For those baristas out there looking for an espresso ecosystem that works flawlessly with your 58mm portafilter, you might want to check out the Pullman System that includes the Pullman basket, Chisel (Distributor) and Tamper (Know as the big step).

Pullman System

The Pullman System focuses on 3 aspects of making espresso 

  • Distribution – Distributing the coffee grinds evenly across the filter
  • Tamping – pressing down on the coffee grinds after performing a distribution
  • Filtration – using a more precise filter basket to filter the coffee

Pullman found that one of the main issues of getting consistent espresso is making sure that tools being used work in harmony with each other. Mixing different tools from different manufactures is oftentimes the culprit of inconsistent results.

When using a distribution tool with a filter basket that isn’t exactly the same size, it prevents the distribution from being even. The same applies for a tamper that is slightly smaller than the basket.

The only way to ensure complete control between distributing, tamping and filtering is to make sure that all the tools dimensions work with each other. If the basket’s inner diameter is wider than than the distributor or Tamper, it can easily lead to channeling problems once the water pressure is applied.

Pullman ensures consistency and accuracy by manufacturing each component (Filter, Distributor and Tamper) so that they are all designed to work together.

Pullman Chisel | Distributor

The Pullman Chisel (aka the distributor) is designed to distribute the coffee grinds in a filter basket so that they are all evenly dispersed at the top. After grinding coffee, the grinds are added to the portafilter which contains a filter. Usually when this occurs the grinds aren’t evenly distributed and are often looking more like a mound of coffee.

The Pullman Chisel is added to the top of the filter and spun. This spinning motion moves the coffee grinds to flatten them out.

The Pullman Chisel comes in 3 sizes including

  • 53.30mm
  • 54.70mm
  • 58.44mm

Pullman BigStep Tamper

The Pullman BigStep tamper is used once the Distribution tool has done its job. The BigStep refers to its design, specifically the 58.55mm diameter step edge of the tamper. The larger diameter helps tamp more coffee and prevent suction during the tamping process.

Pullman Filter Baskets

While the Pullman filter baskets aren’t as sexy as the Pullman BigStep or Chisel tool, they play a huge role in how your espresso will turn out. By now you should understand that having the tools that match up with each others measurements makes for more consistent espresso pours and a more enjoyable process.

Where the Pullman Filter basket shines is in its accuracy in hole measurement and sizing. Pullman makes 5 different filter baskets depending on your needs including

  • 17-19g
  • 19 -22g
  • 22-25g
  • 25-28g

Obviously designing a filter specifically to work with your other products makes a lot of sense and for those who already like the Pullman BigStep and Chisel, I would definitely recommend that you complete the set with some Pullman filter baskets. It could be a real means to upping your Barista game.


If a company makes quality products like Pullman, it makes sense that if they design products to work with each other and you only have one or two of them, you should probably look into getting the full set. In this case that would be the Pullman System.