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Pressurized Portafilter- Tamp or no tamp?
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Thecoffeenerd
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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 1:25pm
Subject: Pressurized Portafilter- Tamp or no tamp?
 

I'm planning to buy the Delonghi EC702 Semi-Auto pump espresso machine. It comes with a built In tamper which means I tamp upwards. I planned to buy an external tamper (Espro calibrated tamper) Do I have to tamp espresso If I'm using a pressuzied portafilter? If so and I can use an external tamper, do I still need to use 30 pounds of pressure?

 
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frcn
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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 1:50pm
Subject: Re: Pressurized Portafilter- Tamp or no tamp?
 

The one machine with which I had experience which had an enhanced protafilter stated to tamp just to level the coffee. Very likely that 30 pounds of tamping force would be excessive, or require a very coarse grind resulting in poor output. I feel safe in stating that the majority opinion here would be to either get a standard portafilter, modify the one that comes with it, or choose another machine. .

 
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BonsaiDoug
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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 2:50pm
Subject: Re: Pressurized Portafilter- Tamp or no tamp?
 

I have that machine. Before I un-pressurized the basket, I would only tamp to even out the grinds. BTW... that "built in" tamper simply pulls right out if you'd feel more comfortable tamping down rather than up.

The quality of the shots pulled on that machine will improve greatly if you un-pressurize the basket. You'll just need to grind & tamp better.  The difference in shot quality is like night & day.
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CMIN
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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 3:01pm
Subject: Re: Pressurized Portafilter- Tamp or no tamp?
 

Espro Tamper would be a complete waste on a pressurized portafilter machine. You don't even really need to tamp b/c of the pressure clip, I started with a Delonghi Bar32 that had the same attached tamper, didn't really matter whether I used it or not.... think it's there more so to give the operator the illusion their really tamping and making espresso lol. Any reason you want this machine? I mean wholelattelove sells Gaggia Classics for $280 shipped, you would need  a better grinder then the Encore though.
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Thecoffeenerd
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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 7:05pm
Subject: Re: Pressurized Portafilter- Tamp or no tamp?
 

Seattle coffee gear sells an unpressurized portafilter for the machine I can get. But I have the Baratza encore...Will this grind fine enough?

 
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calblacksmith
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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 7:11pm
Subject: Re: Pressurized Portafilter- Tamp or no tamp?
 

Not really.
Until you can afford a better grinder for espresso, I feel your best bet is to just stay with the PPF and your current grinder, at least the beans are fresh.
As several have said, the "tamp " on a PPF is pretty much for show and to sort of level the grounds.

 
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CMIN
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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 7:49pm
Subject: Re: Pressurized Portafilter- Tamp or no tamp?
 

Meant to say wholelattelove sells 'refurb' Gaggia Classics for $280 shipped which is a steal. If your willing to buy a grinder for espresso rhat would be a far better combo.

The Encore can grind for espresso but mainly for pressurized pf machines which is what Baratza means. It has no dialing ability as the steps are far to wide, even worse then the Virtuoso in that regard which in itself I still wouldn't consider for eapresso with its wide steps. You may waste a ton of beans trying to dial in and finally pull an ok shot, only to struggle and do the same day and day after as the burr set isn't good for espresso and you can dial slightly like the Preciso. So if you get it okay one time,  what about the days after....you'll waste so much in beans daily trying to stay dialed even playing with dose as the beans age.

If you don't want to spend that right now, your better off just using the Encore with that Delonghi, although the pressurized PF machines are more so for people who don't have capable espresso grinders or buy preground etc. ...fresh beans ground in one will still make a big difference.
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CMIN
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Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 5:08am
Subject: Re: Pressurized Portafilter- Tamp or no tamp?
 

]Heres what a depressurized Delonghi basket looks like, that little thing in the bottom right is the pressure mechanism.

Click Here (i146.photobucket.com)
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Zevi
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Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Pressurized Portafilter- Tamp or no tamp?
 

My experience with a pressurized basket is several years with the Breville 800 series. Given that I do not have a top-notch grinder (yet...), this is what I can tell you:
  1. With the pressurized basket, tamping to 30 Lb or doing lighter tamping just to smooth the coffee made no noticeable difference in the quality of the shot.
  2. After about 2 years, using a lathe I cut and removed the double bottom from the basket. My first observation was an amazement at the amount of crud that was accumulated inside that double bottom! And I thought I cleaned it regularly and properly; no wonder I was getting less and less happy with the taste...
  3. With this machine, I found that using the non-pressurized basket is quite tricky, and I think that given it's thermocoil design it is much more sensitive to grind/tamp than boiler-based machines (I might be wrong, but that's my perception).

Hope this helps.
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