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Thread: Grind vs tamp vs taste???

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    Grind vs tamp vs taste???

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have a rancillio Silvia and Rocky and have been playing around with some grind vs tamp combinations.

    Has anyone found a difference is the taste and outcome of:

    Fine Grind with lower pressure tamp and less volume of coffee. (volume not weight as the size of the grind effects the weight at the same volume) *** I understood what I was trying to say when I started typing...... ;)
    vs
    Courser Grind with higher pressure tamp and higher volume of coffee.

    and achieving the same 30mls in 25 sec etc???


    I have found that the finer grind has a better crema but are there any others who have found something diff?

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Quote Originally Posted by Mizzuri link=1157167072/0#0 date=1157167072
    I have a rancillio Silvia and Rocky and have been playing around with some grid vs tamp combinations.

    Has anyone found a difference is the taste and outcome of:

    Fine Grind with lower pressure tamp and less volume of coffee. (volume not weight as the size of the grind effects the weight at the same volume) *** I understood what I was trying to say when I started typing...... ;)
    vs
    Courser Grind with higher pressure tamp and higher volume of coffee.

    and achieving the same 30mls in 25 sec etc???


    I have found that the finer grind has a better crema but are there any others who have found something diff?

    I reckon the best results can be found by approximating this:

    1. Get a deep basket from coffeeparts http://www.coffeeparts.com/mar/mar1.htmlI use part 521994 *-14g (but you will get 20-21g in it)

    2. Try dose and collapse method of dosing:
    -fill the basket and then brush off with the side of a finger to create a full, level * basket
    -brush off
    -use only the weight of a heavy tamper to settle the dose
    -top up and brush off again (if you find the dose difficult to load, you might have to use the base of a finger to dig a small depression in the puck)
    -tamp to 15kg
    -the key is to keep your dose absolutely constant so that you get a dry puck and then change only the grind if required
    -adjust your grind for a nice slow pour...they say 30 ml max in 25 sec pour....but if things start a touch drippy and then become a clean, slow pour, its often good! I tend to keep my shots to no more than 25ml. The rule is to cut the shot as soon as you observe blonding...

    If you taste your espresso towards the back of your tongue, its bitter and you will need to make your grind a touch coarser. On the other hand, if you taste the espresso at the front of your tongue, the coffee is sour...use a finer grind. You want to try to evenly coat your tongue!

    Beware fine grind and a low pressure tamp- its a recipe for underdosing, chanelling and sourness IMHO...

    and so ends my second crack *;)

    2mcm

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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Thanks for the great advise


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    Ash
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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Ive been doing what Chris recommends (with a small modifier) for the last few days and Ive been happy with my results. The reason I havent followed Chriss recommendations precisely is that the puck was so tight it was acting as a back flush mechanism ( after finding out about backflushes....<sheepish look towards Chris in Melb :-?>) I tend to use three, or there abouts, of the dose spoon that came with my machine and tamp the resultant dose to about what Chris suggests (if not a little less). Im getting a beautiful 30ml in 25 - 30 sec pour and a puck that just pops out of the basket very easily. Ive tried a finer grind, and the opposite. But quite frankly the result wouldnt be fit to feed to a tea drinker :P And the crema Im getting will; stay there for as long as it looks good, and the flavour is to die for. What Chris has suggested works great for a starting position, but dont be afraid to experiment on your own to find what you like in coffee! ;)

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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1157167072/0#1 date=1157167634
    I reckon the best results can be found by approximating this:

    1. Get a deep basket from coffeeparts http://www.coffeeparts.com/mar/mar1.htmlI use part 521994 *-14g (but you will get 20-21g in it)

    2mcm
    Hey Chris,
    Do you know if these baskets will fit my Expobar Minore II? *Not that Im trying to improve the coffee out of this beast just yet, just for future reference ;)
    Jas.

