What Is A Group Head? (A Guide to Expert Coffee Brewing)


Espresso machines rely on a group head or a portafilter to produce espresso. Espresso is an Italian term for “pressed-out coffee,” It refers to coffee brewed by forcing water under pressure through finely ground beans. A group head is a part that connects the portafilter to the espresso machine boiler. But what is it, and exactly what does it do?

A group head is a component of the coffee machine that, when triggered by the barista, releases hot water through an espresso machine’s portafilter into a shot glass. A group head is also known as a brew head, a point of contact between the coffee and water. A typical group has one or more baskets into which ground coffee goes. Each basket typically holds 350 grams of ground coffee, making it possible to brew six cups of coffee without refilling the grinder. 

A group head is the part of an espresso machine where coffee grounds are placed. It can be either a single or double spout machine, and the water is pushed through the coffee using pressure to create what we know as espresso. Read on for more information on what a group head is and why you need one!

Why Do You Need a Group head?

As you can imagine, it is vital for making quality espresso because it allows for proper brewing and extraction of coffee beans.

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The group head separates water and coffee grounds and also regulates pressure and temperature. Group heads should be cleaned often as they can harbor bacteria contaminating your espresso drink.

What Is A Group head Used For?

The group head’s main purpose is to measure the amount of time needed to extract enough pressure within the portafilter so that the espresso shots will run freely.

It is a metal structure that resembles a pipe that attaches to the top of your espresso maker and provides an outlet for water or steam. The group head is connected to the boiler, and when turned on, vaporizes water to produce steam.

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The boiler then transfers this hot steam to the group head through small holes that allow water to drip through into the coffee grinds. This creates the first shot of espresso.

How Does a Group head Work?

The group head on a coffee machine is the component that boils the water and extracts the flavor from the grounds.

The group head does not directly contact the coffee but rather heats up and interacts with water that then runs through it and mixes with ground coffee.

The group head, and its matching shower screen, can be an important part of your coffee brewing process if you’ve got a high-quality grinder to accompany it.

The group head provides a tight seal between the hot water and the ground coffee beans to minimize the amount of air into the coffee during brewing.

This process ensures that the flavor and taste from the ground coffee beans is not lost. Therefore, when using a single cup or double espresso group head, the volume of brewed coffee will be smaller than when using a triple espresso group head.

How Many Espresso Group heads Do I Need?

When deciding the number of group heads needed in your restaurant, you must consider how often you expect customers to order coffee drinks.

The more that are ordered, the higher the number of group heads needed. Group heads come in 8-hole (single), 12-hole (double) and 20-hole (triple) configurations.

What Are The Advantage of an Espresso Group head?

The coffee drinker will enjoy a more flavorful, smoother tasting espresso with an espresso group head.

Group heads are an important part of the espresso process because they control temperature during extraction by providing consistent water pressure. For the most part, this will lead to a better-tasting shot of espresso in less time.

Here are a few advantages of a group head.

  1. You don’t need to monitor or adjust your brewing temperatures continually.
  2. It provides fast service for coffee drinkers.
  3. It provides quick clean-up for your barista’s hands.
  4. It allows cafe owners to prepare multiple beverages simultaneously without continuously refilling their steamers.
  5. Eliminates the risk of burns by using a coffee warmer under the spout.
  6. You can easily change from black to green coffee beans and vice versa.

What Are The Different Types of Group heads?

Group heads can be a single portafilter basket, a double basket, or a triple basket, depending on what type of coffee drinker you are.

If you want to use a single basket for filter coffee, there should be a notch at the base of the basket where it should fit onto your four-hole group head.

How Do I Clean My Group head?

If you want to keep both your group head and shower screen in good condition, make sure you thoroughly wash them after each use.

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Do not use any abrasive cleaners such as dish soap – they may damage your valve system. Instead, to remove stains, apply a little baking soda paste on the stain, let dry, then wipe away loosened powder with a cloth (or blotting paper). If

necessary, get professional help cleaning your group head and/or shower screen because improper cleaning could lead to serious health problems.

What is a Saturated Group head?

A saturated group head is a chamber where the air and water mix in an espresso machine. The purpose of this chamber is to make sure that all of the ground coffee is saturated evenly with water.

This allows for an even distribution of heat and pressure throughout the brewing process. Unlike an air pot, which many people resort to when they don’t have a saturated group head, the high-pressure steam in a saturated group head will extract more oils and flavors from the ground coffee than an air pot can provide.

What Are The Benefits of a Saturated Group head?

The benefits of a saturated group head are that it helps create more stable and consistent water pressure throughout the entire machine.

This, in turn, helps maintain your system’s durability and longevity. This is because, with an entirely saturated group head, there are no important parts to be worn down or damaged by high-volume use.

It also makes the extraction of flavor more precise and uniform.

What Should You Look For In A High-Quality Saturated Group Head?

You should look for a high-quality saturated group head that comes with a precision-engineered, stainless steel seal around its base.

In addition, it should feature a removable top cover so you can easily clean it out without opening up the entire unit every time. Also, if you’re going to purchase one, you’ll want to make sure a reputable company like Jura makes it.

What Is The Difference Between a Saturated Group head and a Group head?

The difference between a saturated Group head and a Group head is that they serve different purposes. Saturated Group heads are typically used to get the most flavor from your coffee.

Group heads are often used for espresso machines, but there are no rules for what coffee should use them with. However, they generally tend to produce more foam than a saturated group head.

Since espresso machines rely on steam pressure instead of water pressure, these are often used in conjunction with boiler-style group heads to ensure proper functionality.

Final Thoughts

The group head is an integral part of most coffee machines. This part of the machine is responsible for turning water into steam to heat the coffee and has features that help regulate portions of water into a standard size.

The group head is typically found at the very top of the machine and consists of a portafilter that holds a removable filter basket and a lever.

To use this single piece of equipment, all you have to do is place the portafilter over the glass cup and push it down on the lever.

By doing this, you will be able to pull hot water through from the kettle and into the bottom chamber of the group head.

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