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Video Overview | VST Precision Espresso Baskets
Hey, folks. Steve with Prima Coffee here. Today, we're going to take a look at the VST Precision Espresso Baskets. Now, we have these in two different sizes, each with two different styles. We have them in the 18-gram and 20-gram size, and we also have the ridgeless style and the ridged style. Now, the difference there is that ridgeless, obviously, has no ridge here on the side of the basket, while the ridged does. And that is to hold the basket in place with a retaining spring like you see here in this La Marzocco Portafilter. Now, without that ridge, the basket still stays in place. However, I can shake it out, and if there's a puck in there, it might pop out when I'm knocking out my puck. Just something to keep in mind that it is just a tension fit when you're using a ridgeless basket. It still fits in the portafilter fine. It still pulls espresso fine, but you might have a chance where it will fall out while you're tapping at your portafilter.
- VST Precision Espresso Baskets
Now, the distinct advantage of the VST Basket is mainly in the precision in design and engineering. Most baskets before VST came around were not precision engineered. Hole patterns would be punched sort of pell-mell. It might have variations between every single basket. The idea with VST is that every basket should be as close to perfect as possible. And to sort of give themselves a little accountability for that, every basket comes with one of these certificates that gives you the relative hole sizes and overall quality score and a sample of the actual optical image that each basket is evaluated with as it comes off the production line. So these baskets are precision engineered not only for consistency between baskets, but also for greater extraction. You have a very wide and full hole pattern here that takes advantage of the entire surface area of the bottom of the basket. And that means that you're going to get much more even extractions through your pucks. And if you're using them properly, you'll see a little less channeling as well as more consistent extraction shot-to-shot.
Now, one thing to consider with the ridged versus ridgeless, the inner diameter is slightly smaller on the ridged baskets. So if you're buying a specialty tamper that's sized exactly to fit these baskets, which is roughly 58.6 millimeters in diameter here and 58.5 millimeters here, you'll want to keep that in consideration because there is that small difference. So if you have an oversized tamper that's meant for a ridgeless basket, it might bind or get stuck early in the ridged basket. If you have a 58.35-millimeter tamper, which is one of the more common sizes for sizing for VST specifically, it will fit both baskets just fine. Even 58.4 will fit both baskets fine. But other than that, these are probably one of the best and most well known precision baskets on the market. They are the official basket of the World Barista Championships, and they've got a reputation that they've earned very well. These baskets have kind of shown the coffee industry that the basket is not something to be overlooked. It has a distinct impact on espresso, and consistency in the basket directly translates to consistency in your espresso production. So that is the VST Precision Espresso Basket. Thanks for watching.