Significance of using different baskets?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Beavis

#1: Post by Beavis »

I have Silvia with the double basket it came with and then got a naked PF that came with triple basket. I see posters here talking of the LM or Synesso double or triple baskets and wonder that difference a different basket makes? Can a shot be better with a different basket? I do understand the different grams of coffee it holds but what about taste difference from strictly a different basket?
While we are on the subject of basket size, I have learned that Silvia's PF or at least the basket is 58mm. The tamper I have (I assume is 58 mm) but it's not a super snug fit inside the basket. It's close though. Should the tamper be a snug fit inside the basket when tamping?
Thanks, Beavis

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another_jim
Team HB

#2: Post by another_jim »

Baskets vary in depth and in the degree to which the overall shape is cylindrical or tapered toward the bottom. A deeper, more cylindrical basket can either take more coffee, or create a larger space between the puck and shower screen. This large space takes longer to fill with water, creating a longer time between turning on the pump and seeing the first drops of espresso emerge out of the PF. This time is called the "dwell."

E61 groups have a mechanical pre-infusion that creates around 8 to 10 seconds dwell; a few other groups have similar systems, but most do not. The conventional wisdom is that one is looking for a dwell of 5 seconds minimum. You can achieve this on any machine by selecting a basket that is deep enough to accommodate your preferred dose of coffee while leaving enough room between the puck and shower screen, "head space," to create this dwell time. The Rancilio double basket is fairly shallow, and won't do this with doses over 14 grams. The LM baskets will give you an extra 3 grams, should you want it.

For lower doses, shallower baskets can be easier to level and tamp. Use a basket no deeper than required to accommodate your dose and get 5 seconds dwell.
Jim Schulman

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mrgnomer

#3: Post by mrgnomer »

Not a bad rant 1/2 way down on baskets.

http://www.coffeegeek.com/opinions/mark ... 09-01-2007

To me it's also an issue of basket quality. Stock baskets are usually tapered and hard to underdose. The quality control can be bad with holes not punched out or the hole pattern off center.

I've picked up 14g, 18g and 21g Synesso baskets and like them much better. The quality seems to be better and the sides are straighter allowing a tamper to get down further. Better tamp, better extraction for me.
Kirk
LMWDP #116

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#4: Post by cannonfodder »

How many companies actually produce baskets? I have a sneaky suspicion that many of the factory and after market baskets are stamped by the same manufacturer.
Dave Stephens

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Jasonian

#5: Post by Jasonian »

cannonfodder wrote:How many companies actually produce baskets? I have a sneaky suspicion that many of the factory and after market baskets are stamped by the manufacturer.
I don't know, but the Gaggia baskets are different than the Expobar baskets which are different than the Synesso baskets, which are different than the La Marzocco baskets, which are different than the Nuova Simonelli baskets and so on.

I think there are more than you realize but less than one might initially think.
Owner - AJ Coffee Company
HB Rocks!

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HB
Admin

#6: Post by HB »

Beavis wrote:Can a shot be better with a different basket? I do understand the different grams of coffee it holds but what about taste difference from strictly a different basket?
The shape and capacity certainly make a difference, but I haven't detected differences some attribute exclusively to hole size / hole pattern / manufacture. Admittedly I have not dedicated time for blind taste tests in the attempt to prove or disprove a difference either, despite joining in the group buy and later whining about my lemming behavior. For now, my mainstay is the humble ridged Faema-style basket.
Beavis wrote:The tamper I have (I assume is 58 mm) but it's not a super snug fit inside the basket. It's close though. Should the tamper be a snug fit inside the basket when tamping?
It's a matter of personal preference. I do a Staub "four corner" tamp, so a little slack is fine by me.

PS: Related topics LM Basket woes and Synesso (or whatever) basket vs LM basket.
Dan Kehn

k7qz

#7: Post by k7qz »

HB wrote:It's a matter of personal preference. I do a Staub "four corner" tamp, so a little slack is fine by me.
What?!? Dan, you're no longer nutating? :wink: :lol:

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HB
Admin

#8: Post by HB »

You have me confused with Dave. He's into nutating motion, I just like like to say it.

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From Tamp and Dose Techniques Digest
Dan Kehn

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#9: Post by cannonfodder »

I don't nutate in public.

I have gone away from the stand on one leg, sacrifice a white chicken, say a voodoo chant and pray to espresso god's complexity of pulling a shot. It just is not needed. I grind, thwack, I thump the portafilter down three times to settle the down dosed basket and smash it with my fancy hammer.

I also have a small collection of baskets but they are all almost identical, and all came from different brand machines. The only truly stand out different basket is the cylindrical LM stock basket. Most are the generic, tapered bottom, ridged (I do have a ridgeless LM basket) Faema style.

My amateur observation, there is very little difference, if any, in taste between them. I do think the straight sided LM basket is a little more temperamental but that could also be the machine I am using it on. I 'think' there may be a slight difference in taste, but I doubt I could pick it out of a blind tasting. Intra shot variables make a larger difference in taste than the brand of basket you use.

In my mind, the only reason to change baskets is to
1. replace them because they are worn out, they do wear out, the holes erode over time but in a home environment that would take a lifetime.

2. The basket rim was damaged and no longer seals with the gasket

3. You want a deeper basket to hold more coffee.
Dave Stephens