How many tampers do you own?

Andrew Legg kept pimping this question out at the Prairie Regional Barista Championships 2009. How many do you own? At that time I owned none. After getting a participants tampy from Mr. Tamper himself, Reg Barber, I can proudly say 1.

An article popped up on what I’d say the illest coffee blog as of late cleanhotdry. They topic on hand was tamping and the basics of coffee. I totally agree that baristas tend to put more attention into tamping where the benefits are not always evident. However with my new toy came some new ideas and curiousity. What is the difference between all these tampers and why, if it really doesn’t matter that much are there so many different products?

Tamper Basics

Essentially, the purpose of tamping is to create an even puck so that the pressurized water extracts the coffee puck as equally as possible. 🙂 This is about as technical as I will (and am able to) get.

So taking a C-Flat tamper as loot from PRBC and experimenting with it I did. Not too much info is available on the internet but I did stumble upon a blog that helped…somewhat. (check out espressorun)

Essentially what I did was this:

To combat evil channels around the rims, I did first (leveller) tamp with the C-flat to try and push some coffee around the edges. Then switch to a smaller (I used euro curve, would be interested to see what a flat would do) and then staubed it with a North, South, East, West. I found on my wet pucks that my seal was pretty much solid each time. :S

What does this mean?

Don’t really notice any difference between my shots with this method and not using this method.
I guess that cleanhotdry was right, tamping don’t matter much.

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One thought on “How many tampers do you own?

  1. Definitely for me one of the biggest variables that I actually think coming into play is the tamper diameter and what tamping technique you are using with it. I find it harder to staub with a tamper that is an EXACT 58mm fit to the portafilter. But with an “oh so slightly” smaller diameter, staubing is a little easier and you can really eliminate alot of channeling.

    Also definitely handle shape, length, size etc. has to come into play for ergonomics sake. Technically it has no effect on the shot but when you are pulling hundreds of shots a shift, a comfortable tamper can keep you less sore and more mentally aware in order to focus on a nice, relaxed, even tamp every time.

    Great article Mike.

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