Using built-in tamper on grinder (example: Mazzer Mini)

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#1: Post by joedy »

I've searched for the answer to this question, but I'm still stumped as to how the built-in tamper works on some grinders.

Is the idea that the loaded portafilter is pulled upwards against the tamper? If this is the case, does it work practically with two thumbs pressing on top of the built-in tamper while the rest of the fingers pull the portafilter upwards? Doesn't this cause the grinder to want to tilt?

Is it possible to generate enough pressure to the correct tamping amount by using the built-in tampers?



#2: Post by Filletfellini »

The built-in tampers on Compaks or even Spaziale Astro - in which you push it down - are decent.

The mazzer ones are useless. I usually just take them off.

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#3: Post by frenchpresscoffee »

Have you tried calibrated temper? Something like ESPRO Calibrated Tamper or similar ...

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#4: Post by Marcelnl »

Pick up the scales and see if you can press some 20 pounds with your hands in the position of the bolted on tamper...
My faemina also has a built in tamper...a bakelite screw on fixture on the bottom of the machine, guess it is better than nothing but in the bigger picture it makes no sense.
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#5: Post by flathead1 »

Remember the majority of those with built in tampers are Italian commercial grinders. It is my understanding that in a commercial setting an Italian Barista uses the tamper to even the grounds and maybe lightly compress the puck, measured tamp pressure is an American thing. Beside in a commercial setting a tamper attached to a grinder means it isn't going to disappear unless the grinder disappears.
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joedy (original poster)

#6: Post by joedy (original poster) »

flathead1 wrote:... It is my understanding that in a commercial setting an Italian Barista uses the tamper to even the grounds and maybe lightly compress the puck...

I wondered about this, too, since it seems to make the most sense from the way that the built-in tamper is made and how it is evident that only light tamping seems to be feasible.


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#7: Post by dergitarrist »

I imagine that those were conceived of so that commercial baristas, who don't really care all that much, at least do *some* tamping. I've seen it many times, especially in Italy: They'll pull the doser once or twice for doubles to fill the basket with coffee that was ground god knows when and just casually push it up against that thing. Nowhere near strong enough to tilt the grinder back.
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#8: Post by EspressoForge »

Yup, you can see Italian style bars using it, just grind finer and you'll notice that tamping isn't so critical. In fact, on some levers I've pulled shots no problem by not tamping at all and just compressing the coffee against the shower screen.

It is also much more useful when pulling singles, dose a small amount and the smaller diameter tamp helps to compress coffee into the small cone in the single basket better.

Overall, to most Home Baristas, I would count it as a useless item. You can use a real tamp and have it less messy, and get a smaller diameter tamp if you like singles, or even better pick up an IMS single basket and use the same grind and tamp as your double basket.


#9: Post by caffeinatedjen »

The only use I found for mine was that it helped when I had to move the grinder, as an extra handle of sorts.