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Thread: VST Vs Rancilio standard basket

  1. #1
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    VST Vs Rancilio standard basket

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I would just like to ask what CS'ers experienced when they moved to a precision basket. I know not everyone has a Rancilio and other brand baskets will be different, but I was so impressed that I just have to ask.

    My experience last night making my after-work latte was pure astoundment! My pours went from OK, I got my tiger stripes and a nice even flow through the naked portafilter, but when I swapped the standard Rancilio basket with my new VST precision basket (from one of our nice CS sponsors) it was like liquid gold.

    I didn't expect that making my own espresso would give me so much enjoyment as watching the espresso pour flow like golden honey. Thanks in advance for your observations.
    Last edited by smokey; 7th November 2013 at 07:02 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    Hi I have had my VST basket now for two weeks and the change is interesting the flavour has gone bitter on my machine at home which is a Nuova Simonelle Oscar and I love the machine for our kitchen, but when used at the office on the Bo-Emma wow! THe difference is chalk and cheese. The look of the shot and the taste jumps remarkably. Everyone who used it was impressed. Yes I fluffed around to get the grind a bit better at home and at work, just was able to to at work not at home. I have ordered new blades for my grinder (a Rocky same at work). I do want a better grinder but the wife thinks I spend too much on coffee anyway.
    The naked handle sadly will not fit the Bo-Emma and is not sealing on the Oscar so not really sure about that part.

  3. #3
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    Yeah I made the shift a month ago, initially the change in strength was one I had to adjust too. But once everything is setup perfectly, the shots come out amazing. Although I find going from one roaster to the next causes painful recalibrating issues. Probably more so in my grind and dose, but it really amplifies any flaws in the process.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    Yeah I made the shift a month ago, initially the change in strength was one I had to adjust too. But once everything is setup perfectly, the shots come out amazing. Although I find going from one roaster to the next causes painful recalibrating issues. Probably more so in my grind and dose, but it really amplifies any flaws in the process.
    Thom: painful recalibrating issues: Amen to that! I have been setting up machines since 1970, and I had obviously become set in my ways along the line. VST / naked threw away 90% of that experience as only being needed to correct basket and grinding / dosing / technique issues due to crap coffee flowing dynamics. I envy the younger guys: I am sure we will all have a new revolution due to this & the coffee quality will be a massive improvement over the next ten years or so.

    I went naked / VST (all of them, ridgeless except the 7g) over a year ago. Due to the extra strength / flavour of the combo I migrated down from the 22g through the others and ended up with the PITA to calibrate 7g. Every roast is likely to need a bit of a tinker, even consecutive roasts of the same type.

    Is it worth the grief: Absolutely.

    Tamp "enjoying the coffee more than the journey" It

    (with grateful acknowledgement and due respect to Java "wish I could do it as well" phile)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    I must say that I really do not get the whole "painful recalibrating issues" thing. As a roaster I am continually dialling in different beans several times a day and it never takes me more than a couple minutes of my life (and often much less than that) to get the job done. It ain't exactly rocket surgery. I use the goldilocks principal... one shot purposely too fine and slow, one shot purposely too coarse and fast and then... by observing what happened with the first two shots... a final shot right in the sweet spot. Works every time! And, what's more... I actually enjoy the process as it is all part and parcel of learning each and every bean.
    chokkidog, TC and Yelta like this.

  6. #6
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    hmm... I am very confused to the whole "painful" experience of recalibrating with new beans... am i missing something in terms of how it should be done correctly?
    I single dose using my Mazzer SJ... I weigh my beans according to the size of baskets I used, grind and tamp with my espro tamper... the only variable I need to worry about is the fineness of the grind based on how it look and taste from each pour...

    or is this more relating to large scale cafe setups?

    edit:
    haha... Vinitasse pretty much said the same thing as I was thinking too...

    I forgot to mention.... getting a VST basket made a big difference to my espresso journey compared to the stock Silvia baskets... I considered it as a worthwhile upgrade... but then, other people also had good result from other aftermarket baskets, even the stock Synesso ones... YMMV
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  7. #7
    TC
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    I think it's often too easy to make a relatively simple process way more complex than it need be.

    • Stock Silvia baskets? Rubbish. Bin them. You'd just about be better with a bit of tin can and some flywire...
    • Replace above above with some decent size baskets. We'd call them 14g doubles but know that you will dose more like 18g. Precisions, generic doubles et al will all make a dramatic difference over stock. VST? I personally hate them, but if they rock your boat (and wallet), go for 'em...
    • Learn how to dose and distribute consistently. It doesn't require a scale and I have never used one. I can however do the same thing and lo and behold get a consistent dose and pour. In almost every training session I run, this is where we spend most time and make the biggest gains...
    • Adjust grind size to get the desired pour. Your palate will tell you when it's right.
    • Do the same thing again and get the same outcome... Enjoy...Repeat...

    As they say, it's not rocket science
    chokkidog and Yelta like this.

  8. #8
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    I wasn't saying I find the recal "painful", maybe wasteful. As said, it takes a few shots to get it on the sweet spot for the grind/dose.

  9. #9
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    pretty sure getting it right after a few trial shots would apply to all baskets? unless there is a basket that can allow me to get it right on the first time, then I would buy a few please (No pressurised baskets thanks)

    joking aside though, but I find the Silvia's stock basket a lot more painful to get it right compared to other baskets... as Chris suggested, throw the stock basket away...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Like Chris I find the VST baskets a real pain in the rear end, IMO his range of Precision baskets Precision filter basket 58mm- Espresso parts are easier to use and give a better result every time.

    As far as "painful recalibrating issues" are concerned, not my experience, once you are used to your grinder it's a simple matter to pull a shot, make a minor adjustment and be pretty well spot on for a few days, as the beans age you will need to grind a touch finer.

    I use a Mazzer Mini and always remain within 4 calibration marks regardless of the beans I'm using (assuming they are fresh and well roasted) if your using stale or super market beans all bets are off.
    flashpixx likes this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    I got my VST's a couple of months back - since then I've had at least 3 different roasts through them plus a water decaf for the missus. None of the roasts took more than one coffee to get right - I think I sinked 2 gushers in that time and one choked grind - and the difference to my coffee was amazing.

    I haven't used the Precision baskets mentioned above and with my VST's I don't see the need to go buy them - maybe if I was working in coffee it would be instructional, but as a home user, I really can't imagine they could be any better than what I get from the VSTs.

    I never had a problem getting used to them but then I had some advice from an experienced CS'er on how to use them. Best $65 I've spent. (for a 22g and a 15g) I got mine from Pullman Tampers - site sponsor at Things Coffee | Pullman Tamper, Coffee Tamper, VST Filter Basket, VST Refractometer, Hottop, Coffee Roaster, KN-8828B-2

  12. #12
    Member Magyar0300's Avatar
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    I just priced 2 Precision baskets from Talk_Coffee's web shop and they were only $26 for both 14g and a 21g baskets together so when I get to Melbourne in a couple of weeks I will be dropping by to get a couple and saving the $39 to go towards something else hmmm new Tamper?..
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  13. #13
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    IMO his range of Precision baskets Precision filter basket 58mm- Espresso parts are easier to use and give a better result every time.

    .
    Order placed

  14. #14
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    Order placed
    Just my opinion Flash, hope they do the job for you.

    Keep us informed.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Just my opinion Flash, hope they do the job for you.

    Keep us informed.
    will do, it's on it's way



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