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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonD link=1157167072/0#4 date=1157244431
    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1157167072/0#1 date=1157167634
    I reckon the best results can be found by approximating this:

    1. Get a deep basket from coffeeparts http://www.coffeeparts.com/mar/mar1.htmlI use part 521994 *-14g (but you will get 20-21g in it)

    2mcm
    Hey Chris,
    Do you know if these baskets will fit my Expobar Minore II? *Not that Im trying to improve the coffee out of this beast just yet, just for future reference ;)
    Jas.
    Yes they will Jas- but they are not needed in your case as your machine already has a deep single and a deep double....If you wanted to play, you could experiment with the original LM basket- part 300048 (orig single) and 300013 (orig double)....Some love their funky shape but I personally am not that keen on them...

    Chris

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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1157167072/0#1 date=1157167634


    I reckon the best results can be found by approximating this:

    1. Get a deep basket from coffeeparts http://www.coffeeparts.com/mar/mar1.htmlI use part 521994 -14g (but you will get 20-21g in it)

    2. Try dose and collapse method of dosing:
    -fill the basket and then brush off with the side of a finger to create a full, level basket
    -brush off
    -use only the weight of a heavy tamper to settle the dose
    -top up and brush off again (if you find the dose difficult to load, you might have to use the base of a finger to dig a small depression in the puck)
    -tamp to 15kg
    -the key is to keep your dose absolutely constant so that you get a dry puck and then change only the grind if required
    -adjust your grind for a nice slow pour...they say 30 ml max in 25 sec pour....but if things start a touch drippy and then become a clean, slow pour, its often good! I tend to keep my shots to no more than 25ml. The rule is to cut the shot as soon as you observe blonding...

    If you taste your espresso towards the back of your tongue, its bitter and you will need to make your grind a touch coarser. On the other hand, if you taste the espresso at the front of your tongue, the coffee is sour...use a finer grind. You want to try to evenly coat your tongue!

    Beware fine grind and a low pressure tamp- its a recipe for underdosing, chanelling and sourness IMHO...

    and so ends my second crack ;)

    2mcm
    sorry about the dig but are you pulling two shots when you do this or just one sort of like a doppio ristretto but a very slow one? or do I have it all wrong? :-?

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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    [QUOTE=2muchcoffeeman link=1157167072/0#1 date=1157167634]
    Quote Originally Posted by Mizzuri link=1157167072/0#0 date=1157167072

    If you taste your espresso towards the back of your tongue, its bitter and you will need to make your grind a touch coarser. On the other hand, if you taste the espresso at the front of your tongue, the coffee is sour...use a finer grind. You want to try to evenly coat your tongue!

    Beware fine grind and a low pressure tamp- its a recipe for underdosing, chanelling and sourness IMHO...

    and so ends my second crack ;)

    2mcm
    I hate to be a pedant but the human tongue has its region fairly well defined, there are slight differences between us but not so big that we would be tasting in a different region.



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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    I "sense" some taste region explanation about to occur here.

    I have found what 2mcm has suggested to be true if the shot is too fast sour taste is evident at the front of my tongue and too slow bitter taste at back of tongue.

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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1157167072/0#1 date=1157167634
    I reckon the best results can be found by approximating this:

    1. Get a deep basket from coffeeparts http://www.coffeeparts.com/mar/mar1.htmlI use part 521994 *-14g (but you will get 20-21g in it)

    2. Try dose and collapse method of dosing:
    -fill the basket and then brush off with the side of a finger to create a full, level * basket
    -brush off
    -use only the weight of a heavy tamper to settle the dose
    -top up and brush off again (if you find the dose difficult to load, you might have to use the base of a finger to dig a small depression in the puck)
    -tamp to 15kg
    I have actually found this method to work really well. One addition I added to this is the Staub tamp (after reading the coffee geek tamping science, theory, etc - http://www.coffeegeek.com/opinions/markprince/10-08-2006).

