Pullman or VST baskets

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by Mike3dr »

I'm looking to buy New baskets which do you recommend? Thank you

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#2: Post by Jeff »

Why do you want new baskets?

What are you trying to achieve?

What machine, grinder, and coffees are you using?

If you're new to espresso, my answer is pretty much "none of the above". If you want new baskets, I'd stick with something like the EPNW HQ 14 (that one doses like an 18 and I prefer ridgeless) and stay away from any of the high-flow baskets like the VST, many IMS (depending on hole pattern and size), and probably the Pullman (I have no direct experience with the Pullman baskets).

Mike3dr (original poster)

#3: Post by Mike3dr (original poster) »

Getting a ECM Synchronika, (used) the old owner recommended New VST baskets (he is keeping the ones he bought), wanted to get peoples opinion on them, and which they liked better.

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#4: Post by Splunge »

While I've accumulated a couple dozen baskets over the years (including several VSTs), I keep coming back to my Pullman 17-19g.
I generally start new coffees with straight (non profiled) shots at 17-17.5g. If I think the coffee has more to give I'll use a rough lever profile. Once the grind is set for whichever approach I've settled on, I'll generally leave it alone, fine tuning by small changes in dose. The Pullman basket seems to respond better to this approach than others I've tried. By not dosing too high initially, it seems to maintain decent enough clarity as well as body that I just can't get with the E&B baskets - though they're the clarity champs by far IME.

FWIW I prefer light and med roasts pulled 1:1.5 or so.


#5: Post by Ypuh »

I don't know about Pullman, but I did notice an improvement switching from IMS to VST. You need a good grinder to make the VST work, it is significantly finer than the IMS. If you can make it work, the taste is slightly sweeter, but your puck prep needs to be on point because it's very unforgiving.
I don't want a Decent

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#6: Post by JB90068 » replying to Ypuh »

Ditto. Same experience for me.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.


#7: Post by jrham12 »

I don't have any VST or Pullman baskets, but I have a few of the BaristaPro IMS, the BOB and Renato 21's and a set of Decent baskets (which I believe are made by IMS?) along with the EPNW (14 and the larger one).

Overall, I haven't had any "wow" experiences with the more expensive baskets, but I'll admit that my palate tends to be rather basic and I prefer the more traditional Italian-style blends so I'm sure I'm not using them to their full potential. My go-to baskets are the EPNW's. I have the 14 gm (double) in my regular portafilter and the larger (triple) one in my bottomless portafilter. For the price, I think they are a great choice...



#8: Post by cebseb » replying to jrham12 »

How was the BOB basket? I've been looking into that one to try out. Just haven't gotten around to it. Their shower screen also piqued my interest.


#9: Post by jrham12 » replying to cebseb »

Overall, not all that impressed with it... I bought the BOB 21, the Renato 21 along with the BIT shower screen and compared them with an EPNW 21 basket. I didn't really notice much of a difference between either of them and my EPNW basket. One complaint is that the puck would never come out clean from either one; once the puck was knocked out, both of them always had a ring of left-behind grinds around the edge where there are no holes.
Another minor complaint on the BIT shower screen is that when you do a quick flush after a shot to clear the shower screen, you still need to give it a wipe as there are no holes in the center so any grounds in the center don't get washed away.
Of course, I'm pulling shots of slightly darker roasted italian-style blends and not a lighter single origin with lots of fruit-forward flavors or sweetness so take my comments as such; I'm probably not exploring their full potential!
I've switched back and forth between the BIT shower screen and the IMS shower screen and don't notice any difference in the extraction or any change in channeling likelihood so on my next cleaning I'm going to switch back to the IMS.



#10: Post by cebseb »

Thanks for great reply. Very informative. I guess I'll just stick with what I currently have. Quite a shame with what you've experienced with all of that though. A lot of times, if the benefits of having those accessories aren't great enough, little thing like having trouble keeping it clean really negate any reason to use it.

Thanks again