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  • Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

    Talk Coffee has just added the espresso parts precision baskets which are apparently laser cut. Id love to hear some reports from users as to how they compare to the VST, Synesso and others, as they are cheaper than both. Welcome any kind of technical, measured, anecdotal etc thoughts.
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

    To address the inevitable whats the difference? question upfront, these are not VST baskets any more than the Chinese rip-offs of the our Barista tamper are the real deal. Every basket, VST included, has variations in hole size and shape no matter how its made. Once manufactured, VST baskets are imaged in high resolution to check hole size / shape / consistency (this data is used to produce the spec sheet supplied with each VST basket) and yes some VSTs do get rejected. This is a slower and more expensive process than just manufacturing and shipping but its what ensures perfect consistency basket to basket which is the whole reason VST baskets were made. As thats all a patented process you can be certain no other baskets get that, meaning theres no more guarantee of consistent performance than there is with any other basket.

    For 1/3 of the price these units may well suit some people so it will be very interesting to hear what the results are. Some VST users have found their technique doesnt lend itself to good results from VST baskets so some of those may drift towards these units. But dont for a moment be under any illusion theyre the same thing as a VST.

    Hopefully this will answer the obvious questions upfront and the rest of the thread can focus on the in-the-cup differences.

    Greg

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

      Originally posted by 524750524540595958545B350 link=1333414508/1#1 date=1333415945
      To address the inevitable whats the difference? question upfront, these are not VST baskets any more than the Chinese rip-offs of the our Barista tamper are the real deal. Every basket, VST included, has variations in hole size and shape no matter how its made. Once manufactured, VST baskets are imaged in high resolution to check hole size / shape / consistency (this data is used to produce the spec sheet supplied with each VST basket) and yes some VSTs do get rejected. This is a slower and more expensive process than just manufacturing and shipping but its what ensures perfect consistency basket to basket which is the whole reason VST baskets were made. As thats all a patented process you can be certain no other baskets get that, meaning theres no more guarantee of consistent performance than there is with any other basket.

      For 1/3 of the price these units may well suit some people so it will be very interesting to hear what the results are. Some VST users have found their technique doesnt lend itself to good results from VST baskets so some of those may drift towards these units. But dont for a moment be under any illusion theyre the same thing as a VST.

      Hopefully this will answer the obvious questions upfront and the rest of the thread can focus on the in-the-cup differences.

      Greg
      Absolutely Greg,

      We added them to our range because theyre not VST.

      I am on record as not being a fan of the VST- in fact I sold my final 7? of them for $100 and was glad to see the back of them. I would personally take a Synesso any day, any time. Love the visual quality of the VST, but it ends there for me. Its a horses for courses argument. :-?

      These suit my style far better and I nailed a pour on #1 attempt. I have continued to do the same today- triple or double. Rather than hard sell them, people can buy one if they choose and come to their own decisions.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

        No problems with any of that, as I said they may well suit some people. Theyre obviously a copy so as in any comparison where two visually similar products are vastly different in price, people are naturally going to want to know the difference. Hence my explanation of such.

        Im not surprised to hear theyre easier to drive than the VSTs but I suspect the same would be true for many traditional baskets including the Synesso. Those are more forgiving than VSTs because they hide more flaws, simple as that. Some people are fine with that and are happy with the shots, others like to know about the problems and fix them. Both views are fine. As Ive always said at the end of the day the person drinking the coffee has to decide what suits them. Its not up to us to try to force either of them to change, but simply for people to be educated about what theyre using and then make their own decision as to what suits their needs. Our only responsibility is to make sure that education is accurate so people know how a rip-off differs from the real thing and can decide if thats important to them.

        As an aside I have big ethical issues with someone selling a rip-off of a product someone else has worked hard to develop, but thats a separate argument to this discussion.

        Greg

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

          Originally posted by 2732252730352C2C2D212E400 link=1333414508/3#3 date=1333423905
          Im not surprised to hear theyre easier to drive than the VSTs but I suspect the same would be true for many traditional baskets including the Synesso. Those are more forgiving than VSTs because they hide more flaws, simple as that.
          Without wishing to turn this thread into a theoretical debate, thats an extremely difficult argument to support. Its sadly consistent with the sort of spin and hype that has surrounded the marketing of VST baskets and has lead to widespread debate about such claims both here and on public forums like HB.