    Quote Originally Posted by Presso link=1157167072/0#7 date=1164107162
    I hate to be a pedant but the human tongue has its region fairly well defined, there are slight differences between us but not so big that we would be tasting in a different region.
    Many sources show the sour taste buds to extend to the front of the tongue (not quite to the tip). However, its been a while since Ive had a sour shot.



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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Interesting stuff!

    I think that one really useful initiative is looking at the mass ratios of whats going on, just so that we can all be talkign on the same page. This was a great idea that Andy S came up with:

    http://www.home-barista.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2402&highlight=

    Basically, the mass ratio is the weight of the ground coffee divided by the weight of the resultant beverage. This is a more useful measure than volume because younger coffee produces a lot of gassy crema and will actually settle to a lower volume than the same coffee a week older. It is also useful because it gets us linking the amount of coffee that were using with the amount of liquid that were producing.

    That is important because it draws attention to what we already know - that it is easier to make a better tasting drink from a larget basket. BUT it is a very straightforward way of pointing out that you can easily get to a point where you have a very large basket and even though you are extracting your full 30 or 60mL of liquid, you are really making more of a ristretto than an espresso. And THAT is an important distinction because espresso and ristretto highlight very different flavours.

    For instance, today I was playing around witha blend at work that had really nice mouthfeel and sweetness as a ristretto, but, as I tend to find with most ristretto, the nuances of the actual blend were somewhat flattened out. Pulling it as an espresso seemed to bring out some more acidity and fruity flavours, but at the expense of some of the sweetness and the mouthfeel ... again, typical for most blends.

    ... so I guess the reaction to that is "so ... what does that tell us?" Well, it basically tells us what we knew all along - you tweak your variables to get the cup profile that you want! But it does enable me to, now, rather succinctly pose the question "by going to a higher mass ratio, are we sacrificing subtle flavours for consistency?" Food for thought. Keep em short, I say, but Ill still always experiment with longer shots.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Youre all making my head hurt..... too many details.

    The accepted wisdom is if you grind the coffee on the coarse side of correct, and tamp just a little harder, the resulting brew is "sweeter".

    by "coarse side of correct" I mean just that, not to use a coarse grind.

    the finer the grind, the less "sweet" the coffee will be.

    shallow, Italian market filters are only good for ristretto size brew;
    larger regular size commercial filters used in this market result in a well rounded espresso with good body;
    so called "triple" size filters tend to unbalance the brew due to excessive strength and thankfully, they are virtually unknown in the commercial market sector.

    And to top the whole lot off, in terms of domestic end use this is all subject to individual taste...!

    G.

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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Just because of the recent tastebud discussion/charts I had to post a comment about the current blend Im drinking.

    The blend is a 3:2:1 mix of Timor Maubesse, Ethiopian Sidamo, and Guatamalan Antigua all pulled just prior to 2nd crack and currently 5 days post roast.

    The interesting thing about this blend is that with a perfect pull an espresso hits the tongue dead center. A little bit off on that perfect timing and the taste takes a big jump from the center towards one of the edges. But with that perfect extraction it hits dead center on the tongue and sits there like velvet. Quite interesting.


    Java "Of the velvety tongue clan" phile

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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    G, a year before your first post and then another year before your second.
    Both good contributions to the discussions.
    I have diarised 12 months ahead to look out for your next post.

    EDIT:
    Too late!
    I see youve posted to help GW with his Silvia problem.

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    Re: Grid vs tamp vs taste???

    Quote Originally Posted by MM-MochaMaster link=1157167072/0#14 date=1164164177
    At the risk of doubling up, Im going to include the main picture from the post to hopefully generate a little more discussion.
    Gday MM,

    I hope you received permission from Home Barista before copying and publishing their image into our forum. They have quite explicit statements at the bottom of each of their pages about the Copyright status of all content on their site :-?,

    Mal.

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    Re: Grind vs tamp vs taste???

