The Force Tamper different base options

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

#1: Post by expelliarmus »

How many here use The Force Tamper? What base do you use?

I've been using this tamper for a couple of years and absolutely love it. It takes all variables out of tamping and gives perfect repeatability every tamp.I currently use the flat base and have an EU curve. Whenever it use the EU curve, I get 2 channeling indents in the puck. Flat base gives me a perfect puck every time. I've thought about getting some other bases but am not too sure what purpose they serve. Want to get a discussion going about the different base options and people's experience with them. Any thoughts?

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#2: Post by Jeff »


At least in my opinion, if wetting uniformity is a problem with your machine, a puck-top screen is likely a better approach.

Bottom filters and basket shape similarly seem to be reasonable approaches for improving uniformity throughout the puck.

Stephane Ribes may have done some study of bases, I don't recall.

Maybe it's different in a cafe where these extra steps consume too much time.

Edit: Here's an older thread - Convex vs. Flat Tampers: an open-ended theoretical question


#3: Post by bettysnephew »

I have the "ribbed" version with concentric circles around the face and found it to be some what of a gimmick that yielded no benefits that I could discern.
I also have the flat face with the grooming bar which I find to add a considerable level of repeatability to my extractions. Just set it on the basket, give a couple of twists, and tamp. I did find pushing down the upper plate that squares the tamper to the basket with two fingers so it doesn't wobble adds even more consistency.
Overall, I am pleased with how mine works.
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expelliarmus (original poster)

#4: Post by expelliarmus (original poster) »

Is the grooming bar a distributor/leveler? Might be interesting to eliminate having a separate wedge distribution tool in my routine. Is there feedback when the bar comes into contact with the grounds? After tamp, is there a bar indent in the puck?

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#5: Post by Jeff »

Distributors are pretty much useless for home users. They do little more than make the top of the puck look pretty. They have the potential to make things worse through uneven compression of the bed.


#6: Post by cebseb »

I have the Force Tamper and have spent quite a bit of time moving through the different tamping base options. Most of the bases just feel like there's no benefit added to the possible risks/variable of the altered surface of the puck. I decided to just settle on the flat base.

*pro tip for Force Tamper users.

Tired of the fines accumulating between the base and the tamp collar? Start using a custom cut paper filter and place it on top of the grinds before tamping. It won't change the shot dynamics (significantly) but will keep everything clean!

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#7: Post by doug »

I use the ripples base on the Force tamper. Mainly because if I'm so bleary-eyed in the morning that I forget to WDT and wedge level, or do a poor job... there will be very noticeable gaps in the ripple pattern. I tried the waffle pattern, and an uneven tamp wasn't as blindingly obvious. I always end by covering up the ripples with a puck screen.


#8: Post by bettysnephew »


The grooming bar only protrudes from the flat base 1-2mm. It is enough to even the top of the coffee and tends to fill any small surface voids left after WDT. The bar floats and there is no impression left after the tamp is complete as the bar retracts and is flush with the surface during the tamp. There is a slight amount of drag that can be felt during the first/second rotation but then it disappears unless you put more downward pressure on the handle during any successive rotations. I have stopped using my wedge as this does as good a job for me. Since starting to use the Force tamper my shot to shot consistency has improved considerably. If mine ever fails I will replace it immediately.
Suffering from EAS (Espresso Acquisition Syndrome)
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#9: Post by ira »

doug wrote:I use the ripples base on the Force tamper. Mainly because if I'm so bleary-eyed in the morning that I forget to WDT and wedge level, or do a poor job... there will be very noticeable gaps in the ripple pattern.
This is the best reason for a non flat base I've ever heard.


#10: Post by doraymon »

I use a flat base and never felt the need to try anything else.
The only thing that really annoys me about this tamper is the residual coffee grounds that get stuck between the top of the base and the moving lid.
I hate it, it forces me to clen it up every single time if I want to avoid a mess on the countertop. :evil: