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Thread: Ridged vs Ridgeless...

  1. #1
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Ridged vs Ridgeless...

    ...umm, why?

    What's the difference between ridged and non-ridged baskets? Why should I get either in preference to the other?
    Last edited by Javaphile; 30th December 2013 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Inappropriate language

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    I believe it is to do with how the basket is retained in the portafilter (I.e. how tight the spring is).

    I have only ever had ridgeless baskets (which seem to be the preferred option around here).

    Take your existing basket out and have a look at it. If it has a ridge around the circumference of the wall, then you might need a new retaining spring/clip to use a ridgeless basket. Otherwise you should be good to go.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Mr Jack is pretty well on the money.

    My preference is for ridgeless, easier to tamp accurately, the spent puck knocks out easier than with a ridged and clean up is a bit easier.

    I use an 18 gram Precision basket, available here Precision filter basket 58mm- Espresso parts

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    Apart from the above reasons, I think also the ridgeless allow a better pour because the tamp pressure is even all the way down the sides. If you picture it, a tamper that doesn't fit in the bottom below the ridge seems likely to have pressure differential between the sides above the ridge and the central area. I might be wrong but it seems to me that would have to affect how the coffee extracts across the width of the basket.

    Maybe they brought out ridged ones to help with side channelling?

  5. #5
    TOK
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    The standard filter for the gaggia is a ridgeless type which otherwise is similar to a standard commercial ridged filter except for the circlip groove (ridge/whatever). In commercial use (and these type filters are commercial type even if they are fitted to domestic machines) it doesn't take long for a ridgeless filter to start falling out of the group handle every time you knock out the puk ergo, a ridged filter really is the go for commercial use where it lasts a little longer before the filter starts falling out. In home use, the filters don't get as much use (understatement) so if you want to knock yourself out buying and using ridgeless filters, go for it . Incidentally I think we need to be careful about creating or perpetuating urban myths....if a "ridgeless" filter is said to be "preferred" around these parts, it may be simply that....people keep recommending round and round, not necessarily because you might get a better cup of coffee using them, that can be 100% attributed to use of ridgeless filters. The ridge is actually a "circlip groove", ie a groove to accommodate the filter circlip when the assembly is together in the group handle, as explained a little further up. Also it will be good to note that for beginners the groove or ridge is actually a very handy "reckoner" for their tamping and dosing. Its very easy to see when a tamp is uneven when you have the groove to go by and of course if you can see most of the groove, then the filter is usually under dosed. So its not all bad really and I for one have no trouble with them and am happy to use them. Hope that helps.
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    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Hope that helps.
    Yeup, it does, quite a lot! Thanks

    I was leaning towards ridgeless before your post. I think I actually might look for ridged now for the Gaggia. Part of me getting into this is to learn some skills and gain some knowledge that would otherwise take time and experience in a shop. So if the commercial ones are ridged, I think I might be better off in the long run sticking to them.

    Of course my experiences down the road might change that but for now, I think I'm decided

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    Check the basket before you buy. Some ridges change the size of the basket below the ridge, and that means either your tamper stops on the ridge or, if you have a tamp that is narrow enough to go past the ridge, the upper part of the grind will need a different style of tamping to ensure the compression is even across the puck.

    TBH I don't really see how the size issue can be avoided unless the ridge is in the outer shell and does not deform the inner surface - which is a basket I don't think exists. From what I looked at before I bought my VST's, there seem to be 3 different diameters in a ridged basket, the one above the ridge, the ridge itself, and a 3rd below the ridge. It seemed to me, aside from the advice of those who have used both and recommend the ridgeless, that this tri-level diameter can only complicate getting consistency in tamping.

    It's possible you might find one that has a shelf instead of a ridge, which would give you 2 different diameters and so reduce the complications...

    PS: On thingscoffee.com.au (site sponsor) they suggest ridged baskets also tend to be less circular, possibly because the ridge process deforms the shape slightly - that suggests finding a perfect fit tamper might be problematic also.

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    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Now there's a market. Ridged ridgeless baskets. If the metal is thick enough you could conceivably have an indent into the metal on the outside of the basket without affecting the inside of it. Wouldn't have to be much, either. A fraction of a millimetre would be enough for that little spring to click and lock it in.

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    True dat... Or maybe a double-end tamper sized to fit below the ridge one end and just fit above the ridge for the other.

    Or maybe not - there'd still be a discrepancy below the ridge where the wall is larger than the ridge - a possible channelling weakness...

