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  • Your favourite shape of tamper base

    The flat vs convex base debate will one which will probably rage forever, and copious threads are host to the arguments back and forth. Regardless of your reasons, my question here is simply: "Which do you prefer?". Of course if you want to provide your reasons too thats fine, but Im more just wondering what the general consensus is.

    To define the less well-known options:

    * Concave base - thats where the curve is cut into the tamper base rather than protruding from it. There arent too many people producing these but there are a few out there.

    * C-Curve - this is a flat or slightly convex base that has a chamfer taken away from the edge of the base. Similar idea as the top of the unit on my avatar, but on the base instead of on the top of the tamper

  • #2
    Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

    Ill register my interest now that if you make a convex (US) tamber I will buy it. Although I have a flat, convex (US) and convex (Euro), I cant work out which I like better between the flat and convex (US). Some days I swear on the flat while other days the convex results in better shots.
    What I do like is the feel of your tampers in the hand, so would look forward to a convex shape to compliment the flat I bought from you a few months ago.

    Matt

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    • #3
      Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

      Well Matt I suggest you start getting your pennies together, because I may have some good news for you. Watch this space...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

        Well Greg,
        I already have one of your tampers (chequered) on my Christmas list. Only been seriously into coffee for about 6 months and I have an Expobar Minore II (about 2-3 months old) and Im using the convex SS tamper that I received with it. Having not used a flat one, I dont know the difference, but looking at the screen on the Minore which is slightly convex, would a slightly convex tamper be best so the coffee "hugs" the screen? Or doesnt it work this way?

        Cheers,
        Jason.

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        • #5
          Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

          Originally posted by JasonD link=1161240704/0#3 date=1161262379
          Well Greg,
          I already have one of your tampers (chequered) on my Christmas list. Only been seriously into coffee for about 6 months and I have an Expobar Minore II (about 2-3 months old) and Im using the convex SS tamper that I received with it. Having not used a flat one, I dont know the difference, but looking at the screen on the Minore which is slightly convex, would a slightly convex tamper be best so the coffee "hugs" the screen? Or doesnt it work this way?

          Cheers,
          Jason.
          Hehehe ... better get used to answering questions like this, Greg ;P

          Personally, I dont buy this whole screen shape thing. Ive mostly used machines with a screw holding the shower screen on - convex, if anything - and I seem to keep reaching for the convex tampers. Maybe the idea that convex seals the edges better is right. Maybe convex tampers are better at compensating for the fact that although shower screens can be relatively flat, water distribution along them is not perfect. Maybe its all in the mind. Whatever the reason, I think that all of us prototype testers preferred convex tampers.

          Cheers,

          Luca

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          • #6
            Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

            Well,

            I can vouch for the performance of Gregs Flat Tamper Bases, having owned three of them (down to two now). There might be something to the very slight Convex Tamper packing the grounds more tightly towards the basket edges but the only way to know if this effect is real or significant is to run a series of tests of sufficient numbers where the only variable is the shape of the Tamper Base. Now thats saying something considering the number of variables involved.

            Maybe something could be set up with a couple of our respected Barista Champions, a panel of tasters and a panel of observers.... all experienced and knowledgeable of course. Doesnt sound like it would be a a simple undertaking but may put the argument to rest once and for all plus focus attention on the criteria which most affect the quality of the shot in the cup. Would also be interesting ,

            Mal.

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            • #7
              Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

              It would be really interesting to see a comparrision between the flat and the convex tampers on various machines with various age beans.

              The only decent tamper I have here is a convex one. The showerscreen on my La Cimbali M28 is flat with its screw countersunk so its flush with the screen.

              As long as the beans being used are fresh it works great. However, as the beans age (1-1.5 weeks) channeling along the edge of the basket starts occurring. This happens no matter how hard or precise the tamp is. I wonder if a flat tamper would help prevent this from happening.


              Java "Data! We must have more data!" phile
              Toys! I must have new toys!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

                Interesting discussion guys. Well what do you all say? Could we get together a few different machines, with both flat and convex showerscreens, and run the sort of thing Mals suggesting? Id be happy to supply the tampers for the exercise if there were willing baristas and tasters to support it. I know a US site is running a tamper comparsion at present, but the reviews from that seem to be focussing more on the aesthetics and ergonomics of the tamper rather than the results in the cup (though I dont know that was the intention of the organisers).

                Thoughts?

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                • #9
                  Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

                  Well there are American convex and European convex curve profiles so what about an Aussie convex tamper profile then?

                  What sort of curve would that be (upside down?)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

                    Can even publish a journal article. Anybody good at scientific writing?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

                      Originally posted by Matt G link=1161240704/0#8 date=1161300163
                      Well there are American convex and European convex curve profiles so what about an Aussie convex tamper profile then?

                      What sort of curve would that be (upside down?)

                      Very creative, did actually think of using that name since its available but figured two curve profiles is enough, unless people think otherwise. Inverting it would make it a concave tamper! The only one Ive ever seen was at www.espressotamper.com, which looks like its about the size of a golf ball and is operated by the fingers.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

                        Originally posted by nunu link=1161240704/0#9 date=1161301361
                        Can even publish a journal article. Anybody good at scientific writing?
                        Will the equipment be available to monitor and record all the different variables to justify the label of Scientific? :-?

                        Given the data an article should be relatively easy to write.


                        Java "She blinded me with Science!" phile
                        Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

                          Just do some sort of statistical test.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

                            Originally posted by nunu link=1161240704/0#9 date=1161301361
                            Can even publish a journal article. Anybody good at scientific writing?
                            Well, Ive had one scientific paper published this year as first author... :P

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Your favourite shape of tamper base

                              I reckon the motivations there... getting back to Mals post, how about we get something together? How many? Four baristi, four tasters (including some blind tasting), four machines? I imagine thatd be enough variation to show if theres one style which is consistently better than another.

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