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Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

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  • Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

    Ive only been into coffee for the past few months, so I apologise for my lack of knowledge..

    Im unsure as what the differences are b/w Synesso 14g double baskets and the 21g triple baskets.

    14g baskets refer to double shot dosing and 21g triple dosing? Triple dosing is one BIG shot!

    If so, what happens if one wants to have only a single shot?

    Im confused guys.. cheers :-?

  • #2
    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !


    OK, basket sizes....

    Doubles come in various sizes from the "standard" 14 grams up to about 20 grams+ and a triple is deeper and generally holds 21+ grams..... There are also single baskets that hold 7+ grams....

    Single baskets are very hard to get a good extraction from due to the shape of the basket (they neck in to a much smaller diameter at the base). You can (with a lot of effort and perseverance) get a good shot from a single.... but to quote from the commercial machine coffee course I attended...

    "Never use a single basket - if a customer asks for a single coffee - use a double basket and pour half down the drain"....

    Basically he was saying that it isnt worth the saving of 7-10grams of coffee grinds to serve the customer a poor coffee....

    The more coffee in the basket, the easier it is to get a good extraction. I personally always use about 20 grams in a double basket... even if only making a single coffee for myself.... and either take the first half of the pour.... or use the normal pour and let half go down the sink (or use it for iced coffees etc)..... I havent used a single basket for years!!!

    With the Silvia single basket it is especially hard to get a decent shot.... other single baskets are better - but it is still difficult. There is no possibility of "up dosing" - putting more grounds in to get a better coffee. With double baskets like LM and Synesso it is easy to "up dose" and the resultant coffee is far better.

    So it depends whether you want the best espresso (which requires at least a double basket - preferably up dosed - or you wish to save a few pennies at the cost of lots of frustration and quite possibly an espresso which isnt as good.

    As I said above, some people are perfectly happy with the single baskets and with appropriate technique they get good results..... but it takes a lot more effort..... and these people generally only use a single basket - and they use the technique and grind size appropriate for that basket (both of which are different compared to a double basket)


    • #3
      Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

      I tried my single basket in Silvia and had no joy and getting lousy shots, since getting the Synesso 20g ridgeless double my shots have improved markedly (matched of course with a Pullman), if my wife only wants a single shot drink I slum it and have a single shot or put it in frig for an iced coffee.


      • #4
        Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

        Hi - Ive got to give a plug for the LM single basket - i find i can get good single shots from it, Im quite happy with it. I also have an LM basket for doubles. I use Rocky with a grind setting 1 click coarser for the single. I do not weigh my beans - I find 2 level scoops of beans using the Silvia scoop for the single and 3 level scoops for the double is about right.


        • #5
          Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

          the standard filter basket sold with a silvia is a 6g single and 12g double basket, fitting a 7g and 14 does improve the quality of the shot.
          if you follow the 7g per cup rule you will get a shit coffee out of a single and a good out of a double
          by increasing your single dose to approx 9g makes a lot of difference.
          it is not about just overdosing but adjusting baskets, grind and tecnique to different machines


          • #6
            Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

            Hi All,
            Im not that enthused about 21g baskets myself, as I said in another thread today. Its not that I think they are no good, Im just a bit indifferent to them. This is for a few reasons. Firstly I believe them to be unforgiving. When the grind, dose, tamp etc are spot on they produce magnificent shots. For the experienced baristi using high grade equipment a 21g basket is easier to negotiate. However if you are a beginner using entry level kit, or even an intermediate using mid-range equipment (thats me!) it can be, in my experience, a different story. Lets say your a beginner using an entry level grinder and an ill-fitting tamper- an uneven grind + an uneven tamp will most likely lead to major channeling in on of these big buckets of a basket! As an intermediate, I have had mixed results as well. I was gifted an iberital grinder last week and before that was using an EMO480 and I have a decent but not great tamper. When using the sunbeam grinder with the 21g basket my results were inconsistent, mainly (I believe) due to the grinders inconsistency. Now with the Iberital the results are less inconsistent, but still a little inconsistent compared to using a 14g basket. Im prettysure the Iberitals more consistent grind has made the difference...but still, when I get it right the difference in the cup between a great 14g shot and a great 21g shot is (to my palette) pretty miniscule. And thats the 2nd reason why Im a bit indifferent to them. If it aint broken, dont fix it, as they say.
            So, Im not convinced that "the bigger the basket, the better" unless perhaps you are lucky enough to be highly skilled and using high end equipment.
            Cheers, Anthony