          Making a sweeping statement that most products work better and are more forgiving because they hide more flaws is counter intuitive at best.

          No one doubts the fact that VST baskets have holes that are made to a higher precision with regard to individual sizing and distribution on the basket, what is very much in doubt is whether that has any empirical effect on pour quality and taste.

          The thinly veiled implied suggestion that these baskets are nothing but a cheap chinese copy - while arguing that this is why they are more forgiving to use - is one I am not comfortable with.

          Ultimately anything that delivers more choice to consumers would seem to me to be a positive, its really up to us as consumers to test the marketing and see whether or not we find the claims for products are reproducible for us.

          Personally my experience is that there are far greater gains to be found in the cup in areas other than basket selection, and usually more cost effective as well - improving ones technique is pretty cheap!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

            Originally posted by 637661637471686869656A040 link=1333414508/3#3 date=1333423905
            Theyre obviously a copy....
            As are Swift, VST, Synesso et al baskets- all are attempts to improve on the original. Just like evolutions of tampers be they the first of a particular style or subsequent "copies".

            Originally posted by 7E6B7C7E696C7575747877190 link=1333414508/3#3 date=1333423905
            Those are more forgiving than VSTs because they hide more flaws
            Or perhaps because they present a far larger bullseye.  :-?

            Originally posted by 485D4A485F5A4343424E412F0 link=1333414508/3#3 date=1333423905
            As an aside I have big ethical issues with someone selling a rip-off of a product someone else has worked hard to develop, but thats a separate argument to this discussion.
            100% out of line.  >

            In the interests of not turning this thread into a sh!tfight, might I suggest that we revert to my first suggestion Greg. Let the consumer decide. As for being a Chinese ripoff, these are different baskets and for me, and a quite a few people I admire, do the job.

            Lastly, I know a damn good shot from a bad one and to suggest that a basket might mask flaws is utter BS. Ill leave this for the mods to pull. Hopefully they will take your posts as well. I have read enough rubbish today. :

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

              Hi Galumay,

              This thread is about how people have found the results from those baskets. I merely explained the differences between them. Theres a lot more Id like to say about these but am not permitted to do so so if you choose to disagree thats fine. I stand by my comments and I believe in time theyll be shown to be accurate.

              I repeat from my earlier post what you repeated in yours, that at the end of the day each person can choose what they want to use.

              Originally posted by 787E736A727E661F0 link=1333414508/4#4 date=1333427692

              Making a sweeping statement that most products work better and are more forgiving because they hide more flaws is counter intuitive at best.
              My comment was in the context of baskets, it wasnt a sweeping statement about most products. And I didnt say more forgiving products worked better either. Products that are more forgiving are generally so because they require less of the operator, but they rarely give the same quality of results as something requiring more operator skill. The operator decides whats important to them and chooses accordingly. We make this application every day to super-auto machines vs manual machines, and even to pressurised baskets; I dont see why its so hard here. But again feel free to choose whichever path youre happy with.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

                Seems this is an emotive little subject, I hadnt quite reckoned on such strong feeling on the subject. Quite happy for it to be deleted / closed / whatevered if someone wants to but the questions only going to be asked again by someone else.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

                  FYI
                  when dealing with Espresso Parts, make sure you get the product or the money back.
                  Sounds like common sense but dealing with Espresso Parts is far from that.

                  I have had difficult dealings with them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

                    If I were to buy them Id get them from a local importer and reccome d that others do so as well - partly cause theyll be cheaper with postage but also for ease.

                    I didnt want this thread to turn into a brawl.
                    VST did a great job with their workmanship, some people like the results in the cup, some prefer Synesso et al. The espresso parts baskets dont look like a VST imposter to me, more like the love child of a VST and a Synesso, trying to take the best of both worlds. And thats the purpose of the thread - users opinions on whether or not what ends up in the cup is worth it compared to ALL other baskets theyve used, not just against the VST.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

                      Originally posted by 4864676265545C0B0 link=1333414508/8#8 date=1333433554
                      FYI
                      when dealing with Espresso Parts, make sure you get the product or the money back.
                      Sounds like common sense but dealing with Espresso Parts is far from that.

                      I have had difficult dealings with them.
                      So far, I have had only good dealings with them. The plus is that these baskets are coming in bulk to Australia. Supplies of these are via site sponsor Bombora, so they will no doubt be more widely available as more sponsors order them.

