kramerica wrote:I must say, that you guys got me all confused now.
You recommend others (and probably do it yourselves) to get a good if not great tamper, and people spend 30-200$ on that. I've never seen anyone here advices against buying a good tamper, and now you say things like:
"tamp is at the bottom of my list of critical success factors."
"Despite all of the ritualistic observances attendant upon it, tamping is unnecessary. You can pull an excellent shot with no tamp whatsoever"
and there are more...
I've got to ask: If its that not important, why even bother with the tamper?
Here's the analogy I usually whip out to explain this:
In golf, people usually have it backwards: when hitting driver off the tee, golfers tend to think "distance," when they should really be thinking "direction." When hitting approach shots and/or the short game, golfers tend to think "direction," when it's more helpful to think about distance-control.
Similarly, it's not that the tamp is irrelevant. It's simply severely overrated.
When making espresso, the dose is the foundation. Without a solid (read: consistent in density throughout) foundation, your building will collapse. Leveling can either maintain the integrity of the dose/foundation, or it can mess it up: it CANNOT repair it. You can't patch a foundation. The WDT is definitely a patch... certainly better than no attempt at repair, if the dose itself is flawed, but it's still patchwork. The quality of the tamp, therefore, depends completely on the quality of the leveling (if applicable), distribution, and dose. That's why hyperfocusing on the tamp is considered overkill. However, a crooked tamp is still no good.