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Thread: Tampers, convex base Vs flat base

  1. #1
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    Tampers, convex base Vs flat base

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Having recently dipped my big toe into the murky depths of*the world of tampers, I have discovered that some prefer a flat base and others convex. *As the great professor once asked. Why is it so? I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons of both.

    Bart.

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Tampers, convex base Vs flat base

    Bart,

    I remember reading some articles a couple of years ago regarding this .
    I think it was on coffeegeek, so perhaps a search there might turn something up.

    There seems to be passionate arguments on both sides.

    Ive only ever used a flat one, but I certainly have no complaints.

    I can heartily recommend the Greg Pullman version.

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    Re: Tampers, convex base Vs flat base

    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy link=1154345555/0#1 date=1154346808
    There seems to be passionate arguments on both sides.
    Yeah, and Im not really sure why ...

    My $0.02; the shape of your tamper bottom has to be about the gazillionth item on the list of most influential things in the spro process. Distribution and not dicking around doing too many taps, re-tamps, half-tamps and polishes seem to make much more of a difference.

    The only somewhat vaguely conclusive anecdotes that I can give are that when it gets REALLY busy I tend to reach for the convexes and things seem to be more consistent for me. At home I have one flat and two convexes (only slight convexes) and it is the latter two that get the biggest workout ... although probably because they are the most ergonomic for me. At work we have about five or six, of which only one is flat, and we almost never use the flat. St Alis superstar barista, Toshi, uses a Tobira flat based tamper.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Tampers, convex base Vs flat base

    I wont pretend to know the answer to this one. Many people more qualified that myself have answered this one already and it seems to come down to personal preference. What I can comment on is observation. I purchased a Reg Barber combination (flat, US convex, and Euro convex) and a Greg Pullman flat tamper. I figured I play with each type and come up with my own preference.
    The Pullman is by far the most impressive looking and feels great in the hand. However, I have only had it a few weeks so havent given it a fair go yet. The one tamper that consistently results in better extractions at the moment seems to be the US convex tamper. Ive observed that the shower screen shape on the minore is similar to the angle of the US convex tamper. Maybe it has to do with this, or maybe it is my technique.
    Id like to play with each of the tampers for a few more months before making any conclusions.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Tampers, convex base Vs flat base

    I have a flat and a convex, but Im not experienced enough to have any idea if there is any difference. Should the tamp have a couple of mm gap on all sides to the inside of the basket? Mine does.

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    Re: Tampers, convex base Vs flat base

    While Im unable to get a definitive answer on flat Vs convex, it seems to be universally accepted that the less gap between the edge of the tamper and the basket, the better. A large gap creates uneven pressure across the puck, allowing for channeling, which is when the pressurised water takes the path of least resistance through the ground coffee, creating a channel and resulting in under extracted coffee. Hence the reason why specialist tamper manufacturers like Greg Pullman strongly advise custom fitting your tamper to the basket, ensuring almost no gap at all.

    Bart.

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Tampers, convex base Vs flat base

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    cheers mate



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