Scotts Senior Member Joined: 9 May 2004 Posts: 11 Location: Washington, DC Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: La Valentina Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Wed Aug 15, 2012, 2:13pm Subject: New La Marzocco Stainless Steel Portafilters, Baskets & Stainless Tamper
Hi CG Members- La Marzocco a few months back announced that their units, including the GS/3, would be shipping with their new...
- stainless steel portafilters - new baskets - not the new Strada baskets where each one is inspected and scanned, but ones similar to it that are randomly scanned - stainless steel tamper (old GS/3 tamper was plastic)
Anyone have experience with the new accessories? Feedback?
TonyVan Senior Member Joined: 24 May 2010 Posts: 276 Location: Pacific Northwest Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: GS/3, La Pavoni Grinder: Macap M7K, Rocky Drip: Kone
Posted Wed Aug 15, 2012, 10:31pm Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Stainless Steel Portafilters, Baskets & Stainless Tamper
I got the new LM stainless portafilter a few weeks ago - but I need to qualify this, since I immediately remanufactured it into a bottomless PF. The SS PF is great for this purpose since there's no chrome plating to chip or brass base metal to show through. Using it with Dave Stephens' gorgeous woodwork, the PF is a lot lighter than the bottomless LM brass PF I was previously using. This makes the new stainless version an improvement to work with in my opinion.*
The new PF as supplied provides an enhanced rimmed base that gives the barista a flat ridge to rest on a counter edge for tamping, a nice addition. That said, I'd read some concerns about the reliability of the new spout connection, but this may have been dealt with already. Having cut the bottom out for bottomless PF use, I have no personal experience to offer with that particular question one way or another.
But I CAN speak to the baskets manufactured and tested by VST as opposed to the Strada or other baskets from La Marzocco. I think they're superb and getting the real thing is worth it, and I don't use anything but the VSTs anymore, and in fact use five of all VST's sizes frequently. Most - but not all - reviewers and posters and many top baristas and shops agree, but those who prefer other baskets are going for a completely different type of basket, not just differentiating between various versions of the VST-driven design.
I can't comment on the new tamper, but it sure sounds like an upgrade befitting a first-rate machine.
While these all sound like sensible moves from LM, it's hard to figure how a better portafilter, basket and tamper will cause throngs of potential buyers to leap ecstatically from their armchairs with cries of "Finally! Now I'll buy one!"
I've cut a few bottomless portafilters in my time, but can't recall ever experiencing such a pitched battle with an object. Man, that stainless is hard, and the complex ridged underside made the final cutting and finish work a tough project. So, it gave a really nice result, and I highly recommend the idea, but if you're doing this at home with only average tools, you'll want to take a few patience pills and bring lunch.
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