Some thoughts on tamping (tamping twaddle, part deux) - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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dsc

#11: Post by dsc »

Hi John,

I'm actually surprised that there wasn't even any indication of side channeling, I would bet on a donut extraction. Are those tampers flat or convex? Not that it matters anyway as the taste was the same, but I'm just curious how's that possible.

Try doing the same on my Elektra and you'll end up with half of the kitchen counter in coffee.

Regards,
dsc.

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RapidCoffee (original poster)
Team HB

#12: Post by RapidCoffee (original poster) »

dsc wrote:I'm actually surprised that there wasn't even any indication of side channeling, I would bet on a donut extraction. Are those tampers flat or convex? Not that it matters anyway as the taste was the same, but I'm just curious how's that possible.
In the original tamping twaddle thread (link above), I used a 51mm tamper in a 58mm Vetrano basket, and was very surprised not to see a donut extraction. After that little experiment, using a 51mm tamper in a 53mm basket was no big deal. In fact, I would have been surprised to see any significant differences in the pours.

These are both convex Bumper tamps. The 51mm piston was originally 58mm. It may be the only 51mm Bumper tamp in the universe. 8) I had a machinist friend lathe it down to 51mm after I got my Gaggia Factory lever machine.
dsc wrote:Try doing the same on my Elektra and you'll end up with half of the kitchen counter in coffee.
Sure, send me your Elektra and I'll give it a try. I've got plenty of paper towels. :P
John

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sweaner
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#13: Post by sweaner »

AndyS wrote:I could not adequately control the moisture content of the wooden handle. This led to all kinds of humidity errors.
Andy, can you explain this one? I cannot imagine that the material the tamper handle is made of could have any effect whatsoever....unless one uses it upside down!

I like doing the polish. Not because I think it does anything, but because it is fun. Just like thwacking the doser.
Scott
LMWDP #248

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HB
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#14: Post by HB »

sweaner wrote:Andy, can you explain this one?
See joke: something said or done to provoke laughter; especially a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist.
Dan Kehn

EricL

#15: Post by EricL »

It would be interesting to setup the Elektra or suitable substitute side by side with the Vivaldi. There may be something to the narrower deeper basket. Plus when you tamp, pressure doesn't go straight down. Here's the opportunity for some enterprising engineer to develop the next great leap in espresso instrumentation - a basket lined with pressure sensors. Scace III? :o

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sweaner
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#16: Post by sweaner »

HB wrote:See joke: something said or done to provoke laughter; especially a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist.
But it looked so serious, and not totally unexpected from this highly technical crowd. :oops:

I went back and actually read the Andy's ENTIRE post, and it is quite funny. I guess reading the post in it's entirety before commenting on it is really a good idea. Maybe this could be a rule for newbies also.
Scott
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Randy G.

#17: Post by Randy G. »

The pull image on the right looks slightly underexposed (darker) compared to the one on the left (examine the black PF handle, as the reflection on the backsplash, and even the exposed brass of the inside wall of the PF body), yet the espresso looks lighter in tone when the opposite should be the case. The difference is slight, but noticeable. Other than that it does look good.

The list is very good. There are so many dispelled myths listed there that I followed when I first started because they were so often repeated and there were so few resources and so little science to follow and learn from. Even today, there are folks who state that the clicking tamper immediately improved their espresso and I can't help but wonder what they were doing before.. I even got into a situation on another forum with the manufacturer of tampers when stated that the most important thing in regards to tampers is that they fit your hand properly making it more effective in getting an even, level tamp and that a $20 aluminum tamper can do just as good of a job as a $90 tamper.

I can't speak for the $90 tampers' effectiveness- if I had that much spare cash I would add one more harmonica to my next order, but I can state that I have been using the same aluminum economy one-piece tamper for over 8 years now and it works just fine... besides, ever try to play the blues on a tamper? :wink:
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DavidMLewis

#18: Post by DavidMLewis »

Randy G. wrote:besides, ever try to play the blues on a tamper?
If most of us hadn't played the blues on a tamper, there would be many fewer posts on this forum.

David

ntwkgestapo

#19: Post by ntwkgestapo »

Well, I recently resurrected my old Starbucks Barista machine for convenience sake (the Gaggia makes WONDERFUL coffee, but, in the morning, when I'm pushed for time, it's soooo much easier to just turn on the Barista before heading into the shower. It'll be nice and warmed up when I get into the kitchen to make the morning americano and not TOO warm. The Gaggia is ready after 10, MAYBE 15 minutes, but if something interrupts me and it's 25 or 30 minutes after turn on before I can make the shots, I have to cool it down, a lot! And I've had good luck doing that but consistency suffers...) I've never had a 53mm tamper for the Barista (altho I've got one on order now! :)) so I've been using my 51mm tamper (EPNW EP-5 w/51mm flat bottom puck) and just doing a NSEW tamp, fairly light and then lock it in and hit the brew button! Good tasting, consistent shots, altho this morning's were a SLIGHT bit sour (I suspect brew temp was a bit low. Barista's 'tain't known for fantastic, exact temp control!). 27 seconds before blonding, wonderful, rich crema. Very tasty! As I've mentioned in the past, I've disabled most of the "Crema Enhancer" functionality on the P/F. I'd buy a non-pressurized P/F for it, but at what they want for it, I just don't think it's worth it... Oh Well, C'est La VIE!

The tamper I got from SBUX was a 48mm convex tamper and even without a bottomless P/F it was easy to see side channeling!

The Gaggia is TEMPORARILY in storage but will probably be brought back out in a bit!
Steve C.
I'm having an out of coffee experience!
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RapidCoffee (original poster)
Team HB

#20: Post by RapidCoffee (original poster) »

Randy G. wrote:The pull image on the right looks slightly underexposed (darker) compared to the one on the left (examine the black PF handle, as the reflection on the backsplash, and even the exposed brass of the inside wall of the PF body), yet the espresso looks lighter in tone when the opposite should be the case. The difference is slight, but noticeable. Other than that it does look good.
Randy is absolutely right. The right image was darkened by an overenthusiastic autocontrast setting on my photo editing software (Picasa from Google, highly recommended). I reposted the picture of the pours with no brightness/color/contrast adjustment, only cropping/resizing/montaging. Thanks for pointing that out! :)
John