Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tampering with the Tamper

I heart Tamping.

Tamping is the process of securing the coffee in the portafilter basket to ensure a flat surface for water to flow evenly through the coffee grounds. Water will find the easiest path through the coffee. Knocking the side of the portafilter to mid-tamp loosens the grounds in the filter basket. By knocking it, you'll have quality tamp without disturbing the "puck" when jossling it around.

The owner of a café in Denver I used to work for showed me this tamping method. I learned to tamp in four directions: north, west, east, south, with a center push to smooth the top surface. This is the best method because it pushes the coffee into the sides and bottom creating a solidly packed puck.

The LaMarzocco Swift grinder uses volumetric dosing and tamping to provide consistent and reliable service through shift changes and thousands of pounds of coffee. The screw-like tamper uses only 8 lbs of pressure opposed to the 30lbs recommended by hand. The Swift tamps along with the grinding so that it tamps all the way through with even 8lbs. The result is layers of perfectly tamped coffee forming the puck.

No comments: