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Do IMS or VST baskets make a difference in the cup on a Classic? And is one better?

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Hi All,

 

I was after some advice if I may. I’m running a Gaggia Classic (Rancilio wand and OPV mod) and Mazzer Super Jolly (had it for about a year). I make 2-4 drinks on a weekend day, usually cappuccino / cortado and the odd mid week drink.

 

Would upgrading to an IMS or VST basket make a difference over the stock (non pressurised) double baskets? Or since I’m mostly going milk based is it not a material difference?

 

Also I can’t seem to find a sensible answer on whether IMS or VST is better, only the one direct comparison (from perfect daily grind) which says any difference is marginal.

 

And if I upgrade the basket is there a benefit to going bottomless on the Portafilter at the same time?

 

Thanks for any / all advice and sorry for the long question!

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Short answer yes

 

Longer answer - precision baskets allow you to grind finer and extract more from your coffee, the difference between the two is pretty marginal but the VST has the edge over the IMS. Getting a bottomless portafilter will help you in your prep, which will need to change once you start with the new basket.


AKA Toffee chips

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I've used both IMS & VST in my Tebe (same wrokings as a Cassic) & both have worked fine though the VST is a bit less forgiving when it comes to prep. Can't really compare them to stock baskets though as mine only came with pressurised ones.


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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I've used VST's in all of my machines including my Classic. It does make a difference, but it is less forgiving if you get the basket prep wrong compare to a stock backet.

 

Coffee chaps advice on a Bottomless PF is pretty good too. It's only when you get one of these that you realise what disaster is going on in the PF.


Sage DB; Mazzer Major; VST 15g, 18g & 20g Baskets;TORR Trapez & Perger Tamper

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Thanks All.

 

Coffeechap - when you say extract more from your coffee do you mean literally finer grind ⇒ more solutes so more flavour? And does getting your grind just right therefore become harder because you can over/under extract more easily?

 

And if all of you are saying the difference between IMS and VST is marginal is it worth saving the £10 and getting an IMS competition? I've also seen mentioned around that IMS now make "barista pro" baskets which are supposedly better again but probably not worth mentioning at this junction.

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Just to add to coffeechap's comments about being able to grind finer.

 

Definitely good value imho.

 

I replaced the standard classic basket (well i assume it was a standard Gaggia-looked about 17g - it came with the machine secondhand) with an 18g ridged VST, then bought a 20g ridgeless VST. I wouldn't buy a ridged one again unless i was changing baskets a lot.

 

Did some measurements like how long does it take water for a set volume to flow through, and the VST was roughly 20% faster. The reason i then went to 20g was i wanted to increase the dose to 20g and extract a larger volume especially on the lighter roasts for making a good sized latte, i needed about 45-50g extracted.

 

I think the perfect size tamper is 58.4mm, but you might need to double check that.

 

The cheapest i found was hasbean, but worth looking around.

 

You will notice the holes are smaller, but many more, closer together and the basket more cylindrical than the slightly concave standard. I do recall occasionally seeing some fines in the cup in the standard basket - so smaller holes less fines.

 

Being able to grind finer means you are able to explore a finer grind setting.

 

Good luck :good:

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Thanks AgentB.

 

Do you mean you wouldn’t buy a ridged again or a ridgeless? It feels to me like there’s no real disadvantage to ridgeless but if you want to change baskets / clean your PF then ridged could be a pain.

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There is a difference but all your routine should be in check beforehand.


GaggiaEnthusiast

 

Buying expensive equipment won't make you barista!

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I prefer VST as i i find the dose tolerances on the IMS to be pretty big and correlating that with improved extraction and precision confuses me .

Will a vst improve your coffee? It's icing in the cake, for you to see an improvement you need to have a good grinder , good prep and all the others things in your armoury be in line. On a classic, non pidded,you will still be at the mercy of temp swings when temp surfing if you have this nailed and feel you are getting consistent coffee already then go for a precision basket ( again my preference would be VST 18g ).

