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Espresso Tamping Tip

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Published on Dec 30, 2011

An espresso tamping tip for less channeling, needing a lot less hand pressure than 15 to 20 kg, with a Rancilio Silvia III portafilter and a La Marzocco filter for one cup.
You should have got one yet, since as proven by tests, Rancilio's one cup shallow original filter does'nt match with deeper La Marzocco one cup filter, which can fit perfectly in Rancilio portafilter and will improve quality results for a very affordable expense.
Then, find back the small black cheap looking convex faced tamper Rancilio packed in the box with the Silvia, it will do fine for the job.
(My shining flat metal and wood expensive tamper I was so proud has not been able to do the same, so I'm get rid of it now.)
Do exactly the same usual proper grinding and filling as you did so far, and take your tamper, just press with the wider face to keep all the grinds in the filter, two steps over knocking and Staub's NSEW, because as you are "nutating", rolling over the edge of the convex curve faced tamper on the rim inside the filter, pushing, gathering, and compacting on the grinds down the center pit of the one cup filter, you are doing pretty the same in a far more continuous and efficient way.
After a few turns, you can choose to press the whole surface with the convex wider face, or press on the center with the narrow face, and sweep off the grinds sticking to the tamp and polish by an on spot rotation, and to the edge of the filter with your hand.
Ready for brewing now.
So, it will be almost useless for professional baristas with many espresso to do very fast. But many other espresso amateurs, with this little new know-how, will reach easily centimeter thick crema and mouse tail dripping shots.
This way of tamping is well suited only for people making espresso one by one, using a one cup filter moreoften, even for many people.
Anyway, here in, it's not that so easy to deal with:
- two cups filter: the inside rim is lacking.
- flat faced tampers: unable to gather grinds to the center pit easily.
( It will fuel a little more the struggle between tamps with flat or convex end, but for me, it's over now... I've better apologize now for my awkward english, but anyway, five years ago, Don Holly, was very close to what I mean, when he was noticing:"Stronger baristas may use heavier tamps, while some use a nutating motion (rolling the tamper in a motion like a flipped coin settling) to accentuate the pressure towards the edges of the basket. An alternative to the nutating motion is using a convexly curved tamper, which accomplishes the same thing.
If all these alternative ways of leveling and tamping leave you bewildered, take some comfort in knowing that most experts are just as confused, and that there's help." www.home-barista.com/espresso-guide-dose-distribute-tamp.html
(Don Holly is administrative director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America in Long Beach, CA. www.virtualcoffee.com/jun/perfect.html

It's always good to read his writings for a better espresso.
marcoh )

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