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Tamping


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9 replies to this topic

#1 nickrey

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:22 PM

My daughter, who estimates that she has made well over 100,000 coffees at work, showed me a new tamping method last weekend.

Basically, you dose the basket as usual and then do a normal straight tamp (doesn't need to be high pressure). You then roll the edge of the tamper around the inside lip of the basket - I looked it up and this is called a nutating motion (think how a coin rolls around its edge before it settles flat). Then polish the top with a rotating tamp motion, brush off any residue, and start the pour.

It seems to give a nice even pour, good crema and, if you drink ristretto, seems to accentuate the sweeter notes. It's also fixed a problem that I was having with uneven extractions (more coffee coming out of one spout than the other).

Interested to see if anyone else uses this or if you have a method that gives you a good result.

Edited by nickrey, 14 November 2011 - 10:27 PM.

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#2 Mjx

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 12:49 AM

I think this is more or less standard..? I'm not sure how else I'd do it.

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#3 nickrey

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 02:27 AM

Wasn't standard for me prior to a few days ago.

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#4 Mjx

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 03:52 AM

How did you do it? I'm always interested in different techniques.

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#5 nickrey

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 05:38 AM

Prior to this, I filled basket then levelled in four different directions to even up the fill. Then straight down tamp and spin and clean off edges of basket before putting on machine. The missing piece was the nutating motion.

You must have been either taught well or discovered it by yourself because I have not seen baristas here doing that type of tamping and since looking it up it seems to appear only on coffee-obsessed web sites.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
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#6 MikeHartnett

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 07:15 AM

Prior to this, I filled basket then levelled in four different directions to even up the fill. Then straight down tamp and spin and clean off edges of basket before putting on machine. The missing piece was the nutating motion.

You must have been either taught well or discovered it by yourself because I have not seen baristas here doing that type of tamping and since looking it up it seems to appear only on coffee-obsessed web sites.


I do it. Learned it from a coffee-obsessed website!

#7 barrett

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 04:01 PM

We use tampers that are way too tight to the basket to do this. We fill, distribute, and tamp twice, straight down. No whacking.

Distribution is huge - because you always end up with a mound, then tamp it, and the lower density around the edge of the coffee puck is apt to channel. Channelling = over extraction.

One spout pouring more than the other isn't necessarily uneven extraction either, because all of that liquid is coming out of one hole. It could be not level, or have a little burr of metal or a coffee ground sitting in the spouts which is either holding back or directing flow to one or the other spout. If you get your hands on a bottomless, you can diagnose distribution problems much better, because it shoots a tiny stream of coffee all over you/the counter/the machine whenever there's channeling.
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#8 minas6907

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 06:08 PM

It's also fixed a problem that I was having with uneven extractions (more coffee coming out of one spout than the other).


Hmm, I wonder if this would be my solution, or at least help. Thanks for the tip.

#9 nickrey

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:01 PM

We use tampers that are way too tight to the basket to do this. We fill, distribute, and tamp twice, straight down. No whacking.

Distribution is huge - because you always end up with a mound, then tamp it, and the lower density around the edge of the coffee puck is apt to channel. Channelling = over extraction.

One spout pouring more than the other isn't necessarily uneven extraction either, because all of that liquid is coming out of one hole. It could be not level, or have a little burr of metal or a coffee ground sitting in the spouts which is either holding back or directing flow to one or the other spout. If you get your hands on a bottomless, you can diagnose distribution problems much better, because it shoots a tiny stream of coffee all over you/the counter/the machine whenever there's channeling.

I have a bottomless that I used only every so often because of this problem. Since adopting the new method, no channels. :smile:

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog


#10 Jharna

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:13 AM

It quite interersting method