Just bought this to replace the original on my 5 year old Clasic; the handle on the original cracked. The new...
Just bought this to replace the original on my 5 year old Classic; the handle on the original cracked. The new portafilter is a bit different: the basket only has holes in the central area and has a small plastic insert under it that fits in the spout. The original had holes across the entire surface of the basket and no plastic insert. My question is about the plastic insert: can I use the standard powdered cleaners you sell when cleaning this? Does it require frequent or special cleaning? And for the basket: because it has fewer holes, should I also clean it more often?
After trying a couple of cups, it seems to increase the foaminess of the crema. Is that the intended effect?
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What you have now is a pressure filter basket. The plastic diffuser insert should be used at all times with pressure filters. If you fail to use the diffuser, the hot coffee or cleaning liquid will shoot straight out the sides of the double down spout making a mess on any nearby objects or walls. The pressure filter does increase the crema. You can order separate open filter baskets as desired.
Sorry MArk, I just remembered to add that you can order a replacement handle for your old portafilter from Whole Latte Love. If they don't have it for you, they can send you in the right direction, but I believe this is the one you are looking for; http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia/gaggia-4332037000.cfm