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Thread: Expert tamping question

  1. #1
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    Expert tamping question

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Or anyones creative thoughts really!!

    Has anyone seen the tamper with the raised rings on the bottom/ the surface that is flat, that touches the coffee surface area?

    There are about 4 or 5 rings that will create an indent in your finished tamp.

    It kind of goes against everything I have ever learnt about tamping but I am interested to hear from anyone who has used it or tasted coffee from it. Good or bad???

    Also please comment if you have not used it but have an idea why this type of tamper was made.

    Cheers

    MP

    Ps. I will be trying it in a few days and will try and take a pic of it for you all, as well as my tasting notes from it. They have a few more weird ones here in Japan I will be trying out in the future!

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Youd be talking about something like this?



    Its Reg Barbers new ripple base. Ive done some searching around on some other forums and no-one really seems to understand the purpose of the ripple base apart from looking good (face it, thats not a bad photo there!) and making pretty patterns in the puck. But to the benefits in tamping? :-?

    I guess like most things, you have to ask the benefits of any new ideas - they may be there to help improve performance (such as the clicking device in the Espro or the TrueTamp rings in the Pullman models), or like copper bases and highly polished surfaces they may be there purely for aesthetic reasons and to look fancy in photos. You might like to have a read through http://espressorun.blogspot.com/2008/09/reg-barber-ripple-tamper-evaluation.html which has some nice photos of this device, but likewise doesnt really shed any light on the benefits of the ripples apart from the aesthetics.

    The only thing I think it could possibly do is if you have a heaped basket of coffee it will very slightly distribute that heap into rings, a bit like what a convex is supposed to do but less effective - so you get concentric rings of high pressure, low pressure, which to me sounds like a good recipe for channelling. However the rings arent too deep so whatever effect they have would be fairly minimal compared to a smooth tamping surface, especially once the puck expands up to the showerscreen. A number of years ago I considered making a base with a spiral in it to help distribute the coffee smoothly but decided against it because of the disturbance it would make to the puck surface. I guess this base would be less likely to scratch than a smooth surface since not much metal is actually touching the bench but that hardly seems a good reason to create a vastly uneven tamping surface.

    There may well be design reasons for the rings so take my comments in the context of my inability fo find any concrete information on the benefit of this, and in that of my understanding of the whole purpose of a tamper - that is, an even compression of coffee. Perhaps in due course the manufacturer of this tamper will put some info on their website claiming its benefits.

    Greg

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Thanks for that answer Greg. A really good theory which I can start to understand.

    I agree with the channeling which is why I would not think of using this type of tamper, yet looking at the pic and reading your advice I guess it would run coffee through the centre a bit faster and give you a similar taste result to a drip.

    My guess is you would have to run a ristretto shot, and the tamp allows for some subtle bitterness....

    Ill be going to try it out tomorrow along with a few other tampers they have here. I will take my coffeelab and pullman to compare.

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxPower link=1226934588/0#2 date=1226963371
    Thanks for that answer Greg. A really good theory which I can start to understand.

    I agree with the channeling which is why I would not think of using this type of tamper, yet looking at the pic and reading your advice I guess it would run coffee through the centre a bit faster and give you a similar taste result to a drip.

    My guess is you would have to run a ristretto shot, and the tamp allows for some subtle bitterness....

    Ill be going to try it out tomorrow along with a few other tampers they have here. I will take my coffeelab and pullman to compare.
    Mmm, not so sure about that MP. Its still a tamper that will compress the puck and allow the pressure of the espresso process to be generated, its just that it may not do it quite as evenly as a tamper with a smooth surface. As I said I dont think the ripples are deep enough to make it significantly worse than a smooth surface, and in practice the problems it introduces will probably be very minimal. But to my way of thinking, why introduce problems of any magnitude if you dont have to? :-?

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1226934588/0#3 date=1226965394
    But to my way of thinking, why introduce problems of any magnitude if you dont have to? *:-?
    Yeah, I can see your point.. I guess I cant see any harm in trying to push the boundaries though.

    I had the pleasure of having a play with this tamper a few months ago that Em Oak had. Looked like fun. There were no real opinions about it except that "surely its a channel magnet?" It spun real nice on the polish though, and in the cup there was no notable difference, that anyone could tell. We didnt do any experiments or anything, just tamped as per usual. (used with a Robur/Synesso combo mmm...). Id have one on my shelf is someone wanted me to test it though ;) The one I used had the ripples further to the edge.

