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Thread: Convex tamps - best for expobar?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Convex tamps - best for expobar?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive been playing with convex and flat tamps on my newish expobar office SA (pulsar), and Im looking for a prosumer quality tamper that will properly match the group head. Ive decided the convex tamp works better with this machine, but who knows if Im right! ::)

    Based on their popularity Im leaning towards a pullman, but I noticed they advertise the american style convex tamp, but Im not sure if the expobars require the more agressive euro-style convex tamp base.

    Im guessing the convex shower screen set up is the same for at least the office leva, and possibly the minore/brewtus model, so can anyone with experience on these machines offer advice on which tamp to buy (and possibly experiences using the convex pullman)?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Re: Convex tamps - best for expobar?

    I use the new Barista Convex in my Bezzera that has the mushroom shape filter screen

    I find the convex easier to use than the flat
    However if you want a more aggressive Euro style tamp (but I donít think you need one)
    Greg makes his tamps to order so he can make one to suit your machines filter profile all you have to do is ask


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Re: Convex tamps - best for expobar?

    Hi jprm,

    Ive got both a Pullman Flat fitted deluxe, and the Convex, non-fitted 58mm, Barista - I also have an Expobar, so I guess itd be irresponsible of me not to give my 2.second crack.

    They both have different techniques in how I use them, but both are very capable of getting great shots coming out. I reckon theres more to do with your distribution and dose that will effect your pours than whether you have a flat or convex Pullman tamper. Personally the convex Barista is the current fave - mostly for its weight distribution.

    I cant say it makes a huge difference to the pour - as they are BOTH refined pieces of equipment. I get delish pours after using both tampers. I would like to try a FITTED convex just for kicks.
    Theres pros and cons and arguements for both flat and convex bases and I guess you have to make up your own mind. Personally I think that the convex is best for the Expobar in regards to the (slight) shape of the screen, but no real hard evidence to support that - like I said its a personal thing. I know flat tampers were the in thing for a while, especially around this forum, and are still are. But lately there seems to be more of a swing in the convex direction, dont know why - thats trends I guess. I think Greg could give you a better indication of actual numbers.

    As far as the Expobars requiring a convex tamp, I doubt it. But still its a personal thing. The best would be to try them both, there is a definite feel that comes with the different shapes.

    In regards to the euro-style convex, personally I hate it. Although Ive only used the cheap tampers with these and they slip and slide all over - again a technique thing that could be overcome.

    I guess its the same with most pieces of coffee equipment - its your job as the barista to find out the best way of using the tools given to you and your ability to adjust and adapt to get the most out of them. I reckon its a trait of great baristi.

    On a side, I also have an Espro tamper that I use every now and then - and that too has its own technique that I use that differs from the aforementioned tampers.

    Hope that helps, and not confuses,


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Re: Convex tamps - best for expobar?

    Base profiles are the one thing we cant *easily* customise. The only way to cleanly machine curved surfaces is with a CNC lathe, and they start around the $250k mark which is why we outsource this sort of thing. We get flat and US curve bases made up but we dont have any Euro curve stuff officially. I say officially because we specialise in customisation, and anythings possible if youre prepared to fork over the cash. We had two Euro curve Deluxe bases made up some time ago of which Robin and I have custody; he quite likes his on his La Cimbali but I find it doesnt really suit the Silvia. Euro curves are really too aggressive for most people so its unlikely wed be adding them as a stock product; but if someone really wanted one as a one-off we can organise special orders.

    I wouldnt say any machine requires a particular profile. Some *may* perform better with a particular base, but it wouldnt be a requirement. Showerscreens arent overly convex, and an extra 1mm of curve is unlikely to make a significant difference in the cup; in the best case scenario it could make it a perfect match for the showerscreen rather than a nearly perfect match.

    Flat has been preferred for some time. I think the philosophy of flat base tampers is easier for most people to understand, but as Luca has mentioned theres also the fact that we had flat only for some time so most Pullman owners had flat, so they recommend what they have and the cycle feeds itself. While the demand for both designs has still been overwhelmingly for flat tampers, theres been more interest in convex Baristas than convex Deluxes, which roughly correlates with my view that convex tampers are more popular in commercial outfits than domestic.


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Re: Convex tamps - best for expobar?

    Frankly, I struggle to believe that the tamper itself really makes that much of a difference, as long as it is vaguely the right size and doesnt cause discomfort to your hand. I have posted elsewhere about using a 57mm plastic tamper for a few weeks for kicks and getting fine results.

    I tend to prefer convex tampers, for no particular reason. I think that they might be slightly more consistent over a long shift in a cafe, but I have never really measured that.

    I cant imagine that the shower screen makes much difference. The head space will be full of water no matter what the shower screen shape and if you remove the shower screen, you will notice that there is a spot in the middle with no holes to aid in water distribution.

    When testing the various prototypes, most of the pro baristi that I know kept on asking Greg for a convex base and I thought that the convex Barista tamper was pretty good. It is interesting that most purchasers of the old pullman tamper seem to have gone for flat, but it looks like a lot of purchasers of the barista are going convex. I will be getting a convex barista tamper, for what its worth.

    What I would take away from all of that is that your chances of making a fatal error that you will forever regret are pretty slim!

    Hope that helps,


  6. #6
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: Convex tamps - best for expobar?

    I dont recall the screen on my Expobar Leva looking anything but flat.
    But its at home at the moment and Im not so I cant double check.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: Convex tamps - best for expobar?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks for the advice all. Ive decided Ill give the pullman barisata convex a go when they become available.


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