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    The question of ridged v ridgeless really is getting into fine tuning, I have quite a collection of baskets now from a few different makers, both ridged and ridgeless and can pull a decent shot with any of them, it really is a case of understanding the equipment you have along with its good points and limitations, then, learning to produce the best results with what you have to work with, once you have your technique down pat and are producing results that you are happy with, think about fine tuning.

    Its been said many times before, get the basics right, fresh beans, grind, dose, tamp and pull the shot, its a straight forward process.

    As far as porta filter basket retaining springs are concerned if your having trouble with the basket dropping into the knock box stronger springs are available, I've not experienced the problem and have been using ridgeless baskets for the past 5 years, as Tok says commercial use is an entirely different situation to home use, have never had to make coffee for a living so cant comment.
    Last edited by Yelta; 30th December 2013 at 04:16 PM.
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    TOK
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    Somebody has to say this.....

    So many theoretical complications, for such a simple question.

    The diff between so called ridged, and so called ridgeless filters, is that one is grooved to accept a circlip and stop the filter coming out on knocking, and the other isnt grooved to do yareth yarteh yarteh....

    The ridge is the groove for the circlip.

    The rest is academic mumbo jumbo that often enough will be impossible to either prove or disprove in real life situations or if it can, does it make any difference to any individuals palate??? All of this does no credit to this site which people view is an authority on all things coffee and coffee making.

    One for your thread I think J.

    Hope that helps.
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    I have 4 x Sunbeam ridgeless and 2 x VST ridgeless. They all have a definite 'click' into place as the circlip is engaged. I can't recall ever having a basket pop out of the PF and I used to bang them pretty solidly when I started. There are apparently different springs available for ridgeless - to me that suggests the ridge is there for more reasons than to just hold the basket in.

    It may be "academic mumbo-jumbo" to some, but there are others like me who like to find out what is going on with our systems, which is why the question was asked in the OP. It might be the ridge was introduced for professional set ups as mentioned above and is irrelevant for most home use, but I worked with a commercial machine with ridgeless baskets and never once had one pop out - and it was not a new machine. The owner had it before he sold the pub and it was still in place when he bought it back years later. Given his attitude towards the machine, I doubt he was replacing clips every so often.

    I can't see how exploring questions about making coffee could possibly bring the site into any level of disrepute; seems to me always being Authority and not allowing such exploration would drive people away from sheer dogmatism. I can't imagine newbs coming to the site and finding it attractive to be told, "This is how it is and thou shalt not question!" I think most people on forums like to feel they are a part of what is going on, not stunned mullet sitting at the feet of the all-high Authority.

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    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Maybe for "professional" machines the ridges are there to compensate for barista skill/performance? I know that they could certainly use all the help they can get at Gloria Jeans

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    COuld be TD. I guess there would need to be some accomodation in the pro machines simply because it is more likely someone who has zero idea what they are doing would still need to produce something drinkable. Get it wrong at home and you and maybe 2 or 3 others might suffer; get it wrong in a café and you can be outta business and many bad words said about the machine.

    I might have told this, but I called into a GJ's in Geelong - was the only place open on a Saturday Arvo and the local office server was down so time was of the essence. Long strong Macchiato - he poured a single shot into the cup, then turned to the wall where there was a dispenser with some dark liquid in it and half filled the cup. I headed for the counter and, as he was adding the dash of milk asked him what he had just done.

    Apparently they make up a brew in the morning and fill the dispenser and use it for anyone daring to ask for a double. I asked for a sniff of the coffee, told him I wasn't paying nor taking that 'muck' (it truly smelled quite nasty) and went and made myself an instant at the office.

    While the server was rebuilding I found a shop half way up the hill where they made quite a nice coffee.

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    That's very odd, Journeyman. It seems to me that it would be easier and cheaper just to pour a double. A few cents with of beans plus a few seconds of barista time would cost less than making the brew in the morning.

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    I had and still have no idea why they did it. I've looked at GJ setups since and, without looking like supersleuth trying to study everything, haven't seen such a thing again. From the smell I did wonder if they were adding the slops back into the dispenser; a trick some hotel folk used to do. (I've seen it happen and promptly started dyeing the drip trays to prevent it happening where I worked - and instantly started looking for another job )

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    Maybe for "professional" machines the ridges are there to compensate for barista skill/performance? I know that they could certainly use all the help they can get at Gloria Jeans
    Hi ThankDog

    Just to get this thread back on track, traditional baskets always had ridges so the springs lock the basket in position. A few maverick makers decided they were not necessary years ago, and made ridgeless baskets and slightly stronger springs. Ridgeless baskets were simpler and cheaper to make all things being equal.

