Common Household Temporary Tampers

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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SpromoSapiens

#1: Post by SpromoSapiens »

Every time I acquire a new-to-me espresso machine, I wonder why it is so often that machines are sold without tampers. Especially less commonly-sized vintage machines. Maybe it's just been my luck of the draw, but I always start off using some random household object in order to decide whether I'm going to keep the machine long enough to even warrant getting a tamper specifically for it (or for at least as long as it takes for said tamper to arrive once it's been ordered). I'm sure other folks have found themselves in this predicament at least once or twice along the way. So to give back to the community a little, I figured I would start a thread dedicated to common household objects that happen to fit particular portafilters well enough to get the job done, at least temporarily. This could be a resource for people going forward. Please join in & post your own discoveries! If response becomes substantial enough, i'll compile organized lists and edit this first post to contain them all.

The criteria is that the object fits the basket with a minimum of slop, is flat enough for a halfway decent polish, and is a truly common household object, available in stores far and wide. Let the fun begin!

'91 Pasquini Livietta, 55mm
30oz Kirkland sea salt or other spice
(Basket tapers a bit so it's not perfect, but with a large enough dose it compresses enough for a potable shot.)


Caravel, late model
"Simply Organic" brand 2.3oz spice (available at Fred Meyer as well as smaller stores, probably others)


La Pavoni Europiccola, pre-millennium
Top part of "Misto" olive oil sprayer

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LaDan

#2: Post by LaDan »

It reminds me a couple of years ago when I picked up my Duetto at CCS and discovered that now I need a temporary tamper because the machine did not come with one.

I took my micrometer to the supermarket and started measuring every product that looked to be in the range.

... you can imagine the suspicious looks and inquiries I got from the supermarket employers... ROFL.

I settled on a Caridom Foods Powdered Oregano. This thing is exactly 58mm after you shave the cup ridges that makes it easier to open. :mrgreen:

It's a pretty good oregano too. Never had it powdered like that. It has its benefits.

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RAS
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#3: Post by RAS » replying to LaDan »

Hmm, I smell the making of an "Adapted for Coffee" thread. Whether it's yogurt containers, dissecting needles, hockey pucks (I use two as part of my espresso-making kit), alligator clips (I use one to hold a thermometer inside my frothing pitcher), funnels will food-grade flexible tubes attached (excellent for filling boilers when upper cabinets don't give you enough room for convenient filling), canning funnels, silicone bowls, etc.

My wife knows that anytime we go to a hardware store, I'll be looking for some odd item that I can adapt for coffee preparation.
Bob

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Peppersass
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#4: Post by Peppersass »

RAS wrote:My wife knows that anytime we go to a hardware store, I'll be looking for some odd item that I can adapt for coffee preparation.
You take your wife to the hardware store? :shock:

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SpromoSapiens (original poster)

#5: Post by SpromoSapiens (original poster) »

LaDan wrote:I took my micrometer to the supermarket and started measuring every product that looked to be in the range.
Ha, that's exactly what I was going to do for my Riviera, that's hilarious. :lol: I even thought of jotting down a list of tamper sizes and taking the calipers to the store just to flesh out this thread. But then I thought that would be cheating. And crazy.

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zammie

#6: Post by zammie »

SpromoSapiens wrote:Every time I acquire a new-to-me espresso machine, I wonder why it is so often that machines are sold without tampers. Especially less commonly-sized vintage machines.
Could it be that vintage machines were generally designed to only need a light tamp (with a spoon), not the 30lb tamp of today? Just a wild guess! I wonder when proper tampers came into use!

Just yesterday I did what you guys did: go to the supermarket with my phone and a free Smart Ruler app to find myself a tamper for my caravel! I scored one gold plastic cap with ridges. Came free with liquid detergent :mrgreen:
dizzy

LMWDP #455

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SpromoSapiens (original poster)

#7: Post by SpromoSapiens (original poster) »

"Need a makeshift tamper for your oddly sized vintage espresso machine? There's an app for that."

Of course there is. I wish i had thought of that!

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LaDan

#8: Post by LaDan »

zammie wrote: ..... Came free with liquid detergent :mrgreen:
Hahahaha!!!

Mine came free with a powdered oregano. Lol

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LaDan

#9: Post by LaDan »

SpromoSapiens wrote:Ha, that's exactly what I was going to do for my Riviera, that's hilarious. :lol: I even thought of jotting down a list of tamper sizes and taking the calipers to the store just to flesh out this thread. But then I thought that would be cheating. And crazy.
Now that I'm reading my quote in your post, I'm thinking, why didn't I just take the basket with me!??!!

I guess taking a micrometer is more dramatic and exciting. Haha!

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zammie

#10: Post by zammie »

I would have brought my basket but Caravel baskets are so hard to come by I wouldn't risk mine! :shock:
dizzy

LMWDP #455