Results 1 to 50 of 50

Thread: The importance of tamping pressure.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    The importance of tamping pressure.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    This is an interesting piece by Alan Frew, I tend to agree with his observations. :)

    (Now thats out of the way, on to the "most requested" topic,
    Espresso Tamping.

    Customers are always asking about tamper sizes, tamp pressures,
    tamper shapes etc. and tamping technique seems to be important in
    the World Barista Championships. Funnily enough, in Italy the
    most experienced baristas barely bother, simply using the plastic
    protrusion on the front of the grinder. Watching them might lead
    you to believe that tamping isnt all that important, and youd
    be right.

    Most of the original emphasis on tamping comes from David Schomer
    of Espresso Vivace in Seattle USA, who wrote a couple of books on
    espresso in the late 1990s. These books are the origin of the
    much-quoted "30lb tamp" pressure.

    Then in 2006 another American, Michael Teahan of Espresso Part
    Source, gave a presentation at SCAA Charlotte (one of the reasons
    I attend these things.) Among other gems he demonstrated that
    varying tamp pressure from zero to 300lbs made absolutely no
    difference to the quality of the shot. The really important
    factors are coffee dose, distribution and levelling. (And getting
    a level tamp - at any pressure - is harder than youd think!)

    So these days, when people complain they are getting poor shots
    and blaming their tamp, I tell them, "Grind finer, dose accurately, tamp lightly and evenly" which seems to work in most cases.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    5,113

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1B272E3623420 link=1276139369/0#0 date=1276139369
    So these days, when people complain they are getting poor shots
    and blaming their tamp, I tell them, "Grind finer, dose accurately, tamp lightly and evenly" which seems to work in most cases.) *
    Yes I have to agree to some extent

    Quote Originally Posted by 1B272E3623420 link=1276139369/0#0 date=1276139369
    in Italy the
    most experienced baristas barely bother, simply using the plastic
    protrusion on the front of the grinder. Watching them might lead
    you to believe that tamping isnt all that important, and youd
    be right.
    However one thing that is in favour for the Italian barista is
    The roast depth
    In international roasting terms an Italian Roast is to my eyes about CS 10 to CS11 with an oily sheen

    I feel that with these statements & observations with the associated user problems that come out from the USA is all related to roast depth

    One will always struggle to pull a shot with an espresso machine if the roast depth is a little light

    KK

  3. #3
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D6960606363594D69756B69060 link=1276139369/1#1 date=1276140541
    Jon. wrote on Today at 13:09:
    So these days, when people complain they are getting poor shots
    and blaming their tamp, I tell them, "Grind finer, dose accurately, tamp lightly and evenly" which seems to work in most cases.) *


    Yes I have to agree to some extent
    Yes.. To a large extent..

    Thus 2 + 2 = 5 where 5 is great coffee

    The issue is that people read or are told something.. They do not realise or understand the detail... Thus revert to NUMBERS.. To make it simple... Coffee by numbers does not work.

    1: Grind = setting 21
    2: Gauge is exactly 1:00
    3: Beans are fresh ( got an expiry date of 2years)
    4: Machine is all BLING and has leva
    5: Tamp is exactly 15kg
    6: etc etc etc

    Sorry... does not work.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E5A535350506A7E5A46585A350 link=1276139369/1#1 date=1276140541
    In international roasting terms an Italian Roast is to my eyes about CS 10 to CS11 with an oily sheen
    I have noticed roasting to the point of oiliness is regarded by many Coffee Snobs to be verging on a cardinal sin, I certainly prefer my roasts to be showing traces of oil.
    Quote Originally Posted by 7E5A535350506A7E5A46585A350 link=1276139369/1#1 date=1276140541
    One will always struggle to pull a shot with an espresso machine if the roast depth is a little light
    No argument from me on this point KK. :)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B646D6F78476B646B6D6F676F647E0A0 link=1276139369/2#2 date=1276141699
    Quote Originally Posted by 4D6960606363594D69756B69060 link=1276139369/1#1 date=1276140541
    Jon. wrote on Today at 13:09:
    So these days, when people complain they are getting poor shots
    and blaming their tamp, I tell them, "Grind finer, dose accurately, tamp lightly and evenly" which seems to work in most cases.) *


    Yes I have to agree to some extent *
    Yes.. To a large extent..

