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Thread: Ridge or ridgeless basket?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2011

    Ridge or ridgeless basket?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Can anyone tell me what difference the ridge in the basket makes? I have a 18gm VST with the ridge and was wondering if I should get a 15gm and if it should be ridged or not

  2. #2
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    Re: Ridge or ridgeless basket?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E757463772B1A0 link=1312978609/1243#1243 date=1326692013
    Can anyone tell me what difference the ridge in the basket makes?
    In my opinion, it makes no difference in the cup. In fact I prefer the ridge as the spring needs less tension (easier to get the basket in and out) and it gives you a visual indicator to how deep you have dosed and if it was tamped level.

    Ridge for me.

  3. #3
    Site Sponsor pullman's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Adelaide, SA

    Re: Ridge or ridgeless basket?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    After several years of using and selling both, I prefer ridgeless:

    1)* The diameter of the basket is not always the same above and below the ridge. If the basket is smaller below the ridge, the tamper will bottom out on the ridge making it impossible to apply much tamp pressure to the coffee below the ridge, resulting in an undertamped puck. If the basket is larger below the ridge (as happens with baskets with an inwardly-formed ridge) then a ring of completely untamped coffee will exist around the edge of the basket which the water will immediately find and escape through. The bottom line is that any variation in basket diameter through the majority of the height of the basket will lead to uneven tamping which can greatly affect how evenly the espresso is extracted. With a ridge this situation is more likely to present itself.

    2)* With no ridge there is a greater chance of the basket being more uniformly circular, presumably because the ridge-pressing process deforms the basket slightly. Depending on the amount of distortion (and weve seen pretty ovoid baskets in our time!), a fitted tamper can be more difficult to achieve which can lead to less than ideal extractions.

    3)* A ridge potentially creates a weak spot in the puck for peripheral channelling to start. If youre tamping below the ridge this isnt going to be an issue but thats not always the case.

    4)* All other things being equal, pucks knock out a lot cleaner from a ridgeless basket vs a ridged. A ridged basket often leaves a smattering of puck stuck in the ridge. With a ridgeless basket the basket is normally pretty clean, needing only a wipe before the next shot as opposed to a wash and dry. Less of an issue if you dose below the ridge.

    I would suggest that in some situations it can make a difference in the cup, but if youve got a good ridged basket (which you do) and you dont updose (which you shouldnt need to in the VST) youre unlikely to see much difference. VST ridged are slightly more eccentric than the ridgeless but not enough to cause a problem.

    Ridgeless generally only come in double or triple sizes so on our website we recommend ridged if you want to use single baskets in the same portafilter (see, theres a link about 3/4 down to an infobox on the topic). By the same logic, if youve already got a 18g ridged you intend to keep using its probably best to stick with ridged for your 15g. If you go ridgeless youll need the stronger spring and if youre regularly changing from one basket to the other its a pain to have to change springs too.

    I dont have an issue removing the baskets - the spring does need to be stronger as Andy said, but the smooth walls mean the basket slides out easier. I.e. the spring is stronger, but only to create a comparable amount of retaining force to a weaker spring on a ridged basket, so removal force is comparable for either combo. You only run into removal difficulties if you put a ridged basket with a strong spring!* :o Though its nothing a knife blade doesnt normally fix.

    Good luck whichever way you go!

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