WDT vs Tamper

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
moo
Posts: 14
Joined: 3 years ago

#1: Post by moo »

I'm looking to make my process more repeatable during my espresso making. What is more important in terms of results? WDT like Moonraker? or force tamper? I feel WDT is likely be more important?

(Btw, Looking for a Bravo Tamper if anyone is selling).

LondonBunny
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Posts: 62
Joined: 4 years ago

#2: Post by LondonBunny »

Just do both, they only take a second.

The experts can correct me.. but I WDT (or shake) to break down clumps (fluff), distribute to get a nice even and flat surface, and finally straight tamp (no polish) to get any air out.

Once you have the rhythm, it takes a few seconds at most. No big deal and certainly does not feel like I am slowing down my espresso.

Nate42
Posts: 1211
Joined: 11 years ago

#3: Post by Nate42 »

You should WDT and tamp. They serve different purposes. I've found that a multi-pronged WDT tool really does save time and improve consistency, but jeez that moonraker costs $475! Stick some needles in a frickin wine cork or something. Or spend $40 on the levercraft tool, that started the whole multi-prong craze.

As to tamper - some people like force control tampers, but it feels unnecessary to me. If you tamp enough to fully compress the puck, tamping a little harder isn't going to hurt anything. It's really not that hard to get consistent tamping results the old fashioned way.
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Doolittlej
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Posts: 39
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#4: Post by Doolittlej »

WDT is WAY more important than upgrading a tamper. When I got my lever craft, things improved right away. On my old machine I had a calibrated tamper and noticed no difference at all.

PPapa
Posts: 188
Joined: 6 years ago

#5: Post by PPapa »

I thought the premise of Moonraker and Autocomb is more about consistency and speed rather than better results. At least I haven't seen any claims on it.

So a manual WDT tool with thin needles (I like my Sworksdesign one with a mix of 0.22 and 0.25mm needles) and a tamper is all you need.

I also agree that spring loaded tampers aren't a necessity. I had Decent and Normcore - they just gather grounds everywhere and my Pullman BigStep is way nicer to use. Getting a flat tamp isn't a rocket science.

Unless you're expecting someone else to use the equipment who are less experienced and/or don't want to faff about, then Force tamper and Moonraker may be worth it.

mathof
Posts: 1485
Joined: 13 years ago

#6: Post by mathof »

Nate42 wrote:You should WDT and tamp. They serve different purposes. I've found that a multi-pronged WDT tool really does save time and improve consistency, but jeez that moonraker costs $475! Stick some needles in a frickin wine cork or something. Or spend $40 on the levercraft tool, that started the whole multi-prong craze.

As to tamper - some people like force control tampers, but it feels unnecessary to me. If you tamp enough to fully compress the puck, tamping a little harder isn't going to hurt anything. It's really not that hard to get consistent tamping results the old fashioned way.
It's funny. The rage these days is all for "artisanal this and artisanal that", yet it seems that many home baristas want to mechanise every step they can. I find that having hand control of WDT and tamping allows me to react to differing puck conditions (weight, height density etc) as I find them -- and I can't recall the last time I saw a spritz.

jgood
Posts: 903
Joined: 6 years ago

#7: Post by jgood »

Nate42 wrote:You should WDT and tamp. They serve different purposes. I've found that a multi-pronged WDT tool really does save time and improve consistency, but jeez that moonraker costs $475! Stick some needles in a frickin wine cork or something. Or spend $40 on the levercraft tool, that started the whole multi-prong craze.

As to tamper - some people like force control tampers, but it feels unnecessary to me. If you tamp enough to fully compress the puck, tamping a little harder isn't going to hurt anything. It's really not that hard to get consistent tamping results the old fashioned way.
+1 on these comments. Cafelat tamper or similar and a wine cork with a few needles or wires in it is fine.

erik82
Posts: 2197
Joined: 12 years ago

#8: Post by erik82 »

WDT is by far the more important factor but only compared to a spring loaded tamper.

You can buy a small whisk and it'll work also. Dedicated WDT tools are also nice but they don't have to be that expensive. If you indeed have a Monolith grinders it's also more for distribution then for breaking clumps as that's only necessary with lesser grinders.

You do need a good fitting tamper which is also very important. Research has shown us years ago already that those spring loaded tampers do absolutely nothing in terms of better tamping. You need to tamp straight and 5kg of force is enough. Better to do a light flat tamp then to push hard and risk going crooked.

moo (original poster)
Posts: 14
Joined: 3 years ago

#9: Post by moo (original poster) »

Thank you all! I also need to clarify I do WDT and tamp currently. Considering upgrading one of them (either something like moonraker or bravo tamper). And yes, it's more of a nice to have and not must have but I figured if I'm going to spend the money I want to spend it on an item that has more impact to the result.

Based on the feedback it looks like WDT is likely way better value for the upgrade!

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Jeff
Team HB
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#10: Post by Jeff »

I don't think the Moonraker or other similar tools do a significantly better job than one can do by hand with a good, manual tool. At this time, the best manual tools from a performance perspective are generally felt to be thin, straight wires (acupuncture needles). 0.4 mm is on the heavy end these days. 0.2 mm is too "floppy" for some people's preferences. A reasonably wide spread makes ending up with a level bed easier than just a few needles over a cm or two.

If you want to play with one of the more automated tools, I'd avoid any that simply track needles in circles. There are some that provide "Spirograph" patterns available to 3D print or pre-printed that are being discussed in other threads here.

I'd upgrade (and have upgraded) my coffee, water, burrs, even baskets before putting hundreds into a WDT tool.