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Thread: Synesso basket and the Rocky

  1. #1
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    Synesso basket and the Rocky

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all

    Im on the verge of ordering a pullman tamper - the new barista was too good to resist - and was wondering how the Synesso basket performed with the Rocky grinder. From what I have been told/ read the Rocky is best with lower doses; so how does the synesso basket - being 18-21g - fair with a Rocky Silvia combination? Even if it isnt the best combination is it worth getting a synesso basket now for a future upgrade (grinder being my next major upgrade - not in the near future)? Looking for peoples opinions/experiences

    Thanks in advance,
    MM

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    Hey MM,

    Dont know exactly what you mean by a low dose on a Rocky, cos the dose depends more on the machine than the grinder. As far as basket/grinder is concerned, it doesnt make a difference.

    A lot of people on this forum seem to have the Synesso basket/Silvia combo. MAybe they can shed more light on this.

    Synesso baskets are good if youre getting a fitted tamper from Pullman, cos they can just make it on the spot rather than sending your baskets in. They apparently seem to hold their shape better and be more consistent in size. And knock out easy with no ridges.

    I use the Synesso double/Pullman combo at home on my Minore and its the goods. I also used it with a Rocky grinder at one stage, but that is being borrowed.

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    I have a Rocky and Silvia with the Synesso Ridgeless double and the Synesso ridged single. They are both fantastic - I have had some amazing shots with these. In particular, the Synesso single is great to have, as the single basket that comes with the Silvia is rubbish. I have had some great single shots using the Synesso single, dosing around 12 grams. The Synesso double makes up-dosing really easy too, which the Silvia seems to like a lot.

    I got the baskets with a Pullman tamper, so they fit the tamper perfectly.

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky


    Thats great as I was little worried especially after reading the Titan Grinder review over at home barista (Vs. Robur section) where the conclusion was that the rocky had its best shots on the silvia with low doses (12-13g). Then again it was not listed what basket he was using, maybe this is a major factor in dose size.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caspa link=1212124468/0#2 date=1212131041
    I have had some great single shots using the Synesso single, dosing around 12 grams.
    Does any one else think it is almost crazy that synesso produce a single that is almost a double and a double that holds a triple. ;D

    Thanks,

    MM

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    Hey MM,

    Regarding the HB thread; Jim Schulman is a phenomenal writer and coffee taster, but taking the comments in "can it beat the robur" as gospel is dangerous. You need to be aware of a few considerations: (a) the whole thing was intended in the spirit of fun, not as a substantive comparison, (b) Jim went to the trouble of grinding and sifting every single shot, which might make a considerable difference and (c) the comments are written according to Jims palate. You may well have to sift and declump every single shot to duplicate Jims results. The fact that it is Jims palate is quite important, too ...

    Jim has been drinking coffee in the US of A for many years, including drinking a lot of non-espresso coffee, and it is clear from his reviews that he treasures clear, distinct and unique flavours. I am not sure, but it might well be that his preference for espresso is for espresso with a lower brew ratio, lower body, higher acidity and more distinct flavour. When people start out here, influenced by our almost espresso-only culture, they often like to pull shots that are the complete opposite: high brew ratio, high body, low acidity and less distinct flavours; ie. more "ristretto" than "espresso." Such shots are particularly well suited to when you are starting out because they give you a higher margin of error if your dose or your roast is slightly off, but this comes at a cost of reducing your ability to appreciate different single origins for their unique characteristics. This is not to say that one extreme is better than the other; just that you need to be aware of these differing approaches to espresso in reading "can it beat the robur."

    Regarding the Synesso basket/Pullman tamper plan; I guess that in some ways an in-depth analysis of espresso techniques and Jims thread is somewhat irrelevant, seeing as the punch line is that you should be fine to dose pretty low in the Synesso double basket. The danger of the Synesso double basket plan is that they seem to be pretty wide, so if you want to switch to another basket in future, it might be a good idea to get Greg to machine your base a bit narrower, seeing as there is no in-cup benefit that I can discern in having a fitted tamper. However, the Synesso double basket is pretty good, so Id argue that theres not much to be gained from trying lots of other baskets. Im afraid I cant be of much help in giving you information about the barista tamper itself - I need to get the prototype back to go over my impressions from last weekend.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    I have a La Marzocco ridged double basket with Pullman tamper

    I found out from Washoes David S that it takes a min of 18 grams for the LM double basket (same as the synesso basket as noted above)
    The coffee is superb with the extra grounds

    I think Pullman still have stock of the single LM basket if you make mostly single coffee

    KK

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    I read what David said and tried 19g as a starting point.
    That didnt quite get over the ridge so Im working on 20 to 21 now which is back to where I was measuring by empty basket level rather than weight.

