The origins of the espresso puck screen aka (shot screen) have been attributed to Scott Rio (@whereisscottrao) back in 2019 when he posted on instagram about a coffee tip for the day.

Scott suggested back then that using a puck screen would “greatly increase extraction while decreasing channeling”. At the time all that was available were paper filters. Fast forward to today and many companies are coming out with metal filters.

A very popular Puck Screen is made by Flair Espresso called the Flair 58. The dimensions are actually 58.5mm

Flair 58 Puck Screen

Those who are espresso aficionados love to tinker and adding the puck screen to their workflow seems an obvious choice.

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What Does A Puck Screen Do?

As stated earlier, puck screens are really designed to do 2 things.

Increase Extraction – Without a puck screen, the water pressure can be too high, which can cause the espresso to be over-extracted, resulting in a bitter flavor. The size of the screen should be slightly larger than the portafilter basket to ensure that the water pressure is regulated and the espresso is evenly extracted. Too small of a screen can cause the espresso to be under-extracted, resulting in a weak flavor.

Decrease Channeling – The puck screen ensures that the water is delivered evenly across the coffee bed, which should help prevent channeling.

Reduce Cleaning Of The Group Head (E61 Group head) – As a bonus, a puck screen can also prevent coffee grounds from messing up the group head (brew head) after an espresso shot is poured.

When Should You Add The Puck Screen?

Espresso puck screens should be placed in the portafilter basket just prior to the extraction.

Should You Use A Puck Screen?

We believe that puck screens are an inexpensive and effective way of distributing water evenly over dry coffee grounds, which reduces the possibility of channelling. In addition they help keep your espresso group head a bit cleaner, which over time if not looked after, can get quite nasty.