germantownrob Senior Member Joined: 2 Dec 2007 Posts: 2,141 Location: Philadelphia Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,... Drip: Brazen Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Fri Oct 18, 2013, 5:29pm Subject: Re: Different grades of filter basket holes?
Before VST came along with their baskets every basket I had needed grind adjustment to give similar results which made using multiple baskets a waste during a session since the grinder needed adjustment. Now with VST/Strada and some other baskets it is easy to use a ridge less basket of the same size for doing multiple back to back shots with no grinder adjustment and get very similar results.
I have many older baskets from the same manufacture that require radical grind adjustments to get a similar pour, size and shape of the holes from the same manufacture is very noticeable and I had my favorites while others went in the trash. Now I have many VST and others, Precision triples being my favorites, that allow me basket changes with no grind adjustments when using the same size, this is great for a party since I can prep 3 baskets and bang out 3 shots, steam the milk, and have all three drinks built and served in under 5 min.
If not serving tons of drinks in a short period of time is a concern then VST baskets might not show much improvement over a favorite basket you have dialed in. Dialing in a basket you like that works well is going to give results, a VST is not going to improve this from shot, to shot, to shot, at least at first. Over time the VST when you get it dialed in to the window it likes it will give very consistent results since it requires prep work to be precise, if it is not the results can vary drastically. Being consistent is the nature of the beast when doing espresso, with a grinder up to the task the distribution of grinds needs to be clump free and evenly distributed, and the tamp needs to be level with a consistent amount of pressure. Poor construction of baskets IMO resulted in poor baskets prep from millions since no matter how well they prepped the basket poured quicker in one area, hence the lack of good espresso through out the world!
That's worth repeating. I'd get a small scale for weighing dose and a larger one (like a mail scale) for measuring tamp pressure. That's what I do, even though I have a flow profiling machine that will mostly compensate for such things.
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