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    The other thing too, is that with pre-infusion I cant help but think that it renders the ripples superfluous once the puck is wet and expands.... just a thought.

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Quote Originally Posted by YeeZa link=1226934588/0#4 date=1226968899
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1226934588/0#3 date=1226965394
    But to my way of thinking, why introduce problems of any magnitude if you dont have to? *:-?
    Yeah, I can see your point.. I guess I cant see any harm in trying to push the boundaries though.
    Providing theres some logic to the innovation, otherwise youre making something different purely for the sake of being different. I could make a tamper out of balsa wood and Id be the first to do it, but does that mean I should? Still, looks are a good enough reason for some even if something has no practical benefit - its just that new ideas in the world of tampers dont come along every day, and Id like to think theres some reason behind what is clearly an innovation other than just a different look.

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Yeah totally good point Greg. I think the logic behind it was more tamping surface area... but then I dont know what difference thatd make... v.minimal youd think.

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Hmmmm

    Perhaps [in theoy or otherwise] the rippled puck presents a greater surface area to the oncomming brew water, and this may soften/disperse/spread the impact.

    Nevertheless, this wouldnt be of great benefit to any preinfusion machine.

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    I can not say something about the new tamper, but I am sure, that the Macap CPS,automatic tamper, which I recently acquired,gives a better and constant quality espresso, than that of the RB tamper, that I had .
    I bought this, from Italy.

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Id love to see some photos of the top of the puck produced with the RB tamper after extraction.

    If the aim is to increase the surface area exposed to the incoming water, one would think that a better way to do it would be simply not to tamp, or to dose some of the coffee, tamp that, then sprinkle more coffee on top of it.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    [split] [link=http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1227148434/0#0][splithere][/link][splithere_end]

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A26263922430 link=1226934588/5#5 date=1226969114
    The other thing too, is that with pre-infusion I cant help but think that it renders the ripples superfluous once the puck is wet and expands.... just a thought.
    I tead to agree with YeeZa would not the pre-infusion disturb the ripples and how would the effects be with different group showers ..eg a more of a flatter shower compared with a convexed ? or do they have a convex model?

    Greg maybe you could shed some light on this question

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    When we first got these, couldnt wait to get one out of the box & try. It is good to have some knowledge about what you sell.

    I used it twice.

    I found it interesting that after extraction, the ripples were virtually non exiistent on top of the used puk. All my machines pre infuse.

    I only look at it from a purely "coffee for enjoyment" point of view, to suit the greatest majority of my clients, not trying to run laboratory experiments.

    I couldnt see any difference in the coffees made between this and my regular flat tamper.....but I only made 2, and I guess I was expecting something fantastic to happen, which it didnt. That doesnt mean it wont, for those that believe in the product or just want to have one.

    The tamper is like everything else offered in the market place. Some will see a difference or point of difference and like it, others wont. Its up to the individual.

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.


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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Quote Originally Posted by 474F4B5E49464F4B5C4F583B3A3B0A0 link=1226934588/12#12 date=1270379007
    Quote Originally Posted by 3A26263922430 link=1226934588/5#5 date=1226969114
    The other thing too, is that with pre-infusion I cant help but think that it renders the ripples superfluous once the puck is wet and expands.... just a thought.
    I tead to agree with YeeZa would not the pre-infusion disturb the ripples and how would the effects be with different group showers ..eg *a more of a flatter shower compared with a convexed ? or do they have a convex model?

    Greg maybe you could shed some light on this question
    My view of this design, without having used one, has always been that which Attilio has observed in practical experience. Great to use no doubt if you like pretty looking pucks but I wouldnt be expecting any significant differences in results.

    The tamper shape vs showerscreen shape is a separate issue and is discussed in other threads. There may be some benefit in following that line of philosophy, or there may not ;) Without hijacking the thread, if you do that with a convex showerscreen and convex tamper youre still not packing the coffee evenly as you would be with a flat tamper.

    Greg

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    Re: Expert tamping question

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Well thats an idea, though I dont see how it could possibly improve a shot.

    From experience, fresh beans will expand anyway untill it creates an imprint on the showerscreen, making any lines you make in the ground moot.

    ANd customers arent going to look at your freshly tamped puck either.



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