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  • Puck leveling tools

    Great thanks for all that info! Thats good to know. I have a question about dosing and im not sure where to ask it on this website...I saw a guy do a coffee presentation at the food&wine thing at darling harbour this year and he used a tool to dose the coffee after it was tamped. It was kinda like a credit card with a square cut out of both corners along a long edge like a widened letter T(ill try and draw something below using letters on the keyboard) so that the length of the long side that was created by cutting the corners out is the diameter of the filter basket. So i guess the idea is to work out what dose you want for a particular grind and tamp and cut the sides long enough that it pokes into the filter basket the correct amount, then you spin it around and remove the excess amount of coffee (does that make sense?). Does this sound like a good idea? I made one (out of an old drivers licence) but im not sure if its a good thing to use. I think the dude who was using it was well known though. Has anyone else seen one or used one? Any ideas as to if they are a good or bad thing to use? Thanks
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  • #2
    Re: Feedback on Pullman Tampers...

    Hi Sammy! Are you sure the tool was used after the tamp? If so, Im nto familiar with the technique. I have heard of using tools to scrape of excess coffee before tamping though (I use a cut-down plastic ruler).

    For something more sophisticated, look here...

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1191679696/10#10

    Hope that is actually what you are looking for!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Feedback on Pullman Tampers...

      I use an old gift card (never spent).
      Not cut.
      I can level with the basket if I choose or leave a little extra in the middle after flattening the rest.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Feedback on Pullman Tampers...

        Hi Dennis! Yeah it was used after the tamp (from memory but i think that was it). Dont shoot me if im naming the wrong person but i think it was Scott Callaghan who did the presentation at the food and wine thing. He had all these different machines and grinders on the stage and got people from the audience to make coffee. they were told to grind into the basket, tamp, grind some more, tamp, grind some more, tamp, rotate the tool in the PF, tip (but dont bang) PF upsided down (the grinds stay in place because they are tamped and havent been bumped out of place), do a final tamp and then lock the PF into place.

        It seemed like a good idea to me (having not learnt anything about coffee at that stage) so i copied it when i got my machine (used an old library photocopy card), but im wondering if that was something he made to allow semi-foolproof coffee dosing and making for demonstration purposes...

        Yeah, ive seen those tools in that link but that wasnt what i saw at the food and wine thing. I think they look like a better idea than the ones i saw though, because for the same grind and same level (using the tool thing that i saw) wouldnt the tamp really determine how big the dose was; i.e. a heavy tamp might compact nearly all the grounds below the level of the tool, whereas the same amount but a lighter tamp wont be pushed as far down in the PF thus when the tool is used the dose will be decreased.

        Thundergod, yeah ive been using the uncut long side of the card (a library photocopy card...probably with less money on it than a gift card!) as a level of sorts too, it does a good job.

        Hm, anyone else seen/heard of them. Any ideas as to whether and why theyd stuff up an extraction? Id be interested to know

        Thanks, and thanks for the warm welcomes too!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Feedback on Pullman Tampers...

          Well Sammy, if it was Scottie that was using those, then the thread I led you to is correct - the tools there are Scotties design and he seems to carry them with him wherever he goes

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          • #6
            Re: Feedback on Pullman Tampers...

            I dont like the idea of scraping an already tamped puck.

            Are you sure it was Scotty?

            Heres a picture I took of him at this years NSW competition.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Feedback on Pullman Tampers...

              Yep pretty sure it was him, because it looked like him and they said that the person was the national barista champion (some title like that) and he was also representing Morgans coffee. I got a coffee off him afterwards at the Morgans coffee stand, v.v.good!

              I wrote notes on the day and unless i saw the shape wrong im pretty sure what i wrote in that post on how he used it was what happened on the day, i.e. scraped the tamped puck. which is why i asked about them because it doesnt seem like something people would to do to a coffee puck (as thundergod said too). The only conclusion that i can come up with was that he did it to make the audience members make OK coffee for the purposes of the demonstration; the grinder had been preset, the dose had been chosen (with the tool) so their tamping was the only uncontrolled variable.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Feedback on Pullman Tampers...

                Off topic replies have been moved to [link=http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1192048511/19#19]This Thread[/link]
                Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Feedback on Pullman Tampers...

                  Originally posted by Sammy link=1192174021/0#6 date=1192251901
                  I wrote notes on the day and unless i saw the shape wrong im pretty sure what i wrote in that post on how he used it was what happened on the day, i.e. scraped the tamped puck. which is why i asked about them because it doesnt seem like something people would to do to a coffee puck (as thundergod said too). The only conclusion that i can come up with was that he did it to make the audience members make OK coffee for the purposes of the demonstration; the grinder had been preset, the dose had been chosen (with the tool) so their tamping was the only uncontrolled variable.
                  That doesnt make sense. If you pull out coffee after tamping, then you change your dose as well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Puck leveling tools

                    I use my index finger to level off prior to tamping.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Puck leveling tools

                      "That doesnt make sense. If you pull out coffee after tamping, then you change your dose as well."
                      Im not sure i understand what you mean recurve boy...from my interpretation of what it was used for, i think the purpose of the plastic thingy is to change the dose

                      i.e. if dose "a" is ground into the filter basket then tamped, the tool is used to remove the amount of coffee that lies above an abitrary point in the portafilter.
                      If the filter basket depth is "y"mm and the desired dose lies "x"mm below the top of the filter basket, then after using the tool the amount (maybe a crude measure as it is geometric) of coffee in the basket is always y-x (assuming that tamped "a" achieves a dose which lies higher than the desired amount)
                      My problem with this is that depending on the tamp, given the same dose of coffee in the filter basket, the tool will remove a different amount (weight) of coffee as the tamped dose will lie at various levels depending on the hardness of tamp.

                      Um, does that make sense? Ive probably just confused things more, would be easier with a piece of paper.

                      I actually mucked around with this (and cut up lots of plastic library cards) when i was using the silvia double basket as I found it tricky to get a dose that wasnt too small or didnt get mushed up by the centre bolt and dispersion screen. Since then ive got a LM basket and i dont seem to find getting an OK dose that tricky.

                      Cheers

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Puck leveling tools

                        Scotts tools are used to scoop out coffee before tamping

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Puck leveling tools

                          Originally posted by Sammy link=1192174021/0#10 date=1192682665
                          "That doesnt make sense. If you pull out coffee after tamping, then you change your dose as well."

                          My problem with this is that depending on the tamp, given the same dose of coffee in the filter basket, the tool will remove a different amount (weight) of coffee as the tamped dose will lie at various levels depending on the hardness of tamp.
                          Exactly. So unless your tamping is exact, then the amount you remove is variable. So youre back at square one. i.e. you dont really know where youre at.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Puck leveling tools

                            I did ask Scott about this . I was time keeping at the last NSW Barista comp and he used the tool that Sammy mentioned.
                            As far as I can remember he used the curved tool after dosing and before tamping, but the square tool was to give a certain amount of headroom ie the tool ensures a certain depth of the coffee bed. So it goes, dose - curved tool - tamp - square tool - tip off excess - tamp - polish - insert PF.

                            There were two tools involved, curved and depth determining.

                            Scott himself is the best person to ask, but Im fairly sure the description I have given is roughly right. I think...


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Puck leveling tools

                              Whatever works works.

                              But, like Nunu, the easiest way to level is the digital method! The index finger. Some use their curved little finger.

                              Quite often I dont use anything --- if the basket looks nicely filled and even after a sharp tap on the bench, that will do me.


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