Experience with Weber Unibasket

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
mtamatl

#1: Post by mtamatl »

I have been following this community for almost 10 years and never posted before. I am very grateful for all the content and knowledge that I have gained from Home Barista over the years. Thank you!

My setup: LM GS/3 MP, Niche Zero (waiting on MC5 arrival), Third Wave Water Espresso profile on RO, Decent magnetic funnel, Force tamper, Sworksdesign RDT. I drink mostly medium to medium dark roasts.

I have been using the Weber Unibasket for about two weeks and I wanted to share my experiences so far. It would be great to hear if this is similar to others, as well as your thoughts on how to improve things.

Pros:

- Taste: I tried several side-by-side shots and the shots with the Unibasket + EPF (Espresso Paper Filter) + Puck Screen taste better (sweeter) than my VST and LM stock baskets consistently. I attribute that to the fact that I am grinding almost 2.5 ticks (Niche) finer. I tested it against my VST with and without the EPF (note that the Unibasket paper filter is a different size than the VSTs) and puck screen. I am trying to figure out how much of the improvement comes from the paper vs the Unibasket. From my tests, I can get 50% there on the grind reduction just by using the paper on VST basket. The conclusion is that the Unibasket allows you to grind finer and for what I like to drink, that makes for a better cup.

- Quality: The basket is well made and feels very sturdy, which I guess is what you would expect for the price point and the manufacturer reputation. It does feel like this will last a long time.

- Temperature: I am not sure how much the basket temperature really impacts / matters but since the Unibasket is thicker (higher mass), it does hold the temperature much longer than my other baskets during puck prep.

Cons:

- Funnel Compatibility: I have a couple Decent funnels (with and without magnets) and they don't fit properly the Unibasket. When I am doing RDT, some grinds end up in the rim of the Unbasket and when I remove the funnel it causes a bit of a mess. For those using Unibasket, do you have this problem as well? If not, what funnel are you using?

- Workflow: Based on my tests, if I am using the Unibasket, I have to use the EPF to get the best results and that adds another step to the whole process. I guess this is not an issue with the basket per se but if you are not already doing EPF and puck screen, it does make the workflow more complicated.

- Capacity: Weber says we should be able to dose 18-20g in the basket, however, the Weber puck screen that comes with the Unibasket is about 2mm thick and that limits the max dose for me to 17.5g. The shower head screw caused an indentation on the puck screen when I tried a 19g dose. I am sure there is some variance from machine to machine and from bean to bean but ultimately, for my GS/3 MP, I cannot get past 17.5g dose in the Unibasket. I am going to buy a Sworks Puck disk (0.2mm vs Weber 2mm) and see if I can get a higher dose in the basket or maybe I will just put another EPF on top. I have not tested screen vs no screen vs EPF on top, but I am really hoping I can go without screen or with EPF on top as the workflow sucks with the puck screen (knock screen off, pick up hot screen, knock PF, clean screen, etc...).

Overall, my experience has not been outstanding due to the funnel compatibility and the added workflow steps, however, coffee does taste better.

Quester

#2: Post by Quester »

mtamatl wrote:If not, what funnel are you using?
KafaTek. But it sits inside the basket, which is not my preference.

mtamatl wrote:Weber says we should be able to dose 18-20g in the basket
On the Decent DE1Pro I'm dosing 19g with no issues. But my headspace may be different than yours.

Quester

#3: Post by Quester »

Regarding taste, I don't have a clear sense yet. And I've pulled a whole lot of shots.

I've done some blind tests, but I'm not sure what I'm comparing. The recipes and shot dynamics are so different.

User avatar
CoffeeMac

#4: Post by CoffeeMac »

I've had mine for a few days now. No a/b tests yet on taste, but I do have to grind significantly finer to get the same shot time as same dose in IMS basket so I expect some benefit.

It's much harder to knock out spent puck, I suspect due to straight side walls.

Edit: Stream converged when I used supplied paper filter (EPF) and puck screen. Without paper/screen it hasn't converged.
Eventually you will end up with a lever.

LMWDP #706

Capuchin Monk

#5: Post by Capuchin Monk »

mtamatl wrote: - Taste: I tried several side-by-side shots and the shots
Was it a double blind test?

Quester

#6: Post by Quester »

CoffeeMac wrote:Stream doesn't converge unless you use supplied paper filter (EPF) and puck screen.
I use the screen on top and a paper filter on the bottom and the streams never converge (which I think is a good thing). It starts with a bunch of streams and narrows to three 95% of the time. I've pulled about 100 shots since getting the basket.

thirdcrackfourthwave

#7: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave »

Stream converging--I believe Dr. J. Gagne has addressed this--somewhere. Streams not converging is desirable with the new baskets--did he say evidence of better, more even, extraction?

mtamatl (original poster)

#8: Post by mtamatl (original poster) »

Capuchin Monk wrote:Was it a double blind test?
No, so I am sure there is obviously some unintended bias.

CoffeeMac wrote:It's much harder to knock out spent puck
Good point! Can confirm that the puck is a much harder to knock out. I should have added this to the Cons above. Good to get the blood and energy flowing in the morning :)

Quester wrote:I use the screen on top and a paper filter on the bottom and the streams never converge
Same here, yet to have a single/converged stream with Unibasket.

jgood

#9: Post by jgood »

If you are ok with a funnel that goes goes into the basket the Orphan Espresso Stainless Steel dosing funnel is nice and at 22.50 very fairly priced. It's thin (as it's not aluminum) and has a nice flair out. Obviously it's not a "tamp through" funnel.

User avatar
CoffeeMac

#10: Post by CoffeeMac »

Quester wrote:I use the screen on top and a paper filter on the bottom and the streams never converge (which I think is a good thing). It starts with a bunch of streams and narrows to three 95% of the time. I've pulled about 100 shots since getting the basket.
I edited my post above to be more clear.

The stream converged the one time I used paper/screen but it otherwise has not converged.

Converging stream might be good for Londinium owners with the stock portafilter. Potential for less mess.
Eventually you will end up with a lever.

LMWDP #706