You need to grind finer for the VST and you need to be prepared for a little frustration on looking at the naked pf. Aim for taste not espresso porn . If you get both then that's all good and proper. Try to evaluate a shot by it's taste and not it's visuals , a shot can still be tasty and not be 100 percent espresso porn.

Of course if you are not enjoying the shot you made then , use the info you have to judge why.


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Short answer yes

 

Longer answer - precision baskets allow you to grind finer and extract more from your coffee, the difference between the two is pretty marginal but the VST has the edge over the IMS. Getting a bottomless portafilter will help you in your prep, which will need to change once you start with the new basket.

Have you tried the IMS baristapro line?

 

I have to grind finer for the baristapro than my VST. In the cup not much difference between those two.


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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Have you tried the IMS baristapro line?

 

I have to grind finer for the baristapro than my VST. In the cup not much difference between those two.

With improved Nano Tech :)

whats the dose tolerances on those ?

Grinding finer as you know can be a function of holes etc or dose in the basket.


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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With improved Nano Tech :)

whats the dose tolerances on those ?

Grinding finer as you know can be a function of holes etc or dose in the basket.

Those nano's make all the difference...

 

They work for washing machines, shower gels, trainers, car tyres etc why not coffee baskets?

 

I don't actually know the tolerance, like the VST baskets they are sold as 18g as opposed to 12-17g etc. I assume it's ±1g like the VST is.

 

I just know that I have an 18g VST and an 18g IMS baristapro if I use the same weight of coffee on both I have to grind finer for the IMS.


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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Those nano's make all the difference...

 

They work for washing machines, shower gels, trainers, car tyres etc why not coffee baskets?

 

I don't actually know the tolerance, like the VST baskets they are sold as 18g as opposed to 12-17g etc. I assume it's ±1g like the VST is.

 

I just know that I have an 18g VST and an 18g IMS baristapro if I use the same weight of coffee on both I have to grind finer for the IMS.

 

Ah cool that qualifies it a bit more.

I have to check my shows gel now for nanos when I get home.


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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So does having to grind finer implicitly mean the basket is better?

 

Or is it just the nanos that make the difference ;)

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Posted (edited)
Hi All,

 

I was after some advice if I may. I’m running a Gaggia Classic (Rancilio wand and OPV mod) and Mazzer Super Jolly (had it for about a year). I make 2-4 drinks on a weekend day, usually cappuccino / cortado and the odd mid week drink.

 

Would upgrading to an IMS or VST basket make a difference over the stock (non pressurised) double baskets? Or since I’m mostly going milk based is it not a material difference?

 

Also I can’t seem to find a sensible answer on whether IMS or VST is better, only the one direct comparison (from perfect daily grind) which says any difference is marginal.

 

And if I upgrade the basket is there a benefit to going bottomless on the Portafilter at the same time?

 

Thanks for any / all advice and sorry for the long question!

 

 

Well ims has different lines - there is ims normal, competition, e&b lab, baristapro - here the catalogs https://www.imsfiltri.com/?lang=en.

 

I have ims competition 16g and vst 15g on my gaggia. For subjective reasons I feel the vst is far more superior than the ims competition line. And that feel gives me some kind of confidence and even joy when I make coffee. Having said that I'm not sure I can taste the difference in the cup between them, because I never did a proper blind test or so.

 

If we judje the baskets by the precision of the holes etc. then I wholeheartedly recommend vst or la marzocco baskets over the ims competition line.

Here is my ims competizione B682TH24.5M (the exact model) with 641 holes

bought on 04.12.2018. Taste is subjective but I'm definitely not impressed with the workmanship of the holes. Pictures(under microscope) say more than 1000 words:) >>

 

 

 

 

cbp820d.jpg

LR17OgG.jpg

PJ6tpTi.jpg

 

 

ims baristapro seem to be a different animal. It is with the same precision or close to vst(I've seen some pictures under microscope and things are looking good). Same goes probably for the ims baskets produced in colaboration with e&b lab i.e. holes are precise, but I'm not sure since I haven't had the chance to see them yet.

