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Polish or not to polish, that is the question?

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  • Polish or not to polish, that is the question?

    Hi there fellow snobs. I have recently come across several (you tube) sites that recommend that you don't polish the coffee puck in the basket once you have tamped.
    I am always looking for ways to make my coffee process more consistent. I was taught to twist and spin to polish. What are your thoughts? I have stopped tapping the side of the basket with the tamper a long time ago, but remember being taught this too. Looking forward to hearing what others do, or if it makes any difference in the cup either way.

  • #2
    Well, the risk is that you exert force on the puck that encourages it to fracture and result in channelling etc. If you are polishing with nothing more than the weight of the tamper after having firmly tamped, no big deal either way I suspect. If you are exerting significant downward force on the tamper and then twist it it is hard to see how that would be a good thing. Is there any real benefit of polishing, other than aesthetics only observable by the barista? Not sure, but can't imagine there are too many.

    PS. I tend to 'polish' with no force after tamping, out of pure habit.

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    • #3
      No tapping the side after tamping If you need to tap, do it before tamping.

      Polishing....I'd say it's probably more an aesthetic thing which leaves an impression of a solid anti-channelling surface. But I doubt it.

      Agree with Barry O that if you want to polish, spin with the weight of the tamper only without disturbing the tamper puck.
      Last edited by robusto; 23 January 2020, 07:58 PM. Reason: Correct the auto correct back to correctness

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      • #4
        I polish mostly out of habit (tamper weight only), but I do it because it tells me very quickly if the tamp is level.

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        • #5
          Polish or not to polish, that is the question?

          I used to do it gently years ago, but stopped after reading a bit more info on what matters and what doesn’t when it comes to puck preparation. I’d recommend you don’t do it as it provides absolutely no benefit whatsoever and even done lightly it still creates an opportunity for the puck to be ‘damaged’ a little. I’ve wrecked a puck or two in the past when polishing so can say from experience that it’s possible, even when done gently.
          Last edited by LeroyC; 26 January 2020, 05:59 AM.

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          • #6
            I think the consensus is that we should stop polishing before we go blind.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
              I think the consensus is that we should stop polishing before we go blind.
              I thought Leroy's post was full of innuendo, especially if one considered the possibility of an unfortunate spelling error repeated throughout it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Otago View Post
                I thought Leroy's post was full of innuendo, especially if one considered the possibility of an unfortunate spelling error repeated throughout it.
                HAHAHAHA ah that got a chuckle... I actually did not read it in that light, but yes now I can't read it any other way XD

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