TonyVan Senior Member Joined: 24 May 2010 Posts: 269 Location: Pacific Northwest Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: GS/3, La Pavoni Grinder: Macap M7K, Rocky Drip: Kone
Posted Sat May 12, 2012, 9:21pm Subject: Re: Are La Marzocco Strada baskets = VST, or VST baskets in Canada?
I've used many of both the VST ridged and ridgeless baskets and would also recommend the ridgeless version unless a very strong connection with a sprung PF is important to you.
With a PF spring (maybe bent a little to increase or decrease its holding power) the ridgeless still provides a good snug fit. Of course, if you're among those who prepare your baskets outside the PF and therefore leave your PF unsprung, then the ridgeless is the obvious answer.
The ridge itself forms a small concave ring on the inside just above the level of the tamped puck. As such the puck itself is not directly affected, but after tamping, a small amount of loose coffee usually stays in the inside of the ridge, no matter how closely the tamper fits the sidewall dimensions. With the smooth interior of the ridgeless, however, a 58.4mm tamper will tamp "clean" with a ridgeless VST and will usually leave no coffee above the puck along the sidewalls. (Note: I am not taking any sides here whether or not any such small amounts of residual untamped coffee degrade the shot. This may be nothing more than a minor aesthetic annoyance for some, and no issue whatsoever for others).
I recall some threads here on CG and elsewhere discussing the differences between the VST-manufactured baskets and the ones made (by a different contractor) as OEM production for La Marzocco. If you want to dig into all that, Google will serve nicely, but taking a short cut here, I would recommend you get the ones made by VST.
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