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Thread: Tamping/channeling

  1. #1
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    Tamping/channeling

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Good evening all.

    Very green bean needing assistance with what probably is a trivial and easily fixed problem. Have just bought a very affordable sunbeam machine (cafe crema), which for what it cost is working nicely. I do have two problems, however, that probably are related:

    1. The tamp is terrible. Too small for the portafilters and, well, plastic...does anyone have any ideas of where I can get a better one that will fit sunbeam portafilters?

    2. I seem to have problems with channeling. The first few seconds of the shot are good with a steady slow pour, but then put, put, put it starts splurting out and blonding very quickly. I have tried tamping really hard, which does improve the quality, but is still average. I still get acceptable crema, but nothing to write home about. My friend suggested a loser tamp, but that only makes it worse.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing your ideas.

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Tamping/channeling

    Hi fredo,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs [smiley=thumbsup.gif]. Your problems described above are mostly likely interrelated. In short, you need to get yourself a decent tamper, as you have alluded to, and where to get one? Well, right here from one of our sponsors, thats where. Just look up on the top L/H side of the page and you will see a list of sponsors, the one to go for is CoffeeParts.... they have a good selection.

    From memory I think the Sunbeam baskets are 53mm I.D. but to play it safe, you should measure with a Vernier gauge or similar. Once you know the correct size, head over to CPs and have a look at their selection. I wouldnt go with anything flash or expensive at this early stage, since you will most likely get bitten by the upgraditis bug and will then need a different size tamper again. All the best,

    Mal.

  3. #3
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    Re: Tamping/channeling

    Hi Fredo, another big welcome!

    1. Are you using pressurised filter baskets? If so, that it the first problem that you need to deal with. as far as I know, pressurised PF machines are incapable of a proper extraction.

    2. Are you grinding your own coffee? If so, have you tried a variety of grind/dose settings? Best thing to try is the coarsest grind and the largest dose that will get you the desired volume in the desired time.

    3. If you want to get a coffeelab or greg pullman tamper, both greg and steve can sell you just the base if you later upgrade machines and decide that you like the handles.

    Hope that helps,

    Luca

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Tamping/channeling

    Gday luca,

    Yeah, I was a bit hesitant to recommend buying a quality tamper just yet. I know you can hang on to the handles (I hung on to mine ;D), but upgraditis will probably set in so quickly with a machine like this that it would be a waste of such a great tamper base. Better to buy a cheapy and not mind when all its good for, in a little while, is as a paper weight ;). I think Atillio at Cosmorex also sells good quality but cheaper tampers but not sure if hed have any thatd fit the Sunbeam baskets.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  5. #5
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    Re: Tamping/channeling

    Yeah, I get the point, but I think it really depends on the price difference between a base and a cheap SS tamper. The cheapest tampers from coffeeparts and coffeehit are about $40, which is probably more than youd pay for a new base from either Steve or Greg. Then you can just use the misfitting base as a paperweight. The cheap tampers always seem to have a really short handle that just makes them uncomfortable. Or you could buy the cheap tamper and wait and see if the awesome prototype Pullman tamper makes it into production; its nearly as comfortable as the coffeelab tamper!

    Cheers,

    Luca

  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Tamping/channeling

    Yeah mate,

    I know where youre coming from.... Ive just got this thing about unique hand-made objects of beauty. Id rather pay $30-40 for an assembly line job and put that into service as a paper-weight/door-stop, etc. The Pullman bases are just too well made for that kind of subservient task..... Theres my old school traits coming out again :P,

    Mal.

  7. #7
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    Re: Tamping/channeling

    Thanks Mal and Luca for the warm welcome and suggestions.

    I have ground some of my own beans, but at the moment Im dabbling with pre-ground. I might try to go back to grinding some and trying different grinds. Also, I will go tamp shopping in the next couple of weeks.

    Cheers,

    Fredo

  8. #8
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Tamping/channeling

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    You are most welcome fredo :).....

    Dont forget to let us know which way you go and the difference, if any, it makes to your espresso experience,

    Cheers,
    Mal.



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