    When La Marzocco (LM) commissioned VST to make their new baskets they insisted on ridges (probably because they always had them). A few million dollars of research later and VST delivered a series of ridged baskets to LM. VST also discovered that a ridgeless basket flows more consistently & therefore better over a wide range of conditions. LM refused to change, so VST marketed the ridgeless ones themselves. The 7g VST which was the final size to be developed is actually a ridgeless / shelved basket Things Coffee | Pullman Tamper, Coffee Tamper, VST Filter Basket, VST Refractometer, Hottop, Coffee Roaster, KN-8828B-2 (site sponsor) shows this with reasonable clarity, even though they call it ridged.

    In the last two years I have replaced quite a few LM ridged with VST ridgeless as ironically LM machines are good enough to really notice the difference! One thing I have also noticed first hand is that the difference seems to widen as you go up in size: a 22g comparison is a lot more pronounced than (say) the 15g. That is backed by several friends who are still in the trade and literally put their money behind their opinions. No idea why (so don't ask...).

    It is probably a bit early in your coffee making efforts to get into the whole technical catastrophe, however the original paper from Vince Fedele of VST is at http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/009...presso.pdf?134. Mark Prince CoffeeGeek - Can These Filters Change the World of Espresso? then threw in some interesting comments of his initial experiences. Oh, and read all the subsequent readers comments on the CG site very carefully: they have even more insights, many of them technical. The VST web site also has a lot of external links on Filter Basket Press- VST. That should fill in a few sleepless nights if you have the inclination. If I remember correctly the whole ridged / ridgeless debate is only a few sentences somewhere amidst that lot, as the first flow graph comparison was conclusive.

    As Yelta posted earlier on this thread: you can make a decent coffee with either type of basket. I would merely add to that: if you are starting with a blank piece of paper, why not go for the best? The VST's are the same price for ridged / ridgeless anyway, so it is not even a financial issue.

    Hope this helps.


    TampIt

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    Ok, now I'm curious as to why there's a 15g and 18g VST and they're both called "double" baskets?

    Is that just to get a stronger shot or is there some other reason? Which would be recommended for a Gaggia Classic?

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    If you don't have a grinder, I don't think ridged vs ridgeless matters to you.

    I do love my VST+Pullman but I think that the real advantage is the straight sides, not the precision holes.

    Grinder! Grinder Grinder Grinder!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    Ok, now I'm curious as to why there's a 15g and 18g VST and they're both called "double" baskets?

    Is that just to get a stronger shot or is there some other reason? Which would be recommended for a Gaggia Classic?
    Not so much "stronger"; if everything is being done correctly, you should end up with a richer shot with more body to it...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    Ok, now I'm curious as to why there's a 15g and 18g VST and they're both called "double" baskets?

    Is that just to get a stronger shot or is there some other reason?
    Hi again ThankDog

    Because a triple is considered to be 21g upwards (20g for some folks), anything from (say) 10/11g to 19/20g is a double. The bigger baskets may not fit in your classic p/f anyway unless your remove the bottom and therefore the spout(s). Note: It may be worth checking a 6910 p/f, as a friend of mine has a Gaggia (no idea which model) which has taken the naked stainless p/f (my slightly larger diameter one) from my 6910 and pulled a good shot. FYI, a stock 6910 basket can take a 22g VST (just) largely thanks to Paul Bassett's work.

    Note: VST's specifically have done a lot of work on hole size and flow rate so you can interchange the baskets without needing to change your grinder settings (picture a busy cafe & the havoc that may cause). For home users, that may be less of an issue. In any case you can use the extra coffee mass to tinker the shot to suit your own taste buds after you lose your L-plates. Stronger / more low notes (richer to some folks), more / less balanced etc. etc. FWIW, I suggest you file it away as something to tinker with later after your espresso technique is consistent.

    Starting with a 15g should be plenty to begin with, and they are more tolerant in all senses of the word. A well set up VST/naked can come close to double the flavour hit compared to most conventional baskets / p/fs when both shots are "correctly" ("equally" may be more accurate) balanced so you may never decide to move "up or down" the size ladder. Personally, I have the whole VST set of ridgeless. I ended up with such a strong, balanced flavour from my 15g I have largely gone down to 7g singles. The 22g is too strong for even iced coffees unless I split it or run it as a "double ristretto". Even a self confessed "flavour hit junkie" coffee fiend / friend of mine found one of my 20g espresso shots too strong and watered it down & that is a first!