                      Why are we doing it? I asked Bernard for a good ridgeless alternative to Synesso a few months ago. This is the result.

                      We got the heads up and ordered before they were officially available and received stock yesterday. The first lot shipped today and we receive more tomorrow.

                      I hope users will take control of this thread once they receive them and I look forward to reading opinions of owners, not retailers.

                      Chris

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

                        Originally posted by 7B4E4344706C4049494A4A2F0 link=1333414508/10#10 date=1333438329
                        Why are we doing it? I asked Bernard for a good ridgeless alternative to Synesso a few months ago.
                        Just out of interest, why do we need an alternative to Synesso baskets.

                        This whole VST debate just makes me nauseated. I can appreciate both sides of the argument - and I will qualify by saying I havent used one. But Chris point is a valid one. Whilst as coffeesnobs we always strive to do our best and improve things ie were all anally retentive. The question must be asked "after all the effort of ensuring an ABSOLUTE PRECISION grind, dose, distribution and tamp for the VST to produce a flawless pour and then cross our fingers and pray to god that we can repeat the process flawlessly again for our next shot - at the end of the day IS IT NOTICEABLE IN THE CUP?? Greg I would hope that after all that effort in perfecting technique there is actually some objective improvement in the cup??? Is there? Or does slight operator variability between shots render the accuracy of the VST useless? No matter how much we would like to be like robots when preparing our shots its not always possible.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

                          Originally posted by 52555E5E554444300 link=1333414508/11#11 date=1333449976
                          ust out of interest, why do we need an alternative to Synesso baskets.
                          Thats an easy one bennet, so Ill grab it for you.

                          Bernards a great guy and I like doing business with him. I choose Bombora over other businesses where I could get Synesso. My Synessos are a bit rough in that there are holes where I cant see daylight. The Espresso parts ones are better finished. Yes, I could get a stick, but no, I cant be bothered!

                          I have no issues with a laser being used to do that job for me and thats not copying, its just common sense given that the technology exists.

                          I have seen the Coffeelab copied and then the Bogav too- but then they probably copied aspects of other earlier examples. Baskets are no different.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

                            Originally posted by 1025282F1B072B22222121440 link=1333414508/12#12 date=1333450483
                            Originally posted by 52555E5E554444300 link=1333414508/11#11 date=1333449976
                            ust out of interest, why do we need an alternative to Synesso baskets.
                            My Synessos are a bit rough in that there are holes where I cant see daylight.
                            Id agree Chris. Many baskets out there have this problem so if theres a basket that will at least give all open holes consistently thats a good start and one reason to consider changing.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Espresso Parts Precision Baskets

                              Originally posted by 4C4B40404B5A5A2E0 link=1333414508/11#11 date=1333449976
                              The question must be asked "after all the effort of ensuring an ABSOLUTE PRECISION grind, dose, distribution and tamp for the VST to produce a flawless pour and then cross our fingers and pray to god that we can repeat the process flawlessly again for our next shot...

                              Or does slight operator variability between shots render the accuracy of the VST useless? No matter how much we would like to be like robots when preparing our shots its not always possible.
                              Its not rocket science, it doesnt take absolute precision, microbalance, electron microscope and other hyperbolae. Ive never used any of those in my VST setup and get excellent shots. It just needs a good technique thats repeatable and a preparedness to improve that technique if necessary (if the technique is already right for these baskets it may not need any refinement at all). Youll actually find plenty in the VST thread mentioning this but they dont make so much noise as those who have had difficulties so it tends to go unnoticed.

                              Originally posted by 4C4B40404B5A5A2E0 link=1333414508/11#11 date=1333449976
                              - at the end of the day IS IT NOTICEABLE IN THE CUP?? Greg I would hope that after all that effort in perfecting technique there is actually some objective improvement in the cup??? Is there?
                              Absolutely. Tested and verified. Again this is in the VST thread but spend 10 minutes of your life reading http://coffeegeek.com/opinions/markprince/04-29-2011 and much of what you (and others) have asked will be answered. He had initial problems, he took some humbling advice and changed his technique and started seeing results that stood up to a number of blind taste testers.

                              Those who find VSTs too hard to use would strongly empathise with the first part of the article. I just hope they spend the extra five minutes to read the rest of the article and take the advice themselves.

                              Greg

                              Comment

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