running smoothly for years to come. We hope this ultimate guide has provided valuable insights and recommendations to help you choose the right accessories and tools for your coffee-making needs. Happy brewing!

Meet the expert

Amélie has a dual Bachelor of Biological Sciences and Literature. She wrote a Master's Thesis on the importance of blending scientific knowledge with the arts to create a healthier culture. She also has a Bachelor of Education and has been teaching Biology and Language Arts since 2016. She is happily addicted to coffee and constantly learning.

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