Portafilter Baskets - how much do they matter?

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
trunks235

Postby trunks235 » Jan 05, 2019, 11:26 pm

Hi all,

Just curious on your thoughts- how much do portafilter baskets matter? Are there any noticeable differences in upgrading them? I currently use the stock Breville baskets and they seem to be fine, but I've never used anything else.

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MB

Postby MB » Jan 05, 2019, 11:41 pm

For me the basket differences can be significant. First, the flow rates can make big differences in how fine you grind, and that can mean a substantial taste difference. Even with baskets that seem like they are in a similar flow category are influenced by their the shapes and holes. I always find this to be true when trying different baskets out on my Londinium. I was switching out the stock basket on the LR with a couple others I had at work, and wasn't getting the results I was having at home. So, I brought in the basket from home and that did it. I purchased the same basket, and now things are good for me. It's all still espresso, but yes, there is a difference.

Will "upgrading" your basket make it better? Maybe, maybe not. Hopefully, some owners of the same machine you have will have some helpful observations.
LMWDP #472

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lancealot

Postby lancealot » Jan 05, 2019, 11:47 pm

Eager to see what others say.

It depends on what kinds of roasts you pull and how much you like to explore different kinds of coffees.

Different baskets have different flows. And you can use them to help dial in your extractions. I have 3 types:
EPNW double (HQ 14 gram ridgeless), you can easily fit 18 grams in it. it's the lowest flow of mine - lets you grind more coarsely and extract less compared to the other baskets listed below. Good for dark and some medium roasts. Rarely used.
Breville Dual Boiler Basket - medium flow of my baskets - the generalist. I use it for 97% of the coffees I pull. I pull mostly medium roasts.
VST 18g ridgeless - fastest flow of my baskets. allows you to grind very fine and extract the sh^! out of coffees. good for some medium and most light roasts. I almost never pull light roasts and I almost never use this basket.

Like I said, the BDB basket is used with most of the coffees I work with. Sometimes while trying to bring out or diminish acidity or bitterness by altering grind, I will bump into the limits of the BDB basket. When that happens, I will dial in with the EPNW or VST depending on which way I want to go.

IMHO most people who are serious about this hobby should wanna have a full set of extraction tools. I'd rec. a low, medium and high flow double basket. You might as well have all these baskets so you can make sure you can explore any coffee that comes your way to the fullest potential.

hbn

Postby hbn » Jan 08, 2019, 10:23 pm

Gaggia classic user here

For me, IMS basket and shower screen made immediate and noticeable improvements. It also became a lot easier to pull good shots consistently

liquidmetal

Postby liquidmetal » Jan 08, 2019, 10:51 pm

I just got a Decent brand 20g basket. From the first shot I felt I had significantly better flavor (really helped me get the fruits into my shots).

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redbone

Postby redbone » Jan 09, 2019, 9:42 am

Different baskets with the same grind settings may not necessarily work but different baskets with adjusted grind settings can achieve very similar results. More of an issue with finite espresso and non issue with a less concentrated espresso based drink like an Americano. Same can be said with single basket vs double basket even if from same manufacturer still requires a different grind to compensate for the dose resistance more so with flat vs conical burr grinder.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

emradguy

Postby emradguy » Jan 10, 2019, 11:48 pm

I do believe the precision baskets are a significant step above most stock baskets...mainly because you get a more even extraction from all pets of the puck. While I've not tried everything available, in terms of after-market upgrades, I have done a little experimenting with LM Strada and VST baskets. I generally pull medium roasts, and 90+% of the time it's a blend, rather than a s.o. bean. I definitely prefer the LM Strada basket over the VST for most coffees I drink, but on occasion I find something that tastes better to me using the VST after I've dialed in to optimize the flavor profile using each basket type. I haven't paid too much attention as to why I like one over the other (besides flavor), but there is definitely a difference.