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Thread: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

  1. #1
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    Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I was watching a Scottie Callaghan video and noticed he held the tamper a little different from other people. It took me a couple of seconds to realise why. It helps in getting the puck level.

    Instead of the thumb and forefinger holding the shaft Scottie was placing them on the base.
    Dennis may have been referring to it here as well: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1267594047#16
    Quote Originally Posted by 7A5B5050574D3E0 link=1267594047/16#16 date=1267937416
    c) Less relying on the rings and help focus on technique, eg. using thumb and index finger around the rim of the basket
    When you tamp then twist the feeling is quiet odd if the tamp isnt straight. It lest that is what it feels like to me. I also find it helps me with dosing.

    My wifes cousin was helping out on the cart at an event. His leveling of the puck was horrid. His dosing wasnt too good either. I showed him this technique and after 3-5 tamps his leveling was perfect. His dosing greatly improved too.

    Helped me, helped him. I hope this helps others..
    Cheers






  2. #2
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 686B79797D6B730A0 link=1301457089/0#0 date=1301457089
    Instead of the thumb and forefinger holding the shaft Scottie was placing them on the base.
    Dennis may have been referring to it here as well: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1267594047#16
    Dennis wrote on 07. Mar 2010 at 15:50:
    c) Less relying on the rings and help focus on technique, eg. using thumb and index finger around the rim of the basket
    Yes I was, and nice of you to supply photos (could have cleaned under your nails though!) :)


  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    I had a laugh.... ;D

    Ive been doing it this way for years and didnt even realise it was different.... There you go [smiley=happy.gif]

    Nice to know Im doing something right ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 0924202C214D0 link=1301457089/2#2 date=1301473098
    I had a laugh.... ;D

    Ive been doing it this way for years and didnt even realise it was different.... There you go [smiley=happy.gif]
    Mal.
    This is something I wish I knew when I started espresso coffee. Which is why I posted it. I havent seen many baristas do it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    I have been doing this way for years also.....but was taught it.

    It is a great way of getting a level tamp, over the years ive seen many different takes on how you tamp.

    I know one thing I hate those useless piece of junk plastic tampers attached to grinders.....those things are bad!

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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 1C35282E3F5A0 link=1301457089/4#4 date=1301483348
    I know one thing I hate those useless piece of junk plastic tampers attached to grinders.....those things are bad!
    Ive (thankfully) never seen a cafe actually use them. Theyre always either removed, or just not used at all the placesIve been to.

  7. #7
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D62607A63766160770F0 link=1301457089/5#5 date=1301484168
    Quote Originally Posted by 1C35282E3F5A0 link=1301457089/4#4 date=1301483348
    I know one thing I hate those useless piece of junk plastic tampers attached to grinders.....those things are bad!
    Ive (thankfully) never seen a cafe actually use them. Theyre always either removed, or just not used at all the placesIve been to.
    Youd be amazed at how many cafes use them, some even remove them from the grinder and use them as a hand tamper! When I turn up to service a machine I usually watch the staff making a few coffees to see how they tamp, so I can duplicate their methods when I am checking the grinder setting. Otherwise I may get a beautiful pour but when they start making coffee their different (translation: usually less than competent) methods can result in choking or a fast, weak pour.
    Ive seen everything from tamping so hard they almost lift themselves off the floor by pushing down on the tamper, to tamping so light they just tap the handle on the bench lightly to make the coffee flatten out in the basket then whack the handle in the machine.
    Although they are a bit of a crutch (and not something a good barista is likely to use) I like to see Pak Wizards in a lot of the shops I visit since it takes out the idiot factor by standardising the tamp force, and also almost guarantees a nice flat tamp as well. Makes it much easier to set things up so an untrained operator (we call them button pushers!) can make a consistent standard of coffee - maybe not the best you will drink but at least to a repeatable standard.

  8. #8
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 1B39243137381102560 link=1301457089/6#6 date=1301564931
    I like to see Pak Wizards in a lot of the shops I visit
    Pardon my ignorance MorganGT, but what is a Pak Wizard when spotted in the wild.... :-?

    Mal.

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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 022F2B272A460 link=1301457089/7#7 date=1301572283
    Pardon my ignorance MorganGT, but what is a Pak Wizard when spotted in the wild.... :-?

    Mal.

    Yeah, me too?

  10. #10
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    A Pak Wizard is the brand name of one particular version of a lever tamper I come across a lot due to the work we do for one particular coffee company that supplies them to lots of their customers.
    You place the group handle in a rest on the front of the Pak Wizard and pull down on a lever, which uses a rack and pinion gear to push down on an aluminium tamper which tamps the coffee. The tamper shaft has an adjustable spring inside it which provides a consistent tamping pressure regardless of how hard you pull on the handle, so it provides consistency of tamping pressure.