 

to sum up my opinion on vst vs ims:

ims competition - I would better save my money for something else

ims baristapro - is worth it

ims e&b - not sure but worth checking out

vst - deffinetly worth it

 

Botomless - deffinetly get yourselve botomless. It will vastly improve your feedback during extraction, also more easy to clean and more crema than spouts.

Edited by batkovan

Bezzera unica pid, kinu m47

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So does having to grind finer implicitly mean the basket is better?

Finer grind means smaller coffee particles. In theory the smaller particles are more soluble and easily dissolved leading to better extraction.


Bezzera unica pid, kinu m47

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15g VST is a swine to work with. 18g VST all the way for me.


Sage DB; Mazzer Major; VST 15g, 18g & 20g Baskets;TORR Trapez & Perger Tamper

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Thanks AgentB.

 

Do you mean you wouldn’t buy a ridged again or a ridgeless? It feels to me like there’s no real disadvantage to ridgeless but if you want to change baskets / clean your PF then ridged could be a pain.

If you are changing the baskets a lot, the ridgeless ones will get loose, whereas the ridged ones will snap in. The other thing i noticed is it's a teeny bit easier to clean the ridgeless. It sounds silly, but it feels good when you knock it all out with just one tap. :)

 

I missed the fact you don't have a pid, i think if i had to have only one mod on a classic - it would be a pid (brew and steam). It also is a great lesson on how a classic works. :good:

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@batkovan - gotta love microscope pics. Thanks for that!

 

If you are changing the baskets a lot, the ridgeless ones will get loose, whereas the ridged ones will snap in. The other thing i noticed is it's a teeny bit easier to clean the ridgeless. It sounds silly, but it feels good when you knock it all out with just one tap. :)

 

I missed the fact you don't have a pid, i think if i had to have only one mod on a classic - it would be a pid (brew and steam). It also is a great lesson on how a classic works. :good:

@urbanbumpkin and @agentb - its looking like a ridged VST 18g isn’t it... Nothing special needed for the classic just a standard VST 18g ridged? (I know the IMS baskets need a certain prefix to have the right rim).

 

@Agentb - I’ve seen so much written about PIDs but in so far as I can tell they just reduce another variable, not particularly improve matters. However I’m willing to be corrected. And it feels hard to spend £80-100 on a £250 machine when I could save up for 6 months or a year to get up £500-800 and get a second hand PIDded HX or DB (I think). However I’m all ears and if the Classic is a worthy machine but just needs a PID to make it great and not need to upgrade then I’d definitely consider. I love furtling about with machinery.

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15g VST is a swine to work with. 18g VST all the way for me.

Yeah I read that allot :) . If the extraction is poor I like to think that the problem is in my preparation technic not the basket. That been said coffees are different and whereas with some you can get away with small conical burrs, others will require bigger or flat burrs, different temperature and even different pressure for optimal extraction.

Here some try's with my 15g vst>>


Bezzera unica pid, kinu m47

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What’s the issue with a 15g basket?


2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / part-time LSOL participant / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

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What’s the issue with a 15g basket?
Yer what's the issue... makes you get you're prep right once that's sorted = no problemo

It doesn't matter how you get there it's only the end result that matters

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What’s the issue with a 15g basket?
It doesn't hold enough coffee!

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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@urbanbumpkin and @agentb - its looking like a ridged VST 18g isn’t it... Nothing special needed for the classic just a standard VST 18g ridged? (I know the IMS baskets need a certain prefix to have the right rim).

 

20g ridgeless is what i would buy again, and suits me fine.

 

@Agentb - I’ve seen so much written about PIDs but in so far as I can tell they just reduce another variable, not particularly improve matters. However I’m willing to be corrected. And it feels hard to spend £80-100 on a £250 machine when I could save up for 6 months or a year to get up £500-800 and get a second hand PIDded HX or DB (I think). However I’m all ears and if the Classic is a worthy machine but just needs a PID to make it great and not need to upgrade then I’d definitely consider. I love furtling about with machinery.

 

I can only give you my experience - the classic has some worthy components but the analogue thermostats are truly stoneage, the steaming performance alone is worth the price. Your experience, if you choose to have one, may be different but i think you'd be surprised.:good:

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