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Thread: Tampers Flat or convex?

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    Tampers Flat or convex?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Most likely been asked a 100 times before but which is the best? Are there circumstances where you would use one over the other. I need to buy one and not sure which way to go. I`ve read somewhere that if your shower screen is flat then use a flat tamper or a convex if your screen is slightly curved, is this just a myth. Some one please help. 8-)

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C414C4B5C5A6D2E0 link=1264832515/0#0 date=1264832515
    Most likely been asked a 100 times before but which is the best? Are there circumstances where you would use one over the other. I need to buy one and not sure which way to go. I`ve read somewhere that if your shower screen is flat then use a flat tamper or a convex if your screen is slightly curved, is this just a myth. Some one please help. *8-)
    I tend to favour that the tamper shape should match the water dispersion screen

    Having said that a flat tamper is more popular & will do the job just as well

    KK

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    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Check out the Pullman website:

    http://www.coffeetamper.com.au/information/faq.html#flat-convex

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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Next to impossible to assess Robert.... :-?

    If someone can devise a method that removes all other variables from the process, such that the effect of the Tamper design alone can be isolated, I think that this question is going to remain one that will be posed ad infinitum throughout the ages.... ;)

    Mal.

  5. #5
    kbc
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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    I went for a flat one after reading up on the Pullman website.

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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    I have a flat and convex Pullman.
    The convex does make a better shot on my Brugnetti. This was with all things equal (as much as possible, one could argue that the convex would have less coffee in the basket). Same bean, same grinder, same grind, same basket. The Brugnetti has a convex shower screen.
    Plus one for a difference.

    On my Silvia I couldnt really pick a difference.
    Minus one for a difference.

    I was doing a market stall on a La Pavoni that has a flat shower screen. In a daze I forgot to tamp. It was locked in to the group head before my brain clicked. Thought "ah well" give it a go, its wasted any way. One of the best shots of the day!
    Plus one for..... I dont know! Does tamping matter at all?

    So who knows?

    If you remove all of the variables one of those variables will be the machine. So even if someone does the experiment it will probably mean nothing to you. Maybe even the basket will make a difference?

    If I HAD to make a choice/give advise I would lean to what KK said, convex tamper for convex screen, flat tamper for flat screen.

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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Some months ago I pulled a shot on my Expobar through a bottomless portafilter that poured just beautifully - perfect pour time, extraction pattern etc. That was with a flat tamper. So I immediately pulled another shot, everything else the same but used a convex tamper. The result was near enough to identical to call identical.

    Someone may find one shape tamper works better with one type of machine, someone else may find the opposite works better with a different machine. At the end of the day I think there are more important issues to be worrying about than 1.5mm of curve on the bottom of the tamper. That said I dont think the debate is going to go away anytime soon - if youre not sure flip a coin and Im sure youll be happy either way. ;)

    Greg

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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Thanks all. Went for the convex and worked fine. And guess what 2 days later my Gaggia Babby karked it. Hows that. Oh well on the lookout for a another s/h machine now.

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    Foz
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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    I would also like to say thanks for all the advice above. I am a relative beginner to the coffee snob world and am about to get a new machine and grinder (silvia/rocky I think). I was getting very confused about convex vs flat tampers.

    I think in a kind of confusing way, this has cleared it up. Mostly by making me realise it doesnt really matter. Im gonna go with the flat Tamper I think. Ill let you all know if I solve the mystery!! ;)

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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Ill echo Foz. Im about to do the grinder (and likely machine) upgrade and was a little confused about the tamper thing. I think Ill end up going with the gut.

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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A392B2B2F3921580 link=1264832515/5#5 date=1265150615
    I was doing a market stall on a La Pavoni that has a flat shower screen. In a daze I forgot to tamp. It was locked in to the group head before my brain clicked. Thought "ah well" give it a go, its wasted any way. One of the best shots of the day!
    Plus one for..... I dont know! Does tamping matter at all?

    So who knows?

    If you remove all of the variables one of those variables will be the machine. So even if someone does the experiment it will probably mean nothing to you. Maybe even the basket will make a difference?
    One of the best posts that Ive seen on this subject in a while. It supports the opinion that tamping is mainly an aid to getting the dose and distribution right.

    I would certainly support the contention that the machine and the basket (which can vary in taper and depth as well as volume) are much more likely to make a difference that a tamper.

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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5865686F787E490A0 link=1264832515/7#7 date=1267646266
    Thanks all. Went for the convex and worked fine. And guess what 2 days later my Gaggia Babby karked it. *Hows that. Oh well on the lookout for a another s/h machine now.
    Wow! Thats the best argument against a convex tamper Ive ever heard - convex tamper = dead machine!! :D

    ...the other main reason I use a flat tamper is that it sits flat on the bench without rocking around.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Quote Originally Posted by 594C5B594E4B5252535F503E0 link=1264832515/6#6 date=1265155858
    Someone may find one shape tamper works better with one type of machine, someone else may find the opposite works better with a different machine.
    Morning Greg, I believe it has something to do with alignment of the stars, or was it moon phases, it could even be (heaven forbid) something to do with operator skill levels? all very mysterious stuff. ::)

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D4B524A5F50514D495750593E0 link=1264832515/11#11 date=1275015816
    ...the other main reason I use a flat tamper is that it sits flat on the bench without rocking around.
    Cant argue with this type of logic. ;)

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    Convex or flat tampers the best?

