What do you look for in a good tamper? - Page 2

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#11: Post by cannonfodder »

As long as it has a big HB logo on the top, it should work perfectly. I forgot, I have a nice description page bookmarked, but when I check it (and I do every day) there is nothing there to add to the basket! Owe bother.
Dave Stephens

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HB (original poster)
Admin

#12: Post by HB (original poster) »

Dave, I appreciate your patience. If you really want to be the first on the board to have one, call Dave at EspressoParts NW. I'm sure he'd be happy to put you at the top of the list and maybe he'll toss in an extra gift for being the first (hint: suggest that a Pallo Coffee Tool or Steamy Wanda would be a nice surprise).

On a related note, I honestly didn't expect to like the aluminum-handled tamper since most of mine are classic Reg Barber rosewood; I've always associated aluminum with two-ended el-cheapo tampers. But I've taken quite a liking to it, and not just because of the snazzy logo - I like that the aluminum handle is heavier than wood (180 versus 60 grams) and the base is the standard stainless steel. However, it does demand a little extra care and you can forget about tapping the end if you want to keep the black powder-coat looking nice.

Reg Barber trivia question: I have two RBs that I bought a few years ago that are unfinished wood; the new one has a finish on it. When did he start lacquering them?
Dan Kehn

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#13: Post by cannonfodder »

I have always preferred a wood finish, but I fancy the black handle one. I am about finished with my first set of new portafilter handles. I (actually my Dad, he is the master wood smith) is turning a set in African cocobolo for me. Once finished I will post some photos. The dark chocolate brown and black grain would look good with the black tamper. I may have my second set, for my lever machine, turned in pink ivory, haven't decided yet.
Dave Stephens

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OlywaDave

#14: Post by OlywaDave »

Ok I had to jump in here somewhere...

And I have to agree lighter weight handles are very nice on a stainless steel tamper piston. Not too light mind you but light enough to feel the heft of the base, it has a nice sense of balance to it for me.

Wood... Yeah wood is a nice option, I actually have a wood handle on my Espresso Parts convex 58mm base. I got one of about 6 one of Terry's wood turning buddies brought by and gave to use. It was Maple and actually it did form a crack in it once it started to dry out a bit (wasn't finished with anything). I used a little Franklin tight bond and that was the last I've seen of that.

Tamp tapping. Ok I for one personally don't understand the flip and tap technique. Well ok I understand it and have even done it that way in my early days of espresso. Now for what reason I can't say, I use the piston side against the side of the PF. Maybe it is to cut down on the motion of flipping the tamp, laziness, or whatever it is hard to say.

I'm not worried at all about denting the sides of the PF at all. It happens and you can always replace it. I suppose you can always replace the top of your powder coated handle too for that matter. The most important thing it to settle them grounds.

Follow up:. Guess I am a little off topic, but was continuing the conversation from the previous two posts.


What I look for in a tamper.

- Nice heavy convex (personal opinion) stainless steel piston.

- A little lighter handle weight, maybe not wood if I were to get a new handle. Hmmm.

- Nice shape in a handle that feels good when tamping appropriately.

- Nice additional details in design beyond how it feels, without interrupting function of course.

Dave
David White
EspressoParts.com

Kelpburger

#15: Post by Kelpburger »

OlywaDave wrote:Ok I had to jump in here somewhere...

What I look for in a tamper.

- Nice heavy convex (personal opinion) stainless steel piston.

- A little lighter handle weight, maybe not wood if I were to get a new handle. Hmmm.

- Nice shape in a handle that feels good when tamping appropriately.

- Nice additional details in design beyond how it feels, without interrupting function of course.

Dave
You read my mind dave :idea:

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OlywaDave

#16: Post by OlywaDave » replying to Kelpburger »

Well you said it first, "Looks nice on the counter" is a big plus for me too. It's not everything but it IS certainly something.
David White
EspressoParts.com

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HB (original poster)
Admin

#17: Post by HB (original poster) »

Kelpburger wrote:For me it boils down to what I like. I want a tamper that has some weight to it and looks good on my counter. I have to admit that my tamper choices are also functional status symbols just like my Illy alien and bodum cups.
C'mon Ken, you are being humble about your interest in sharp looking tampers. Ken sent me one of his La Forza prototype tamps he's been working on:

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La Forza tamp with standard Reg Barber base, HB tamper

His website www.laforzatamp.com is still under construction, but has some interesting pictures about their origin. I have a soft spot for handcrafted products and especially designs that remind me of our days living near the border of Italy in Vence, France. We once vacationed in the Torgiano region, which I believe isn't far from where these tampers are made in Deruta, Italy. You can see the same classic patterns shown above in the dinnerware and tablecloths too. It brings back lots of fond memories.

The handle weighs almost exactly the same as one made of rosewood and has a ceramic finish. Ken was interested in my opinion and the first thing I asked was about durability. He says it can handle some abuse, although I haven't verified his claim by tapping hard with it. First of all, that's not part of my routine (Staub tamp), and secondly it's so lovely to look at, I can't imagine intentionally handling it roughly. The tamper has a very nice shape and will appeal to those who collect tampers as practical tools and pieces of artisan craftsmanship.
Dan Kehn

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OlywaDave

#18: Post by OlywaDave »

Those are really nice handles... Hand made does make them even better. It's been quite a number of years for me but the wheel is probably a great way to get a good grip profile on those handles. The design and finish look top notch too.

Huh... you know. Espresso Parts makes threaded inserts for our pistons. We have sold to people making their own handles as well, mostly wood turners though. I've thought about ceramic before, but you should hear the complaints that roll in about acrylic breaking when dropped on a hard cement floor. We usually tell them that they should be careful not to drop their demitasse cup on the ground either, and then send them a replacement...

Looks like some really nice work though. I would imagine the clientele would be quite different and slightly more sophisticated for a ceramic tamp handle.
David White
EspressoParts.com

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#19: Post by cannonfodder »

Hay Dave, it is Dave. So you sell inserts for tampers. That is interesting, I need one and a base to go with my new project. Keep in mind there is no finish on these yet, they are still raw wood.

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Dave Stephens

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JonR10

#20: Post by JonR10 »

cannonfodder wrote:Keep in mind there is no finish on these yet, they are still raw wood.
DANG!! That's awesome!!
Are you going to market these handles?




I'd like one or two.... :roll: