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Thread: Nutating tamping technique

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Nutating tamping technique

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi snobs,

    Since I saw the World Barista Championships this year on Livestream, I took a keen interest in Matt's nutating technique and subsequently adopted it in my daily shots at work and at home with great results.

    Basically the technique goes like this: Dose/ collapse grinds/distribute/ tamp with nutating, rotating twirl, ensuring to keep the puck level with a twist to finish/ wipe and clean then lock in portafilter and brew.

    The nutating twirl distributes the grounds around the basket, forces down and compacts them while allowing air to escape.

    Ran a half dozen blind A/B comparison tests with the shots. One using conventional straight tamping technique, and the other using the nutating tamp.

    My colleagues tasted and found distinctive differences. The nutated tamp created a fuller, sweeter and more flavoursome shot.

    The pour from the group was more syrupy and deeper in color with a slightly longer time extracting before blonding.

    The differences should be obvious regardless of whatever type and quality of grinder.

    Have found the grinder needed be adjusted coarser when shots became too tight and the dosing increased slightly.

    In the working environment I found the frequency of channeling is now very minimal.

    Here's a link, which may describe it better than what I wrote, and hopefully, you will find improvements in your espresso.


    WBC 2013 Finals: Matthew Perger, 2nd Place - YouTube
    Last edited by Javaphile; 21st September 2013 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Edit title

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    Nice work... will give it a try tomorrow.

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    I've been doing it this way for years
    I'm pretty sure Matt didn't invent the method.
    Maybe the thread could be retitled just "Nutating tamping technique".

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod View Post
    I've been doing it this way for years
    I'm pretty sure Matt didn't invent the method.
    Maybe the thread could be retitled just "Nutating tamping technique".
    Title name changed for the picky.

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    Member astr0b0y's Avatar
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    Where can you get those cool funnels?

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwantfm View Post
    Nice work... will give it a try tomorrow.
    Will await your findings

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astr0b0y View Post
    Where can you get those cool funnels?
    Dont know where you can get them from.
    My guess is you should enquire about them from matt perger,s place of work. He mentioned where he works at the beginning of the video, so ring them up.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod View Post
    I've been doing it this way for years
    I'm pretty sure Matt didn't invent the method.
    Maybe the thread could be retitled just "Nutating tamping technique".
    Me too TG...

    Ever since I started using an espresso machine to be exact and even posted about it on CS many years ago for anyone else who may have been interested to give it a go...

    Mal.

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    Big discussion about it here Matt Perger's mind blowing WBC performance - Tips and Techniques - Page 9 • Home-Barista.com

    The idea is at least 11 years old.

    Pete
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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Me too TG...

    Ever since I started using an espresso machine to be exact and even posted about it on CS many years ago for anyone else who may have been interested to give it a go...

    Mal.
    Come to think of it, I think I read about it in one of your posts Mal.

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    Funnel is just a jam funnel, available from good kitchen shops. Even saw them at Myers in the kitchen section the other day, about $15.

    Chester
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    Putting aside that he didn't invent nutating or using a filter grind on an espresso machine, both of which I've read about on CS before, I'm a big fan of people who try to push the boundaries, especially on a process that's been accepted wisdom for so long.

    But, why are the WBC judges so young? Looks to me like they've been chosen for their photogenic looks?

    I would take it more serious if they were old enough to have experienced lots of different coffees, but those girls don't look old enough?

    There were some other judges (slightly older but only slightly less photogenic) in the background looking at technique, cleanliness, etc, but ultimately the tasters must be the most important ones?

    Yes I realise that maybe I sound like an old fart, and I know hospitality is a young person's game for the most part, but can you imagine the tasters at the royal show being that young?

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    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    OT but nice to see him using a Pullman Nexus tamper...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewayss View Post
    Will await your findings
    Two extractions back to back today using nutating tamp. Exactly as you described... slower extraction (will coarsen grind a touch for tomorrow), beautiful centred pour out of the naked PF which stayed dark for longer. Viscosity out of the PF looked outstanding. I didn't drink the coffees (they were for my parents), but they really loved their coffees.

    Will keep trying and report back.
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    I have been tamping with a nutating twirl for a long time with pleasant results. I don’t know how I found it.

    I also use a naked portafilter and most of the time get a good central and straight pour.

    Barry
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    I'm a recent convert, getting more centred shot out of the Naked, longer before blonding, and less of the dreaded squirties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon View Post
    Putting aside that he didn't invent nutating or using a filter grind on an espresso machine, both of which I've read about on CS before, I'm a big fan of people who try to push the boundaries, especially on a process that's been accepted wisdom for so long.

    But, why are the WBC judges so young? Looks to me like they've been chosen for their photogenic looks?

    I would take it more serious if they were old enough to have experienced lots of different coffees, but those girls don't look old enough?

    There were some other judges (slightly older but only slightly less photogenic) in the background looking at technique, cleanliness, etc, but ultimately the tasters must be the most important ones?

    Yes I realise that maybe I sound like an old fart, and I know hospitality is a young person's game for the most part, but can you imagine the tasters at the royal show being that young?
    The judges are chosen based on how they go at the judges calibration. You have to prove your palette. It's got nothing to do with age, these were obviously the best tasters of those who applied.
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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    What a performance. Very impressive.
    I thought 'performance-wise', he ran rings around the guy who placed first.

    Nutating? yes, like many others use this kind of action because it 'feels right'.

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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Was intrigued by the nutating technique, so have been giving it a 'whirl' today :-)
    I reckon there's something in it. Didn't need to adjust my grind at all, but got richer, smoother pours with more flavour as a doppio and for a FW.
    I'll keep experimenting!
    Matt

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    Was intrigued by the nutating technique, so have been giving it a 'whirl' today :-) I reckon there's something in it
    Ditto. Never bothered before because I thought I was already getting good pours. After watching the video, I've been giving it a try for the last few days and pours do seem to be better out of a standard single-spout group handle. I might try it 'naked'.

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    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    Was intrigued by the nutating technique, so have been giving it a 'whirl' today :-)
    I reckon there's something in it.
    Ditto & Snap with Flynnaus :-)

    GrahamK

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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Mine was with both naked & dual PF. The crema seemed more syruppy and 'together', less aerated esp from the naked PF.
    Maybe its psychosomatic - but I thought I could taste a significant difference in the doppio - more fruit syrup - little less acidic… go figure!
    Matt

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    I think it has a positive impact.

    Have been using a light / levelling after dosing nutating tamp for a few months. Since this thread was posted I have been trying it with more weight and finishing off the tamp flat using a lot less weight than I used to, can feel the bed is nice and compact. Shots look really good, slow and syrupy and maybe holding there colour a bit longer. Mostly only use naked P/f.

    Have also been experimenting with longer PI times of 12 to 15 seconds, shots 30 - 35 seconds all up, getting some very nice fulfilling shots. I could build a little house with my pucks, breaking them open and its all very even looking.

    Pretty sure I will keep using my adjusted approach to the nutating tamp, it feels right.
    Last edited by Steve82; 20th September 2013 at 06:45 PM.

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    I thought the title was going to be changed? Matt Perger definitely brought nutating back into favour but it's been around for awhile. I can vouch for nutating. I've seen some pretty rough nutating tamps on youtube, personally I do a gentle nutation just to settle any air pockets and then follow it by a light tamp and polish to level it all out. Much more consistent than just a tamp downwards.

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Could only change the heading, but could not change the thread title when suggested by a member.

    I have been made aware that the technique has been around for some time after i started the topic, so apologees if i misled anyone.
    Last edited by sidewayss; 20th September 2013 at 10:27 PM.

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    I would like to get a sample of Blossom’s milk as used by Matt.

    I know that what the cows eat has a big effect on milk flavour. It's not always a good flavour. Some weeds eaten can give a strong off flavour.

    A great performance by Matt.

    Barry
    Last edited by Barry_Duncan; 21st September 2013 at 12:51 PM.

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Title edited.


    Java "The Mad Clicker" phile
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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Thanks for changing it Java.

    Been doing more of the side by side tests of straight (A) and nutating (B) tamped espressos.
    The differences are not huge by any means but they are noticeable.