    I was admiring Greg Pullmans tampers and noted that the 58mm comes in 2 flavours - convex and flat, while the 57mm only comes in flat. Why is this, and what are the pros / cons of convex vs. flat?

    thanks in advance for humouring any stupid questions...

  16. #16
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    Re: Convex or flat tampers the best?

    Quote Originally Posted by 55564F424354514344260 link=1286418972/0#0 date=1286418972
    I was admiring Greg Pullmans tampers and noted that the 58mm comes in 2 flavours - convex and flat, while the 57mm only comes in flat. *Why is this, and what are the pros / cons of convex vs. flat?

    thanks in advance for humouring any stupid questions...
    Try: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1264832515/10#10

    If you want further info use the search fuction and dont forget to set the How Long tab??? to greater than one week.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Convex or flat tampers the best?

    Thanks for the info and guidance on the searching...

    I think I will go the 57mm flat for the lelit as that is what is on offer from Pullmans website and I am a sucker for the colour green (not sure if anyone is selling 57mm convex)

  18. #18
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    Re: Convex or flat tampers the best?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E5D4449485F5A484F2D0 link=1286418972/0#0 date=1286418972
    I was admiring Greg Pullmans tampers and noted that the 58mm comes in 2 flavours - convex and flat, while the 57mm only comes in flat. *Why is this, and what are the pros / cons of convex vs. flat?

    thanks in advance for humouring any stupid questions...
    Hi spiderweb,

    All our tampers are custom-made so you can have a flat, or convex, in whatever size you want. Heck you can get a 42mm convex if you really want one! :D What was it you saw on our site you saw that suggested 57mm only comes in flat?

    As to flat vs convex, welcome to coffees equivalent of Holden vs Ford! Like Brett says there are many threads already discussing this subject but the bottom line is neither make a significant difference in my testing.

    Greg

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    Re: Convex or flat tampers the best?

    Thanks Greg, I checked out the other threads and can see both sides of the argument. I think I will go flat for the lelit.

    P.S. I was happy to see your guide to the lelit on your site :)

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    Tamper and coffee question

    Hi all. Tampers - flat or convexed? Has anyone every actually proven that there is a benefit for choosing the curved over the flat tamper? Or is it one of those small things that stacks up with all those other small things that you do to get that edge in your shots? Im suspecting it is!

    Now, with the coffee. Ive heard over the last 10 years or so of how important it is to not to burn your coffee when brewing it, whatever method you choose. "Dont use boiling water or youll get a burnt taste" is what everyone seems to say in unison. Well, here is my angle; if coffee beans are roasted at around 210 to 220 degrees C, then wouldnt it be safe to assume that the grinds would then be able to survive the 100 degree water without burning so to speak? Or is there a definite bitterness to the taste if the water temp is allowed to go over the safe threshold?

    Looking forward to the replies. Bye for now!

  21. #21
    TC
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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F5D515153515B5C5D320 link=1264832515/19#19 date=1286741759
    Has anyone every actually proven that there is a benefit for choosing the curved over the flat tamper? *
    The question has been asked many times before Mocca and was easily located with a simple search. Try one sometime ;)

    You now reside on the end of a thread for two similar questions.

    Rather than muddy this one, Id suggest you might start a seperate thread for some answers as to why youre wrong on brew temps.

    Cheers

    2mcm

  22. #22
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Morning Mocca, welcome to Coffee Snobs.
    Quote Originally Posted by 5B79757577757F7879160 link=1264832515/19#19 date=1286741759
    Has anyone every actually proven that there is a benefit for choosing the curved over the flat tamper?
    Nope, and they never will, all comes down to personal preference, however if you believe that a convex, concave or any other con you can think of putting in front of a tamper results in better shots then for you it probably does. ;)

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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1D30343835590 link=1264832515/3#3 date=1264845327
    Next to impossible to assess Robert.... :-?

    If someone can devise a method that removes all other variables from the process, such that the effect of the Tamper design alone can be isolated, I think that this question is going to remain one that will be posed ad infinitum throughout the ages.... ;)

    Mal.

    I agree. The limiting factor is the skill of the person behind the machine. Convex or flat makes no difference until your technique is so rock solid that you could pull back to back espressos with a flat and convex and make qualitative measurements.

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    Re: Tampers Flat or convex?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 3517110A0D0711620 link=1264832515/22#22 date=1286800825
    I agree. The limiting factor is the skill of the person behind the machine. Convex or flat makes no difference until your technique is so rock solid that you could pull back to back espressos with a flat and convex and make qualitative measurements.
    I totally agree, however, only in the intrest of distribution, channeling etc.. If you were using a curved leveling device (like Scottie Callaghans dosing tools) would it make sense to use a convex tamp? *as using a flat tamp might compress the outside of the puck slightly more than the inside - youd then have to use a levelling tool with the same profile as your tamp.

    Alot of effort that im sure would have an extremely minimal effect on the cup, to the point where our senses were not able to detect any difference when you take into account the effects of the countless other variables that go into making espresso.
    My machine has a flat screen, i use a flat tamp and leveling tool.. so it really doesnt effect me that much, just found myself thinking I wonder.. and thought Id share. *;D



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