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eyetechie
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Joined: 17 Nov 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Apr 14, 2013, 3:59am
Subject: Portafilter baskets
 

Always in pursuit for a better espresso.  I have a Gaggia classic and a Presico grinder. I notice that when I remove the PF the puck has a lot of water lying on top and is sloppy.    Wondering if I should use a better PF basket.  Have been reading about VST and Synesso.  Also, what size would I start with? Appreciate any feedback
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TimEggers
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TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
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Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
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Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Sun Apr 14, 2013, 8:01am
Subject: Re: Portafilter baskets
 

How the puck looks is absolutely irrelevant, its the taste of espresso is.

As far as basket, pick a size as close to the amount you most often dose at, or buy a few baskets to cover the ranges.

 
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eyetechie
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Joined: 17 Nov 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Apr 14, 2013, 10:44am
Subject: Re: Portafilter baskets
 

Taste variable,  sometimes great, sometimes not.  Striving for consistency in dose and tamp.  While I'm at it, thought I would start out with a better basket.  Opinions on favorite PF baskets appreciated.  Thanks
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,303
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Apr 14, 2013, 10:54am
Subject: Re: Portafilter baskets
 

I've never seen a single comment that any basket is better than the VSTs.  I personally own Stradas, which I believe are close to the quality of VSTs (from what I've read).  I like them, but I've been considering VSTs for a while now.  In the BST forum, there's someone in DC selling all his equipment, and he's got 4 VST baskets (17g, 18g, 20g and 21g).  I haven't yet asked to see if he'd sell them separate, but hey..if you beat me to it...well, that's my bad.

You should probably be aware that different baskets are almost assuredly going to have nil effect on your wet puck issue...but as Tim pointed out...that shouldn't make a rat's @ss difference on whether you like the shots or not.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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fwtechwiz
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Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 530
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Sun Apr 14, 2013, 12:51pm
Subject: Re: Portafilter baskets
 

Wet pucks on a Gaggia Classic are almost always caused by a sticking or plugged 3-way solenoid valve.  Try a backflush with Cafiza or PuroCaffe and if necessary disassemble the 3-way valve and check for scale buildup.  
BTW I have been working with an 18 g. VST basket for a few weeks now, and it definitely improves the taste and extraction compared to the stock Gaggia basket.  But it won't give you any drier puck if your 3-way isn't working up to snuff.
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AntWilliams90
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AntWilliams90
Joined: 4 Feb 2013
Posts: 61
Location: Warwickshire, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mahlkonig Vario Home
Roaster: Dieckmann Rostmeister
Posted Mon Apr 15, 2013, 5:34am
Subject: Re: Portafilter baskets
 

Ditto fwtechwiz - I use the 18g ridgeless VST basket in a bottomless portafilter with my Gaggia Classic - it made a huge difference to the stock Gaggia basket!

 
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
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ZBoT
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Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 13
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic w/ Auber PID
Grinder: Cunil Tranquilo
Posted Mon Apr 15, 2013, 10:58am
Subject: Re: Portafilter baskets
 

If I dose anything less than 16g in my Gaggia Classic, I start to get a wet "soupy" puck.  How much coffee are you using?
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Jmanespresso
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Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
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Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Mon Apr 15, 2013, 1:19pm
Subject: Re: Portafilter baskets
 

If you want a dry puck, use more coffee.

All a dry puck means is that there was enough coffee to fill up the basket, that the only water left over, the 3 way valve was able to evacuate it all.

If there is less coffee, there is more space for water, and the 3 way valve can't get it all.


There is nothing to be gained from a dry puck.  Sometimes coffees taste good at low doses.  IF that means a wet puck, then thats what it means.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,037
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Mon Apr 15, 2013, 1:25pm
Subject: Re: Portafilter baskets
 

I have also found that stale beans are more likely to leave water on the puck after extraction.

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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eyetechie
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Apr 16, 2013, 4:32am
Subject: Re: Portafilter baskets
 

I'm using 16 grams of Red Bird, no older than 2 weeks.  My machine is 6 months old.  Have descaled twice, clean wit Cafiza about every 2 weeks, and just started  back flushing (because of the debate of to BF or not to BF with Gaggia).   Will increase my dose and see how my puck looks and tastes.    However,  taste has been good, so maybe I shouldn't be concerned.  Also, will try the VST.  Thanks for input.  Will keep you all posted on the result
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