Espresso Accessories for Professional Home Brewers

by Ben Coleman Updated: March 26, 2024 5 min read
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As a coffee enthusiast, you understand that the road to brewing professional-barista-quality coffee at home doesn’t end with upgrading to a home espresso machine. 

In fact, the espresso machine is just the beginning. 

Home baristas who have chosen to embark on the quest for the perfect espresso extraction will need the support of pro brewing equipment if they hope to approach their goal with consistent results. 

To help you in the pursuit of espresso excellence, we’ve put together a guide to all the pro brewing upgrades you’ll want to consider if you truly want to become a master of the craft. 

Upgrade Your Grinder’s Burrs

Preparing coffee grounds to become quality espresso is about more than just how finely they’re ground. Of course, being able to dial-in precisely at espresso grind sizes is of the utmost importance, but there are other factors to consider if you truly want to maximize your espresso extractions. 

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Zero Retention

When you put 18 grams of specialty coffee into your grinder, you want to get as close to 18 grams of coffee grinds out as possible. The amount of grounds that get stuck inside the grind chamber and on the burrs is referred to as “retention,” and high-quality espresso grinders strive to get as close to zero retention as possible. This not only means home baristas waste less coffee, but that their measurements are more accurate as well.


When you grind coffee, the burrs inside your grinder invariably heat up. If they get too hot, however, they can actually further roast the beans they’re grinding. This is known as “scorching,” and it will absolutely affect the taste of your shots. 

Production of Fines

Regardless of how precisely you’ve dialed in your grinder, some of what comes out of the chute are going to be coffee particles that are actually smaller than the grind size you’ve set. These particles are called “fines.” The amount of fines produced when grinding is an important factor in how your coffee actually tastes. The more fines, the more “body” your shot will have; fewer fines results in a “cleaner” shot. 

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Replacing the stock burrs on your grinder can help improve outcomes across all of these areas. Some replacement burrs have special coatings to prevent them from heating up; others have pre-crushing teeth that make them grind more quickly and consistently, or have been designed with a special geometry that helps to reduce retention.

Many high-quality grinders have upgradable burrs, and offer several options depending on the particular outcome you’re hoping to achieve. 

Upgrades for Espresso Machine Accessories

Espresso machines have a lot of parts. Many of them—especially those directly involved with the actual brewing process—can be removed and upgraded in order to produce coffee-shop-quality espresso more consistently. 

Bottomless Portafilters

A bottomless portafilter doesn’t directly impact the quality of your espresso extractions. However, it does allow you to clearly see the way your shot is pouring, which is helpful in diagnosing where your puck prep might be going wrong. 

Portafilter Baskets

Your espresso machine probably came with a single- and double-shot filter basket. This, however, is a mere scratch on the surface of what the wonderful world of filter baskets has to offer. From larger-dose baskets like IMS’s Big Bang to nanotech precision baskets from Baristapro, there are all sorts of filter basket upgrades available to help improve your extractions and reduce channeling. 

Puck Screens

To further ensure balance when extracting espresso, puck screens are a great option to add to your brewing routine. They soften the delivery of water to your puck, ensuring a more thorough soaking, which improves flavors and helps to reduce channeling. 

Shower Screens

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Precision shower screens redistribute the water flow from your group head to ensure more thorough distribution in your espresso puck. LIke upgraded filter baskets and puck screens, they help reduce channeling and improve the overall extraction. 

Professional Espresso Puck Preparation 

Even the best espresso machines and grinders perform better when you prep your pucks properly. So, if you’re on the quest for the perfect extraction, you’ll want to take a look at these tools: they’re designed to help you produce consistently level, evenly tamped pucks every time.

Espresso Tampers

Your espresso machine almost certainly came with an espresso tamper. The question, however, is if it came with a quality tamper, one that will allow you to get a consistent tamp on each puck you prepare. You’ll want a tamper that fits right in your filter basket and has a good heft to it as well. 

Espresso Levelers

Before tamping, you want to ensure that the espresso in your filter basket is perfectly level. The best way to do this is to use a leveling tool. They fit perfectly atop your filter basket and ensure the grounds are flat and even before you tamp. 

You can see our full collection of espresso tampers and levelers here

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WDT Tools

WDT stands for the Weiss Distribution Technique. Essentially, this involves using a fine needle to break up clumps in ground espresso, which helps to reduce channeling. A WDT tool is the perfect…well, tool for this task. It has several thin wires that, when used to stir grounds, leave no espresso clump intact.

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Dosing Funnels

Perhaps the one problem with using a WDT tool is that it can be hard to keep all the grounds in your filter basket while doing it. A dosing funnel or collar solves this problem. It attaches (sometimes magnetically) to the top of your portafilter to help with WDT use or transferring grounds from a dosing cup with no mess.

Espresso Scales

Brewing excellent espresso with any sort of consistency requires precision, and precision requires an espresso scale. Espresso-focused scales don’t just help you weigh grounds and time shots—they come with a whole slew of features designed to streamline the extraction process. Plus they’re heat and water resistant, so you can spill brew water all over them without having to worry about needing a replacement. 

The Best Espresso Scales

Wood Accessory Upgrades

When brewing espresso, taste is, of course, paramount. 

wood accessories

But there’s more to it than that—there’s a feeling cultivated by the brewing process that is marred or elevated by the quality of the equipment you use. 

That’s where wood components come in. 

Replacing a plastic portafilter handle with one lovingly crafted of, say,  polished oak does more than make your coffee corner look better—it changes the experience of brewing for the better. 

If you feel like your morning routine could use a visual and tactile lift, take a look at our extensive catalog of wooden accessory upgrades. Handcrafted by artisans from around the globe, these are true works of art that you’ll be able to appreciate for years to come. 

Espresso Accessories YOU Need

If you’ve still got questions about which accessories will best support your daily brewing routine, you’re in luck. Schedule a Coffee Cast for free, one-on-one expert consultation and product demonstration. We’ll show you how to use a WDT tool, discuss which dosing collar you should buy for your machine, and beyond!