    Another issue: A lot of CSr's use naked or bottomless p/fs. For a home user they usually give a better result after showing up any further inadequacies in your technique. I reckon they also give a better cuppa with more crema, others disagree. I suggest it is something to do at the same time as the 15g VST as they are a good match. Shortens the learning curve grief.

    Hope this helps

    TampIt

  22. #22
    TOK
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    I thought it might be helpful to present a few old time “pearls of wisdom” for all the “experts of one” here that presume to lecture those with real expertise about “authority” and “dogma”.

    Machines and their fitments are only as good as the operators behind them;

    We tend to waste so much money, trying to “buy” better coffee through equipment selection;

    It’s not the gear we have, but how we use that gear;

    IMO Too many jump in and rush their coffee journey;

    How the gear is used is more important than the gear itself;

    A good tradesman never blames his tools.

    There is no joy in making things more complicated than they need to be.

    KISS.



    TG: The machine came with a filter…ridged or ridgeless, generic or brand name…..honestly, who cares???

    * You could consider just poking along for a while and learning to get the best out of the gear you have.

    * After a while, you will understand more about your real needs, and then you can knock yourself out upgrading to whatever you like.



    Too often in here, people waste so much time arguing about what is "better" or about why something is "better", instead of simply appreciating that there are differences and being secure in their choice of equipment and their coffee making skills.

    The academic discussion may be interesting to some, but its tangential to the OP's real needs at the moment OR at his current level, and it becomes tiresome to have someone ask a simple question and have it turn into a dissertation on why e = mc squared.

    Its a "public" forum, and that is my opinion.

    Hope that helps.
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    How do people find ridged vs ridgeless baskets from the perspective of ease of removal when switching between baskets?
    The baskets which came with my machine (ridgeless, but possibly not original) were relatively easy to pry out with another basket. My new Precision baskets are a much tighter fit - the triple in particular is quite difficult to remove.

  24. #24
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    The academic discussion may be interesting to some, but its tangential to the OP's real needs at the moment OR at his current level, and it becomes tiresome to have someone ask a simple question and have it turn into a dissertation on why e = mc squared.
    I find it interesting.

    To be quite honest and upfront about things, I'm not just engaging in this hobby to make a better coffee or even to simply learn some skills, but also as a social outlet and a means to involve myself in something so as not to go stir-crazy sitting at home all day. I have limited jobs that I can apply for due to a collection of infirmities both physical and mental, as is evidenced by the fact that this year I couldn't even manage to get a Christmas casual position, and I need something to occupy my mind and time lest I step in front of a tram on purpose.

    So I enjoy the discussion and the reading material and engaging with people online as much as I do the end product of all of that.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    I thought it might be helpful to present a few old time “pearls of wisdom” for all the “experts of one” here that presume to lecture those with real expertise about “authority” and “dogma”.

    Machines and their fitments are only as good as the operators behind them;

    We tend to waste so much money, trying to “buy” better coffee through equipment selection;

    It’s not the gear we have, but how we use that gear;

    IMO Too many jump in and rush their coffee journey;

    How the gear is used is more important than the gear itself;

    A good tradesman never blames his tools.

    There is no joy in making things more complicated than they need to be.

    KISS.



    TG: The machine came with a filter…ridged or ridgeless, generic or brand name…..honestly, who cares???

    * You could consider just poking along for a while and learning to get the best out of the gear you have.

    * After a while, you will understand more about your real needs, and then you can knock yourself out upgrading to whatever you like.



    Too often in here, people waste so much time arguing about what is "better" or about why something is "better", instead of simply appreciating that there are differences and being secure in their choice of equipment and their coffee making skills.

    The academic discussion may be interesting to some, but its tangential to the OP's real needs at the moment OR at his current level, and it becomes tiresome to have someone ask a simple question and have it turn into a dissertation on why e = mc squared.

    Its a "public" forum, and that is my opinion.

    Hope that helps.
    Well said TOK, brings to mind a quote from (As you like it) "The Foole doth thinke he is wise, but the wiseman knowes himselfe to be a Foole."

    Did you receive my PM?

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    Strangely, I haven't used any epithets for those I talk about. I thought there was a recent post about such targetting?

