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Thread: Do I need to buy a larger tamper? Basket is 54mm and tamper is 49mm

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    Do I need to buy a larger tamper? Basket is 54mm and tamper is 49mm

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have a 54mm portafilter for my Breville Bambino Plus. I've measured the inside of the baskets across (single and double) and they're 54mm but the tamper measured across is 49mm.

    I was reading on here yesterday about people buying larger tampers than the basket diameter. Do I need to do that? I get a slope on the coffee when I tamper.

    I've only used my machine 6 times, it's still new. I'm also going to buy the baskets someone recommended on my other thread.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    A tamper with a bigger diameter than thebasket is no good as it won't fit and hence won't tamp. The plastic one you got with the machine is unsatisfactory because it doesnt tamp the edges potentially leading to poor shots. You can google 54mm tamper. For example, site sponsor Coffee Parts sells one

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    To use a 49mm tamper with a 54mm basket requires multiple tamps to achieve a level surface across the whole puck. I did this for several months when living with the outlaws a few years back, I got practice enough that you couldn't see it was multiple tamps. Assuming the tamper is flat and doesn't have too rounded edges it's possible to get an ok tamp using a North-South-East-West approach.

    I would suggest taking your baskets with you to someone like Coffee Parts or Jetblack Espresso and trying the different size tampers in your baskets. Take the biggest one that fits but not so close it'll create a vacuum when you lift it out.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    You definetly need a 54mm tamper. The one linked above from site sponsor Coffee Parts isn't too expensive and should do the job. There are also 53mm tampers available but they aren't the right tool for the job. Brew water always finds the path of least resistance. With the wrong size tamper, the un-tamped edges (uncompressed) near the filter basket wall will be where water will flow through first rather the tamped area (compressed) of the puck leading to a weak and incomplete extraction. This is one form of what's called channelling.

    Site Sponsor JetBlack Espresso also has a 54mm tamper - https://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/...coffee-tamper/ Select the correct size in the drop down list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daffodilgirl View Post
    I was reading on here yesterday about people buying larger tampers than the basket diameter. Do I need to do that? I get a slope on the coffee when I tamper.
    I think what you are referring to is the thread on 58mm baskets and tampers in the 58.5mm to 58.7mm range. Please note that this is at the "obsessive" end of the scale! 58mm (nominal) size is common for the higher end machines and tampers are made in larger incremental sizes for a "precision" fit. A standard "58mm" basket probably has an internal diameter of somewhere around 58.8mm. There are small variances in manufacturing tolerances so this can vary slightly. The "standard" 58mm tamper allows for clearance in all brands of baskets. The 58.5mm (etc) tampers are made for use in the higher end precison built filter baskets like VST for a tighter precison fit. Not something to worry about in early days.

    You'll probably find the actual internal dimension on your 54mm basket is around 54.5 to 54.7mm so a standard 54mm tamper will fit easily and not jam if a few coffee granules end up between the tamper and basket wall.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 9th February 2019 at 11:44 AM.

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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    a tamper that fits the basket snugly is nice and makes things easy, but you can get away with one that is loose. the snugger the better.

    In the meantime you can raid your pantry and see what jar has a lid with a closer fit and use the jar/lid as a tamper.

    Cheers

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    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    Until you can source single wall baskets for your machine, tamping wont have that much of an effect.
    level3ninja and WarrenK like this.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erimus View Post
    Until you can source single wall baskets for your machine, tamping wont have that much of an effect.
    Good pick-up on the double wall baskets. Having the right size tamper won't hurt especially in readiness for using single wall baskets.

    This link also in the other thread - Pressurised vs Non-Pressurised Baskets — Guide 2 Coffee

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    Thanks, everyone! I'm watching YouTube videos and reading articles and people's posts on here - there's more to learn than I thought when I was deciding which machine to buy!

    I've made 2 good double shots so far, I had a laugh :-) Breville says their single wall double shot basket is out of stock :-(

    I just checked on the Breville website again and they've got a 54mm tamper for $8.99 which sounds very cheap.

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    One thing I've really noticed about tamps is getting one that has real heft. It doesn't have to weigh a ton, but plastic is hopelessly light. Is the one on the Breville site a plastic one? $9 sounds a bit cheap (but you don't have to spend $120, either...)

  10. #10
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Yes the Breville is plastic. It has metal as the base so it probably has a better surface finish than a plastic one, but they don't weigh much. A heavy tamper may make it a bit easier to be consistent, but you can certainly temp well consistently with a weightless one.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    According to the specs your machine is supposed to come with a 54mm tamper.



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