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VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > VST Baskets:...  
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frank828
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Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012, 2:44pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

emradguy Said:

Does anyone know the difference between the La Marzocco Strada baskets and the VST baskets, other than the dose weight ratings on the VSTs?

Posted December 21, 2012 link

I have a feeling the standard double strada basket is identical to the 18g vst.

I just got my 18g ridgeless vst from chris' and the box says 18g but the basket says 17g on the lip and the side wall.
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emradguy
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Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012, 3:56pm
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

that's been my thought as well, but so far, it's only been supposition.  I bought 2 Strada triple and 2 Strada double baskets from Chris' some time ago, back when I thought they were exactly the same, but going by 2 different names.  At the time, Chris' was only carrying the Stradas.  Can't say I've tried all that hard to research the difference...but have become more and more curious of late.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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TonyVan
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Posted Sat Dec 22, 2012, 5:35am
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

You'll find several threads here and on H-B discussing the VST/Strada basket differences.  The short summary is that LM uses much of the VST process in producing and testing the Strada baskets, but the LM Strada baskets are manufactured in different factories and don't come out to the same standards. The baskets sold by VST directly from the VST site - or resold by others specifically with the VST brand - are considered superior to those sold by LM under the Strada name.

Experiences like the one related here - that favor the flat tamper - are typical. The VST basket design rewards consistency, both in terms of puck thickness (top and bottom surfaces plano-parallel) and density (having the coffee in that puck ruthlessly homogenous). Most of us have found this to be best accomplished by stripping all the bells and whistles (nutating etc.) out of the basket-preparation routine.  These tics generally introduce inconsistencies that may have helped before in a two-wrongs-make-a-right sort of compensation.  But the finer grind and edge-to-edge consistency with the VSTs seem to expose those flaws.
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germantownrob
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Posted Sat Dec 22, 2012, 6:01am
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

TonyVan Said:

You'll find several threads here and on H-B discussing the VST/Strada basket differences.  The short summary is that LM uses much of the VST process in producing and testing the Strada baskets, but the LM Strada baskets are manufactured in different factories and don't come out to the same standards. The baskets sold by VST directly from the VST site - or resold by others specifically with the VST brand - are considered superior to those sold by LM under the Strada name. .

Posted December 22, 2012 link

Would you mind posting some links to these discussions on the VST vs Strada? My searches only bring up the CG thread and your post. http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/general/586308#586308 I am not trying argue but I think I am pretty good at searches and I just can't find anything to support what you are saying. If true I will be pretty upset with Chris' and in general that I bought Strada baskets with the advertisement that they where VST basket.
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JonR10
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Posted Sat Dec 22, 2012, 8:28am
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

LM helped sponsor the VST development for use with the Strada, so we can reasonably believe that the baskets are essentially the same.  I'm under the impression that the Q/C is a bit more stringent for the VST branded baskets with the complete tracking and serialization....but essentially they are the same product.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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andys
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Posted Sun Dec 23, 2012, 7:29am
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

JonR10 Said:

LM helped sponsor the VST development for use with the Strada, so we can reasonably believe that the baskets are essentially the same.  I'm under the impression that the Q/C is a bit more stringent for the VST branded baskets with the complete tracking and serialization....but essentially they are the same product.

Posted December 22, 2012 link

Hi Jon:

Comparisons are complicated by the fact that there are actually TWO lines of La Marzocco baskets, the "Strada" and the "Advanced Precision Filter Basket." According to this document, the "Advanced Precision filters" are not imaged or scanned.

My understanding is as follows:

All the baskets were designed by VST.
All the baskets are manufactured using similar technology.
Every VST and Strada basket is scanned for quality control (size and uniformity of holes, combined hole area, circularity, quality of hole size distribution, centeredness of perforated area, etc).
VST baskets must pass imaging tests with a higher quality score (tighter tolerances) than Strada baskets.
Advanced Precision baskets are not scanned, so their quality can vary. In fact, there is no way to tell if the basket meets any specification w/o imaging it. *
VST baskets have different hole patterns compared to LM.
VST baskets have different side taper profiles and radii compared to LM (to allow pucks to knock out more easily).
VST baskets hold tighter inside diameter tolerances compared to LM, for more consistent fit to a fixed tamper size.
VST baskets are warranted for one year against all defects (I don't know what the LM warranty is).
VST offers a 20g size, which is the official basket for the WBC, USBC regionals, UKBC, etc.
VST offers both ridged and ridge-less styles of all sizes.

  • (FYI, the rejection rate on VST scanned baskets is proprietary, but it is definitely NOT zero. No manufacturing process is free of obvious and/or non-obvious defects, hence the need for quality control/imaging of all baskets).

 
-AndyS
picture page:  http://flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/
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JonR10
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JonR10
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Posted Sun Dec 23, 2012, 9:24am
Subject: Re: VST Baskets: Which Tamper?
 

andys Said:

Comparisons are complicated by the fact that there are actually TWO lines of La Marzocco baskets, the "Strada" and the "Advanced Precision Filter Basket." According to this document, the "Advanced Precision filters" are not imaged or scanned.

Posted December 23, 2012 link

Thanks Andy, that helps to clear things up.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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