The essential upgrade for your espresso machine. VST baskets have been around for 5 years and have become the standard amongst those serious about espresso coffee. Why you need them: they make your coffee taste better by allowing you to extract more.
- Laser cut holes and a proprietary imaging system that ensures consistency between baskets. Traditionally, the holes in espresso filter baskets are mechanically punched. This is quick and effective but the result is that all the holes are a different size.
If you have worked at a cafe on a multi-group machine fitted with these baskets*, you will have seen this in action: each of your heads pours slightly differently. Most baristas blame the machine, but usually the real blame is with the basket (or poor technique). Laser cutting the holes, and then passing each basket through a proprietary imaging system that checks each basket produced gives a consistency near 100%. This sounds quite simple, but is a major development in the world of espresso baskets. Consistent inside diameter means you can get a tamper that fits extremely tightly (0.2mm clearance) inside the basket, further helping your extraction.
- Straight sides to promote an even extraction – water naturally wants to flow straight down.
Normal baskets have tapered sides that can lead to a donut shape extraction (i.e., lots around the outside with a hole in the middle).
- Larger holes and greater area of holes to maximise flow rate
Bigger holes lead to less resistance, which means you can (well, you need to) grind finer. Grinding finer gives you a greater surface area, and this leads to more extraction. Having straight sides gives more area on the bottom for holes. More holes leads to more flow rate = more extraction
- Dose optimised basket size and hole size/distribution
VST baskets come in different sizes to accommodate different dosages. The intended dose determines the depth of the basket, the size of the holes and the location of the holes. We recommend 20g baskets for most applications.
VST Precision Filter baskets are the answer if you want to improve the performance and consistency of your current equipment. As VST Precision Filter baskets are generally deeper than regular baskets, you may need to use bigger or naked portafilters. We can help you find the right portafilter for your machine and carry many Nuova Recambi handles in stock.
A few notes on using VST baskets:
- If you are coming from standard espresso baskets, you will need adjust your grinder to suit the VST. Keep your shots between 25 – 35 seconds.
- Pay attention to your dose. Use a scale and keep your dose within 2g of the basket’s intended dose.
- Make sure your distribution of coffee is even.
- As they perform better than standard baskets, the visual clues some baristas rely on are less relevant with a VST basket. Rather than relying on watching the shot, try weighing it. As a starting point, keep the weight of the shot about twice the weight of the dose.
- Best results will come from using a tamper that is between 58.4 and 58.6 mm.