    Ill keep weighing for the next few days to find the sweet spot.

    I will probably need to buy some scales with finer graduations.

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    Thanks Luca,
    as long as a synesso basket is capable of lower doses it seems to be a much better option for me - added advantage of easy updosing which can be a little touch and go with the standard silvia basket (16gm of coffee puts me right up against the shower screen with no room for the grinds to expand).

    Pretty much any tamper would be better then the one I have now ( Light Alloy one which was given to me when I got the machine - I havent gotten around to replacing yet) as it is around 2mm smaller than our silvias basket. There is horrible side channeling (can see this from the puck - I havent got a naked pf yet). NSEW tamping does improve this somewhat but not completely.

    KK doubles only for me, particularly at the moment as I am experimenting with variables - I have just started home roasting and am try to dissect each bean/roast. I drink one straight and one in a milk based drink to see how the resultant shot fairs in both.

    Cheers,

    MM

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    MM,

    I currently have the stock Rancilio double, La Marzocco double, Synesso ridged double, Synesso ridgeless double, Synesso ridged triple and some singles, and Ive settled on the ridgeless Synesso as my basket of choice. The regular profile is a plus for me as it allows your tamp pressure to affect the whole puck rather than just the edges as happens with the LM double. I actually pulled out the LM double yesterday for a few shots and its back in the drawer now; its a good basket in some ways, the lower section is nice and regular, but thats only about 55mm in diameter so you have to use a vastly undersized tamper to be able to compress that area properly, and that 1.5mm thick rim will make a horrible mess of your group unless you do a few portafilter knocks (which have their own problems). Actually the stock Rancilio tamper is a very good fit for that lower part of the LM basket as it happens, pity the rest of it is so woeful!

    Greg

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    Greg how low a dose can you put in the Synesso double and still able to get good extraction?

    MM

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    Ive never tried downdosing a Synesso basket but I imagine the regular shape of the Synesso baskets would make them more tolerant to dose variations than most. This is because the vertical smooth walls on the Synesso baskets will allow you to apply good tamp pressure with a well-fitting tmaper even if the basket isnt full, whereas try the same in something like the LM double basket and the tamper will bottom out on the ridge before its applied much pressure to the puck. Dose is a lot more critical on those types of basket in order to be able to exert sufficient tamp pressure without the irregular basket shape affecting things.

    Im still not entirely sure why the Rocky should particularly lend itself to downdosed shots. I doubt theres anything so unique about the Rocky that if such a claim was true it would apply to the Rocky only and not other similarly specd machines. All Id suggest is to get a combo that will allow you to experiment with both low doses and high doses and see which you prefer; the Synesso baskets will certainly give you that flexibility should you choose to go down that path.

    Greg





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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1212124468/0#10 date=1212373225
    All Id suggest is to get a combo that will allow you to experiment with both low doses and high doses and see which you prefer; the Synesso baskets will certainly give you that flexibility should you choose to go down that path.

    Greg
    Thats why I asked. I did not want to have a basket that limited me to updosing only, I want one that is versatile and will allow me to play with dose both up and down. It seems that the Synesso is the a good contender is this aspect.

    Thanks Greg

    Martial Monkey

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    I have the Synesso double and fitted tamper, if I underdose the tamper occasionally bottoms out leaving a slightly loose puck and fast pour.

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    Yep we normally supply the fitted tamper to be as good a fit as possible because most people want a tamper thats a perfect fit when updosing, but I guess if you *are* planning to downdose or consider this, it would be worth making sure the tampers got a bit more clearance when you order (I think Luca mentioned this if you were considering purchasing the tamper from us). Ive just checked a ridgeless Synesso with a 58.00mm Barista and the tamper travels 15mm into the basket; I reckon thatd be enough clearance for any downdosed operation, so if youre keen on this method (for whatever reason) you could get a stock standard 58mm tamper (be that from us or from anyone else who takes your fancy) and theyll all do the job to one degree or another.

    Greg

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    Re: Synesso basket and the Rocky

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1212124468/0#6 date=1212304432
    I read what David said and tried 19g as a starting point.
    That didnt quite get over the ridge so Im working on 20 to 21 now which is back to where I was measuring by empty basket level rather than weight.

    Ill keep weighing for the next few days to find the sweet spot.

    I will probably need to buy some scales with finer graduations.
    18 grams would be the bare minimum I would dose....for super fresh coffee.

    I would usually dose 20 grams plus if I was in competition mode with my coffee aged at around 15 to 19 days old.



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