    Thus 2 + 2 = 5 *where 5 is great coffee *

    The issue is that people read or are told something.. They do not realise *or understand the detail... Thus revert to NUMBERS.. To make it simple... Coffee by numbers does not work.

    1: Grind = setting 21
    2: Gauge is exactly 1:00
    3: Beans are fresh ( got an expiry date of 2years)
    4: Machine is all BLING and has leva
    5: Tamp is exactly 15kg
    6: *etc etc etc

    Sorry... does not work.
    Most newcomers seem to think that the answer lies totally in the numbers, hence the use of vernier gauges, scales, micrometers and all manner of measuring devices, trying to duplicate the results of others using different machines, baskets etc.
    Im not suggesting measuring and record keeping is a bad thing, just the opposite, it certainly narrows down the variables in our search for consistency, just dont expect to duplicate results by using similar numbers/settings in different make machines, while learning from the experience of others is always helpful, when it comes to espresso machines its very much a case of getting to understand your own combination of machine, grinder, baskets etc and of course the importance of freshly roasted and ground beans, it seems to be pretty much a case of some get it and some dont. ::)

  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,668

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    I never encourage newcomers to espresso preparation to robotically adhere to a 30lb (13.6Kg) tamping force. Rather, I encourage them to develop a tamping technique that allows them to apply the same degree of force (give or take) each and every time; what ever that might be. Anything from 2Kg to 50Kg is fine, so long as the person is comfortably able to replicate this manoeuvre ad infinitum....

    My tamping force sits nominally at around 10Kg and from watching exponents of the art, such as the current WBC Champion, Id reckon it would be lucky to approach 2Kg. The numbers are really just a guideline, as much of everything to do with espresso preparation seems to be... ::)

    Mal.

  7. #7
    .
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,312

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    The tamping pressure itself is not important.

    Whats important, is that whetever pressure you do tamp at, is done consistently from coffee to coffee.

    Most ladies we teach are not tamping at 13 kg, more like half of that. As long as they are consistent, thats all that matters.

    Their flow rate then comes from the relationship between grind /dose / tamp. The lighter you tamp, the finer the grind for the same flow rate.

    Given that you realise, that varying these things gives your "wet" coffee different character in the cup (for the same beans), and when you find that something you did resulted in something you like better, you repeat it. That consistency in your technique, then gives you what you want.

    Too easy!

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site SponSir.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 635740564D7A664A43434040250 link=1276139369/6#6 date=1276238107
    Too easy!
    Agree with everything you say up to this point, if it was in fact easy there would be no need for $150 barista courses and forums like Coffee Snobs, of course some of us may well find it easy but I suspect they are the exception rather than the rule. :)

  9. #9
    .
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,312

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Arhha! That brings to mind the next cliche being....with espresso, you either get it, or you dont! :)

    Regardz,
    A.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 043027312A1D012D24242727420 link=1276139369/8#8 date=1276241532
    with espresso, you either get it, or you dont!
    Aint that the truth. ::)

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    2,165

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Jons opening comment than you can pull a good shot with any tamp pressure is backed up by Attilios that consistency of pressure is very important. Yes you can set up the variables so that at any given pressure you can achieve a good shot, but change the tamp pressure without compensating those other variables and youre likely to run into trouble.

    Something like the Espro is good if youre looking for a precise pressure. I did some tests a few years ago and found that the majority of the compression of the grounds occurs during the first few kilos of tamping and that once you pass about 5kg the puck is hardly compressing at all. So I dont think a small variation in the 10+kg range is going to make a big difference to whats in the cup. What would cause a problem is if you went from:
    * dose to full, 1kg tamp, dose to full, 10kg tamp, to
    * dose to full, 10kg tamp, dose to full, 15kg tamp

    as youd end up with more coffee in the basket in the second scenario.

    So grind, dose, distribution, and tamp can all have an impact on each other. Which gets back to what we always get back to - consistency is critical, and if something has to change, you can easily change one thing at a time.

