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Thread: Best basket shape & tamper. Channeling?

  1. #1
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    Best basket shape & tamper. Channeling?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi, Im looking to buy a new tamper as my old house mate has just taken his with him. *Ive pretty much decided to go for a pullman tamper.As they are custom shaped to a basket, I want to make sure that Im using a basket that I am happy with first.

    We often have a problem with channeling around the edges. *Im guessing that this could be caused by using a tamper that isnt wide enough? *Ive attached a photo of the filter baskets that I have. *On the left is my double (the basket I prefer to use) and on the right is a triple.

    Is this filter basket fine? *Or would I be better off getting one of the baskets that pullman sells?

    The guy I bought the machine off said that he had much better shots with the triple basket, than the double. *I dont like the idea of using a triple basket all of the time - too much coffee! *However, this basket has much straighter walls, and a larger filter area. *Would I be better off with a synesso basket, or should I just send in my current double basket?

    By the way, my machine is a VBM Domobar Super Lever.


  2. #2
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    Re: Best basket shape & tamper. Channeling?

    Hi Humphrey,

    The triple will give you richer shots for the same volume of extraction, but while your own palate is the ultimate test one shouldnt normally need 25g of coffee to get a decent 25ml espresso. A double basket is often sufficient. The straight walls of the triple make it easier to get a tamper that is a good fit at the top and can go deep into the basket, but generally a tamper only needs to go about 8-9mm deep so any curve below that, providing its gentle, doesnt affect things too much.

    Ive not seen a VBM basket recently; we have sold many Synesso baskets for VBMs and other machines with excellent reported results, however one user (perhaps GregWormald IIRC, apologies if Im wrong) said he got better results from the stock baskets than the Synesso. Bottom line? Chances are that either basket will do the job, given good peripherals (technique, fresh beans, good grinder etc). The main benefit of the Synesso baskets in your case is the convenience of not being basket-less while waiting for the tamper to be made. Of course the basket itself is excellent and has vertical walls rather than very slightly curved, but as your existing baskets arent real bad the difference isnt going to be as great as compared to say a Rancilio double. If youre looking to save a few dollars and dont mind being without your baskets for a week or two then send them in. Otherwise the Synesso option is definitely the go.

    I dont have any experience with the EM0480 grinder in the VBM but if youre having difficulties with your shots I would be thinking that may be holding you back. Its a pretty cheap grinder to be using on a $2k machine; youd really be better looking at something like a Compak K3 or better.

    Greg

  3. #3
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    Re: Best basket shape & tamper. Channeling?

    Thanks Greg,

    I dont have any experience with the EM0480 grinder in the VBM but if youre having difficulties with your shots I would be thinking that may be holding you back. Its a pretty cheap grinder to be using on a $2k machine; youd really be better looking at something like a Compak K3 or better.
    Im not actually using my EM0480 currently, but am borrowing a friends Ascaso i1 - 54mm flat burr. I probably should update my footer thing. *Although, in regards to the flavour of the shots, I havent noticed a large difference between them :-)

    Sounds like my basket is good to keep using then. Id like to get a 2nd double basket one day, as I have 3 handles but only the double and triple baskets. The synesso might be an option here.

    Thanks for your help, Ill probably send you through an order some time in the next couple of days :-)


  4. #4
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Best basket shape & tamper. Channeling?

    Quote Originally Posted by 09342C3129332438410 link=1235531716/2#2 date=1235542071
    am borrowing a friends Ascaso i1 - 54mm flat burr. I probably should update my footer thing.Although, in regards to the flavour of the shots, I havent noticed a large difference between them

    Thats really not surprising Humphrey - the difference in these two grinders is I think particularly related to build quality. It would be far more discernible if you were comparing either of these two grinders to a Mazzer, Macap, etc. ;)

  5. #5
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Best basket shape & tamper. Channeling?

    Yes, it is me who prefers the VBM basket to the Synesso that GP fit the tamper to. Both baskets are so close to the same diameter that I cannot tell which is which from the fit of the tamper. The VBM has smaller holes than the Synesso. (I have no idea how consistent the VBM production is!)

    The VBM basket works best (on my Piccolo) with the coffee at the retaining ring. This means the barista tamper sinks in to its top levelling ring, compressing about 18.5 grams of coffee.

    It has certainly improved my tamping, and the flavour, over that gained by my previous tamper, that was about 3 or 4 mm smaller diameter.

    Greg

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    Re: Best basket shape & tamper. Channeling?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thats really not surprising Humphrey - the difference in these two grinders is I think particularly related to build quality.
    Oh ok, that makes sense. *Maybe when I have to give it back, Ill think about upgrading grinder :-)

    The VBM basket works best (on my Piccolo) with the coffee at the retaining ring. This means the barista tamper sinks in to its top levelling ring, compressing about 18.5 grams of coffee..
    Ive found that I have to dose a lot lower on the VBM than the rancillo that used to be at my house. *Anything thats left above the ring groove in the basket seems to become jammed against the shower screen and not let turn the handle as far as Id like.

    The VBM has smaller holes than the Synesso.
    Does the size of the holes make much difference to shots? *If the synesso seem to be similar diameter, then I might get a synesso basket (cause I want 2 baskets) and just hope that it also fits my VBM basket :-)



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