Tamper Recommendations

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

#1: Post by tscofield »

Hello - new member/home barista here.

I have recently purchased a Profitec Pro 600 and paired it with a Eureka Specialita. We have wasted a decent amount of coffee (as expected) dialing in the grinder and getting a puck preparation technique developed. Now, a few weeks in, approximately 80% of our shots seem good and are enjoyable to drink. However, the other 20% is terrible and ends up going down the drain. Through our research, we have narrowed this down to the puck preparation.

What we are using: a mix of lightly tapping the portafilter with our palm and a NSEW distributing with our finger. Then, we have a distribution tool we are using to level the bed - not hard enough to pack the grounds but enough to level them. Lastly, we are tamping with the tamper that came with the machine. With this combination, we find wormholes in the puck and specifically toward the edges of the puck. Occasionally, we find channels in the middle of the puck but it is most consistently along the edges.

The Profitec tamper does have some play in the basket and this is what we think the issue may be. Because even if we are tamping perfectly flat, the coffee along the edges may not be packed enough. Does anyone have suggestions for tampers that fit stock Profitec filters well? Not sure if I should purchase a different 58mm tamper or a slightly oversized one at ~58.4mm. I would like to keep the price under around $50 but am up for suggestions.

Let me know what you think. Perhaps it's not the tampers fault. Thank you in advance.

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#2: Post by Jeff »

Welcome to H-B!

My guess is that it's not the tamper, but everything leading up to it.

I'd suggest starting simple.

Use a fine-needled "WDT" tool to break up any clumps, get the grinds relatively uniform throughout the basket, and level on the surface. The LeverCraft tool is my personal preference, though some 0.4 mm (or perhaps smaller) acupuncture needles ("3d printer cleaning kit") in a cork work well too. I found anything fatter than a paperclip made my variability greater than doing nothing at all.

Tamp once and only once, square to the basket, with any reasonable 58 mm tamper. You don't need to "lean into it". Once the grinds feel like they've mainly compressed, that's usually good enough. Use your fingertips on the edge of the base to feel the rim of the basket so you know you're square.

See How much do you have to spend on basket/tamper? for a photo of how I like to hold a tamper.

The problems you describe don't sound like an extra fraction of a mm are going to resolve. I used a 58 mm tamper for years without any issues that I'd attribute to "poor fit" in the basket. I take it out from time to time and find that I can pull great shots with it still.

No taps, bumps, distribution tools, multiple tamps, any of that. In my experience those can lead to more problems, rather than less.
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#3: Post by Pressino »

Here's one that I often use. The depth of the leveling and tamper faces is adjustable.

https://www.amazon.com/Distributor-MATO ... 082MKVYFV/

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#4: Post by JB90068 »

You didn't mention if you were still using the stock basket that came with your 600 or if you changed it out.

I dug out my stock 18g basket that came with my Synchronika and compared it to an IMS 18g basket using both the stock tamper and two other tampers. What I noticed is that there is a hint more play in the IMS basket using the stock tamper vs. using one of my other tampers. It's not a huge difference as long as the tamper stays level. If not there can occasionally be the slightest channeling at an edge.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.


#5: Post by michang5 »

Each of these steps helped reduce the amount of channeling - to a point where it is so infrequent that I am genuinely surprised when I a shot spurts or mists.

1) put away my VST basket and switched back to stock

2) returned a palm distributor and tamper to Amazon

3) got the Normcore V4 leveling tamper ($50)

4) bought a proper WDT tool off Etsy ($20 -https://etsy.me/3i4Is4L) and learned how to use it by watching Lance's WDT video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp3GIR9lynE) and Decent's puck raking video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIexlhxP0Ig). I don't go crazy with it. The most important for my workflow was to get a level bed prior to tamping. My whole WDT and rake process takes 5-7 sec.

5) grinding directly into my portafilter (a tall funnel with this)

5) minimizing fines and regrinding by modifying the 6eclumper in my DF64 grinder; my Niche didn't need any mods

7) warming up my machine, group and portafilter for at least 15 min before pulling my first shot and at least 5-7 minutes between shots - regardless of what the PID says

Capuchin Monk

#6: Post by Capuchin Monk »

In the first video, Lance rakes it twice for better result. I suppose it's even better if raked 3 times? :shock: