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  • Tamping - Coffee Club new policy

    When I was starting my journey into exeriencing better coffee I had been learning about espresso making techniques during in my travels watching baristas wherever I could find them.


    One coffee chain, as we have so few, in our shopping centre, is Coffee Club.


    For a long time their technique has involved tapping the basket on the side of the machine, after tamping, to knock the outer grounds back into the middle. This, I had learned in my coffee education, was an old and unnecessary step that causes fractures throughout the recently tamped grounds.


    There has been a curious change on their tamping policy...


    Only within the last week they have, nation wide, changed their policy to NOT tap the basket!


    It is now:
    1. Dose
    2. Tamp lighty
    3. Tamp again and polish
    4. Brush off the loose grounds
    5. Pull the shot


    I had know that tapping was out of date some time ago and always wondered why they kept doing it.


    Good to see that are, SLOWLY, keeping up!

  • #2
    Well, a light tap after tamping, followed by a light polishing tamp never seems to cause any channelling problems for me. Who knows what their motivation was? Might have been to improve workflow when busy.

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    • #3
      Thanks BOSW! I don't really know from personal experience if it affects the taste. I've just read and seen lots of info on tamping.

      Yes it probably is to improve workflow. I believe the staff member I spoke to said it would make the process go faster. She also noted that since she had been doing the old way for about two years it threw her off, which is understandable.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
        Well, a light tap after tamping, followed by a light polishing tamp never seems to cause any channelling problems for me. Who knows what their motivation was? Might have been to improve workflow when busy.
        I do exactly the same Barry.

        Tamp > couple of light taps > polish > extract.

        Works for me.

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        • #5
          Why tap though? I just wipe the grinds off with my palm. I can understand why this might not be desired by some in a commercial setting, but at home?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MrJack View Post
            Why tap though? I just wipe the grinds off with my palm. I can understand why this might not be desired by some in a commercial setting, but at home?
            On the other hand, why not tap?

            Either way, it matters little if what's in the cup is to your taste.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MrJack View Post
              Why tap though? I just wipe the grinds off with my palm
              I tap because grinds often cling to the side of the basket. My tamper is fairly close fitting.
              But, as Yelta says, if it works for you, then it's OK.

              Comment


              • #8
                For the reasons detailed by FlynnAus above. Even though I have a matched tamper, there are typically some grinds that stick the side of the basket above the puck level (not the ones that may be sitting on rim of filter basket). No biggy either way.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                  On the other hand, why not tap?

                  Either way, it matters little if what's in the cup is to your taste.
                  Why not? Because I don't see any reason to.

                  Do the grinds on the side of the basket cause problems? Dirty group perhaps?

                  Perhaps it's an occupational hazard, but I tend to avoid things with no obvious benefit (warm fuzzies aside), but with some potential negative effects. Especially when it involves more work!

                  I wonder when Coffee Club will revise the instruction "burn the milk" to something like "stretch the milk until it is microfoam"?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MrJack View Post
                    Why tap though? I just wipe the grinds off with my palm. I can understand why this might not be desired by some in a commercial setting, but at home?
                    I actually saw that referred to as "blessing" the coffee on a youtube video I saw. Thought it was cute

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Current standard is no tap, causes possible fracturing of the puck resulting in possible channelling.

                      Check out any current competitor in the World Barista Championships and not one will do the old school tap.
                      Just spent time in Argentina at their championships and judges will give you a big zero if you tap, they want accurate dosing, tamp, polish and wipe clean.

                      So loose the tap, grow a goatie and get some thick rimmed glasses.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks CC!

                        This is the main reason I came to the conclusion that tapping is old practice that is out of date. Lots of videos from Barista champions stating they don't tap any more.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh dear! I had no idea I was placing myself at so much risk.

                          Channeling, OH&S issues, fractured puck's (must find a good puck repairer) not to mention the fact that if I find myself in Argentina and dare to tap the PF I will be instantly goose egged, never able to hold my head up in public again, I can imagine the humiliation, on my return to Australia, out and about, people whispering to each other, "he taps his PF" the shame of it all.

                          Add to all of this the stigma of using an "old practice" not sure I'm able to cope, may well have to seek the help of a psychoanalyst.

                          Guess I'm gonna have to mend my ways, or perhaps not.
                          Last edited by Yelta; 12 August 2013, 06:43 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by javaNOTcode View Post
                            When I was starting my journey into exeriencing better coffee I had been learning about espresso making techniques during in my travels watching baristas wherever I could find them.


                            One coffee chain, as we have so few, in our shopping centre, is Coffee Club.


                            For a long time their technique has involved tapping the basket on the side of the machine, after tamping, to knock the outer grounds back into the middle. This, I had learned in my coffee education, was an old and unnecessary step that causes fractures throughout the recently tamped grounds.


                            There has been a curious change on their tamping policy...


                            Good to see that are, SLOWLY, keeping up!
                            Yelta makes a point:

                            Has the coffee improved (customer experience) as a result?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's ok everyone. Just wait for the impending 4th wave of coffee enthusiasts. The hipster zeitgeist will disappear, to be replaced by urban lumberjacks with big bushy beards and tough blue jeans, and you won't be seen dead behind the counter of an avant garde outlet unless you 'tap' the handle with a block splitter.

                              Seriously though....it's all good.

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