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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > VST Baskets:...  
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
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Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
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Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 5:01pm
Subject: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

Quick question. I just got the 18g Ridgeless VST basket and I've been struggling to get a decent pour with it on some of my favorite coffees from before. I have a fairly convex tamper with a noticeable curve. The stock NS 18g basket I was using was very bowl-shaped so I think the convex tamper made sense. Now I've got the perfectly flat VST basket. Should I be using a flat tamper and will I get better results from it? Thanks.
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frank828
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Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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Espresso: GS3
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Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 5:05pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

i dont think flat or convex really make a big difference.  i have a flat and a convex and i really dont notice any difference.

I just got the 18g vst also but ive only used it twice so far.  I havent noticed a huge difference and with my regular routine, i'm getting somewhat predictable results.  

Also, I dont know if it's a big thing but both of my tampers are 58.3mm
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 8:06pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

This is really stumping me. So I switched the stock NS basket back in and immediately was getting more consistent results, steadier pulls, and a thicker cone. Aren't these VST baskets supposed to be G-d's gift to baristas or something? Now mind you, I'm using different beans from the photo in my previous thread and my distribution technique consists of jiggling the PF a bit and shaking the Vario hopper to get the clumps out. I don't WDT or NSEW or stick my finger on it. I just make a little mound, tamp gently but firmly, and give a little twist. The only thing I can think of is because I have a highly convex tamper that it would be not as well suited for the VST as a flat tamper (due to arrive tomorrow), but if it doesn't matter then it must be me.
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Lee_M
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Lee_M
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Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 9:05pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

This might be relevant to your interests, if you haven't seen it: http://coffeegeek.com/opinions/markprince/04-29-2011
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jwoodyu
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jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
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Espresso: Allex Duetto II
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Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:03pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

I would think the differences in basket (there is a lot) have more impact that than shape of the tamper. I had to mess with my grind and technique a fair bit when i switched to the VST but it is they are the only baskets I use now. If had to switch back at this point it would screw me up i am sure. If I had switched back a couple of weeks into it would have been different. It is like messing with your golf swing. When a coach makes a change in your swing the scores almost always go up, but only for a little while. I do think a flat will give you slightly better results but i don't think it will be an "ah ha" moment. I also use an 58.3 and it is an RB c-flat

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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JonR10
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JonR10
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Posted Thu Dec 20, 2012, 8:20am
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

Markarian Said:

This is really stumping me. So I switched the stock NS basket back in and immediately was getting more consistent results, steadier pulls, and a thicker cone.  

Posted December 19, 2012 link

To get proper results with VST baskets you will need to grind quite a bit finer than on your stock baskets.  
As a suggestion, if you have a Baratza Vario then go up one macro step and try again with the VST.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
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Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
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Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Dec 20, 2012, 9:15pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

So I ordered RW's cheapest flat tamper and decided to go on my hunch (I ordered it before posting to this thread).

Night and day.

I know you guys told me the tamper shouldn't have much to do with it, but I must have been using a REALLY crappy tamper before. It was so convex it wobbled like a Weeble. It's the $18 RSVP special from Amazon.

When switching to the flat Rattleware I got a terrific shot without even adjusting my grind or really trying. Just a lazy tamp and twist and it came out great. So I think I'm sold on the VST baskets, I just have to say that a tamper does seem to be a big factor here, at least for me. Here's a link to the one I had before:

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

Thanks for all your suggestions, and I know there's a lot of room for improvement with my shots still, but for now I can at least breathe easy that the VST basket doesn't hate me :)
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jwoodyu
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jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
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Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012, 6:10am
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

WOW glad it worked out for you but surely not what I thought, goes to show you. If you like back at the threads you will see this question came up several times early on and the consensus  was flat was ideal but not required. Good shots are all that matter and it really is strange how personal a tamer can be :)

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012, 8:33am
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

Markarian Said:

...Just a lazy tamp and twist and it came out great...

Posted December 20, 2012 link

Glad to see things are working out for you!

One word of caution on the twist part...it may fracture your puck where you can't see it, and lead to horizontal channeling.  I don't think many experienced people are still twisting their tampers after they've compressed the grounds.


WARNING: thread drift ahead...

Does anyone know the difference between the La Marzocco Strada baskets and the VST baskets, other than the dose weight ratings on the VSTs?

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:45pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

Good to know, will try not twisting then, definitely.

And I was wondering the same thing about the difference between the LM and VST too!
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