Why tap the portafilter? - Page 4

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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HB
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#31: Post by HB »

timo888 wrote:If this weren't the case, you'd see channeling in untamped shots; you don't-not with a proper preinfusion.
The "problem" is that the majority of espresso machines don't meet your standards of proper preinfusion:
timo888 wrote:If the machine is capable of a several-second preinfusion at very low pressure ( ~ 2 bar) and does not exceed 9 bars, there should be no need to tamp as long as the other requirements I listed above are satisfied.
Dan Kehn

Nick

#32: Post by Nick »

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.
Nick
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Psyd
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#33: Post by Psyd »

Nick wrote: 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.
Yay, Nick! Making my espresso better and improving my golf game!
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

cai42

#34: Post by cai42 »

Greetings,

One pound tamps or thirty pound tamps, plastic POS or sixty dollar tampers? These two topics have filled coffee websites for years but I haven't found a good answer to the following question. Why does Mazzur go to all that trouble to attach a very substantial piece of plastic to the side of their machines? Perhaps that is all we really need.

Cliff Isackson

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#35: Post by cannonfodder »

Perhaps it is. Tamping is a uniquely American tradition. As I understand, most Italian cafes use a light leveling tamp with the doser attached plastic tamper or no tamp at all and get good results. More importantly, if using the doser attached tamper works good for you, then use it. As I stated earlier, and Nick restated, the tamp is focused on too much and no amount of tamping can repair a bad grind/dose/distribution. It simply provides an even and cohesive surface to the puck and adds an extra measure of assurance that the density of the puck is even. But focusing on the tamp as the end all and be all fix for poor extractions is wrong. Chances are the problem lies in the grind/distribution/dose although a crooked tamp will destroy a good distribution.
Dave Stephens

CoffeeOwl

#36: Post by CoffeeOwl »

cannonfodder wrote:But focusing on the tamp as the end all and be all fix for poor extractions is wrong. Chances are the problem lies in the grind/distribution/dose although a crooked tamp will destroy a good distribution.
Generally I agree with what you say yet I think that a good tamp will make much better shot out of that good grind/distribution&dose. Maybe this 'much' is debatable, though.
'a a ha sha sa ma!


LMWDP #199