Puck Prep - Decent Tamper vs. Force Tamper

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
Posts: 47
Joined: 2 years ago

#1: Post by Nyles855 »

I've played with a bunch of tampers, standard tampers, palm tampers, a couple version of the decent tamper, and landed on a decent v3 tamper with the 15 pound springs as my go to for 58mm puck prep.

That being said, I'm always interested in other tampers! Specifically, the force tamper.

One of the pet peeves that I have with the decent v3 tamper is that grinds frequently get caught between the plates. It doesn't affect each tamp much, but over the course of a few weeks I'll end up with a considerable amount of grinds between the tamper plates.

Wondering if anyone else has experienced this phenomena? For anyone who has switched between the decent tamper and the force - have you noticed any significant differences?

Team HB
Posts: 5531
Joined: 16 years ago

#2: Post by ira »

I would guess coffee gets between the plates when it's blown up there when putting the tamper in fast. The gap between the plate and the basket is very small. As an experiment try tamping and removing the tamper very slowly to see if that reduces the migration. I put a filter paper disk on top of my puck and try to keep coffee off the top of it and inserting and removing the tamper very slowly helps. I've also gone back to one of my very early smaller diameter stainless tampers and that helps also, I assume because it minimizes the air speed because of the bigger gap.

Supporter ♡
Posts: 83
Joined: 2 years ago

#3: Post by romlee »

I have had the Decent V4 since last March and like it very much. It retains next to nothing between the two plates. I'm a "slow tamper" (like Ira?) so maybe that explains it. Or not.
“Be curious, not judgemental.” T. Lasso

Supporter ♡
Posts: 444
Joined: 3 years ago

#4: Post by ShotClock »

I previously used a decent v3, and am currently using a "the force" tamper, mostly to eliminate ramping pressure as a variable.

I've found that the force tamper is a tighter fit to most of my baskets, but actually gets more grinds caught between the plates. I presume that this is due to the faster speed of the bottom plate. Having said that, is pretty easy to lift the upper plate and give it a blow after each use, to prevent buildup.

Nyles855 (original poster)
Posts: 47
Joined: 2 years ago

#5: Post by Nyles855 (original poster) replying to ShotClock »

Thanks guys - I've recently switched to "slowly" tamping with the decent v3 and found that it's largely eliminated the ground retention I saw before.
Interesting to hear your perspective! Have you found any specific improvements in your shots with the force tamper?

Supporter ♡
Posts: 444
Joined: 3 years ago

#6: Post by ShotClock »

Honestly, it's a bit more consistent, but probably not worth the money. I'm a pretty big fan of leveling tampers, and would say that the force tamper gives better consistency, but tamping pressure was never my limitation in puck prep, in hindsight. The main advantage is probably that I've never thought that a tamp was too soft or hard since getting it.

Posts: 23
Joined: 3 years ago

#7: Post by rockdude »

I dialed back the punch force on my Force Tamper and it solved the grinds getting caught between the plates.

Posts: 1874
Joined: 6 years ago

#8: Post by BaristaBob »

Most of the leveling type tampers, will at some rate, build up grinds between the plates. I find cleaning the Force tamper to be easier than the Bravo or Decent since I'm not needing to push against a 15-20 lbs spring. At the end of the day, I just spread the plates apart with one finger and hit it with a blast of compressed air.
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"