    As for aphorisms, old wives sayings are one thing, but here's some more along with actual references about WHO said them.

    “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
    ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

    “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
    ― Albert Einstein

    “It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”
    ― Albert Einstein

    “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
    ― Benjamin Franklin

    “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”
    ― Richard P. Feynman

    “That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way.”
    ― Doris Lessing


    “That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way.”
    ― Doris Lessing
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  27. #27
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    ;

    It’s not the gear we have, but how we use that gear;

    IMO Too many jump in and rush their coffee journey;

    How the gear is used is more important than the gear itself;

    A good tradesman never blames his tools.
    By the same token, a good tradesman will never equip himself with shite, and while discussion of ridges in baskets, I agree, is secondary to pretty much any other factor and inappropriate for a newbie to concern himself with, having equipment that fulfils certain basic requirements will make the journey easier.

    All I'm really saying is that while getting into the minutae is unhelpful for a newbie, gear talk as a whole is not imo

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    I thought it might be helpful to present a few old time “pearls of wisdom” for all the “experts of one” here that presume to lecture those with real expertise about “authority” and “dogma”.

    Machines and their fitments are only as good as the operators behind them;

    We tend to waste so much money, trying to “buy” better coffee through equipment selection;

    It’s not the gear we have, but how we use that gear;

    IMO Too many jump in and rush their coffee journey;

    How the gear is used is more important than the gear itself;

    A good tradesman never blames his tools.

    There is no joy in making things more complicated than they need to be.

    KISS.



    TG: The machine came with a filter…ridged or ridgeless, generic or brand name…..honestly, who cares???

    * You could consider just poking along for a while and learning to get the best out of the gear you have.

    * After a while, you will understand more about your real needs, and then you can knock yourself out upgrading to whatever you like.



    Too often in here, people waste so much time arguing about what is "better" or about why something is "better", instead of simply appreciating that there are differences and being secure in their choice of equipment and their coffee making skills.

    The academic discussion may be interesting to some, but its tangential to the OP's real needs at the moment OR at his current level, and it becomes tiresome to have someone ask a simple question and have it turn into a dissertation on why e = mc squared.

    Its a "public" forum, and that is my opinion.

    Hope that helps.
    Hi TOK

    Nice selection of put downs for the learning process.

    Speaking of "academic discussion", in a past life when I was teaching a really complex unit / course to students the objective was (say) to teach them to walk. By providing information at all levels from very basic / Sesame St (i.e. crawling) to highly advanced / "state of the art in research and allowing them to work (NOT pushing them in any way) at whatever pace they chose, some progress was made. After two or three weeks most of them managed to achieve the modest walking goal whilst a few were starting to run. A few weeks later and a high percentage of them were flying around the room and I can still remember looking on thinking "that wasn't in the notes" & "cool, go for it".

    IMO Thankdog is already progressing far faster than I expected (segue to the Uni teaching) and the last thing anyone should do in that situation is to give him a handbrake / obstacle / put down / negativity (or a number of other words involving impeding his progress).

    When he stops asking questions, he has reached his potential in that area for the time being, or at least he is mulling over the store of knowledge he has extracted in the last week or two and considering his options. I for one reckon he would be a good "problem student" who will ask the damnedest questions and keep you on your toes. Fine by me, the world has enough people determined to settle on mediocrity.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    TampIt
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    IMO Thankdog is already progressing far faster than I expected (segue to the Uni teaching) and the last thing anyone should do in that situation is to give him a handbrake / obstacle / put down / negativity (or a number of other words involving impeding his progress).
    My enthusiasm makes up for what I lack in intelligence and ability.

    Also, I AM THE WALRUS!

  30. #30
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    My enthusiasm makes up for what I lack in intelligence and ability.

    Also, I AM THE WALRUS!
    I thought John Lennon was the Walrus ThankDog, guess there's room for more than one.

    Happy new year

    Yelta.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    How do people find ridged vs ridgeless baskets from the perspective of ease of removal when switching between baskets?
    I believe most of the ridgeless filters can be removed in ~1 second with just your fingernails. Most ridged filters can be removed in ~5 secs with a "stubby" flat-blade screwdriver. Depends on what tools you have on hand and how you value your time.

    If your filters are too hard to remove you can also clip a half centimeter or so off the ends of your portafilter spring clip. That reduces the effort required to pop out the filter.

  32. #32
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I thought John Lennon was the Walrus ThankDog, guess there's room for more than one.