    Greg

  12. #12
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 584D5A584F4A5353525E513F0 link=1276139369/10#10 date=1276245310
    change one thing at a time.
    Words of wisdom Greg, this applies to your whole post, but in particular to the practice of only changing one variable at a time, makes monitoring the results of the change so much simpler. :)

  13. #13
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C786F79625549656C6C6F6F0A0 link=1276139369/8#8 date=1276241532
    you either get it, or you dont! Smiley
    Hey, just realised I already said that. :D

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    546

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    This

    Quote Originally Posted by 46696062754A66696660626A626973070 link=1276139369/2#2 date=1276141699
    Coffee by numbers does not work.
    with the same author of this

    Quote Originally Posted by 46696062754A66696660626A626973070 link=1276139369/2#2 date=1276141699
    Thus 2 + 2 = 5where 5 is great coffee
    seems amusing to me ;D and its the favourite quote.

    I found that a heavier tamp seems to effect the pre infusion of the coffee more than anything else.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    5,113

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 705C5F5A5D6C64330 link=1276139369/13#13 date=1276321856
    I found that a heavier tamp seems to effect the pre infusion of the coffee more than anything else.
    Not every machine has pre infusion

    KK

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    546

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    True, but Ive found I can get a pre infusion type effect with different tamping pressure e.g. harder tamp takes longer for the water to pass through the dry puck, but after the shot starts to pour it runs about the same as a lighter tamp.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Port Fairy
    Posts
    2,993

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    I have been playing with a very light tamp for the last month or so. A very fine grind, really good whack on the bench to settle and around the 2kg of tamp pressure. I am actually getting better results on the Pavoni with this than when I go back to the more traditional grind and hard tamp. I havnt tried it on a pumped machine but it might be worth a play and see how it goes.

    Getting the method above to be consistant was like going back to starting over again and it is less forgiving to tamp pressure and dose than the more now 15kg traditional one.

  18. #18
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3730343B33392C3C3B32550 link=1276139369/16#16 date=1276414798
    I have been playing with a very light tamp for the last month or so. A very fine grind, really good whack on the bench to settle and around the 2kg of tamp pressure. I am actually getting better results on the Pavoni with this than when I go back to the more traditional grind and hard tamp. I havnt tried it on a pumped machine but it might be worth a play and see how it goes.

    Getting the method above to be consistant was like going back to starting over again and it is less forgiving to tamp pressure and dose than the more now 15kg traditional one.
    Nothing wrong with low and fine bf, especially with younger coffee. Its a great way to get the sweets...

    It all comes down to consistency, no matter what strategy you use and a light tamp will also work well ;)

  19. #19
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Geelong
    Posts
    1,056

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0E21282A3D022E212E282A222A213B4F0 link=1276139369/2#2 date=1276141699
    The issue is that people read or are told something.. They do not realiseor understand the detail... Thus revert to NUMBERS.. To make it simple... Coffee by numbers does not work.
    Without causing a fuss :D (and i certainly do agree with this point 100%), there are certainly measures or methods which, when undertaken, will improve your coffee. Thus we cant really say that theres no aspect of numbers or specific measureable method. What we can say I believe, is that there is NO SET WAY that will always work, but there are guidelines which aid us in the right direction. Which leads to this....

    Quote Originally Posted by 162A233B2E4F0 link=1276139369/4#4 date=1276143278
    when it comes to espresso machines its very much a case of getting to understand your own combination of machine, grinder, baskets etc and of course the importance of freshly roasted and ground beans,
    Here comes the art part! This comes through direct experiential knowledge, learn through doing and experiencing. Consistency is what were aiming for, and no numbers or methods can produce this.

    Its such a beautiful blend of art and science isnt it... :)

    Edit: (if allowed :S) I also really enjoyed this article... Makes me really think! I do generally want to control every variable and be very... scientific with it all, which can be to my detriment at times! Great article: http://www.home-barista.com/knockbox/are-we-straying-from-path-of-righteousness-t261.html

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    505

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Have agree with simonsk8r.
    Guide lines are useful, especially for beginners. But it should be pointed out that these are guide lines *(rule of thumb would be better term) not golden rules.
    A lot of learning comes from just getting in there and doing it. But you need some "rules of thumb" when you are starting out.

    For me the tamp lighter and grind finer works. Tamping harder gave me less play between choking the machine and the flow that I am looking for. Also I got a higher rate of channelling.