    So how do you guys measure the weight of your tamp??/ I know this may seem like a really dumb question, but I just put in the coffee, level it out etc ansd then tamp it down. Every now and then I tamp too hard ::) I just never realised that there are theories on the perfect weight etc :o

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    Re: Grind vs tamp vs taste???

    lucinda,

    There are a few methods out there.
    Most commonly, to get a rough idea, many people use bathroom scales. Rest the PF on the scales, give a tamp and see what sort of pressure you average.

    30lbs (around 14kg) is a starting point.

    There is also a product called an Espro Tamper which has a handle that clicks when 30lbs of pressure is reached.

    Personally, Ive never measured by tamp pressure.

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    Re: Grind vs tamp vs taste???

    Thanks, I may have to give that a try - just for curiosity sake. Being the lazy person I am, I wouldnt make a habit of it.

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    Re: Grind vs tamp vs taste???

    Forget the taste element in all this (if one can indeed do that), but lets consider the psychology instead.

    If I see a gusher, usually a phenomenon which comes when a batch of newly-roasted beans hits the portafilter without first having adjusted the grind setting... my mood changes instantly from anticipatory elation to morbid dread.

    I hate waste, and I see myself having to forcibly overcome anxiety about waste to do the right thing: empty the cup down the sink. Oh yes, there will be the temptation to save it, and make excuses like "Oh, its not all THAT bad, really". But thats self-deluvionary.

    No, not a very good start/end to a virgin batch of lovingly roasted and packed beans. One expects better. It can only be considered akin to a mother giving birth and then rejecting her own babe. Yes, colleagues, its that serious.

    All that anticipation, all that expectation, all that salivating.....for nought.

    On the other hand....when the pour emerges jet black and thin as a cotton thread, undergoing a transformation to brown to dark red seconds later, and maintains its deliberatively slow velocity way beyond the suggested sweep of the timer.... holds off blondingI know the coffee will end up quencing my salacious appetites. The sink can groan in the despair of having a customer escaped its gluttenous clutches.

    Yes, if there is an eggrigious error to me made, let it result from a finely ground overpacked puck, emerging as a thin (in volume only, not mouthfeel) and mean brew.

    Why heck....taste is mere bonus after all that.

    ---Robusto

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    Re: Grind vs tamp vs taste???

    To tamp is important, but the the actual tamping pressure isnt as important as some think it is....

    As long as you ( or I or whoever) tamps to a consistent pressure every time, thats the main thing. Tamping is one of the variables that causes backpressure against the flow of brewing water, and the amount of pressure you tamp with determines a) the quantity of grinds in your dose and b) the rate of pour of your espresso into the cup.

    So if you tamp lightly (but consistently) for a certain dose of grinds, your rate of pour will be adjusted by say, grinding your grinds a little finer, and you will produce a certain style of brew OR

    If you tamp heavily (but consistently) you will probably fit a little more grinds into the filter than the above, the backpressure will be greater, the rate of pour will be slower & will be adjusted by say, grinding your grinds a little more coarsely than the above, to get a similar rate of pour... resulting in a different style of brew to the above.

    The object as usual, is for your technqiue to be consistent, then your espresso will be consistent.

    This is like you are competing with yourself, not someone else...in essence making a good espresso is the act of looking to get a PB (personal best) for each of your own tries!

    Regardz,
    FC.

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    Re: Grind vs tamp vs taste???

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I have got it down to a very basic technique now.

    I grind 2 scoops of beans (for double basket) with the plastic scooper thingy, than place all the grinds in the basket I level it out gently with my finger, give a wee shake (not a knock) to level it out and than give a quick almost sharp action tamp with the tamper. I have found if I fart ass around with tamping I end up packing the coffee too hard thus stuffing up the extraction.

    I have noticed in the last week since I have been doing this, my pours have become more consistant with what robusto has described.

    My pucks still arent emerging perfect, but I suspect that has more to do with my crappy blade grinder than anything.



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