    Happy new year

    Yelta.
    Nah, as per 'Glass Onion'....the Walrus was Paul

  33. #33
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Hi TOK

    Nice selection of put downs for the learning process........ Fine by me, the world has enough people determined to settle on mediocrity.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    TampIt
    Sigh..... well, I do have long term practical experience teaching coffee and espresso classes face to face with interested, passionate "students" wanting but struggling to get a handle on the basics of entry level espresso making and wanting to learn how to use their newly acquired equipment effectively...............and I think you've missed the point............... The "student" in this case has just acquired a basic entry level machine which doesn't even run yet (said to be flowing "milky" water in another thread which will undoubtedly be a gut full of aluminium oxide...I dunno about you but I certainly wouldn't drink anything out of it yet), there is no grinder, and where as far as I can make out the operator has apparently never made one single coffee using a pump driven espresso machine. So at the moment there isn't even an appreciation of so called "grind/dose/tap" NOR of the vagaries of the machine in terms of its particularly variable thermal stability. Thus my preoccupation with KISS. It has nothing to do with mediocrity, but it has a great deal to do with practicality and understanding and dealing with the individual problems at hand one at a time and not confusing people too much. There is a time and a place for certain academic discussions. If your practical "coffee / espresso 101" teaching experiences differ from mine, then so be it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    By the same token, a good tradesman will never equip himself with shite, and while discussion of ridges in baskets, I agree, is secondary to pretty much any other factor and inappropriate for a newbie to concern himself with, having equipment that fulfils certain basic requirements will make the journey easier..........
    Spot on, and if the OP cant learn excellent coffee making skills with the std filter supplied with the Classic, then he may need to consider getting out of espresso
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  34. #34
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    It has nothing to do with mediocrity, but it has a great deal to do with practicality and understanding and dealing with the individual problems at hand one at a time and not confusing people too much.
    To be fair, I'm confused even at the best of times

  35. #35
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    Teaching is a thing done from above - our schools are notorious for turning out graduates who can pass a test but fail dismally at basic arithmetic, spelling, and almost everything else required for an effective career.

    Learning is a more encompassing activity and as a teacher from a tech school (which tells you how long ago it was) said, "A good student will learn in spite of the teacher."

    TG and others on the forums have an interest in learning and so they participate. Far from the complexities scaring them away, they seem eager to contribute up until people come by implying (or saying directly) how ridiculous it is to think they could participate.

    And in this instance, the OP and his machine issues could easily learn enough to decide what he needs and what things it should offer so he doesn't continue the process of buying something unsatisfactory and then having to buy again, then again and so on. As acknowledged above, he doesn't have the finances to keep upgrading to get what he has learned that he needs, and like the guitar anaolgy used in another thread, buying el cheapo can all by itself offer insurmountable odds and drive newbs off to by a nespresso.

    Perhaps we need a 'New-To-Espresso' forum where people interested in the nitty-gritty can practice their art of discussion and those already expert in all to do with making coffee can simply avoid with ease? Then after we discuss to a conclusion we could march up to Olympus and proffer our findings to the Gods of Coffee for approval...

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    Then after we discuss to a conclusion we could march up to Olympus and proffer our findings to the Gods of Coffee for approval...
    Ooh, can I come?

    I imagine that it will look something like this:

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  37. #37
    TOK
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    Wow ! Its funny how the name "Olympus" gets a mention, because they have exactly the same problems in the photography equipment industry where you get the same kind of equipment snobbishness and discussions with rank beginners buying only the best pro equipment, to learn how to take photos. Exactly the same problems... people not understanding that its them that takes a good photo, not the equipment....and now we're having a discussion on the philosophies of teaching and who is ethically better. Mods need not worry, I'm going to let the people with all the "virtual" experience have the floor and am out of here.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Wow ! Its funny how the name "Olympus" gets a mention, because they have exactly the same problems in the photography equipment industry where you get the same kind of equipment snobbishness and discussions with rank beginners buying only the best pro equipment, to learn how to take photos. Exactly the same problems... people not understanding that its them that takes a good photo, not the equipment....and now we're having a discussion on the philosophies of teaching and who is ethically better. Mods need not worry, I'm going to let the people with all the "virtual" experience have the floor and am out of here.
    Funny you should mention that. I tried my hand at photography and learned that I'm so totally awful at it that even if I had bought the right camera (I bought the wrong one in the first place), I still would be crap at it.