    I also found that the grinder makes a difference. The lower the grade of grinder the more I need to pay attention to the tamp.
    More anecdotal evidence from a sample size of one person. ;)

  21. #21
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 42415353574159200 link=1276139369/19#19 date=1276448394
    I also found that the grinder makes a difference. The lower the grade of grinder the more I need to pay attention to the tamp.
    My experience exactly Bassway, had a Silvia Rocky combo for a long time, sold Silvia and upgraded to a Bezzera HX machine, decided to keep Rocky as felt it would be up to the job, wrong, after a few weeks of struggling with the combo (constant playing with grind, dose size and tamp pressure) I bowed to the more knowledgeable among us and upgraded Rocky to a Mazzer Mini, after a short learning curve problem solved, the Bezzera/Mazzer are a great combination.
    So while Rocky was up to the task for Silvia the Bezzera Galatea was much more demanding, it took the Mazzer Mini to solve the problem. *;)

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    554

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2E2D3F3F3B2D354C0 link=1276139369/19#19 date=1276448394
    ....I also found that the grinder makes a difference. The lower the grade of grinder the more I need to pay attention to the tamp.
    More anecdotal evidence from a sample size of one person. ;)
    I have been saying for some time now that, "... if you need to use some very specific tamping force or method that you are most likely compensating for some other problem." That could be preparation errors, distribution inadequacies, stale coffee (or overly-fresh coffee), equipment, etc.).

  23. #23
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1F2C232934120A634D0 link=1276139369/21#21 date=1279083177
    I have been saying for some time now that, "... if you need to use some very specific tamping force or method that you are most likely compensating for some other problem." *
    Have to say since buying the Mazzer tamping is not an issue, as long as my grind and dose are right tamp pressure is not critical, have not used scales but doubt I would be using over 5 kg probably more like 3, on the other hand I can exert a lot more force 20 + kg and still seem to get a decent shot, perhaps just a tad slower. :)

  24. #24
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    QLD
    Posts
    433

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D71786075140 link=1276139369/0#0 date=1276139369
    "Grind finer, dose accurately, tamp lightly and evenly" which seems to work in most cases.)
    Nice simple philosophy to follow.
    I have not touched the grind setting on my Gino Rossi for the past three months. It is set to a fine grind and I simply adjust the dose.
    Bit less for fresh beans, and slightly more as they age. I only use a light tamp and get great results. I have a measuring scoop that holds the right amount of beans (18g) and only end up with a tiny bit of wastage sometimes. Getting the dose perfect has been the major factor in getting consistently good shots. Tamping too hard resulted in poor shots, hence I prefer to keep it light and concentrate on the dose.
    Practice, practice, practice.
    Regards
    Stan.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2324313E33500 link=1276139369/23#23 date=1279101830
    Bit less for fresh beans, and slightly more as they age.
    Sounds like a good solution Stan, glad to hear your (getting consistently good shots.) :)

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    504

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D71786075140 link=1276139369/0#0 date=1276139369
    It is set to a fine grind and I simply adjust the dose.
    Bit less for fresh beans, and slightly more as they age.
    Same works for me with the rocky and silvia, even more noticeable after I got myself Behmord, really fresh beans im needing hardly any tamp at all and at times I nearly jam the machine

    couple of clicks difference on the rocky with my really fresh beans makes a massive difference

    have never seen such a huge influence that super fresh beans has on the tamp required, bit scary actually

    Ive been grinding fine and tamping light recently, seem to be getting more consistent shots than trying to tamp the crap out of the poor grounds, I find it easier to get consistent pressure with less tamp

  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    466

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 475F455844434E55585E370 link=1276139369/25#25 date=1279191275
    Ive been grinding fine and tamping light recently, seem to be getting more consistent shots than trying to tamp the crap out of the poor grounds, I find it easier to get consistent pressure with less tamp
    This is silly. Dont forget that the pressure of the water exerts aprox 238 kg of force on the puck during extraction. I hardly think a measly 5-15 kg squeeze in the beginning could really harm the puck at all. The tamp is done to squash out any air pockets and provide a uniform surface for the beginning of the extraction. *If this requires 1kg or 30kg so be it.

  28. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Port Fairy
    Posts
    2,993

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 436F7C7A676F6251436160656B770E0 link=1276139369/26#26 date=1279363880
    This is silly. *
    Before making wild assumptions on what it does or doesnt do TRY IT. A finer grind is the key and this combined with a lighter tamp is hugely different to just the same old grind with a lighter or heavier tamp.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F4350564B434E7D6F4D4C49475B220 link=1276139369/26#26 date=1279363880
    This is silly.
    No its not, makes a lot of sense to me.

