I don't find this statement to be true, either in general or for the recent filter basket study. Speaking for myself: I am an equal-opportunity skeptic. There are no sacred cows, and anything is open to questioning and further scrutiny.bigabeano wrote:I believe the ways many H-B'ers have approached Extract Mojo (EM) and VST baskets has caused them to misuse or misjudge these products. Many have expressed blind faith in the testing done by others, and have rejected these products out of hand without any personal experience.
This is an astonishing claim, and one that needs to be backed up with data. Pardon my skepticism, but even if true in a commercial setting with highly trained coffee professionals, this seems very unlikely in the totally different home barista environment.bigabeano wrote:In fact, my business partner Anthony (a fantastic barista and an equally avid user of Extract Mojo) and I often play a guessing game, usually successfully, in which we taste a brew, guess the extraction %, and then check our guesses against a refractometer. After a few hundred such tries, it has become relatively easy to guess the answer to within +/- 0.2% extraction.
Neither flaws nor tragic. Jim chose to measure flow rate vs. dose for a given set of baskets, and reported those results. If you would undertake a similar study, and supplement our results with refractometer data, that would be great. If asked nicely, I would be glad to do more basket hole analyses.bigabeano wrote:As for VST baskets, (see: How filter baskets affect espresso taste and barista technique), the scientific approach Mr. Schulman took in comparing baskets had two tragic flaws:
Our study does not address consistency between baskets, or basket sturdiness, which are relatively unimportant issues in the home. The results provide support for VST claims of less variation in filter basket hole size, although the basket sample size is clearly too small for "proof". Claims of greater consistency in extraction... well, that depends on how you interpret consistency. We did not test a dozen 18g VST baskets for consistency; instead, we studied over a dozen different baskets. Small changes in dose had a greater effect on VST basket flow rates than other baskets in the study. This makes it harder to achieve consistent pours from the basket, not easier.
There is huge diversity in tamping, with handstand tamp vs. no-tamp proponents, tappers and polishers, NSEW and nutation, flat vs. curved bases, etc. etc. Both you and AndyS have stated that a difference of 0.2mm in tamper radius is significant (although Andy's claim is confounded by flat vs. curved bases). This is another extraordinary claim, and one that should be supported by strong evidence, not just anecdotal remarks. Furthermore, this statement, if true, provides additional evidence for the "fussiness" of VST baskets.bigabeano wrote:One caveat: You will get better results and fewer micro-channels if you use a 58.4mm tamper in conjunction with VST baskets; good results can be achieved with a 58mm tamper, but better results will be achieved with a 58.4mm tamper.
Disclaimer: Scott was kind enough to send me review copies of his excellent books on Espresso and Coffee. I am a big fan, despite my disagreement with his posts on this thread.