    Hence why I'm using the proceeds from it to finance all this.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Wow ! Its funny how the name "Olympus" gets a mention, because they have exactly the same problems in the photography equipment industry where you get the same kind of equipment snobbishness and discussions with rank beginners buying only the best pro equipment, to learn how to take photos. Exactly the same problems... people not understanding that its them that takes a good photo, not the equipment....and now we're having a discussion on the philosophies of teaching and who is ethically better. Mods need not worry, I'm going to let the people with all the "virtual" experience have the floor and am out of here.
    Strangely, it isn't 'exactly' the same at all. If TG had bought a $4000 machine you might have a point, but the analogy is actually just confusing. So I guess the 'snobbishness' must be coming from somewhere else? And nobody mentioned anything about 'ethically better' just that there's a difference. Perhaps a personal anguish is showing here?

    This thread has consisted of people giving experiences, and one can have an experience whether one has 40 years as a professional or 12 weeks. It was all fine until 'elder' members decided we should not be talking about such things and in fact it is a fairly regular occurrence which then gets highlighted as some kind of negative image of the forums - but the threads are fine until people are being told what they are allowed to discuss.

    On the whole the consensus seems to be 'go ridgeless' with a couple suggesting there is no difference.

  40. #40
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    On the whole the consensus seems to be 'go ridgeless' with a couple suggesting there is no difference.
    A topic for a poll, perhaps, JM ?

  41. #41
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    A topic for a poll, perhaps, JM ?
    As long as there's an option 'C: I've only ever used one type, but I'm sure as hell that it is the best'
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  42. #42
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    Funny you should mention that. I tried my hand at photography and learned that I'm so totally awful at it that even if I had bought the right camera (I bought the wrong one in the first place), I still would be crap at it.
    You can do a lot of the basics on an iPhone. Sure, you can't get to grips with apeture/shutter-speed and the like, but there's a heck of a lot to learn and get familiar with before that. I'd love to know what you bought that you considered it "the wrong camera" for a beginner.

    I suspect you were "crap at it" because you didn't put in the time to become good at it. Espresso is the same, and I'd urge you to stick with it because I'm the same and I knowwhat it's like to pick up obsessions for three months at a time then get bored and drop them.

    This hobby will take time and effort to become proficient in. As an aside, once you're sorted with a grinder and quality roasted beans, if you find yourself pulling sour shot after sour shot, give yourself a while between each shot (like, literally five minutes). I went through so much grief with the Classic before realising I was being impatient and extracting with ~85°C water (the fact that I started off with popper-roasted beans didn't do me any favours either).

    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Spot on, and if the OP cant learn excellent coffee making skills with the std filter supplied with the Classic, then he may need to consider getting out of espresso
    Truth; I was just noting that the saying is a bit misleading, since newbies, unlike tradesmen (figuratively or literally) are often unable to distinguish 1between junk, capable equipment and unnecessary equipment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    Strangely, it isn't 'exactly' the same at all. If TG had bought a $4000 machine you might have a point, but the analogy is actually just confusing. So I guess the 'snobbishness' must be coming from somewhere else?
    Now you're just being intentionally obtuse. I'm not sure whether this is new to my generation (I'm mid-20s), but it certainly seems to me that once forums made the move from BBSes for enthusiasts to mainstream resources/communities, more and more people started to believe that they could do the research and/or buy the gear and start at a competent level rather than putting in the hard yards or learning from a skilled mentor, as one would usually learn. This is as true for espresso as it is for digital photography, motorbike-riding or playing musical instruments (guitars, I'm looking at you).

    This thread has consisted of people giving experiences, and one can have an experience whether one has 40 years as a professional or 12 weeks. It was all fine until 'elder' members decided we should not be talking about such things and in fact it is a fairly regular occurrence which then gets highlighted as some kind of negative image of the forums - but the threads are fine until people are being told what they are allowed to discuss.
    Now we're getting into an "all opinions are equal" type deal. Anyone who's done three hours of reading on espresso extraction can talk like an expert, and I can understand how those with decades of experience can get entirely jack of people with an admitted six whole months under their belt taking an authoritative tone when presenting a contrary perspective. Sure, being old or experienced doesn't make you right, but it demands a little inherent respect unless that's proven unwarranted. As it stands, while we all have the right to post whatever we like (ToS notwithstanding), the unfortunate fact is that the most prolific posters on many boards are often the ones with the least experience or something to prove, and there are often far more of those than posters with true insight to offer.

