Tamper for La Marzocco single baskets

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Jul 20, 2018, 1:31 pm

I've been playing around with making singles recently, in a La Marzocco 7g single basket. I'd like to get a tamper that will fit the bottom part of the basket. I've seen some folks here, a long time ago, talking about using a 40.7mm tamper for this.

Does anyone know if a 41mm tamper will fit? There are some cheapo's on Amazon that I was thinking about ordering...I'm not super concerned with how "nice" it is, but rather just want something that will work. Looking at this base:

https://www.amazon.com/Tamper-stainless ... 01275430I/

One of the reviews says "It will not reach the bottom of a La Marzocco single shot basket, but if you have dosed coffee into the basket it is perfect achieving a good single shot tamp."

But it's not exactly clear what that means, and whether it will go deep enough into the basket to be effective.

Anyone tried a 41mm tamper in the single basket?

JayBeck

Postby JayBeck » Jul 20, 2018, 4:03 pm

Not sure what came with your GS3 but the LMLM comes with a 2 sided tamper. The small end is for the single basket. You might try their tamper.

gr2020

Postby gr2020 » replying to JayBeck » Jul 20, 2018, 4:47 pm

That's what I've been doing - but it's really rounded:

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samuellaw178
Team HB

Postby samuellaw178 » Jul 20, 2018, 5:15 pm

The LM1 single basket is my favourite basket of all. :D I've been using it with a 41.0mm tamper along with a special funnel to ease the workflow.

If you're using at least 7g coffee, there's almost no reason to go smaller than 41.0 mm. If you're overdosing above 10g coffee, I can see maybe an even larger tamper (e.g. 42.0 mm) will be helpful but it'll be a compromise on the lower dose end as you cannot tamp into the barrel effectively. One caveat is I don't know how much manufacturing tolerance/variance is there for these baskets. I have two of these generic LM1 baskets, and found them to be identical dimension wise.

7-9 g seems to be the sweetspot for me using the 41.0 mm tamper. Note that with 10g coffee, there's a bit more of the 'untamped' area. You'd have to move the tamper around to compress it.
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★ Helpful

gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Jul 20, 2018, 8:58 pm

Awesome - thanks! And the pictures are super helpful. I'll find a 41.0mm, and go from there!

gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Jul 23, 2018, 4:42 pm

The 41mm tamper and handle came today, so I've been playing this afternoon. I got the one from Amazon, since it was immediately available and prime shipping - not really a looker, but certainly functional:

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And OMG what a difference having a tamper sized for singles makes! It takes a little doing (and a few pre-tamps before the tamp) to get all the grinds in the hole in the bottom (that funnel would be nice!), but once they're in there, a solid tamp, then pull. And I'm getting picture-perfect pulls on the bottomless, which are somewhat adorable from a single. :)

And I never would have believed this - but I'm using exactly the same grind setting in this basket as I am in the double, and getting the same extraction time. I mean, I know this is what they _say_ you should be able to do, but I've always been skeptical, and have never witnessed this myself...until today! Specifically:

LM 7g basket, 8.0g in, 16g out, 22s
LM 17g basket, 16.0g in, 32g out, 22s

This was definitely not the case before, but now that I can get a clean tamp in the single, it's flowing perfectly. This is with the La Colombe Nizza, from the LM Home subscription.

samuellaw178
Team HB

Postby samuellaw178 » Jul 23, 2018, 5:04 pm

Thanks for reporting back!!

The LM1 single is quite underrated probably due to it needing a separate tamper. If you're pulling normale (1:2 brew ratio) and not ristretto, it makes just the perfect size of a single shot.

Not just the pull time, the extraction yield measured using refractometer is exactly comparable to a double basket as well. I fiddled quite a bit with single baskets, and found that all other single baskets (conical/tapered-shaped) extract about 20% less from the coffee (typically measured 15-16% EY instead of 19-20% EY) before it blonds. Makes a huge difference if the shot is used as a base for piccolos/lattes.

gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Jul 23, 2018, 5:14 pm

That's interesting about the yield. Especially since they seem to taste more like a "single" taste - a little milder...but you would think with the same ratio and same EY, they would taste the same as a double.

Have you tried your single basket with SO's that are more challenging to extract (e.g. coffees that like a long pre-brew, etc)? Any observations?

samuellaw178
Team HB

Postby samuellaw178 » Jul 23, 2018, 5:29 pm

If the taste is mild, you can try upping the dose to 9g. Compared to doubles, the single responds much more greatly to a small difference in dose. That's what I found anyway. I didn't care so much for the taste when the dose is 7-8g. When updosed to 9g, I don't miss the doubles, at all. :D

Have you tried your single basket with SO's that are more challenging to extract (e.g. coffees that like a long pre-brew, etc)? Any observations?


Sure I did! In fact, most of my drinks are SO and on the light/medium side. With the proper tamper, I don't find it any different compared to the doubles.

gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Jul 23, 2018, 5:40 pm

Awesome! I can't wait to play with this some more over the coming weeks. I feel like for the cost of a tamper (~$25), I have this whole new tool in my chest.

And I'll never look at soggy pucks the same way again. ;)