  30. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    466

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    No no... I came across wrong. What I was saying was silly was thinking that you could possibly "Tamp the Crap out of the coffee" - that just isnt possible.

    I know lighter tamping can change some variables (very light anything over 5kg is really the same - yes I have tried it, extensively). All I can assume is that it takes less time for the water to infuse the surface of the puck. Tamping creates a seal of compressed grounds at the surface of the puck (the further you go down in the puck the less compressed the grounds are). So if you are tamping very lightly then you are not creating as secure a seal then what is able to penetrate the puck quicker - this can be a good thing if used/managed right (the puck can be saturated at a steadier rate).

    However anything from around 5.5kg to a Full bodyweight tamp will create the same compression of the puck and the same seal.

    The idea that you are somehow damaging the coffee by tamping hard which leads to detrimental results is not true.

  31. #31
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Port Fairy
    Posts
    2,993

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 133F2C2A373F3201133130353B275E0 link=1276139369/29#29 date=1279375677
    very light anything over 5kg
    What I am currently doing is more like 1-2kg and a very fine grind, consistanvy of tamp pressure here is very important. At the heavy end of tamping and a more typical grind then yes a little under the 10kg to 12 or 13kg will make only a little difference to the pour.

  32. #32
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    9

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    From time to time Ill do a slightly coarser grind, short dumps of powder into the basket with progressive tamps. E.G. grind for four seconds, tamp, grind for four seconds, tamp etc.

    Its certainly something Ill do if I need to determine what sort of direction I need to go when grinding a new blend of beans. Sort of a diagnostic tool.

    But day-to-day I prefer to get the grind right, dose correct and only lightly tamp.

    hB :)

  33. #33
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    148

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Im a recent convert to the light tamp. Chris from Talk Coffee got me thinking when he said the Bogav Tamper is just right for the Giotto in terms of the tamper being level with the top of the PF basket being a good fit for the shower screen (at least I think thats what he said - apologies if Ive misquoted).
    Ive been grinding finer, filling the basket and giving it a couple of thwaks, grinding to the top again and levelling with finger. Then I basically sit the tamper on top and push it in level with the top of the basket. Im getting really good, consistent results and it seems Im finding more of the flavours of the SOs I favour. Also no channeling.

  34. #34
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    20

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    A totally indecisive/uneducated and grasping contribution to this thread.

    I recently bought an Espro Tamper after having done the absolutely silly looking bathroom scales on the kitchen bench routine, when I first got the Silvia and Rocky and was trying to get the tamping pressure right. After many, many times feeling the right pressure, according to the scales, I went forward in the belief that I had it about right at 30 lbs (30 lbs being right or wrong, being another question of course)

    Well, presuming the Espro is relatively accurate, I found that it "let go" a lot earlier than I thought it should and thought that Id got a dud. Put it on the dreaded scales (much to the delight of wife, with heckles of "wanker") and it was dead on.

    It appears that I had developed some sort of increasing muscle memory, or tolerance and was slowly increasing the pressure, I would estimate, to about 45 -50 lbs.

    Now, right or wrong with the 30 lb rule, I am finding that using the Espro at least provides a base level, which is repeatable. Its not that 30 lbs is correct necessarily, but that I am applying the same pressure every time to the grounds.

    Coffee is much more consistent from cup to cup and I feel better, which is all I really care about. Now all I need is an adjustable pressure tamper, so I can break away from the California BS that created the 30 lb legend.

  35. #35
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    148

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3229333424293535460 link=1276139369/33#33 date=1280656834
    A totally indecisive/uneducated and grasping contribution to this thread.

    I recently bought an Espro Tamper after having done the absolutely silly looking bathroom scales on the kitchen bench routine, when I first got the Silvia and Rocky and was trying to get the tamping pressure right. After many, many times feeling the right pressure, according to the scales, I went forward in the belief that I had it about right at 30 lbs (30 lbs being right or wrong, being another question of course)

    Well, presuming the Espro is relatively accurate, I found that it "let go" a lot earlier than I thought it should and thought that Id got a dud. Put it on the dreaded scales (much to the delight of wife, with heckles of "wanker") and it was dead on.

    It appears that I had developed some sort of increasing muscle memory, or tolerance and was slowly increasing the pressure, I would estimate, to about 45 -50 lbs.