            • #7
              Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

              I disagree Anthony.
              Ive found the bigger baskets to be more forgiving.

              For example, look at how many people say to avoid single baskets and to just use a double.

              In my very early days of this coffee making journey (just over a year ago ) It was suggested to me by a former Australian Barista Champion that I should get a bigger double basket.


              • #8
                Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

                TG- Thats interesting you find the bigger baskets more forgiving, not my experience at all... Has that always been the case- even before you had the prosumer set-up? Have you noticed any channeling when using a naked P/F?
                We all hear lots of this expert recommends this etc.... but my question is- why?
                Im not convinced that a god-shot through a 21g basket is better than the same through a 14g basket- unless your drinking it as a milk based coffee, then I concede that the extra oomph is good to cut through milk...
                I must admit- I do wonder if the 21g basket has developed a life of its own beacuse an expert somewhere said its the thing to do...
                If it is as is said around here- its whats in the cup that counts- then to my palette the 21g basket is just overkill, or to put it another way, why WOULDNT I use a 14g basket?
                Cheers, A


                • #9
                  Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

                  CB: A triple basket holds more coffee - obviously. That means there are more coffee oils and volatiles in the basket to be extracted, which in turn means the potential for a longer shot before blonding. It also means a greater buffer to absorb any pressure irregularities within the basket. If you literally had a basket that was a bucket, youd struggle to get anything other than an even extraction; on the other hand a 4g single basket would be basically impossible to get an even shot from. That to my mind is the why a triple basket can be more forgiving than a double.

                  Does that automatically mean a triple is better than a double, or should be used in all instances? By no means. All other things being equal, a triple basket will give you a longer and thus richer extraction, but for many people a double may be more than adequate, and perhaps more pleasant to the palate. At Epic we used Synesso double baskets and there was never an issue with premature blonding but there were always variations with exactly how much volume youd get; if wed used triples, more coffee = even longer extractions before blonding; but it just wasnt necessary considering they were all ristretto shots anyway. As far as cutting through the milk, more espresso isnt the only answer to that, its also got a lot to do with the beans being used, though obviously a greater volume of any given bean will be more obvious in milk.

                  At the end of the day, you use whatever you like the flavour from. If youre finding little difference between a double and a triple in results, then it probably means something in your technique on the triple isnt quite as good - perhaps it needs a firmer tamp to compress the added depth of coffee without which the puck is underpacked; perhaps its a larger diameter basket to get the capacity up and youre getting channelling around the edges, I dont know. Itd be interesting to know whats holding things back, but in the meantime if youre happy with the results from the double then like you say, why change?



                  • #10
                    Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

                    Ill answer your questions/points in order.

                    My first machine and grinder are the Expobar and Macap.
                    (I spoiled myself straight up.)
                    But I do think the slightly bigger basket made a difference (at the time).
                    Now however, I think my experience would help me use the original basket better than I did in the beginning.
                    I dont use it now though as my Pullman tamper is fitted to the bigger basket.

                    When I first got the naked PF there was SO MUCH channelling that the coffee seemed to go in every direction EXCEPT down.  ;D

                    I do drink flat whites.

                    Whether or not 21g baskets now have a reputation because of what some expert(s) said in the past I cant answer but do trust my expert implicitly.

                    If a 14g basket does it for you then so be it and think of how much coffee youre saving.  


