Your favorite tamper, if you could choose only one...

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
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Fr. John
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Postby Fr. John » Jun 10, 2006, 11:38 pm

OK, I've been using a Deluxe Lava Tamp (53mm flat) for a few years now. I've been pretty happy with it all this time but have lately started to wonder if the hand fit is just a bit on the small side for me. Being that I will have to get a new one when I order a new machine (58mm most likely), I was wondering what you a like the best.

Post your choice and reason.
Fr. John

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Psyd
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Postby Psyd » Jun 11, 2006, 5:12 pm

Fr. John wrote:I've been pretty happy with it all this time but have lately started to wonder if the hand fit is just a bit on the small side for me.



Tampers are kinda personal, like putting. The putter and technique that I use may not fit you, or your style. As an example, I look at the hole when I'm putting. I'm the only one that I know that does that. I'd not suggest it to anyone else.
Get another piston for the DeLuxe Lava, if you like it. If you don't, look for one that is similar with a bit (what, taller, wider? 'smaller' is not quite descriptive enough) handle. Measure the handle that you have, imagine how large the dimension that needs to increase will be, and look for a tamp handle that fits those dimensions. Most tampers will be able to accommodate another piston; curved or flat, 53 to 57 mm. Hey, if you just want to try a few, I have a Reg Barber Knock-off (commonly referred to as the 'African Rosewood Tamper') and and Aluminium Tamper 57mm that I'd be glad to lend you for a week or so, if you want to pick up the shipping.
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Psyd
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Postby Psyd » Jun 11, 2006, 5:27 pm

Psyd wrote:I have a Reg Barber Knock-off ( commonly referred to as the 'African Rosewood Tamper') and and Aluminium Tamper 57mm that I'd be glad to lend you for a week or so, if you want to pick up the shipping.


Look here and here and here.

(the 'African Rosewood', the Aluminum, and the shootout by Mark Prince)
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Fr. John
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Postby Fr. John » Jun 11, 2006, 7:53 pm

Psyd,

Thanks for the reply and thoughts. All things I have thought about. I agree it is a personal preference, just thought I'd get a consensus for favorites.

Thanks also for the offer, very generous of you.
Fr. John

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HB
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Postby HB » Jun 11, 2006, 9:19 pm

Your topic has provoked a certain anxiety in me: Which would I choose if I could only keep one? Sure, it's not the grave consequences of Sophie's Choice, but it does give me pause. If I recall correctly, below is my inventory of 58mm tampers:
    EspressoCraft
    Reg Barber Bubinga (tall RB, tall HB, short RB)
    Reg Barber aluminum (tall HB)
    Espro
    Macap dynamometric hand tamper
    La Forza (three handle shapes)
    TORR / Cafe Kultur
    Little Gem (Made in China)
    HB tamper, EPNW Compressore design
    EPNW EP5 poly tamper
    Bumper first edition
I don't think that I'll be able to narrow the list to less than three...
Dan Kehn

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Fr. John
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Postby Fr. John » Jun 11, 2006, 10:44 pm

Dan,

Whoa! No one will ever accuse you of being "short of tamper" :lol:

How do you like the Espro and do you have the flat or convex?
Fr. John

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HB
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Postby HB » Jun 12, 2006, 12:01 am

Mine is the flat since that was the only espro piston available at the time. It's a very well made tamper and has the feel of one piece even though the handle "gives" at 28 pounds of pressure. There is a slight audible click as it bottoms out, but the feedback is mostly from the sense of movement. What I like most about the espro is its subtlety - unless you look closely, you'd never know it was a "training" tamper.

As a home barista, I don't think it's difficult to develop good tamping pressure habits by practice, with an inexpensive bathroom scale if necessary. That said, I know Geoff at Pheasant Creek Coffee uses an espro to remind himself not to overwork his shoulders due to his habit of gorilla tamping.

Image
Espro tamper
Dan Kehn

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luca
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Postby luca » Jun 12, 2006, 3:07 am

Yeah, got to agree that tampers are personal!

I currently own a gorgeous checkerboard-handled Greg Pullman tamper and a convex-bottomed Espro. Truth be told, I'm using the Espro the most, mainly because it fits my hand like a glove ... but it is also useful in preventing that slight drift in variables that seems to happen at home. You know ... you start off with a 27 second double and by the end of the week you're pulling a 33 second double ;p The Pullman tamper is very dear to me though, as it has gone back and forth between Greg and I and is a product that is being constantly improved upon.

If I were buying a tamper for a cafe, I'd probably grab an Espro for the ergonomics and the way that it helps to stop RSI. If I were getting several tampers for use by staff, I'd probably go for a tamper with removable rings to adjust the height of the handle to accommodate different hand sizes. The Coffee Lab Design tamper is fantastic for this and I gather that Impod and Expressivo have recently added removable rings to their repertoire.

For home, if I had to choose one, I'd probably go with one of Greg's tampers, but I'd fly over to Adelaide and get the handle measured to fit exactly and I would choose a good double basket to use, buy a few of them and have the base custom-machined to fit.

Dan, I wonder if Espro haven't changed the 'click' mechanism oh-so-slightly ... mine doesn't make an audible sound at all.

Cheers,

Luca

Wushoes
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Postby Wushoes » Jun 12, 2006, 5:10 am

hey luca,

a fellow melburnian here....i've got kinda small-ish hands....that's one thing that's putting me off from buying a pullman and going the canadian barber....

i mean...i'd love to buy aussie....but if it aint gonna fit....not much use to me...any thoughts?

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luca
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Postby luca » Jun 12, 2006, 5:44 am

Wushoes wrote:hey luca,

a fellow melburnian here....i've got kinda small-ish hands....that's one thing that's putting me off from buying a pullman and going the canadian barber....

i mean...i'd love to buy aussie....but if it aint gonna fit....not much use to me...any thoughts?



If you'd like a Pullman tamper, email Greg and see what he can do for you. He'll be happy to cut the handle down for you. If handle length is the determinative factor for you, and you want to buy Australian, go for a coffeelab tamper. The Espro is great if you've got small hands; if you drop by Veneziano, I'm sure they'll let you try one out there.

Cheers,

Luca

 
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