    Now, right or wrong with the 30 lb rule, I am finding that using the Espro at least provides a base level, which is repeatable. Its not that 30 lbs is correct necessarily, but that I am applying the same pressure every time to the grounds.

    Coffee is much more consistent from cup to cup and I feel better, which is all I really care about. Now all I need is an adjustable pressure tamper, so I can break away from the California BS that created the 30 lb legend.
    This made me laugh having had to put up with similar heckles from my better half. "So that forum youre always on...you talk about making espressos?.....yes, I read about making espresso...You have an 8 month old daughter whose nappy needs changing and your talking about making espresso?...."

    I have an espro tamper and though I dont use it so much now (see post below) I found it really useful at the start in at least controlling one of the variables. It something I like having.

    By the way, I think Talk Coffee sells the click mat which works in a similar way to the espro except its placed under the pf and clicks at a certain amount of pressure AND IS ADJUSTABLE.

  36. #36
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Geelong
    Posts
    1,056

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 597566607D75784B597B7A7F716D140 link=1276139369/29#29 date=1279375677
    Tampingcreates a seal of compressed grounds at the surface of the puck (the further you go down in the puck the less compressed the grounds are). So if you are tamping very lightly then you are not creating as secure a seal then what is able to penetrate the puck quicker - this can be a good thing if used/managed right (the puck can be saturated at a steadier rate).
    See this is how i understand it... with a lighter tamp, wouldnt this drastically increase the chance that there are still air pockets and gaps within the puck? It doesnt make sense to me... it makes sense to tamp hard to compress all the grounds together and eliminate those gaps...

    How does one perform a light tamp and make sure theyve eliminated those gaps? Its beyond me... :S (maybe it depends on how light a tamp were talking)

  37. #37
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D676361607D65367C0E0 link=1276139369/35#35 date=1281259690
    wouldnt this drastically increase the chance that there are still air pockets and gaps within the puck? It doesnt make sense to me... it makes sense to tamp hard to compress all the grounds together and eliminate those gaps...
    Morning Simon. Grind particle size for espresso is somewhere between 300 and 600 microns (very fine) the act of dosing eliminates air pockets pretty well, after this a tamp of approx 3kg takes care of things very nicely for me, air pockets? never.
    Quote Originally Posted by 7D676361607D65367C0E0 link=1276139369/35#35 date=1281259690
    How does one perform a light tamp and make sure theyve eliminated those gaps? Its beyond me... :S (maybe it depends on how light a tamp were talking)
    Very easily, as I said level, even pressure of approx 3kg and a light polish, piece of cake. ;)

  38. #38
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 605C554D58390 link=1276139369/36#36 date=1286487592
    Quote Originally Posted by 7D676361607D65367C0E0 link=1276139369/35#35 date=1281259690
    wouldnt this drastically increase the chance that there are still air pockets and gaps within the puck? It doesnt make sense to me... it makes sense to tamp hard to compress all the grounds together and eliminate those gaps...
    Morning Simon. Grind particle size for espresso is somewhere between 300 and 600 microns (very fine) the act of dosing eliminates air pockets pretty well, after this a tamp of approx 3kg takes care of things very nicely for me, air pockets? never.
    Quote Originally Posted by 7D676361607D65367C0E0 link=1276139369/35#35 date=1281259690
    How does one perform a light tamp and make sure theyve eliminated those gaps? Its beyond me... :S (maybe it depends on how light a tamp were talking) *
    Very easily, as I said level, even pressure of approx 3kg and a light polish, piece of cake. ;)
    Dear Old JW ..... Snigger ;D

    I need to measure teh mass of my tamp as I think I would be in teh

    1 to 3 kg range at best...

    However the following is also something that must not be over looked.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B58575D40667E17390 link=1276139369/21#21 date=1279083177
    I have been saying for some time now that, "... if you need to use some very specific tamping force or method that you are most likely compensating for some other problem." That could be preparation errors, distribution inadequacies, stale coffee (or overly-fresh coffee), equipment, etc.).
    In addition.. The same tamp and grind is not suitable for every bean....

    As I have stated in other posts.. It is a matter of working out what gives teh best cup and that it all changes and you must be able to adapt with the flows and ebbs of all teh variables..

    Fixed in stone will see you posting and struggling with teh same old questions as the variables change.