                    • #11
                      Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !


                      As much as an overdosed (my double Synesso will take 20grams) or even a triple makes tamping easier (in my experience with a fitted tamper) it also makes the flavour of the espresso much richer.....

                      A larger dose prolongs the onset of blonding..... but even before you notice the actual blonding.... it is starting to add bitter elements to your espresso.

                      It might take 60ml for onset with 14 grams.... but 90ml with a 21 gram dose... so if you stop at 60ml.... well before blonding - you will get a nicer espresso.....

                      A tasting test we did with a standard double....

                      Extract into three espresso glasses.... first third of the pour into one, the middle third into the second and the rest into the third glass... then taste each one in turn..... the first and second are good but the third is starting to taste a little nasty....

                      Try the same thing with a triple and you will find a different result.

                      Some people prefer the more bitter elements which you get in the last third - they feel it makes the espresso flavour more balanced.... me - I can (and prefer) to live without it....

                      So its what you like in the cup that counts.... and for me that comes from overdosing (with the added bonus it is then less fussy).


                      • #12
                        Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

                        GP & JB- Thanks. That was informative and I learned from and thought about your comments.

                        My machine is set up like so: Its a 2 group Pavoni and both P/Fs have 14g baskets & single pour spouts (or 1 single, 1 naked to be precise) . Every shot I pull is a double ristretto (30mls), so blonding is generally not an issue.

                        My tamper is an off the shelf job and fits pretty well, BUT its not FITTED (I do plan on ordering my pullman soon GP!..and that may make my comments here redundant!), I think your comments about the ill fitting tamper causing channeling with the 21g are right- but I think it may also be a technique thing as well...Im gonna work on that and see.

                        Im going to try some side by side tasting (with comparible pours) as you suggested JB and see if I still think that the diff between 21g & 14 g shots is minimal, and if not, whether 1 is better than the other.

                        I dont always agree that more is better though. A good bean well made is exactly that- and richer and "stronger" (for want of a better term) does not always = better. Sometimes it does- but so does understatement and subtlety.

                        I realise that you guys have more depth of knowledge and experience than I, but with a set up like mine, I still think that 21g baskets are neither here nor there...

                        Cheers and thanks for the insight though...but now Im off for a rich, syrupy and delightful 14 GRAM shot!!


                        • #13
                          Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

                          Originally posted by coffeebreath link=1200754258/0#11 date=1200949602

                          I dont always agree that more is better though. A good bean well made is exactly that- and richer and "stronger" (for want of a better term) does not always = better. Sometimes it does- but so does understatement and subtlety.
                          I could not agree with you more! Which is why you should, as we say, use whatever method you need to to give the imbiber the flavour they prefer, whether that be yourself, your family or your customers!


                          • #14
                            Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

                            This has been an interesting discussion - On a slightly related matter, If i use a double basket for a single shot and just take the 1st 30ml, I can see from JavaB that I should avoid some bitterness - My question is around the caffeine hit - Is the caffeine higher in this case vs using an overdosed single basket to get 30ml in approx 30sec??


                            • #15
                              Re: Synesso 14g and 21g baskets - Im confused !

                              Hi argon.
                              firstly let me preface by saying Im no expert in the science of coffee extraction- but I believe what im about to say is true.
                              The caffeine content in a shot will have more to do with the volume of coffee used than the volume of water it is extracted through, so, if you are using a larger basket...more coffee = more caffeine.
                              Also, all the action takes place at the front of the extraction. You can see this by observing the pour. Thick/viscous at the start, thinning towards the end. So even though you are only using the 1st half of a double shot, it is in that 1/2 that the bulk of the oils and other volatile substances are extraced (ie as JavaB said above- the 1st 30mls of a double pour will differ from the 2nd 30mls).
                              If you have not already stumbled across it, have a look at it has some great info about the more scientific side of our passion...
                              Cheers, Anthony