Basket Science or Propaganda - Page 4

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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cafeIKE (original poster)
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#31: Post by cafeIKE (original poster) »

:oops: I shouldn't do math before my first 'spro :oops:
RapidCoffee wrote:Like it or not, precision baskets have become mainstream.
Like it? Love it. I got my first precision baskets shortly after the first e61 more than 15 years ago. There was no hype, just uniformity. I use a steam tip I EDM'd for precise hole diameter to match the original Vibimme DB [tiny] steam boiler. I've lived my entire life beginning six place to the right of the decimal point, at least after we got FM. :wink:

I remain unconvinced that flow through holes that can maintain a flow rate of 15.5ml/s at 0 bar would struggle at 1.75ml/s in a 50ml/30s shot. The pressure near the bottom of the puck is not zero, but it's way below 125psi. Nice round holes are anything but when jammed with coffee. Ergo, making them pretty is eye-candy.

IMS Free Flow [0.012 diameter holes] :

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another_jim
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#32: Post by another_jim »

cafeIKE wrote:1 parameter [Strega] out of how many that go into making great espresso? Turning around, I have an e61 and a drawer of baskets because the one certainty in espresso is there are none.
Um, you are posting that there is no certainty espresso. If there is no certainty; how do you know for certain that there isn't an infallible or quite reliable method for you to fish out the right basket for the the right coffee on your first or second try? How do you know for certain that there is nobody else who can do that?

It's cool to play the extreme sceptic; it's cool never to be wrong again about anything, ever. But saying over and over again "you can't really know that for certain" doesn't teach anyone anything, least of all yourself. There are far better ways of being imperturbable (ataraxia).
Jim Schulman

Andrewp

#33: Post by Andrewp »

Man alive I can't believe there are four pages of comments about baskets!! Are we all just bonkers or what?! A basket.. a round tin with holes in for allowing the coffee to be held and then transformed into liquid for drinking. The only difference would surely be the size of the basket. Don't get sucked into all these graphs and opinions from Tubers about this and that basket.. what a load! Save your money here people.

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RapidCoffee
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#34: Post by RapidCoffee »

cafeIKE wrote:I got my first precision baskets shortly after the first e61 more than 15 years ago. There was no hype, just uniformity.
Interesting claim, especially since VST baskets only arrived on the scene about 10 years ago. :wink:
cafeIKE wrote:I remain unconvinced that flow through holes that can maintain a flow rate of 15.5ml/s at 0 bar would struggle at 1.75ml/s in a 50ml/30s shot. The pressure near the bottom of the puck is not zero, but it's way below 125psi. Nice round holes are anything but when jammed with coffee. Ergo, making them pretty is eye-candy.
I agree, but this misses the point. The only baskets that constrain flow are pressurized baskets, which (hopefully) we can agree are a Bad Thing for specialty espresso. I have long maintained that optimal basket design should feature maximal open hole area, the opposite of a pressurized basket. This appears to be the VST/IMS approach.

Let's compare two precision baskets, the Decent* 18g basket (L) and the EPHQ "14g" basket (R):

These baskets are virtually identical in geometry (height and diameter), although the EPHQ basket has slightly rounded bottom edges. I like them both. But the Decent basket has a larger open hole pattern that extends close to the basket edge. Consequently, the EPHQ basket requires a significantly lower dose or a coarser grind setting. E.g., when the grind is set for an 18g->36g extraction in the Decent basket, I often have to downdose 2g or more (16g->32g) in the EPHQ basket to get similar extraction times for a given brew ratio. In addition, refractometer measurements generally show higher EY from VST/IMS baskets. Baskets with hole patterns like the EPHQ tend to underextract the sides of the puck. It's a bit easier to get "pretty" pours from the EPHQ basket, and IMHO there are taste differences as well.

So hype or no, I believe that basket geometry and open hole area make a difference. Hole uniformity... who knows? But again, having dealt with some really poorly manufactured baskets in the past, I'm glad to see higher quality basket fabrication becoming the norm.

* I think this is a rebranded IMS basket. Someone please correct me if they know different. See Jeff's post below.
John

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cafeIKE (original poster)
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#35: Post by cafeIKE (original poster) »

another_jim wrote:Um, you are posting that there is no certainty espresso.
Compared to the number of consecutive bulls I can hit, yes.

another_jim wrote:how do you know for certain that there isn't an infallible or quite reliable method for you to fish out the right basket for the the right coffee on your first or second try?
"Tis impossible to be sure of anything but Death and Taxes."
20+ years of experimentation :?:

another_jim wrote:How do you know for certain that there is nobody else who can do that?
I've had consecutive shots pulled by champion baristas, master roasters and OCD amateurs. Seldom are they identical, even with soda water palette cleansing.

The number of times that I've gone to a top quality shop in the morning and had an absolute stunner, only to get something mediocre or worse in the afternoon is depressing.

