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Tamping pressure

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  • Tamping pressure


    I hope I am posting this in the correct area.

    Just wanted to get some advice about tamping pressures. I am very new to all this ( 3days with my sunbeam em6910) and have read a wide range of 'recommended' tamping pressures. everything from 5kgs of pressure through to 20+kgs of pressure. Obviously there is a big difference there. I was hoping i could get some advice on tamping as I feel i may be doing it incorrectly. I can seem to get a nice flow going and cant seem to get that nice caramel/honey consistency coming through.

    I probably should say that I have had my beans ground for me by Veneziano's

    any advice is greatly appreciated.



  • #2
    Originally posted by Hayden View Post
    I probably should say that I have had my beans ground for me by Veneziano's
    There's your primary problem and one that must be addressed before worrying about tamping pressure.

    The grind on the beans needs to be continually adjusted to compensate for environmental conditions and the aging of the coffee. Accordingly you need to buy a decent burr grinder so you can grind the beans immediately prior to brewing.

    Java "The grinder is at least as important as the brewer!" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!


    • #3
      Ok great, Thanks for the info Javaphile, I do have a grinder that i believe to be decent. I am yet to use it as i already had the beans ground for me. I will head of this afternoon and buy some whole beans and practice grinding fresh myself.

      thanks once again




      • #4
        Welcome to Coffee Snobs Hayden.

        In answer to your question, IMO tamping pressure should be between 5 and 10kg, brute force wont gain you anything other than perhaps a case of tendonitis.


        • #5
          Thanks for teh Welcome Yelta,

          Ok cool, 5-10kgs. Seems i have to buy some fresh beans and start practicing!!!. from what i have read over the last few days most people (on various sites) seem to be saying between 5 and 10kg

          thanks Yelta, appreciate your input




          • #6
            In my opinion, the actual tamp pressure isn't as important as the consistency of pressure so that you can repeat and change less variables in your extraction process. I like to keep the extraction time (seconds), grind amount (grams), extraction volume (mls) and tamp pressure (kgs of downforce) consistent and then only fiddle with the grind (fine vs coarse). For me, I extract for 20 seconds (I like a sweeter espresso), use 18grams of coffee to produce 40mls of espresso and tamp at 10kgs. You can tamp onto bathroom scales to get a feel for what 10kgs feels like and then practice a couple of times for memory.

            **standard is 30mls per shot over 25-30 seconds. or 60mls per double shot over the same 25-30 seconds. I'm only making a point here because I was originally confused by the single vs double concept and would run the extraction for twice as long as a single resulting in a blonded and bitter espresso. The double basket will allow twice as much coffee to be extracted in the same time. Its also a good idea to standardise on the double basket if you can.

            - James.

            PS: Like Java mentioned, fresh ground (using fresh beans) is much better and will go a long way to improving your crema and taste.


            • #7
              What ^ they said about technique. I use progressive tamping with my EM6910 - I find it gives me more consistency in results - do a search for it when you have your technique working for you.

              Also if you have the manual dose a little less in the basket than they advise - for me I got squirting happening out the top of the seal when I dosed as they said - I dropped it about 1mm or so and the leak stopped.

              And go by your taste. The gauge is more a general guide than something to judge your coffee by. Mine is best when the gauge reads up above the top of the 'good' range, not when it is in the middle.