I’m consistently getting invitations to manufacture or duplicate the flange that’s used in the BIGSTEP. So once and for all, I’m going to prove that the BIGSTEP isn’t a big step at all.
Let’s straight away get out of the way the sharpness of the flange on the edge. Some people have a particular finish, where it has to go to 000.1, and then they put a patent on it – that’s how dumb they are. So, this is my patent – the file. The file is my patent. Plus, a little bit of sandpaper, and it’s beautiful – hand crafted.
For my measurements, I’m using one of the best vernier’s on the market. After turning down the flange on the lathe, the first flange measured in at 58.88mm, to be tested in the basket.
The next one, I had to take a few mm off for a different basket, and it measured in at 58.66mm.
58.66mm – that out-creates the BIGSTEP by a mile. It must, when you’re going to have tolerances of .000 of 1. That’s so important when you make coffee. I want the world to know about that BIGSTEP.
A bar, for those people that do not understand engineering, is a long, solid pipe shaped piece of metal. We can get a bar of steel or aluminum, and I can make a 58.5mm like the BIGSTEP. What happens is, when people put the tamper in the portafilter, they have to take it out, but it’s nearly impossible for them to lift it out straight.
In a busy coffee shop, where you do 100 or 200 cups of coffee an hour, pulling out the tamp needs to be quick, and if the base is too big, it gets stuck in the basket. So he puts the little angle on it, which is called a splay by the way. Those people that do not understand in the BIGSTEP world, that’s called a splay.
So, you pull the tamper out, and then you can get it out straight. But with the 5 Star Pro, you don’t need to do that. The large spring in the 5 Star Pro lifts the flange back out – straight – straight to heaven. So it doesn't matter how big a person can manufacture a bar. That’s all it is, a bit of steel with thread on it, and a nice handle. You put the nice handle on the end of the bar, and that’s it, then you create a big step! And then, when you tamp with that 200 times a day, your arm is going to drop off after 10 years. Not only that, if your BIGSTEP is getting caught in your portafilter basket, you can’t get it out. So – keep big stepping.
Say you get a 7.5kg bar. Press the coffee down with that 200 times a day, and I guarantee you, that after 10 years, your arm will fall off – you can’t do it anymore. This bar is the fact of the matter – it’s the proof. That’s all it is – a bit of steel with a handle on it. It has no intelligence. Then this is what some people say – ‘just press as hard as you can’. So one person will press as hard as they can at 10kg, then another will press 20kg, the next will press 30kg. But if you press over 15kg, that’s bad for your health, because occupational health and safety states, that over 15kg of lifting and pushing is bad for your health. Things are going to happen.
So, if you believe those people that say just press as hard as you can, in the morning you press 15kg, and in the afternoon you press 2kg, so you have no consistency. You’re better off getting the 5 Star Pro, and put a 7kg spring in. A 7kg spring will get you 7kg consistency, all day, every day, 24 hours a day. All you then need to do is set your grind accordingly.
But if you believe you can press with a beautiful handle, on a piece of steel like a 7.5kg bar, then you believe that pigs fly as well. In the long term, it’s not going to happen. If you want to do it gimmicky, I’ll put a big step on a steel bar, but it’s not going to do anything but do damage to your own self. The 5 Star Pro is the way – there’s no other way.
The facts are the facts – regardless of who makes whatever. The tolerances are the tolerances. I’ll prove, I can go closer to the tolerance of the basket than anybody else, with the 5 Star Pro.
The other thing I can prove, is that with the 5 Star Pro, if I would want to put a chamfer on it, like a splay, I don't believe that I could go bigger, because of the same design as the BIGSTEP. I can go from zero, and put a splay on it, but it’s not going to make it any better, and I’d say it’s going to make it worse for jamming.
I then tested the 58.66mm on a 5 Star Pro in the basket at the coffee machine, and it gave a perfect extraction – nice and sweet.
Anyway, this is the point – with a VST basket, we can press 58.66mm, which is, according to the BIGSTEP manufacturer, a country mile bigger. So it means you can get closer to the edge of the portafilter basket.
We can out-create any hand held tamper. It doesn't matter how big they go, because I believe there are some baskets on the market now that are 60mm. We can go 60mm no problem – whatever the size of the basket.
Our company is such that if you want to send us your portafilter basket, we will make it exactly to the size of the basket, because they’re not all the same. Baskets are stamped in a big press, so when the metal is hot, it comes in a plate, and it’s being stamped into shape, so they’re not all the same.