    Less frequency of channelling with (B) with more richness, body, sweetness and flavor.
    Pour is faster in (A), blonding arrives earlier compared to (B). For those who challenge themselves to achieve a espresso pour without blonding within the 25-30 seconds stand better results using (B).
    Puck sits lower with (B), which allows more dosage if ground slightly coarser to achieve the required 30 ml in 30 seconds.

    As saoye mentioned, a light tamp and polish to finish off. I actually found a heavy tamp after doing (B) slowed the pour too much which burnt the coffee unless the grinder was backed off to compensate.

    OT, the quality of milk does alter through seasons. In the southern states, early spring generally brings the best quality milk with certain parts of summer provides the worst when some areas change from green to dry feed which can in some cases prove impossible to achieve good microfoam.

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    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    I've been trying this technique on and off for the last week, and I have to agree with Gary's findings in terms of how it changes the shot pour - it definitely takes longer for the shot to blond on my Achille, which is great.

    In terms of 'in the cup' I can't comment as I drink my espresso with milk and my palate lacks the skills of others.

    I picked up Greg Pullman's eazytamp during his clearout sale and had been using that to get consistency in my tamp pressure. So, I did a light nutating tamp and then applied the eazytamp.

    But this morning I just did the light nutating tamp without the secondary tamp and detected little change in the pour, so I think the nutating tamp does a very good job of settling/condensing the puck.

    Sniff

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    I've been trying the nutating tamp recently and have found a big difference (for the better) in my coffee. Have really eliminated channeling and the first few times had it packed so a dribble came out!

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    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    As a newbie this technique has made a big difference, especially noticed with a naked PF.

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    Tried this technique out this week. It seems to have made my shots much more consistent than before. Haven't encountered any channeling issue that I usually get once or twice a week from the usual light-then-hard straight tamping using my slightly undersized tamper. Not sure if the benefit will be as noticeable with fitted tampers though?

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Well, I,m happy I started this thread if anything else it helps those who want to improve their coffee and incorporate it into their routine.

    I still don't know the full science about it. All I know is the nutating technique helps distributes the grounds throughout the portafilter thoroughly and release any air pockets from the coffee bed. It may be possible the wobbling action also compacts grounds sitting around the edge of the basket, which may reduce the chance of side channeling.

    Oble, good to know you enjoyed the coffee the other day.

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    My puck definitely feels more compacted, judging by the depth of the puck surface from the top of the basket compared to when I just do a straight tamp, yet I don't even exert as much force as I would have to with a normal straight tamp (physics; less force needed to be exerted on a smaller area when "nutating" to produce the same pressure, I guess? :P)

    It was good to meet you Gary. I work just upstairs so I really should visit more often :P

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    tried this the other day ended up making a big mess when i dug a little too deep on one rotation...

    curious since im in perth as well, which cafe do u run/work for Gary?

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    I've been using this for some time now. I started it when I was still heavy tamping, (the usual recommendation of circa 15kg) and I still use it, albeit modified to suit, now I use progressive tamping. My nutating tamp is quite light, about the same or less than the 3 or 4 tamps I do as the basket fills. I also find it evens things out and stops channelling and my naked PF tells me I'm getting something more right than I was prior to using this technique.

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Hi Avex. I,m at the Mounts Bay Road cafe at the ground floor of the Earnst and Young building on top of the busport.
    Has anyone tried this technique with a convex tamper.?

    Interested to know.

  38. #38
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    I've been using this for some time now. I started it when I was still heavy tamping, (the usual recommendation of circa 15kg) and I still use it, albeit modified to suit, now I use progressive tamping. My nutating tamp is quite light, about the same or less than the 3 or 4 tamps I do as the basket fills. I also find it evens things out and stops channelling and my naked PF tells me I'm getting something more right than I was prior to using this technique.
    Great to know you and quite a few others are getting improved results.

    Grinder adjustments to the coarser side is almost guaranteed a must using this technique to get the extraction spot on.

