According to Wikipedia a portafilter (or group handle) “attaches to the group head of semi-automatic and piston driven espresso machines and holds the ground beans “. This definition makes it sound as if the portafilter is simply an expedient appendage of the larger body of the VERY IMPORTANT espresso machine. The significance of the portafilter should not be minimized. It carries the tamped puck of espresso grounds, forms a seal with the espresso machine’s gasket and directs high pressure hot water through the puck. Important steps to brewing the perfect espresso. The portafilter helps control the brew and makes it all happen. Without a machine with a reliable portafilter your espresso might end up being just another cup of coffee.