Tamping Indent and Low Dose Issue

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#1: Post by customstevo »


First timer here. I've never made espresso before. One thing that is really confusing me is the tamping. I have a Breville dual boiler and 58mm portafilter with double shot, single wall basket. Using intelligensita black cat espresso beans roasted 9 days ago.

I weigh out the grinds each time, 20 grams (have tried a few grams less and a few grams more). When I go to tamp, it's like there is no pressure, there is nothing to tamp, after maybe 1-2lbs of pressure, it hits the factory indent, and you could push 200lbs and would not make a difference. It barely looks like it's compacting the dose sometimes, as I can see there are light grooves in the puck, that couldn't settle, because tamp could be pushed down no further.

I have the breville smart grinder pro, it said to start on setting 12, it ran like water, then 8, then 5, then 1, all the same, ran like water, and "No Tamp" (I can't think of any other way to describe it), there was nothing to push 5-10lbs of pressure against, it instantly would hit the factory indent after maybe 1 or 1lbs at most.

Then I open up the smart grinder pro, and turned the internal grinder adjustment from 6 to 4, same issues, finally all the way down at 1 (external) I got the shot to slow up, but the tamping thing, I just don't get it, there was still nothing to tamp. Also seems odd to have to have to adjust grinder so much for one that is supposed to be paired with the espresso machine.

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#2: Post by cafeIKE »

By 'indent' do you mean the spring ridge?

If yes, you might need a smaller tamper or ridgeless, straight wall basket.


#3: Post by Westchester »

I'm also wondering what the "factory indent" is that you are hitting? On my Breville Dual Boiler, the double shot basket that came with it is straight walled, so I have no trouble tamping down. For reference, I only use up to 19g in the basket but depending on the coffee, you can go up a bit from there. The Smart Grinder Pro should be capable of going plenty fine enough (and then some) for espresso in the Breville Dual Boiler. It sounds like the issue is that the grounds just aren't packed very tightly, so the water is going to pour through them quickly.

If you could post a picture of your filter basket (empty), we might be able to see if something is happening with that, not allowing you to tamp down.


#4: Post by bullet08 »

What you are saying is, no matter how hard you tamp, it doesn't seem like the level of grinds in PF goes further down. Then, it's always flowing too fast. Then grind finer. I thought all the Breville grinders have internal/top burr setting. Set top burr to 3. That would allow you to grind finer than default settings.


#5: Post by jgood »

Post a picture of your basket and perhaps the tamper -- it would help make the issue clearer.

customstevo (original poster)

#6: Post by customstevo (original poster) »

You are right it is straight walled, for some reason I thought it was hitting something stopping it, perhaps because I started on the single shot basket.

Any advice on good resources to help get started? There is almost so much out there on them it's hard to find some of the simple things.



#7: Post by bullet08 »

There are ton of stuff on YouTube. Below is how to use Breville Grinder Pro and how to find grind setting for espresso.
Different beans might need different settings.