Can't get a level tamp, should I Puqpress? - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
erik82
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#11: Post by erik82 »

RJB83 wrote:I may try dosing and tamping in the basket only vs holding the double spout portafilter on the edge of the counter with a tamp pad.

I'll also try not to press so hard, it could be that when I press hard my wrist shifts and so does the puck
Tamping with the basket out of the portafilter will make life much easier. Make sure to also remove the spring when you do that and hold the edge of the basket while knocking out the puck or else the basket will fall out. And guide the edges of the tamper with your fingers and you'll have a level tamp everytime after some practice.

And apply less pressure as more than 5kg is pretty useless and 20kg is asking for problems to occur. Humans just aren't very good in precise movements when you're using a lot of force.

There's no substitute for good technique so just keep on practicing and you'll be alright. All of those way to expensive levelers shouldn't be needed.

Henry_k
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#12: Post by Henry_k »

Good stamping stand is a big helper, ergonomic tamper is on the second place. Of course it's not a solution for your problem - it's just an attempt to avoid it. And it works... sometimes, when you are not in hurry, or sleepy, or just not focused enough. ;-)
Buy a good self-leveling tamper. Or even a Puqpress if you can afford it. Make your life easier.

RJB83 (original poster)
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#13: Post by RJB83 (original poster) »

Yep, I'm all about making life easier. :D

apple2k
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#14: Post by apple2k »

I have a puqpress and could not be happier. I originally bought it after an injury where I couldn't use arm a whole lot. I thought I would sell it once I healed but nope - with almost 0 prep out of the grinder the puqpress delivers perfectly flat, consistent tamps I was surprised when I first got it how much better it did than me.

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pizzaman383
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#15: Post by pizzaman383 »

How does using a puqpress compare to using a leveling tamper?
Curtis
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“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

BruceWayne
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#16: Post by BruceWayne »

I would recommend a leveling tamper like the Force and either a flat tamping mat for bottomless or good tamping stand for spouted portafilters. Puqpress can accomplish what you want, but any leveling, calibrated tamper on a level surface should as well.

RJB83 (original poster)
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#17: Post by RJB83 (original poster) »

Any tamping stand recommendations?

Ken5
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#18: Post by Ken5 »

I started getting more level tamps after I started WDT'ing to distribute the grounds level and uniform. Have you tried that? If the density is not even tamping will follow what the contents are dictating.

erik82
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#19: Post by erik82 »

RJB83 wrote:Any tamping stand recommendations?
Remove the filter basket from the portafilter and then remove the spring from the portafilter and forget about it. Tamp on a flat tamping mat and only with the basket while leaving the portafilter in your machine. Way easier to tamp straight and makes life a lot easier. Then any flat tamping mat will do.

This way you can guide you tamper in with your fingertips and always be straight and not burn them on the portafilter. As you don't need to tamp hard it's really easy to do. Just make sure everything is level and 5kg of force is more then enough for keeping control of tamping. With extraction the espressomachine will do the rest for you as it's totally useless to tamp with a force over 5kg and does nothing for extraction. The only thing more force will do is increase the chance you're not tamping level.

Some people will still try and tell you you need to tamp with 20kg of force with is an old tale that has been caught up by research a long time ago so don't pay attention to that. More force is less control and that's just how humans work so tamping with more force whilst being totally unnecessary will only ruin your prep work.

LindoPhotography
Posts: 132
Joined: 3 years ago

#20: Post by LindoPhotography »

PuqPress is nice but pricey, more of a luxury item and good option if have a wrist or similar injury, or you're working in a cafe or making a ton of coffee everyday and want to avoid repetitive stress injury!

There are cheaper / Smaller alternatives for home use.

BoSeTamp is someone's portable battery operated version of the PUQpress which seems pretty good.
There's also manual tampers, that are self leveling. Decent Brand ones are pretty nice. The Force tamper is nice and doesn't require a lot of effort to push and compress the coffee since it has a spring shock type mechanism.
There's also the Happy Tamper, and NormalDose tampers which seem nice.
Happy Tamper looks like it's easy to swap the base to switch between pretty much any sizes, which is an advantage if you have a classic lever machine and 58mm group machine.