  11. #11
    A_M
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 486A7762646B4251050 link=1301457089/9#9 date=1301656611
    it which provides a consistent tamping pressure regardless of how hard you pull on the handle, so it provides consistency of tamping pressure.
    A start but only 1/2 the problem...

    The quality of teh grinds and teh dose level all have to be considered as that can change throughout the day. Thus if they are not constant then one might need a variable tamp.




  12. #12
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 70524F5A5C537A693D0 link=1301457089/9#9 date=1301656611
    A Pak Wizard is the brand name of one particular version of a lever tamper I come across a lot due to the work we do for one particular coffee company that supplies them to lots of their customers.
    You place the group handle in a rest on the front of the Pak Wizard and pull down on a lever, which uses a rack and pinion gear to push down on an aluminium tamper which tamps the coffee. The tamper shaft has an adjustable spring inside it which provides a consistent tamping pressure regardless of how hard you pull on the handle, so it provides consistency of tamping pressure.
    Thanks mate... :)

    Mal.

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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E51585A4D725E515E585A525A514B3F0 link=1301457089/10#10 date=1301701268
    Quote Originally Posted by 486A7762646B4251050 link=1301457089/9#9 date=1301656611
    it which provides a consistent tamping pressure regardless of how hard you pull on the handle, so it provides consistency of tamping pressure.
    A start but only 1/2 the problem...

    The quality of teh grinds and teh dose level all have to be considered as that can change throughout the day.* Thus if they are not constant then one might need a variable tamp.


    Very true, but a lot of our customers are not baristas, just button pushers. When you try to explain to them the need for adjustments to grind and dose throughout the day they stare at you blankly. And when I explain how a grinder works and how the adjustment affects pour rates, many of them are amazed since they had no idea how it all worked. And these are often people whose entire livelihood revolves around making and selling coffee! Lots of them put warning signs on their grinders telling the staff not to adjust anything, since the technician takes care of that, hes the expert. So the grind may be adjusted once every 6 months! Not exactly ideal!
    Some of the franchise chains are the worst in this way, the occasional franchisee will know what they are doing and happy to tweak as they work, but most have very little training. With these we usually have to set things up a bit conservatively, running a bit coarser than ideal but with a bigger dose to reduce the chances of their autodosing grinders clogging up over time, since most of them cannot figure out how to temporarily coarsen the grind to unclog the grinder then reset the grind, even when the procedure is carefully explained.

  14. #14
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    I am going to try this at work tomorrow. I find that my tamp is usually pretty straight but I always like to give different techniques a try, as new knowledge becomes available!

    Now I just need to solve the problem of the callus on my left index finger from the milk jug! :)

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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    The course I did at Jetblack taught this as standard: have the thumb and forefinger on the rim of the portafilter and the butt of the tamper nestled in your palm. This does two things: you can actually feel the depth of the tamper into the basket, and once you get used to this "feel" its easy to have exactly the same tamped coffee surface; also, by rotating a quarter of a turn, you can actually feel whether the tamper is dead level around the rim. if its not level, then either your thumb or forefinger will sense a bigger or smaller gap as your skin slides around the rim. I was taught to go to the second line around the tamper to ensure the right gap between the coffee surface and the shower screen. If there is a slight hex indent in the used puk, the gap is good which means the level was good. Im no barista, but this technique has helped me get consistency.

  16. #16
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    After trying this at work for the last couple of days, I have decided that this is the way for me to tamp going forward. It is really useful to tell if you have your dosing right as well a level tamp.

    Thanks for the hot tip :)

  17. #17
    A_M
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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 62405D484E41687B2F0 link=1301457089/12#12 date=1301898123
    Very true, but a lot of our customers are not baristas, just button pushers.
    I hear you and know...

    But in addition many have a piece of paper and or have done extra training ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) So even then your assistance or guidance may conflict with their TAFE trainer .


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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Quote Originally Posted by 0D222B293E012D222D2B29212922384C0 link=1301457089/16#16 date=1302082144
    may conflict with their TAFE [s]trainer [/s] button pusher.
    There, I fixed it.

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    Re: Different hold on tamper to keep puck level

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 3E21233920352223344C0 link=1301457089/17#17 date=1302082229
    Quote Originally Posted by 0D222B293E012D222D2B29212922384C0 link=1301457089/16#16 date=1302082144
    may conflict with their TAFE [s]trainer [/s] button pusher.
    There, I fixed it.
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