I hope everyone had a good holiday, and one of the nice things about the holidays is getting that gift that you didn't think you didn't think you were going to get. While I didn't get an Elektra T1 espresso machine, I did end up getting a 15 gram VST basket. I had mention this to my brother probably the day I order my other baskets just in passing about how crazy people were about these things, and apparently he thought I was one of the crazies and got me one.
Now if you read this article here, it describes a lot about how these VST baskets are good because they have a level of precision. While I do not doubt that is the case, I got a little reading of my basket quality with it, but what appears just on face value to have the greatest impact is how much finer you must grind on it.
To be honest when I got home yesterday I had a new bag of Paradise Roaster's Nuevo waiting for me and I had my new ridgless basket in the machine and my first shot I pulled was way too fine, a few drops in about 45 seconds. So I thought what the hell lets toss in the new basket and see what happens. Pulled a good 1.5 ounce shot in thirty seconds. No change in grind. And from the shot I got a lot of dark flavored fruits that I don't think one would expect from this roast., think black cherry, and prunes. It was pretty good.
While I have only had a few shots now, I can not be sure what the increased level of precision does to the espresso, but the increased size of the screen does have a dramatic impact on the taste. While these baskets are about quaduple the price of the espressoparts baskets, it's still a pretty cheap way to try something new.
To be clear with just my naked eye there does not appear to be anything that makes the VST basket betty quality wise, especially to the home user., it's just that large basket area. So perhaps I have found my light and dark roast baskets? Only time will tell.