Is there any benefit to using a coffee distribution tool in conjunction with a leveling tamper? - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
pcrussell50

Postby pcrussell50 » Feb 17, 2019, 12:37 pm

I still tamp every so often, after distributing, but whenever I do, it feels like it does nothing unless I really stand on the tamper, in which case, I can feel it compress a little.

I do get a sticking puck every so often. Not all the time. Doesn't bother me. But I will start doing a final tamp to see if my stuck pucks go back down to zero.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

Postby RapidCoffee » Feb 17, 2019, 1:23 pm

cafederoberto wrote:I posted this in another thread but I've found the distribution tool in conjunction with a palm tamper is pretty foolproof. Palm tamper I'd say is even more important than the distribution tool in my experience. You can fairly easily distribute the grounds with your fingers if you know what you are doing. Tamp for me was my biggest source of inconsistent shots, which was frustrating for a while. Palm tamper basically solves that. I usually adjust it to slightly deeper than I think I need. If it is too shallow, I'll take it out, adjust it to extend slightly deeper into the basket and then retamp. Voila.

Adjusting each to the right height takes about 5 seconds each.

I've got a similar 3-vaned "distribution" tool. Yes, adjusting the height is easy... but how do you decide on the correct height? I've never been able to figure that out.

BTW, I respectfully disagree with most of your comments. Tamping is one of the easiest espresso techniques to master, and does not require a palm tamper. Level tamping with at least 10# pressure yields extremely consistent pours. The Sette generates a clump-free, reasonably well-distributed bed of grinds, but "finger" distribution does not work well on many grinders. If it works for you, great.
John

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Radio.YYZ

Postby Radio.YYZ » Feb 24, 2019, 1:44 am

kolu wrote:I have very good experience with the BT wedge tool (I bought 25$ knock-off from Aliexpress - completely metal, I like that way more than the wood nonsense from St. Anthony's).

The depth should be set as deep as possible until it begins pushing the grounds to sides and that you still compress the bed by tamping (by approx. 3 mm). As I use only two baskets (12 g The Single from IMS for coffee shots and 15 g VST for espresso) and only one machine, I keep my headspace constant so therefore I have no problems keeping my dialed-in distribution tool depth.

Anyway, I would say it really reduced the amount of channeling in my shots, unfortunately can't give you any numbers (as that would be inherently imprecise because I didn't do any thorough double-blind test or measurements) but just my humble observation that it had a positive effect, especially on side channeling and general evenness of how the bottom of the basket looks during extraction.


+1

I used to wdt and barely depress the bed with the wedge tool and tamp. One day i start doing exactly as lucas stated, i adjusted the depth to be a lot deeper so it depresses the bed and sweeps the coffee. I run the tool and then i tamp, when i tamp the bed compresses down about 2-4mm.

I basically don't do wdt and use the wedge tool and then tamp with decent to good results~!
Good Coffee: Technique/Knowledge > Grinder > Beans > Water > Machine

cafederoberto

Postby cafederoberto » Feb 28, 2019, 8:58 pm

RapidCoffee wrote:I've got a similar 3-vaned "distribution" tool. Yes, adjusting the height is easy... but how do you decide on the correct height? I've never been able to figure that out.

BTW, I respectfully disagree with most of your comments. Tamping is one of the easiest espresso techniques to master, and does not require a palm tamper. Level tamping with at least 10# pressure yields extremely consistent pours. The Sette generates a clump-free, reasonably well-distributed bed of grinds, but "finger" distribution does not work well on many grinders. If it works for you, great.


Fair call. For me and my machine, I've found that my tamping was the biggest variable that needed more control - that is to say I troubleshooted my inconsistent espresso back to my tamping. The correct height is achieved by trial and error. If you get a good shot with one particular height, stick with it for that particular dose and coffee. With time, you start to develop a sense for whether you're in the ballpark or not for height of tamper and height of distribution tool.