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  • need help making coffees while injured

    I have tennis elbow at the moment and i work in a fairly busy caffee- 50kg pw. at the end of the day my elbow is killing me- i always tamp. so i want to lay off the tamping for about 2 weeks or so-what can i do to compensate and still make consistant ,good coffee?

  • #2
    Re: need help making coffees while injured

    Use your other hand.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: need help making coffees while injured

      papa, welcome ...

      Consistently great coffee extractions are at the hands of the barista ... so yeah with a bung elbow my reckoning would be:

      1) Use the other hand to tamp; or,

      2) If youre getting tennis elbow (RSI) from repeated tamps, maybe a bag of ice, time off work (! ... ask da boss), & reflect on your technique ...

      3) Technique-wise ... pounding the grind in the PF like an asphalt/bitumen steam-roller on a stretch of dirt aint going to give your arm any reprieve ...

      4) If worse comes to worse, & none of the above eventuates, grind fine & tamp light ... & of course monitor the extracted outcome

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      • #4
        Re: need help making coffees while injured

        Originally posted by Thundergod link=1196761984/0#1 date=1196764262
        Use your other hand.
        Quick off the mark as always TG ...

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        • #5
          Re: need help making coffees while injured

          He may find that the extra attention paid, while using the other hand, may even result in better shots.

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          • #6
            Re: need help making coffees while injured

            Hmm, Id be looking at your technique as well in this case as I dont believe that you should be experiencing any sort of problem with your elbow, rather I would have thought youd be experiencing problems with your wrist.

            Make sure you get a doctor to look at your injury too.

            And failing that, find a person who is a top strapper for football players and get them to do a strapping job on your arm. Youll be amazed at the results.

            Goanna oil is also highly recommended...

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            • #7
              Re: need help making coffees while injured

              Didnt someone post some photos of a lever-action tamper a while back?

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              • #8
                Re: need help making coffees while injured

                MACAP make a lever operated tamper which works very well and doesnt need a lot of pressure...

                BUT it is quite expensive and Ive had to remachine the base of a couple used by a Barista academy here in Perth. The base was very roughly machined and coffee grounds stuck to the ridges in the base (maybe it was a bad batch :)

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                • #9
                  Re: need help making coffees while injured

                  Coffeeparts sell a item that sounds like what JavaB described HERE. They arent cheap but may solve a problem.

                  Brett

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                  • #10
                    Re: need help making coffees while injured

                    On a medical note, Dr Robusto here (a chronic sufferer of tennis elbow in one arm, golfers in the other -- and he dont play either sport) recommends that if the usual treatments like rest, ICE, heat, cortisone dont work, try extracorporeal shockwave therapy.

                    Its the same principle which smashes kidney stones with shockwaves.... they are passed through the elbow, causing such discomfort that the elbow finally gets the message to heal itself.

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                    • #11
                      Re: need help making coffees while injured

                      Surely $350 would be a small price to pay for a busy cafe when it comes to barista maintenance

                      If thats not an option, Ray might be willing to supply a blueprint for his version: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1187846088

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                      • #12
                        Re: need help making coffees while injured

                        hi guys, thanks for the input. the injury is sport related but making coffees is slowing recovery and causing pain. i tried grinding finer and tamping lighter - not as good results but not as painful. i am trying to nuse my left hand more but as the orders pile up it becomes difficult. i am getting accupuncture for my arm and if that doesnt work- not sure what i can do

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                        • #13
                          Re: need help making coffees while injured

                          Try refining your technique so that you dont need to tap the group handle at all (if you are at the moment that is) by adjusting tamp and grind. Try also varying your technique so that a minimal amount of effort is required - and if youre the only one on the machine see if you can get some assistance with the milk.

                          Do you use a variety of tampers to mix things up a bit, and is the tamper that you use the best one for you?

                          When were busy I like to use the Reg Barber Radical Pro - coz its got a longer handle which fits better in my hand, and its also nice and light to use, which is great when youre pumping them out.

                          I like to use a variety of shorter (than the Pro) handles and heavier weighted tampers when were less intense, as more weight means less pressure when it comes to tamping - at least it seems to work that way the way weve set up our machines.

                          A finer grind also requires less tamping pressure which will take the weight off quite a bit

                          Otherwise try as Thundergod said and use the other arm!

                          I had a massive ganglia on my left wrist (about the size of half a golf ball) from making coffee - but I managed to get rid of it through acupuncture, Chinese medicine, changing my technique, and, believe it or not, cutting acid-forming foods, sugar, and yeast out of my diet!

                          Good thing coffee wasnt part of the diet, but!

                          Good luck and I wish you a speedy recovery...

                          Pat

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: need help making coffees while injured

                            Originally posted by askthecoffeeguy link=1196761984/0#12 date=1196836621
                            Try refining your technique so that you dont need to tap the group handle at all (if you are at the moment that is) by adjusting tamp and grind. Try also varying your technique so that a minimal amount of effort is required - and if youre the only one on the machine see if you can get some assistance with the milk.

                            Do you use a variety of tampers to mix things up a bit, and is the tamper that you use the best one for you?

                            When were busy I like to use the Reg Barber Radical Pro - coz its got a longer handle which fits better in my hand, and its also nice and light to use, which is great when youre pumping them out.

                            I like to use a variety of shorter (than the Pro) handles and heavier weighted tampers when were less intense, as more weight means less pressure when it comes to tamping - at least it seems to work that way the way weve set up our machines.

                            A finer grind also requires less tamping pressure which will take the weight off quite a bit

                            Otherwise try as Thundergod said and use the other arm!

                            I had a massive ganglia on my left wrist (about the size of half a golf ball) from making coffee - but I managed to get rid of it through acupuncture, Chinese medicine, changing my technique, and, believe it or not, cutting acid-forming foods, sugar, and yeast out of my diet!

                            Good thing coffee wasnt part of the diet, but!

                            Good luck and I wish you a speedy recovery...

                            Pat
                            Do you put sugar in your coffee? accupuncture has worked for me in the past for the same injury- but same thing happened again and now it is worse. i will try my left hand for tamping 2morro but i do not have confidence to do it properly under pressure. usually, i always pack, level with my finger, tamp then tap then tamp again- that would be difficult to do with my left hand. you think a heavier tamper would help??

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: need help making coffees while injured

                              No sugar in my coffee. I used to tap and tamp twice but I refined my technique so that I only have to tamp once now, and no tapping - saves on the jarring motion to your body.

                              Are you using a support bandage for your elbow? You can get one from a chemist and theyre a good investment for short-term relief.

                              I also bought a Tens device which helped my wrist no end - its a kind of hand-held battery operated massage device. You attach the patches where you want the energy to flow, and then try a variety of settings. This helped my wrist no end and it cleared up almost completely after a couple of treatments.

                              Good luck for tomorrow - hope you make it through the day ok. its not much fun working when youre not 100 per cent - my manager went on holiday for 5 weeks recently and I worked even though I could hardly stand up in the first week as I had no other option!

                              Oh well... you live and learn. Such are they joys of self-employment!

                              Cheers,

                              Pat

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