    Posters with skill/experience could waste their time putting out the constant spot-fires of stoopid by answering every "incorrect" post as an equal, with cited evidence etc etc etc, but often the more skilled/experienced a person is, the less spare time they have to waste arguing online. Unregulated, the inevitable result is a sea of posts by time-rich people, watering down the quality of information and conversation, with the quality contributors choosing to share their thoughts more selectively.

    All opinions are not equal, even on anonymous boards.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    All opinions are not equal, even on anonymous boards.
    As long as everyone understands that my opinion is the best, most awesomest, most supreme of supreme opinions in the universe, then I agree.

  44. #44
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    Experiences are not opinions. And it is quite possible to be authoritative about one's own experience - after all, it is one who has had the experience, not others.

    But even that is not the issue. Attempting to shut down conversations because 'we know this already' is not productive use of space on a forum. It is simple to just click away, but to spend 5 or 10 or 15 minutes typing up a reply that equates to 'we know and so you shouldn't be talking about this' shows a willingness to engage even though they are not contributing.

    If they feel they must comment, what is wrong with how TampIt does it? 'My experience is this and 'here' this acknowledged expert agrees and on 'this site' the maker explains the functions...' and so on? Here's a guy with 40+ years experience in the field yet he is happy to participate, correcting 'opinions' where needed and explaining at a level others can use.

    There is a rule that is as old as BBS's - if you can't contribute, find somewhere you can. Telling people they shouldn't talk or that their ideas, experiences and questions belong in a 'mumbo-jumbo' thread simply brings problems to the forums. Simply reporting such things doesn't work. Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done, and I am NOT saying anything about their posts here; it is just another aphorism, but for forums it is truth. If people never see things being addressed or explanations given they will walk away even if the Mods have sorted it all out.

    And I wasn't being obtuse; the argument was that "rank beginners buying only the best pro equipment" were somehow equivalent to people coming here with cheap equipment and trying to make it perform like a pro. So I pointed out the failure of the analogy. It's a discussion; if someone says something that doesn't hold up, you address the something, NOT start labelling the person or creating false arguments based on strawman ('ethical' comment) or invalid comparisons.

    I'm happy to discuss almost anything. But labels and targets are not discussions, they are antagonistic. A person confident in their knowledge, experience and ability has no need to descend to labels and targetting. They either go elsewhere or they provide contributive responses that are not personalised.
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    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Guys, guys, guys... please don't fight over me. You can all take me to the prom...
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  46. #46
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    Experiences are not opinions. And it is quite possible to be authoritative about one's own experience - after all, it is one who has had the experience, not others.
    I'll say this, then you're welcome to provide rebuttal if you feel it's unfair, then I'm out:

    From what I've noticed/read/skim-read of your posts, you seem to do a lot of theorising and not much testing or citing of relevant empirical data. You talk about what you think might be the case (as in this thread), which is an opinion, and an opinion that goes against "conventional wisdom" (no matter how unreliable that may be in the field of espresso) arguably bears the burden of support, if not proof. If you don't agree, that's fair enough, but you must expect to cop flak for it; while I happen to agree that the "culture" of home espresso is loaded with oft-incorrect dogma, you can't expect to change that with idle musing, and that's what much of what I've read from you has been. Experiences are, as you say, incontrovertibacle (bar claims that your observations are flawed), but only when presented without extrapolation, inference or embellishment.
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    I have and would take everything said on the internet with a grain of salt. But for only 30 bucks why not just go buy one and have some fun. Surely the experimenting is more than worth the money.

    In fact after reading such heated debate over something so small and relatively cheap comparative to a machine. I recently just brought a 18g basket ridge-less vst basket from the guys at Dibartoli. They provided great service and seemed very knowledgeable. In any case, just playing around with trying to see what works for my taste buds was definitely well worth the initial investment. More time experimenting, less time arguing about which is better seems like the better option.

    Edit: Also happy new years guys and if I didn't have the money then I would stick with whatever I have and just buy more coffee with the money.
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  48. #48
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    the unfortunate fact is that the most prolific posters on many boards are often the ones with the least experience or something to prove, and there are often far more of those than posters with true insight to offer.
    A little too much of a generalisation I think but I hear where you're coming from...

    Mal.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    A little too much of a generalisation I think but I hear where you're coming from...

    Mal.
    Says the guy with 12,403 posts

    I kid, I kid! Sheesh, why so serious?

  50. #50
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Maybe it's just me who's off his face, but I think I'm not the only one off his face :P

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