    Any other requirements is to make sure the technique together with eveness and pressure of the tamp is consistent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewayss View Post
    Hi Avex. I,m at the Mounts Bay Road cafe at the ground floor of the Earnst and Young building on top of the busport.
    Has anyone tried this technique with a convex tamper.?

    Interested to know.
    Wouldn't a convex tamper kind of defeat the purpose? The bulge in the centre would compress the middle of the puck more than the outside. It might even out spaces in the grind around the outside but if the centre is compressed more the outside is still going to be the weak spot for the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewayss View Post
    Hi Avex. I,m at the Mounts Bay Road cafe at the ground floor of the Earnst and Young building on top of the busport.
    Has anyone tried this technique with a convex tamper.?

    Interested to know.
    Hi Gary

    If you read:- CoffeeGeek - Tamping Science, Theory and Practice, Part One

    plus all the related comments carefully, you will probably switch to a flat tamper. Every decent bit of research I have read after that post states that convex ones are a misguided attempt to correct for poor basket flow dynamics.

    FWIW, I wish I had read it before I ordered two RB's: one USA one Euro curved, only to discover that neither work well... Part of the expensive / extensive collection of them in my shed now.

    Mind you, I prefer Pullman 316's "made to fit" (and they are a CS sponsor).

    Cheers

    TampIt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    Wouldn't a convex tamper kind of defeat the purpose? The bulge in the centre would compress the middle of the puck more than the outside. It might even out spaces in the grind around the outside but if the centre is compressed more the outside is still going to be the weak spot for the water.
    I have no idea about what is really happening but perhaps a convex tamper doesn't compress the middle more, maybe it displaces grounds sideways and downwards?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwantfm View Post
    I have no idea about what is really happening but perhaps a convex tamper doesn't compress the middle more, maybe it displaces grounds sideways and downwards?
    You should consider a career in marketing or politics

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwantfm View Post
    I have no idea about what is really happening but perhaps a convex tamper doesn't compress the middle more, maybe it displaces grounds sideways and downwards?
    *grins* Not if you're nutating it...

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    I consider myself soundly sledged (or nutated)...

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    This nutating thing has come up regularly over the years, bit like reinventing the wheel, someone rediscovers it, reckons its the greatest thing since sliced bread, the discussion goes on for a while then dies a natural death, only to be rediscovered by another newbie a few years later.
    My opinion, FWIW, waste of time and effort, learn to use your equipment, get the grind, dose and tamp right and all will be well.
    PS Don't get me started on convex/concave tampers
    Last edited by Yelta; 19th November 2013 at 11:34 AM. Reason: A moment of clarity.
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    What about those RB rippled tampers?

  47. #47
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaughingAtFate View Post
    What about those RB rippled tampers?
    Oh dear, if that's what floats your boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    My opinion, FWIW, waste of time and effort
    i wouldn't go as far as to say it's a waste of time and effort. For one it doesn't take alot more time or effort to nutate tamp (+5 secs?) but the results could be quite tangible, maybe not flavour in the cup but a definite improvement as far as channelling is concerned. But then, ymmv, but the responses on this thread seem quite favourable.

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    What happened to the original video ?
    is this the same one?. 2013 WBC Finals - Matt Perger, Australia - YouTube

    Anyone a fan of the "Frozen" shot cups method ?

  50. #50
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avex View Post
    i wouldn't go as far as to say it's a waste of time and effort. For one it doesn't take alot more time or effort to nutate tamp (+5 secs?) but the results could be quite tangible, maybe not flavour in the cup but a definite improvement as far as channelling is concerned. But then, ymmv, but the responses on this thread seem quite favourable.
    Simply an opinion on my part Avex, if you prefer the method go ahead and use it.
    Seen lots of different things in and out of favour over the years including the Weiss distribution technique
    WDT - Weiss Distribution Technique for espresso levelling and distribution - YouTube
    They seem to come and go.
    I've wondered about reciting an incantation along the lines of "baixe polas nosas gorxas" goes down our throats, whilst pulling the shot, you never know, it may help.

    Whoops, blend52 mentions the (Frozen shot cups method) while I was dawdling over this post, now that's a newy on me.
    Last edited by Yelta; 19th November 2013 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Flash of inspiration.



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