Posted Tue Jul 3, 2012, 7:07pm Subject: VST or Strada baskets
Has anyone any experience with either the Strada or VST baskets and have you noticed any difference in the cup compared to the stock basket that came with your machine. I've got a Andreja Premium from what I seen is the Strada comes in either a 17g or 21g, the VST has 15g, 18g, 20g and 22g with either ridge or ridgeless
TonyVan Senior Member Joined: 24 May 2010 Posts: 273 Location: Pacific Northwest Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: GS/3, La Pavoni Grinder: Macap M7K, Rocky Drip: Kone
Posted Tue Jul 3, 2012, 9:06pm Subject: Re: VST or Strada baskets
My preference for the VST baskets is great enough that I have abandoned the original equipment baskets entirely and have no intention of going back - the espresso tastes that much better to me. I occasionally use the 7g and 22g, but use the three middle sizes (15g, 18g and 20g) constantly. Regarding the choice of ridge designs, the ridgeless works especially nicely when used with a 58.4mm tamper since the piston fit leaves little or no excess loose grounds on the basket sides. The overall body of opinion on this and other sites over the past year is that the VST-manufactured baskets are superior to the "Strada" baskets coming from LM.
All this is IMO, although it's pretty clear that Mark Prince's original article has proved itself true and VST's design has been widely validated by across much of the espresso world. Others disagree or prefer alternatives, especially for use in specific niche requirements. But this topic always seems to become hotly debated, and posts such as yours have too often had the unintended effect of tossing a grenade into the room. So please excuse me while I run for my life before it goes off, warnings are issued, posters get strikes, threads are locked ...
adan0327 Senior Member Joined: 6 Sep 2011 Posts: 45 Location: Toronto Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: la cimbali m32 dosatron 3... Grinder: Astoria Super Jolly Vac Pot: hario tc2 Drip: chemex, v60,kalitta... Roaster: Lol.... Pan :D
Posted Wed Jul 4, 2012, 10:31pm Subject: Re: VST or Strada baskets
Love my vst 18g. It definitely makes shots much sweeter in my opinion. Ive compared my stock basket and VST basket with calibrations to achieve 26g in 26 s on both baskets. VST was definitely sweeter. To me this proves that uniform hole sizes do make a difference in shot quality. The VST is designed to be uniform to achieve a better overall even extraction.
Chris' comments had to do with the basket fitting inside the PF, but I'd also recommend the bottomless PF with the VST for learning reasons too. My experience is that the VSTs reward good technique when it comes to basket preparation, especially consistent distribution. While taste always has the final say, getting immediate visual feedback on any flaws in your preparation pays extra dividends and will get you down the learning curve faster with these baskets.
I believe the difference you will see or not see in the cup between the VST baskets and your stock baskets depends entirely on your individual stock baskets. There is so much variation in conventional basket performance, due to both design and quality control issues, that it is hard to know what you will observe.
Especially with lighter roasted coffees, however, (which are difficult to extract properly), many people readily notice a significant improvement. That's because the VST filters are designed to get you espresso in an 18%-20% range of extraction yield even with these light coffees. In my experience, this usually gives you sweeter and more fully developed flavors than you would get with baskets that yield only 16%-17%.
Also, the VST baskets have a quality control procedure better than anyone else in the industry. So you know when you buy one it'll perform as designed. Sadly, this is not the case with other baskets -- it is well known among pro baristas that supposedly identical conventional baskets all pull a little differently.
Sorry for sounding like a VST advertisement. I know, I do! :-) But I beta tested them a lot and I believe in them.
Posted Mon Jul 16, 2012, 7:53pm Subject: Re: VST or Strada baskets
Just got my VST 18g ridgeless basket and right off you can see that it has more holes and spaced out better. I tried it out with some Dolce Tazza from CC and it does have a different taste then with the stock basket. Will see how it go's when I get my next order of Red Bird and I may try some Dancing Goat from B & B
JonathanStarr Senior Member Joined: 6 Nov 2007 Posts: 85 Location: Columbus, OH Expertise: Professional
Espresso: LaMarzocco Strada MP 2 group Grinder: Mazzer Major Elec. Vac Pot: Yama StoveTop & Tabletop... Drip: V60, Woodneck, Melitta,... Roaster: Multiple Behmor roasters,...
Posted Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:58am Subject: Re: VST or Strada baskets
The VST baskets indeed are far superior than most stock baskets. However, I will say I've noticed a slightly brighter cup with my Strada baskets vs my VST baskets in my Strada. I have no idea why this would be. But so far i've tested it with 17g, 18g, & 21g ridged and ridge less.
Again, that's just been my experience i'm sure that might vary from machine to machine etc.
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