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Thread: What if you DONT tamp?

  1. #1
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    What if you DONT tamp?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Since Ive got a "proper" espresso machine off Chris, Ive been watching how coffee is made at every coffee shop I go to.

    What amazes me is how many places either dont tamp the coffee at all or just use a light tamp with the plastic tamper that hangs off the side of the commercial grinders. And yet, they still seem to get a good crema and reasonable tasting coffee. I asked one today why he didnt tamp the coffee to 15KG recommended and he just said, "I dont have time and it doesnt make much difference".

    Is tamping really necessary?

  2. #2
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    Re: What if you DONT tamp?

    From what I have tried, not tamping will be pretty disastrous for a machine that doesnt have any sort of preinfusion. However, machines with an e61 group or a saturated group with a gicleur seem to do OK. Not tamping certainly dirties the shower screen, and it requires a different dose, and I doubt that the results will be as consistent, but you can actually get a pretty good shot. Which sort of shoots to pieces a lot of the arguments about how crucial many features of tampers and elements of the tamping routine are.

    I think that tamping is certainly necessary to maintain consistency. As long as your tamp is consistent, I think that it should be fine. Dose is, IMHO, the more important and trickier thing.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  3. #3
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: What if you DONT tamp?

    At the cafe in the foyer where I work, the new barista has taken to tamping with a hand held tamper instead of the one attached to the grinder.

    They go through 60kg a week and he still takes the time.

    Most coffee shops Ive tried dont make coffee as good as me.
    I tamp.
    nuff said?

  4. #4
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    Re: What if you DONT tamp?

    Its weird. Im just watching a documentary on "Lifestyle Food" on the best cafes in the world...in Venice of course...and the master barista at the (reputed) best cafe in Venice, only used a very light tamp. To her credit, she used an original lever/piston machine though.

  5. #5
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: What if you DONT tamp?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    On a lever/piston machine the pressure is controlled by the barista/lever.
    That could make a difference as you could "pre-infuse" before applying maximum pressure.

    I wasnt a coffee snob when I was in Venice 4 years ago, so cant comment on their coffee.



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