  39. #39
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    14

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    The machine should control the brewing temp and pressure the grinder should be set to the individual using it and should be grinding consistantly. As the coffee maker you need to be consistantly filling your baskets the same every time tamping with the same pressure weather it 1kg to 100kg once the grind is set for you then you will be making good shots. Some people say that the lighter you tamp the more coffee you fit in the basket but we are only talking .02mg more.

    The only thing we can do is to perform our routine the same every single time weather we be using a domestic or commercial machine CONSISTANCY is the key word in producing great tasting shots of the black gold we call coffee.

  40. #40
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 66494042556A46494640424A424953270 link=1276139369/37#37 date=1286489646
    In addition.. The same tamp and grind is not suitable for every bean....
    Mornin AM. While I agree with this statement in principle once you have the grind and tamp worked out for beans roasted to your preferred level you are well and truly in the ballpark and only very minor grinder adjustments are necessary (in the order of a couple of notches for the Mini)

  41. #41
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 626E6767646472626E75757560727564010 link=1276139369/38#38 date=1286492682
    The only thing we can do is to perform our routine the same every single time weather we be using a domestic or commercial machine CONSISTANCY is the key word in producing great tasting shots of the black gold we call coffee.
    Quote Originally Posted by 58646D7560010 link=1276139369/39#39 date=1286492780

    AND

    Quote Originally Posted by 66494042556A46494640424A424953270 link=1276139369/37#37 date=1286489646
    In addition.. The same tamp and grind is not suitable for every bean....
    Mornin AM. While I agree with this statement in principle once you have the grind and tamp worked out for beans roasted to your preferred level you are well and truly in the ballpark and only very minor grinder adjustments are necessary (in the order of a couple of notches for the Mini) *
    Agree... Consistency...

    For me I have two roasts that are almost 100% same and one special that always cause me a little extra work..

    Then again I have had other drop over beans that - give me extra work... Had a friend of a friend drop some SO called "hot stuff" over that caused be some grief.. Bloody stale supermarket coffee :D so I pointed out after a bit of detective work ;)

    PS. Gra those Peru beans were not too bad... Hardly any change to grind and tamp... 8-)

  42. #42
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,798

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E525B5B58584E5E524949495C4E49583D0 link=1276139369/38#38 date=1286492682
    the grinder should be set to the individual using it
    Do you mean the grinder should be set to suit the beans being ground by the individual using it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E525B5B58584E5E524949495C4E49583D0 link=1276139369/38#38 date=1286492682
    weather
    I presume this is used in the context of (whether or not) and is not referring to the climate although as we all know humidity does have an affect on grinder settings.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E525B5B58584E5E524949495C4E49583D0 link=1276139369/38#38 date=1286492682
    we are only talking .02mg more.
    Not sure how you arrived at this figure, .02mg = 1/20th of a level teaspoon, a minuscule amount.

  43. #43
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Port Fairy
    Posts
    2,993

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 59555C5C5F5F4959554E4E4E5B494E5F3A0 link=1276139369/38#38 date=1286492682
    coffee you fit in the basket but we are only talking .02mg more.
    Sorry but thats way off. With the sort of lighter tamp pressure we are talking about to get a puck that will extract at 9 barish the grind is a lot finer so the quantity is quite a bit higher (1-2g). Also some of us use levers so WE are in control of the pressure and in the case of the Pavoni Temperature to some degree ;)

    Broad statements about 30lb pressure being the only way to tamp and the grind and dose should be set to suit are just not correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4953575554495102483A0 link=1276139369/35#35 date=1281259690
    that there are still air pockets and gaps within the puck
    With a finer grind there is actually more chance that any airpockets (never seen one) will settle out due to the finer grind and I have never had a channeling problem either.

  44. #44
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5651555A52584D5D5A53340 link=1276139369/42#42 date=1286498455
    Sorry but thats way off. With the sort of lighter tamp pressure we are talking about to get a puck that will extract at 9 barish the grind is a lot finer so the quantity is quite a bit higher (1-2g). Also some of us use levers so WE are in control of the pressure and in the case of the Pavoni Temperature to some degree

    Broad statements about 30lb pressure being the only way to tamp and the grind and dose should be set to suit are just not correct.

