TonyVan Senior Member Joined: 24 May 2010 Posts: 269 Location: Pacific Northwest Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: GS/3, La Pavoni Grinder: Macap M7K, Rocky Drip: Kone
Posted Sun Jan 15, 2012, 3:50pm Subject: Re: Does the VST basket really require a specific tamper?
The bottom rim of most bottomless portafilters are plano-parallel with the bottom of the filter basket. Many baristas place the PF on the edge of the counter (with the handle held off the counter's edge) and so tamping is then straight down toward the counter, which is level with the basket.
Posted Sun Jan 15, 2012, 5:53pm Subject: Re: Does the VST basket really require a specific tamper?
I can't seem to get level with the basket in my portafilter since I made it naked.... So I have been tamping outside the naked portafilter so I took the spring out. What do people do to level the portafilter when the cut the bottoms off? Thanks,
I have the ridged, mostly because I ordered my first few during the first run of them when only the ridged existed...since my main 4 18g baskets that serve for my primary rotation unless I need a special size were ridged, I figured I might as well standardize on one type rather than deal with switching my mentality back and forth depending on what size I'm using.
I do prep with the basket in the PF though.
When I'm using bottomless (or spouted...I often use both in one session) I have a tamping stand....makes spouted easy enough to stablize, but it's also nice for bottmless in terms of keeping the rim clean instead of putting it on even a mat on the counter. It's pricy but if you tamp enough, it's helpful...and ergonomic to boot!
Cafelat is the popular one followed by EPNW, but I like the Concept Art ones that 1st Line & Seattle Coffee Gear sell....they're more expensive for no real reason other than that they're made in Germany rather than China....but they're nice. I have the wood and SS one. Either works well for spouts, but the SS is nicer for bottomless (both work but you tend to mar the wood one when going bottomless.) The SS is a LOT easier to clean too....but it's sadly dramatically overpriced and the cafelat one, if you want one at all, would serve just as well.
A plain old mat works just fine....but I used to pick up a lot of nasty stray grinds on the bottom of the PFs when I used one, and the proximity to the sink tended to leave a lot of dishwasher on my mat and tamper....I migrated to the stands after realizing that Black Cat and Sunlight dish soap don't make a good blend ;)
Paul_Pratt Senior Member Joined: 2 Sep 2002 Posts: 302 Location: Hong Kong Expertise: Professional
Espresso: Marzocco SMAL + GS Grinder: Vulcano Drip: Pourover cone works best for... Roaster: Probat
Posted Tue Jan 17, 2012, 6:52pm Subject: Re: Does the VST basket really require a specific tamper?
Cafelat is the popular one followed by EPNW, but I like the Concept Art ones that 1st Line & Seattle Coffee Gear sell....they're more expensive for no real reason other than that they're made in Germany rather than China....but they're nice.
Hello. Just a small point but the only product I have that is delivered to me from China ready to ship are the milk jugs. All other items are bought as components from factories in Hong Kong and China. They are then shipped to us in HK for inspection, final finishing, assembly and packing. It is the only way it will work and apart from the first 6 months of Cafelat we have done this since the old bumper days of 2005. Tampers are the most labour intensive and all these are done in-house since they are the benchmark of all coffee accessories. I personally do all tampers that leave our place since metal finishing is my thing.
Is there any reason why VST tampers should be so much higher? This is just to cover the labour time involved to get an exact size on the lathe since I wanted to get it within a very tight tolerence.
hankua Senior Member Joined: 29 Aug 2009 Posts: 204 Location: Jacksonville, Florida Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: Salvatore One Black Grinder: Pharos,Rossi RR45OD, Lido,... Drip: CCD Roaster: Yang-Chia 800n
Posted Tue Jan 17, 2012, 7:09pm Subject: Re: Does the VST basket really require a specific tamper?
Nicholas: I bought my tamper from Hai Pham (in Tampa FL), same guy on Ebay that was mentioned above. When all the fuss began about the 58.4 mm size, I just emailed him and had a custom base at my from door within the week. I'm sure his polishing is not the same as higher cost tampers, but he does have CNC equipment. The replacement base fit perfectly on the original handle.
Posted Tue Jan 17, 2012, 8:50pm Subject: Re: Does the VST basket really require a specific tamper?
Mr. Pratt I appreciate your input, and your tampers as well as the other products of yours I've seen are top notch, unfortunately I just can't afford to spend the extra money as I am completely starting my entire espresso set up. Perhaps one day I will treat myself to one of the beautiful wood-handled tampers that you make once I can afford it. Thank you all for your time, it's been enlightening.
"Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as Death, and as sweet as Love."
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