Tamping Technique - whether to tap? and where? - Page 5

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

Do you tap the portafilter with the tamper?

Other (explain)
Total votes: 139

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#41: Post by LaCrema »

HB wrote:Staub (four corner) tamping solves the problem and assures a good edge seal to boot. It doesn't have the same ritualistic flare of tapping, but who cares?
Even though I've been making shots since early spring this year I still consider myself a newbie, especially when this is the first time I've heard of the term "Tapping your portafilter." I read through all of the responses to this subject and simply can't understand the reason why anybody would want to introduce some type of unsettled force to the side of your portafilter AFTER tamping? To my understanding, don't you want to leave a little room for the puck to expand in the group head... would it even matter if there were a couple little bits of coffee left on the upper sides on the inside of the basket?! When it comes to the outside of the portafilter, use your hands or a towel, whatever... I'm more concerned about the upper seal between the group head and the portafilter anyway... whatever else, who cares? Making good espresso to me is kinda messy, I'm going to clean my equipment after my shots anyway... extra grounds on the side of the portafilter isn't really a big deal, especially when it takes a second to wipe them away with your hand.

So why did I quote? I interpreted a "Four Corner Tamp" (and part of another posting) as swiveling the tamper in the basket during an initial medium pressure tamp to settle the grounds evenly in the basket, then finish with a little bit harder tamp and polish. I read this post at 11:00 at night, I was out of milk, but was so excited about this "New" idea that I ran to the store to buy a half gallon of organic whole milk and made a late night capuchino. Lately I've had on and off problems with channeling, but this seemed to work great, I pulled an excellent shot, no channeling whatsoever, I think I've found my new technique! So in short... I work on my own cars and have learned that hitting something isn't always a "good" thing. Coffee is delicate, so I'm going to leave it alone after I mold it into a perfect "pre-spent puck" and let the overall process of making good espresso do it's thing. ;)

My $0.02 on the subject.
"Outside the box Barista."