    So true... Need to have context ;D


    Quote Originally Posted by 5651555A52584D5D5A53340 link=1276139369/42#42 date=1286498455
    With a finer grind there is actually more chance that any airpockets (never seen one) will settle out due to the finer grind and I have never had a channeling problem either.
    Never seen an air pocket in a puck yet... Then again define air pocket [smiley=vrolijk_26.gif]

    Unless solid - there is always air involved ;D

    And around here plenty of HOT air at times :o :o :o

    For me I am running a DCM and using a 54mm basket.. For same weight / dose, my basket is deeper and thus even less prone to channeling; toss in a nice 4 sec pre infusion and even more of a balanced flow..

    Now toss in teh outer shape of teh basket - tapered or almost square sides... and revisit the actual surface area of the base and teh total service area that is loss due to holes in teh base of teh basket...

    Bit like a hose with a flower spray head. Change teh size of teh holes and teh flow rate changes - even with teh same supply pressure.

    So in addition to Beans / Ambient temp / Humidity / Grinder / Grinder consistency / Variables in grind size / Size and depth of basket / Hole sizes in basket / Group preasure / Water temp / Calibrated biceps / Dose and level / interference by shower screen/ puck surface polish grade. etc etc etc I could go on :P

    YEP... 30lb or 15kg will always get you a god shot - giggled like a schoolgirl...

    Fit 4 purpose and context - that is why 2 + 2 = 5 for great coffee and why only a few ever get close to Nirvana

  45. #45
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    230

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 467A736B7E1F0 link=1276139369/41#41 date=1286496418
    Not sure how you arrived at this figure, .02mg = 1/20th of a level teaspoon, a minuscule amount.
    Or 1/2 a particle of finely ground coffee if you read it as 20 micro grams :)

  46. #46
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,334

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Attached to this post is an article I wrote earlier on in the year for Bean Scene Magazine. Feel free to pick apart.

    For more information and calculations relating to the article, visit: http://www.espressoschool.com.au/resources/home/bean-scene

    Reduced the image quality so file size would be smaller.

    Cheers,

    David


  47. #47
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0321273C3B3127540 link=1276139369/45#45 date=1286507667
    Attached to this post is an article I wrote earlier on in the year for Bean Scene Magazine. Feel free to pick apart.

    For more information and calculations relating to the article, visit: http://www.espressoschool.com.au/resources/home/bean-scene

    Reduced the image quality so file size would be smaller.

    Cheers,

    David
    Great article and I used the maths in another post some where previously...

    Liked the Classic Rosetta as well. Can ya come up to brisbane and give some one on one training *;)

    As per my rant above.. I think many still assume two many things and fail to stop and consider that not every one is using identical equipment and that one needs to understand the full impact on the many variables and the often over looked issue of *OVER dosing and the extra impact a compacted puck and shower screen can have - As the impact of not allowing the coffee to expand has to add considerable impact to a good extraction.

    However, I guess many of us are on the same page; its just the many ways of how we express our methods and thoughts VS a newbe reading a post or two and making a snap assumption as to the rights and wrongs.

    As to the RSI comment in the article... *My wrist aches after a bbq *and a few coffees and I use a light tamp..

    Keep up the great work

  48. #48
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    78

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Classic Rosetta? What has that got to do with tamping? I dont know what youre talking about AM ;D

    Can you dig up that post? I would like to read it.

  49. #49
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by 487E7D7F687E7E625E6E656262610D0 link=1276139369/47#47 date=1286513046
    Classic Rosetta? What has that got to do with tamping? I dont know what youre talking about AM *;D

    Can you dig up that post? I would like to read it.
    How can one do a clasic Rosetta and not start with a good extraction = tamp and beans

    http://www.espressoschool.com.au/resources/home/sample

    If ya talking the post as to your formula - I think I did a snagit screen capture and posted in a tamping post some where :P

    My memory is not that good and not able to search on content within graphics :o Thus unless some one else knows... Lost in CS :-[

  50. #50
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    78

    Re: The importance of tamping pressure.

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    That rosetta is C/O Kyle Glanville, Intelligentsia USA. Awesome rosetta, just a really really really BIG cup.

    Its no wonder Australia does really well at worlds for latte art, we pour in much smaller cups.



Similar Threads

  1. Tamping Pressure and Grind thickness
    By mtarros in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 25th November 2010, 10:35 PM
  2. Importance of PID
    By Rocky in forum Brewing Equipment (non-machine specific)
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 13th October 2008, 06:36 PM
  3. Tamping pressure and effect
    By pie_in_ear in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12th February 2008, 02:04 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •