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Thread: Tampers ?

  1. #1
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    Cool Tampers ?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Forgive my arrogance or ignorance 'cos I'm just a newbie.... junior member and all that but I sure as hell 'aint stupid.
    I'm over 70 years of age and I've been around the block a few times ....
    I've been making magnificent short blacks for the past 20 odd years with a steady progression of domestic machines mainly because they seldom last more than a couple of years.
    My current gear is Breville BES840 and Sunbeam grinder EMO480 which work together well for me.... no, I'm not the smartest or best equipped Barista but I only have to please myself.
    Regarding the topic of this thread, "Tampers", I just can't figure out why they're so outrageously expensive. Surely it doesn't cost around $100 to $200 to make one ?... is there some sort of secret mens' stuff rocket science attached to them ?
    I wish I was selling them for a living.... I'd be a zillionaire in no time.
    Cheers

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    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
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    Your right terrawarra, it does not take a rocket surgeon to make a tamper.
    Not all tampers are created equal though and cost does reflect this.

    What most of us are paying for is either looks or correct fitment(custom milled). The rest of the cost is usually name related.
    I think of my tampers as a set of wheels. They are a must but other than serving that one purpose, they are mostly cosmetic but a really good one can make a difference in usability.
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  3. #3
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    You can find tampers for around $20 but they won't be as well made or as well sized. A cast tamper is far cheaper than a hand machined one if only for material and labour costs. Also many of the "stainless" cheap ones are low grade steel, not 304 food grade so do your homework before buying a "bargain".

    At whatever price they sell for, a percentage of that is obviously margin... people along the chain need to eat too!

    We sell some beautiful and well made tampers in the $60-$70 range and those that own one love 'em.
    CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Cafelat Coffee Accessories - Cafelat Nikka Tamper Zebra
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrawarra View Post
    I wish I was selling them for a living.... I'd be a zillionaire in no time.
    Looking forward to your declaration of zillionaire status terrawarra

    For mine, like kitchen knives. $10 from the local supermarket v lifetime investment which can be passed on to your offspring.

    You gets what you pays for!

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    Thanks guys for your comments !
    I do understand that a decent tamper should be of a solid weight and precision measurements as well to ensure a perfect fit in the basket..... convex or concave ?... hmmm, the jury's still out on that one.
    I wouldn't mind borrowing my neighbors lathe and having a go at making one out of a solid lump of brass. Chrome plating to make it pretty and a nice redgum handle also knocked up on the lathe.

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    I agree that the main thing is that the base is accurately turned to fit neatly into the basket, leaving enough room not to bind if using a nutating tamping technique. http://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-co...technique.html

    It helps to have some marking on the sides to help get an accurate depth when tamping.

    The shape of the handle doesn’t matter so much however if you are making hundreds of coffees a day a comfortable fit in your palm is important.

    Barry

  7. #7
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrawarra View Post
    I'm over 70 years of age and I've been around the block a few times ....
    I've been making magnificent short blacks for the past 20 odd years with a steady progression of domestic machines mainly because they seldom last more than a couple of years.

    Regarding the topic of this thread, "Tampers", I just can't figure out why they're so outrageously expensive. Surely it doesn't cost around $100 to $200 to make one ?... is there some sort of secret mens' stuff rocket science attached to them ?
    Same here terrawarra, I'm no spring chicken and like you have been around the block, and the world a few times.

    "A steady progression of domestic machines mainly because they seldom last more than a couple of years."

    Had a bit of a chuckle at this statement, you seem to be a bit of a slow learner, I've owned espresso machines for a similar period, my first was a Krups, didn't take me long to work out it was a piece of crap, I sold the thing less than 12 months after buying it and bought a Silvia, lasted me 10 years, only reason I sold it was to upgrade to an E61 machine which is still going strong, so I guess the message here is you get what you pay for

    I once said in another thread you can tamp with a pickle jar lid tacked to 100mm of broom handle if want, you can also catch fish with a bamboo pole and a length of string, however in this day and age most people are looking for something a little more aesthetically pleasing and are, within reason prepared to pay for a product that looks good and performs well.

    "I just can't figure out why they're so outrageously expensive."

    Not a difficult task to figure this one out, with a tradesperson in Australia earning close on $100.000 a year he/she could produce over 500 tampers a year sell them at $200 and still not break even, the cost of running a business nowadays is astronomical, I reckon a nicely designed and crafted tamper selling at $200 is pretty good value for money, Andy's $60/$70 tampers are a bargain.

    Keep in mind the quote by John Ruskin.
    “There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man's lawful prey.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    You can find tampers for around $20 but they won't be as well made or as well sized. A cast tamper is far cheaper than a hand machined one if only for material and labour costs. Also many of the "stainless" cheap ones are low grade steel, not 304 food grade so do your homework before buying a "bargain".

    At whatever price they sell for, a percentage of that is obviously margin... people along the chain need to eat too!

    We sell some beautiful and well made tampers in the $60-$70 range and those that own one love 'em.
    CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Cafelat Coffee Accessories - Cafelat Nikka Tamper Zebra
    Andy, what are the chances of getting a smaller version added to the offerings? (my callipers tell me I'm looking for something under 51.4mm diameter)

  9. #9
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alyosius View Post
    Andy, what are the chances of getting a smaller version added to the offerings? (my callipers tell me I'm looking for something under 51.4mm diameter)
    Chances? Not much but I know a few people that have purchased an over-sized one, taken it to an engineering workshop with their basket and for a "Friday afternoon six-pack" had it machined to suit.

    Just make sure you purchase turned stainless base (like the Cafelat ones), not a cast one for best results on a lathe.
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  10. #10
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    Plastic tampers are unacceptable!!!!!

    And that's why tampers are in the section "Puckology" on my list to love bout coffee......

    Anyways, The tampers are broken down into specifications....

    Diameter:
    Thickness of Base:
    Weight of base:
    Weight balance:
    Base type:
    Base material:
    Handle Material: Vice versa here
    Tamper Type: Click (I.E the espro calibrated tampers) Static (Ordinary tampers)
    Handle Length:

    That's my spec lists....

    Reg barber does a good job, maintaining weight balance, custom diameters and even base types like flat, convex, c-curve.........

    Some other tampers like Espro uses a calibration system that "clicks* at 30 pounds.......

    Some are even with diamond like surfaces.... that lasts 100 years (do your research)

    I use a 1KG Convex Base with Custom handle for my Reg Barber tampers and believe me RB does an exceptional job...........

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    Thanks for the link to "Mutating Tamping" Barry.... good reading and I've also learned a new word for the day.....nutating !
    I also must agree with Yelta, why did I waste so much time & money on low-end machines instead of simply lashing out and getting a decent one in the first place. My next one will be the humble Silvia mainly because my budget says so.
    I'd like to share my "uneducated" tamping technique with you as follows....
    I over-dose (way too much), then collapse the grounds for way too long by tapping the portafilter on the open palm of my left hand and then a swift & not too heavy push with the tamper ending in a half circle polish. Yeah, you're probably chuckling but it works !
    Cheers for now.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrawarra View Post
    My next one will be the humble Silvia mainly because my budget says so.
    I'd like to share my "uneducated" tamping technique with you as follows....
    I over-dose (way too much), then collapse the grounds for way too long by tapping the portafilter on the open palm of my left hand and then a swift & not too heavy push with the tamper ending in a half circle polish. Yeah, you're probably chuckling but it works !
    Cheers for now.
    Silvia is a great little machine TW, as I said had one for 10 years, never a problem, however the design has hardly changed since version one, I believe there are now other machines out there in the same price range that offer more, have heard lots of good reports on Lelit, worth checking around before you commit, you may even find a good SH Silvia around.

    Your tamping technique sounds fine to me.

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    A 1kg base!?!?! What's it made out of Ray... plutonium?
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  14. #14
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    hmmmmmm....... gold, pure gold. ;-)

  15. #15
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Platinum is my guess

  16. #16
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Ray is nothing if not amusing ;-)
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Maybe it's one of those rare "Mutating" tamper that changes from one heavy metal to another

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    Terra they are pretty expensive but in some ways it's a pretty niche market and so mass producing tampers isn't so much needed/possible so that makes their price a premium. But like anything you do you can get cheap or premium. There are cheap cordless drills that do the job, and expensive ones- they all drill. It can be honest a bit snobby (must confess I have a Reg Barber), but I do like my over priced tamper. But I'm a fan of the Cafelat ones Andy sells here and good price too.

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    In my previous post I originally put “mutating tamping” but soon changed it to “nutating tamping” as it should be. So much for auto spellin.

    I did buy a Bogav tamper, made in Melbourne by a CoffeeSnob, especially for the Breville Dual Boiler. It is heavier than the tamper provided by Breville with a better handle and it is also made to fit in the magnetic holder on the machine. However the shiny edge is thinner so it encourages over dosing with coffee so I mainly use the metal Breville tamper, which is so much better than the flimsy plastic ones provided with so many coffee machines.

    As a spare, I am looking for a pickle jar to fit a 58mm basket, just like Yelta’s.

    In the past I have made a good tamper by cutting a section from a gum tree branch with the diameter to make a perfect fit. With care they will last a lifetime.

    Barry
    Last edited by Barry_Duncan; 22nd September 2014 at 10:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan View Post
    In my previous post I originally put “mutating tamping” but soon changed it to “nutating tamping” as it should be. So much for auto spellin.

    I did buy a Bogav tamper, made in Melbourne by a CoffeeSnob, especially for the Breville Dual Boiler. It is heavier than the tamper provided by Breville with a better handle and it is also made to fit in the magnetic holder on the machine. However the shiny edge is thinner so it encourages over dosing with coffee so I mainly use the metal Breville tamper, which is so much better than the flimsy plastic ones provided with so many coffee machines.

    As a spare, I am looking for a pickle jar to fit a 58mm basket, just like Yelta’s.

    In the past I have made a good tamper by cutting a section from a gum tree branch with the diameter to make a perfect fit. With care they will last a lifetime.

    Barry
    Hi Barry

    From mid '70's to date I have made a wide variety of tampers from all types of materials. All of them were tapered to fit a particular basket exactly. When I became richer I bought a few custom ones (some quite expensive) plus some "name brands" (e.g. my 2 RB's: one US and one Euro curved bases). Here are some thoughts for discussion.

    Materials: as long as grounds do not cling and there is no static problem, it is fine. Food grade plastic (i.e. to EU standard) is fine & quite easy to work. Various woods can work well (I am a sucker for cedars, jarrah and wandoo: made tampers out of all of them in the early days). Aluminium should work in theory, however all the ones I encountered or made attracted coffee grounds. A good stainless can work really well (i.e. 316 or better), whilst every lower grade stainless attracts grounds to an extent (including my 2 RB's, 304 or less). Mind you, any 400+ stainless is a bitch to work... Optical glass worked really well (best of all?) until dropped one day: broke all three in one bad oops.

    Balance and weight: I weighed all my easily accessible tampers. Varied from 150g (too light to be balanced) through to circa 300g (about right for my tastes: my 2 Pullman 316 barista tampers are around that weight, my RB's are too light for me at just under 250g), up to two of my 316 prototypes, the 7g VST single one is 397g (too heavy, still in daily use awaiting the "real replacement"), an old double one to fit a commercial La Cimbali basket is 510g (far too heavy, what was I thinking? Not in current use for obvious reasons. Broken wrist anyone?). Ray's 1KG tamper? I hope it is a model number, not a weight. The other issue is the fit of the handle: Pullman Barista handles rock: almost the same fit as 90% of the tampers I had made over the years. Your hands may differ...

    Oddest tamper: when developing my 7g 316 prototype, a Smart water bottle just under 1/2 full was the closest I could get to an exact fit in the VST single (but without a taper...) and used it for a few months. I just exhumed it out of my shed: 297g! Attracted coffee grounds like a demon, however it tamped well.

    Costs: Luckily for me I could get 316+ offcuts for free, however the single prototype is nearly $100 for the steel alone, without minor issues like machining to an exact fit. A couple of hundred for a 316 tamper base is actually quite cheap, especially if it has a complex taper. Time is money. Worth it? Your call.

    Barry, go for the pickle jar lid mate, no reason why it won't work. FWIW, I often wondered whether a tamper raised at the edges with a central depression would be a good idea, perhaps you can tell us if that is what you end up with.


    TampIt

  21. #21
    Member RayTCoffeePro's Avatar
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    1Kg is a joke

    An average for RB tampers are 1 pound not kg......

    Sarcasm surely gets negated reception here..... HAHAHAH

  22. #22
    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Hi Barry

    From mid '70's to date I have made a wide variety of tampers from all types of materials. All of them were tapered to fit a particular basket exactly. When I became richer I bought a few custom ones (some quite expensive) plus some "name brands" (e.g. my 2 RB's: one US and one Euro curved bases). Here are some thoughts for discussion.

    Materials: as long as grounds do not cling and there is no static problem, it is fine. Food grade plastic (i.e. to EU standard) is fine & quite easy to work. Various woods can work well (I am a sucker for cedars, jarrah and wandoo: made tampers out of all of them in the early days). Aluminium should work in theory, however all the ones I encountered or made attracted coffee grounds. A good stainless can work really well (i.e. 316 or better), whilst every lower grade stainless attracts grounds to an extent (including my 2 RB's, 304 or less). Mind you, any 400+ stainless is a bitch to work... Optical glass worked really well (best of all?) until dropped one day: broke all three in one bad oops.

    Balance and weight: I weighed all my easily accessible tampers. Varied from 150g (too light to be balanced) through to circa 300g (about right for my tastes: my 2 Pullman 316 barista tampers are around that weight, my RB's are too light for me at just under 250g), up to two of my 316 prototypes, the 7g VST single one is 397g (too heavy, still in daily use awaiting the "real replacement"), an old double one to fit a commercial La Cimbali basket is 510g (far too heavy, what was I thinking? Not in current use for obvious reasons. Broken wrist anyone?). Ray's 1KG tamper? I hope it is a model number, not a weight. The other issue is the fit of the handle: Pullman Barista handles rock: almost the same fit as 90% of the tampers I had made over the years. Your hands may differ...

    Oddest tamper: when developing my 7g 316 prototype, a Smart water bottle just under 1/2 full was the closest I could get to an exact fit in the VST single (but without a taper...) and used it for a few months. I just exhumed it out of my shed: 297g! Attracted coffee grounds like a demon, however it tamped well.

    Costs: Luckily for me I could get 316+ offcuts for free, however the single prototype is nearly $100 for the steel alone, without minor issues like machining to an exact fit. A couple of hundred for a 316 tamper base is actually quite cheap, especially if it has a complex taper. Time is money. Worth it? Your call.

    Barry, go for the pickle jar lid mate, no reason why it won't work. FWIW, I often wondered whether a tamper raised at the edges with a central depression would be a good idea, perhaps you can tell us if that is what you end up with.


    TampIt
    I notice that Pergtamp is made of 431 SS - what would be the reasons for using such a diffcult to machine steel?

  23. #23
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    430 stainless is magnetic and more susceptable to corrosion but still carry the name stainless steel. 304ss and the other 3 series including marine grade stainless are non-magnetic and cost more.

  24. #24
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Ray's 1KG tamper? I hope it is a model number, not a weight.
    RayTCoffeePro

    1Kg is a joke

    An average for RB tampers are 1 pound not kg......

    Sarcasm surely gets negated reception here..... HAHAHAH
    Don't think TampIt was referring to RB tampers...

    Mal.

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    I was wondering the same as well, but there are affordable tampers which are of good quality, try Rattleware.

  26. #26
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    A timely thread for me.

    image.jpg
    This treasure arrived for me this morning. Made to measure.

    i have to say that aside from working beautifully, the service has been excellent. All questions answered promptly, we'll packaged end product, and constant updates as to the progress of the order ( not that it took that long to come anyway).

    i bought this tamper having used a Pullman before, and I was convinced that it was worth the expense.
    the results in the cup are instant and dramatic.

    having said that, my machine is a La Pavoni, which comes with a notoriously bad factory tamper!

    Having said that I know from experience that the Pullman is a cut above your average tamper anyway.

    Cop the difference!image.jpg
    This one tries to show how small the placky one is in the basket.image.jpg
    What an outrage! The Pavoni is such a wonder, but if you get one, you're gunna need a 51mm tamper.

    aside from all this, I have to say I've not really enjoyed using the convex base, but that's just my opinion.

    I have this also for my Gaggia.image.jpg
    It's a Cafelat.

    somewhat less expensive than the Pullman but works very well. Doesn't come in 51mm as noted above.

    i think I can say I've got what I've paid for on both counts.
    Last edited by shortblackman; 1st October 2014 at 10:37 AM. Reason: 3 more words!

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    I hope you enjoy my sideways & upside down photography. It goes on the right way up when I'm typing , then , when I finish, whoosh! 'round they go.

    Sorry.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebrownbean View Post
    I was wondering the same as well, but there are affordable tampers which are of good quality, try Rattleware.
    Pardon my cynicism brownbean, first post promoting a brand name, wouldn't have an interest in the product would you?

    Why not give us a little information about yourself here http://coffeesnobs.com.au/off-topic/...o-easy-me.html

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs by the way.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortblackman View Post
    I hope you enjoy my sideways & upside down photography. It goes on the right way up when I'm typing , then , when I finish, whoosh! 'round they go.

    Sorry.
    Nice looking tamper SBM, what make is it?

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    Sorry. See, I thought my photography was that good that you'd see th logo!

    it's a Pullman Barista. I was going to economise and get a Nexus, which I personally prefer the appearance of, but I went for the ability to adjust the height, which the Barista gives via a set of spacing rings.

    i am, after all, shortblackman, and I require a shorthandletamper.
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    The tamper that came with my SB EM7000 weighs 132 grams. Should I look for a heavier tamper and does that assist with tamping?

  32. #32
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Pleuroman View Post
    The tamper that came with my SB EM7000 weighs 132 grams. Should I look for a heavier tamper and does that assist with tamping?
    It will help... if you have really skinny and weak arms, otherwise it's more about the feel and balance



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