Differences between IMS and VST baskets

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Sp0ke

#1: Post by Sp0ke »

Hello everyone! It may sound weird but i'm trying to understand differences between VST and IMS baskets. What are they? I bought a Lelit Pl41 Plust and If i'm not wrong it says IMS on the basket.
I'm just trying to learn more about it.

Ypuh

#2: Post by Ypuh »

There's so much info written on these two brands already. Even adding some more such as Pullman and EQ.

I could try and answer your question, but wouldn't be able to do it as well as all the people before me.
I don't want a Decent

rocksteady

#3: Post by rocksteady »

Sp0ke wrote:Hello everyone! It may sound weird but i'm trying to understand differences between VST and IMS baskets. What are they? I bought a Lelit Pl41 Plust and If i'm not wrong it says IMS on the basket.
I'm just trying to learn more about it.
IMS stands for Industria Materiali Stampati, and this Italian company's filter baskets are made in Italy.
Moderator @Jeff has mentioned before that VST baskets are made in China and these baskets and precision technology are used for La Marzocco Strada and maybe non-Strada baskets. It's wasn't clear where the company is located in the US to me.

As the previous reply mentions, you will get more info than you can read in a week about characteristics of these baskets by searching this forum. In a nutshell and also in my personal experience, IMS Competition baskets flow faster and require finer grind than a comparable VST size. Your taste, grinder, coffee beans, prep skills may prefer IMS or VST. This preference may also be affected by your significant other, personality, weather including humidity, dominant hand, shoe size, horoscope, etc., etc., etc. So bottom line, try one of each in the size you prefer and find out what all the fuss is about. :)

rocksteady

#4: Post by rocksteady »

Also, IMS makes so many sizes that it take 30 minutes figuring out which one you want on their website. They do make a cool single shot filter and an interesting restricted tdi filter(filter with a filter?) that I haven't tried yet.

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#5: Post by Jeff »

VST baskets are all the same general shape and hole fill (the 7 g basket in its own way). They all tend to be fast-flowing baskets.

IMS baskets have a variety of shapes and hole fill. They also have some ultra-fine filtering baskets. They can be normal or fast-flowing baskets. They offer a "nano coated" line which I don't believe offers a meaningful benefit to home baristas. It has also been reported as flaking or wearing off.

My information is third hand that there are two "worthwhile" OEMs of "precision" baskets, IMS and one in China, who makes VST among others. I have not seen a quality difference between the two over a dozen or two baskets. I don't know who makes Pullman or some of the other offerings.

With many manufacturers using higher quality baskets than they were a decade ago, a "precision" basket may not be a significant upgrade.

If you're considering buying one and are relatively new to espresso, I would stay away from the fast-flowing baskets, VST, IMS, or otherwise. They tend to require better grinds, puck prep, and overall technique to just avoid making a mess.

The EPNW HQ 14 ridgeless is a precision basket I've used that is moderate in its flow and many people like. I've used one for many years now and it is still "in my quiver". It doses like an 18.

Ypuh

#6: Post by Ypuh »

rocksteady wrote:In a nutshell and also in my personal experience, IMS Competition baskets flow faster and require finer grind than a comparable VST size.
My experience was actually the opposite. The VST (15g) requiring a finer grind due to a faster flow than the IMS Competition (18-20g). Both ridgeless and dosed similarly at 16-18g or so. The VST required more attention to the puck prep and a better grinder, but in turn provided a slightly sweeter cup.

I would not be able to recognize the two separately, but in a direct comparison there is a small but noticeable difference. That makes it worth experimenting (the investment is small compared to what most other equipment changes achieve).
I don't want a Decent

rocksteady

#7: Post by rocksteady »

Ypuh wrote:My experience was actually the opposite. The VST (15g) requiring a finer grind due to a faster flow than the IMS Competition (18-20g). Both ridgeless and dosed similarly at 16-18g or so. The VST required more attention to the puck prep and a better grinder, but in turn provided a slightly sweeter cup.
There you have it! Are you a Gemini or Virgo? :D

All joking aside, thanks for the input. My experience is with VST ridged 15g and IMS ridged 14/16g B702TH24.5M, both dosed at 14-15g. I didn't dig further, but I think the IMS has more holes and the holes seem bigger to me than on the VST when looking through the filter while cleaning and checking for clogged holes. The IMS basket is also lighter in overall weight by a couple grams and has a curved profile on the bottom.

I wish it was my preferred basket, as I do appreciate Made in Italy. But, VST is equal in quality and works better in my hands to make the cup I enjoy. Maybe I will try some others in the future, but puck prep seems to be my self-limiting factor far more than the baskets.

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Jeff
Team HB

#8: Post by Jeff »

Moderator note: Questions about VST's corporation and location moved to What's the story behind VST?