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  • Portafilters, to tap or not.

    Lot's has been written about the pro's and cons of tapping the PF when dosing, must admit I'm a tapper, after dosing I give the PF a few light taps to settle the contents before tamping, after tamping a couple more taps to dislodge any coffee that has crept up the sides of the basket then a final tamp.
    I have recently gone out of my way to see if excessive tapping has any adverse affect on the shot, have tapped until the coffee shows a distinct gap around the edge, then retamped, have even tapped until the puck has broken right across the centre then retamped it.
    What affect has all of this had on my shots? bugger all, shots have been equally as good after all of the messing around.
    Not suggesting we all become obsessive tappers, simply making the point that a lot of practices that are frowned upon are perhaps not as destructive to a decent coffee as some would have us believe.

  • #2
    making the point that a lot of practices that are frowned upon are perhaps not as destructive to a decent coffee as some would have us believe
    here, here. Every time this question comes up I cringe a little.

    What works for me is:
    Firm tamp, light tap, light tamp and polish.
    Never get channels, always have clean pucks and group handle.

    Seems that someone had a punt at what might happen in the group handle, posted it to the internet somewhere and then forever it became regurgitated law.

    Do what works for you I say!

    Comment


    • #3
      Any disturbance by the tap **should** be negated by the second tamp.

      I do see some videos where there is no tamp post-tap, and I suspect this could generate problems.

      Greg

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      • #4
        With my tamping and tapping, I load my grinds into the filter in the form of Mt Fuji then I lightly tamp down while rotating the handle with a circular motion to distribute grinds and remove channelling and clumping, I tap the naked portafilter down onto a small wooden board, and then give a firm level tamp and polish. I find it quick and effective.

        By going naked you soon see if there is any channelling.

        Use whatever method you find gives you good results. No way will we get everyone using the same methods.

        Barry

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        • #5
          For years I was a tapper and a few months ago stopped tapping to see what all the fuss is about.
          I must say that I haven't noticed much difference at all & I do use a bottomless portafilter.
          Will probably switch back to my old habit of fill, level, light tamp, tap, final tap as the bit of coffee that sneaks up the sides is quite annoying.

          Comment


          • #6
            I must admit I'm an occasional tapper - but my preferred routine is to dose, sweep back into dosing chamber, then tamp and polish (no tap) - seems to work well for me

            I've tried to eliminate tapping from my coffee routine, not because I think it adversely effects the coffee, but because it simplifies my coffee routine, with minimal impact on the end result - and, perhaps more importantly, less wear and tear on the old body!

            I found that the constant jarring motion of tapping was no good for my wrist - causing (perhaps not exclusively) a ganglia about the size of half a golf ball on my left wrist - which took me about a year and a half top get rid of - after which time I made every effort to simplify my routine without hopefully compromising the end product

            Works for me but at the end if the day I recommend whatever works for the individual - so long as it produces consistently good coffee

            Cheers,

            ACg

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            • #7
              I don't tap the PF on the bench or anything else, my tapping routine is to lightly tap the sides of the PF with the Delron insert in the top of my tamper handle, what it does is settle and level the coffee in the basket, after the initial tamp a couple more light taps to dislodge any coffee that may have crept up the side of the basket then a final polish.

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              • #8
                Portafilters, to tap or not.

                My style is no tapping on the bench, after dosing I gently tap and distribute the grinds with the back of a flat handled spoon, I then screed and repeat until there are almost no grinds left to distribute, these get flicked off from the back of my spoon at the end. After this I tamp firmly polish.

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                • #9
                  Portafilters, to tap or not.

                  I meant tamp firmly then polish

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                  • #10
                    Since starting to use a bottomless Portafilter I found the less fiddling I did with the grinds before tamping, the more consistent the pour and no channeling.

                    Even being just a little heavy handed leveling the grinds led to some channeling I found. Quick and gentle leveling did the trick for me.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CafeLotta View Post
                      Since starting to use a bottomless Portafilter I found the less fiddling I did with the grinds before tamping, the more consistent the pour and no channeling.

                      Even being just a little heavy handed leveling the grinds led to some channelling I found. Quick and gentle leveling did the trick for me.
                      Interesting, so do we conclude from this that naked portafilters are more susceptible to channelling!

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                      • #12
                        I think you should conclude that naked group handles are easier to see the channeling.

                        My technique happily works on naked and dressed handles.

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                        • #13
                          I suspect there is some confusion of the term "Tapping" between posters....
                          Tapping of the side of the PF using the tamper is a technique/ habit that has been the subject of much ridicule and discussion..
                          ..whilst the process of "Settling" the grounds by vertically tapping the PF on the bench/tamping mat before tamping, is a completely different action, recommended by most Barista trainers
                          .. and i would suggest a widely accepted beneficial technique.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Andy View Post
                            My technique happily works on naked and dressed handles.
                            "Dressed".

                            That's a new one.

                            Clever!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Thundergod View Post
                              "Dressed". That's a new one. Clever!
                              ...or clothed, or spouted. How about bottomed?

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