How filter baskets affect espresso taste and barista technique - Page 2

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#11: Post by RapidCoffee »

Another landmark study from Jim Schulman. Thanks, Jim, for all your hard work.
Columns: B.dia is the basket diameter, H.av is the average holes size, is the hole variance, is the total area of all the holes, is whether the grid is hexagonal (0), or square(1).
Further explanation:
Basket diameter is the linear distance across the open hole area, measured by ruler or micrometer on the bottom of the basket, given in tenths of millimeters (e.g., 430 = 43.0mm).
Average hole size is the mean hole diameter in micrometers (or microns). This is computed from the individual hole areas, and assumes hole circularity (visually, a reasonable assumption).
Hole "variance" is the standard deviation of the hole diameters, again in micrometers.
Total hole area is given in square millimeters.

Sorry for any confusion that the mixed units may have caused.

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#12: Post by RapidCoffee »

JonR10 wrote:But I'd like to express my thanks and admiration to the HB team for making this study.

Y'all are a rare group of nutjobs...
Uh, thanks... I guess. :lol:

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#13: Post by petrush »

Many thanks for an interesting read. As i understand, this also demonstrates how important it is to have control of the dose weight down to sub-gram level.


#14: Post by Ian_G »

another_jim wrote:SUMMARY:

The introduction of the VST baskets has started a discussion of how filter basket construction affects espresso taste.

Punchy, higher dose shots are a trademark of Pacific Northwest espresso. However, conventional baskets at higher doses require coarser grinds that create a poor cold taste with more acidic, lighter roasted blends. The VST 18 gram basket has found a niche in making these higher dosed, punchy shots with the finer grind required by brighter coffees.
If I'm reading this right, this sounds very interesting. I wonder if my failure with up-dosing has been caused by using the wrong basket. I suspect - and in some cases know for sure - that many British roasts work best when using larger doses. Unfortunately I have never yet managed to appreciate them, possibly because of the dose/grind trade-off, which is one of the reasons I stick with Italian coffee.

Does anyone know if the VST or clones thereof can be used in a Elektra Semi-auto?

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#15: Post by shadowfax »

Ian_G wrote:Does anyone know if the VST or clones thereof can be used in a Elektra Semi-auto?
Yes. It's a standard 58mm basket, and the 18g will fit in the Elektra portafilter without bottoming out. The 22g version (like all 58mm triples) will be too tall.
Nicholas Lundgaard

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#16: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

Ian_G wrote:Does anyone know if the VST or clones thereof can be used in a Elektra Semi-auto?
The Semi does not like the puck hitting the shower screen. With an LM or the supplied Faema double, this puts a limit of 17.5 grams on the basket, and I don't use them over 17 grams. The VST18 or Strada basket has only slightly more volume than the conventional doubles, and the shower screen limit on them is not going to exceed 18 grams. The advantage is that you'll be able to use them at that dose with a grind setting you would normally use for around 15 to 15.5 gram shots

If you have a touted coffee but are getting a Hobson's choice of boring at lower doses or rough at higher ones, this basket may be the ticket. I've run into a few blends like this.
Jim Schulman

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#17: Post by JonR10 »

RapidCoffee wrote:Uh, thanks... I guess. :lol:
he he he
I should note that include myself as a rare sort of nutjob, so I'm happy to have similar company ;)
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#18: Post by cafeIKE »

Great Job, Jim et al.


#19: Post by Ian_G »

Thanks for the info on sizing and application/grind setting. I've decided to go the whole hog and get a bottomless pf and a 22g vst basket. Hopefully this will be good in a couple of ways.

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#20: Post by malachi »

JonR10 wrote: But I'd like to express my thanks and admiration to the HB team for making this study.

Y'all are a rare group of nutjobs, and I am extremely thankful to know you and even more thankful that the home espresso enthusiast community is lucky enough to have folks like you studying stuff like this 8)
1 - while the "HB team" did in fact contribute, the big thanks needs to go out to Jim on this one.
2 - I completely agree with the description "rare group of nutjobs" and take it as a compliment on behalf of all of us.
3 - my hope is that this work is of value to more than the home espresso enthusiast community.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin