La Marzocco Basket

WHAT

Every so often, there is a fundamental advancement in espresso technology – the first double boiler, the first electric motor or the first PID temperature controller, to name just a few. Each of these advancements has brought us great changes in the relationship between the barista and the machine, and, most importantly, the quality of the espresso. Along with game changing baristas, La Marzocco has been a driving force in this endeavor. That’s why back in 2010, La Marzocco contracted with Vince Fedele of VST, Inc. to focus on what had been a long time bottleneck in espresso quality – the espresso filter basket.

The collaboration and the resulting refinement of the manufacturing and quality control process produced what is now known as the Strada Basket, and uses the same technology and design standards as the VST Precision Filter BasketIt is the most precise and consistent manufactured basket on the market today.

Standard basket hole size distribution. Spans over 40 size intervals. Note the acircularity and jaggedness of the holes.

La Marzocco bakset hole size distribution. Spans only 5 size intervals. Note the uniformity of the holes.

WHY

Due to the standard manufacturing process of baskets, the hole sizes, shapes, and patterns in all baskets, regardless of manufacturer, have substantial variance on the same basket, and from one unit to the next. Specifically, this includes hole circularity, total open area, overall quality, hole diameter, and hole area min/max. Put any typical basket under a microscope and such a variance is easily noticeable. All else being equal, such variances result in significant systemic over and underextractions.

HOW

The R&D performed by VST in collaboration with La Marzocco resulted in a new manufacturing process that has drastically improved filter basket uniformity and quality. In addition to design, process, and materials improvements, each basket undergoes an additional patented optical scanning quality control process to ensure that each unit meets stringent dimensional criteria of quality and compliance. The scanning technology is used to measure 100% of production output, ensuring every filter meets all requirements.

FEATURES & BENEFITS

  • Unparalleled hole precision at +/- 30 micron
  • Identical performance shot-to-shot, basket-to-basket
  • Eliminates over and underextraction due to basket irregularity
  • Each basket is designed to extract as a
    • Ristretto – at 13% TDS, 18-19% extraction yield
    • Normale – at 10% TDS, 19-20% extraction yield
    • Lungo – at 6.5% TDS, 20-21% extraction yield
  • Reduced coffee sediments
  • Product lifespan of >120,000 brew cycles
  • Minimal tapering
  • Marked with a unique 2D code, for manufacturing quality control and to ensure authenticity

For additional information on the La Marzocco filter baskets designed by VST, please refer to “Advances in the State of the Art – and Science – of Espresso” in the April/May 2011 issue of Barista Magazine.

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