Tamper and distribution tool recommendations

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
TLN

#1: Post by TLN »

Hi HB.

Decided to get myself a coffee distribution tool and upgrade my tamper at the same time. Currently using VST 20g basket.
I assume I'll need 58.35 or 58.4mm tamper for VST/IMS basket, right? Is there any recommended go to model? I see tampers range from $20 too $200.

Similar question regarding distribution tool. I guess I don't need that high tolerance, so just looking for something that is well received on that forum

Thanks,
Vic

BruceWayne
Supporter ♡

#2: Post by BruceWayne »

58.5 mm tools for VST baskets.

I use a 58.5 mm Force tamper (flat base) with my VST baskets. I do have a 58.55 mm cloverleaf distributor, but stopped using it. My current prep is grind into a dosing cup, transfer, WDT, one tap of the PF on the counter mat to settle the grounds, and tamp.

So, I recommend a magnetic funnel that doesn't sit inside the basket (Decent tall funnel in my case), WDT tool with max 0.4 mm wire thickness, and a 58.5 mm Force tamper.

Before getting the Force tamper, I used the 58.55 mm tamper that came with my Bianca. At this point, I consider the distributor to be a tool that should only be used to provide a level starting point for a standard tamper, and a self-leveling tamper doesn't need that.

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Jeff
Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

My tools of choice are either a plain-old tamper and a lot of practice, or a Bravo Tamper. I ended up with 58.4 mm, 58.5 mm will work as well, without "puck suck" from what I understand from others. If WLL has them in stock, Gilberto (the maker) can't sell direct on what WLL has available. Both The Force and the Bravo have strong followings.

My opinion on distributors is that they make the puck look pretty. Period. Well, actually, there is a bit of evidence that if you don't level your puck first, and sometimes if you do, they can make things worse in the cup.

I use a LeverCraft WDT tool, that handles homogenization of grinds and levels without much, if any, additional "raking". A cork with some 0.4 mm or smaller acupuncture needles works well on a lesser budget.

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#4: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

If this is your 1st foray into the palm dozer & tamper world, I'd recommend one of the cheap fully adjustable ones found on Amazon for a trial run before investing heavily.

They usually do quite well.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

michang5

#5: Post by michang5 »

After buying and returning a few options, I've settled on the Normcore V4 leveling tamper (58.5mm), watchget dosing ring from Amazon and a WDT tool from an Etsy seller named KiTTech. Here is a pic of all three - https://imgur.com/a/Mw3XjNl

Ypuh

#6: Post by Ypuh » replying to michang5 »

Looks great! What's that bean cellar you are using?

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cafeIKE
Supporter ★

#7: Post by cafeIKE »

Tamper: anything that fits pretty close. I have five of various diameters from 57 to 58.45 in flat, convex and C-Flat. Makes no difference what-so-ever. And tamp pressure is largely irrelevant beyond compacting the puck and bleeding well make sure it's level!

My WDT tool, which resides in the drawer for most coffees*, is a piece of dowel with a medium sewing needle and has been in use since the day WDT was revealed.

99 & 44/100% of the tool, basket, screen hype is bunk! Video after video of more prep finesse than open heart or brain surgery and the shot is still toast in under 5 seconds.

* on the Oregon coast, it's never low humidity

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TLN (original poster)

#8: Post by TLN (original poster) »

BaristaBoy E61 wrote:If this is your 1st foray into the palm dozer & tamper world, I'd recommend one of the cheap fully adjustable ones found on Amazon for a trial run before investing heavily.

They usually do quite well.
I haven't bought distribution tool, so that's my 2nd tamper. I'd rather find proven model right now, rather than upgrade two times after that.
Jeff wrote:My tools of choice are either a plain-old tamper and a lot of practice, or a Bravo Tamper. I ended up with 58.4 mm, 58.5 mm will work as well, without "puck suck" from what I understand from others. If WLL has them in stock, Gilberto (the maker) can't sell direct on what WLL has available. Both The Force and the Bravo have strong followings.

My opinion on distributors is that they make the puck look pretty. Period. Well, actually, there is a bit of evidence that if you don't level your puck first, and sometimes if you do, they can make things worse in the cup.

I use a LeverCraft WDT tool, that handles homogenization of grinds and levels without much, if any, additional "raking". A cork with some 0.4 mm or smaller acupuncture needles works well on a lesser budget.
I only need wtd for leveling. Im using zero niche metal cup that fits inside PF. All I need is to flip, shake and tap on table. However sometimes coffees is on one side of PF.

TenLayers
Supporter ♡

#9: Post by TenLayers »

Maybe you're not looking for a custom made tamper to your hand size and specifications but if you are and you are willing to wait look here
https://tamperista.com/

I had one made for me, it's on the opening page of the site. It's the one with inlaid "K" on top. Gives me joy every time I pick it up.

Jeff
Team HB

#10: Post by Jeff »

TLN wrote:All I need is to flip, shake and tap on table. However sometimes coffees is on one side of PF.
This is why "shake and flip" alone is rare among those that obsess over prep. Even if not visible, often the flip makes one side more dense than the other. A healthy stir is probably a good idea, if you're seeing uneven extraction