As each roast at our rarified level is unique, the probability of getting the best basket? How many you got? 1/n

another_jim wrote:It's cool to play the extreme sceptic
I'm not a sceptic. I have many baskets. I know they make a difference.
Many times, I've written my 'bit' rule of espresso parameter importance, ignoring water: Coffee 8, Grinder 4, Machine 2, You 1
Expanding Machine: Headspace* 255, Puck Depth 127, Shape [affects Puck Depth] 63 ... Basket Holes 2, Finish 1

How many poor schlubs have purchased a ♦♦♦, IMS, EPHQ, etc. on recommendation but have 4mm** less head space than the recommender? Lord knows we've seen literally TONS of coffee wasted in uBoob videos. The only thing we know about the EPHQ recommender with the Strega is that. Not what basket size, coffee, temperature, lever technique aka pressure profile, etc. As helpful as "Buy a Ford."

another_jim wrote:But saying over and over again "you can't really know that for certain" doesn't teach anyone anything
I'm not trying to teach. Just asking for a little scepticism and restraint from blind endorsement. Bling basket claims other than the manufacturing precision are risible.
Call me Diogenes, less the currency debasement. DC has that handled.

The conclusion from How filter baskets affect espresso taste and barista technique :
"The VST 18 gram basket has found a niche in making these higher dosed, punchy shots with the finer grind required by brighter coffees."
is hardly a global recommendation.
And now I hear rumblings that fine grinding PNW coffees might have been a bad idea...

* Headspace is controlled by both screen and basket.
No, I'm not saying you have to have some, but it's very important that it is consistent.

** I have e61 screens with that much variation

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Jeff
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#36: Post by Jeff »

DE baskets are Chinese, likely from the source Paul Pratt mentioned earlier.

Uniformity does matter, at least in extremes. I go back to the days of stamped baskets and still remember the decision to throw out one of my "Faema-style" baskets. I could never get good espresso from it. It was always "off" in balance. I didn't have problems with similar baskets. I eventually traced it to uneven flow from one side of the basket (marked, rotated, all of that).

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cafeIKE (original poster)
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#37: Post by cafeIKE (original poster) »

RapidCoffee wrote:Interesting claim, especially since VST baskets only arrived on the scene about 10 years ago. :wink:


Both Synesso and LM [or what were marketed as LM] were making precision baskets at least 15 years ago: Uniform hole size, polished bottom, centered pattern. The ♦♦♦ shape, as I argued when new, was different and with the same dose changes in taste could be attributed to thinner cake due to more headspace.

RapidCoffee wrote:I believe that basket geometry and open hole area make a difference.
Never a quibble on the former. We'd probably agree 100% on the latter if the ambiguous "open hole area" used a better descriptor.
500 0.012" holes have the same area as one 0.0565in² gusher. Of course we'd have to model the circumference drag.
"Hole Count / Diameter / Punch Pattern Extent"? HC/D/PPE <- you saw it at H-B first :shock:

BaristaMcBob

#38: Post by BaristaMcBob »

It's propaganda based on theoretical armchair pseudo physics. You know, the sort of science everyone in this forum practices :)

Let's start with the facts. Grind coarseness, dose, tamp, temperature, and brew time are what affect the yield, taste, aroma, and texture of the espresso.

A basket has no impact on temperature. So that variable is off the table.
Most baristas will consider yield to be a constant. 2:1 for espresso.
Brew time is therefore determined by puck resistance over time.

So, if you change the basket, you have to therefore change the grind and dose to keep the other variables constant (time and yield). Any change will impact the final product.

Some baskets work better than others for a particular roast and a particular machine (i.e. pump). But it's all trial and error, not any scientific principle. A given baskets will behave differently in a commercial La Marzocco machines than in a home Silvia. Different pumps, different flow rates, different pressures, different grinds.

The idea that laser precision holes improve tastes is pure BS in my opinion. If there is indeed a change in taste, it's because basket A with grind A has a different resistance and particle size than basket B with grind B. Nothing to do with laser precision. IMHO.

However, I do observe that some baskets are less prone to clogging and are easier to clean. That's worth paying a few extra bucks for.

gscace

#39: Post by gscace »

People buying every item under the sun without developing their brewing chops is one thing. On the other hand I recently was tasked with increasing the extraction yield produced by a specific espresso machine. Part of that effort was spent evaluating different filter baskets. I have to say the work was pretty time consuming because it took multiple repeats of various combinations, with each repeat containing minimum of 10 brewed coffees with accompanying extraction yield measurements - hundreds of brewed coffees and measurements. Certain baskets that I tried reproducibly produced higher extraction yields than others. So there is something to brew baskets. In my opinion everything that can have an effect on the flow of water through coffee can affect what comes out in the cup. But that includes you and your brewing skills. If those skills suck, then filters won't mean much. And your grinder better be up to the job.

-Greg
★★ Quite Helpful

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civ

#40: Post by civ »

Hello:
Andrewp wrote: ... can't believe there are four pages of comments about baskets!!
+1

Best,

CIV