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Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Tamper...  
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kolu
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kolu
Joined: 28 May 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Grimac La Uno
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Posted Wed Jan 8, 2014, 5:46pm
Subject: Re: Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Interesting indeed.  The VST/Strada baskets are a little bit wider than most, and the larger tamper size used to be considered something of a big deal.  Personally, I don't think they make much difference.

Posted January 8, 2014 link

Maybe it was Promac baskets? Can't tell, I hate that place so I left a long ago...

ad size: I definitely would not argue with you - it's just an experience from café where I work. When I started there we used aluminum Motta tamper, flat base about 57,5 mm. We use just two portafilters - one double and one naked. VST 18 g baskets.
We struggled really hard to avoid side channelling and other problems on the naked portafilter (it usually meant careful NSEW tamp and a bit of a luck). Real PITA. Then I bought my Cafelat to the workplace. I don't know if it is due to the tamper, perfect fit, better handle or what, but since that moment the side channelling was absolutely gone. Of course anybody can be patient and perfectly prepare their coffee with inferior equipment, do WDT, NSEW tamping and all that magic tricks... it's just me don't have nerves for that :) and time.

2 JerDGold, ad calipers: that's something supposed to be in everybody's home (at least in my heavy-DIY country). Try taking the basket to machine shop if they can measure it.
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JerDGold
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Joined: 11 Dec 2013
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Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
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Drip: Chemex
Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 7:52am
Subject: Re: Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
 

I have big DIY ambitions, but little experience and work...but I feel that with this whole espresso thing, I might have some practice coming my way...
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CoffeeLoversMag
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CoffeeLoversMag
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 218
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 13, 2014, 6:37am
Subject: Re: Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
 

The purpose of tamping is to achieve a uniform compression in the coffee puck. Practically speaking flat base is recommendable. Since it is flat, the base nicely sits on the bench. For a high volume, convex base is preferred. And in machines having a convex shower-screen, of course convex tamper is advisable.

If you think that larger tamper diameter can occupy all the space at the top of the basket, it might not be the right decision. Look at the side of the filter basket and you can see that the side is slope somewhat. When you use tamper more than 58mm, it will fit in your basket then the tendency that you are compressing the outside of the basket contents more than the innards that can give more back pressure from the sides than anywhere else. Bear in mind that the purpose of tamping is to evenly compress the coffee grinds in the basket to achieve even extraction. Thus, you better use 58mm or even 57mm to get a better result.

 
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine.
www.coffeeloversmag.com/theMagazine
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brianl
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Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 524
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Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
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Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Jan 13, 2014, 6:54am
Subject: Re: Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
 

I use VST baskets with a Cafelat Drop handle with a flat base (58.35). I noticed a huge difference when i first switched to VST and then when I upgraded from the rattleware flat 58.00 tamper. The VST baskets allowed me to grind a little finer, which i always prefer and the proper fit tamper reduced some uneven extraction on the sides.

I'm not saying this is common results for everyone. The cafelat tamper isn't as expensive as most out there (75$) but the VST baskets are hard to swallow at first.
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Whitcoatsyndrom
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
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Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014, 12:49pm
Subject: Re: Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
 

+1 on the Rattleware if you are concerned about price.  They have a nice feel for me but as others have said...it's all personal preference.  I've also heard consistently good things about Precision Tamper Maker.  From what I've learned through the espresso journey, the axiom "It's the Indian, not the arrow" holds true here.  Some of these more experienced forum members with a plastic 58mm tamper will consistently pull better shots than I would using a high R-B tamper...I feel like espresso is more of a practice than masterable skill, but I digress.
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gucciago
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gucciago
Joined: 6 Apr 2004
Posts: 87
Location: Palm Beach,FL
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: 07 La Marzocco Linea...
Grinder: MAZZER Major with doser
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: Custom Gas Drum Roaster/PID...
Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014, 12:08pm
Subject: Re: Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
 

I too have been futzing around with my 21gr VST basket and strada basket and my flat tamper on my newly acquired Linea 3EE.... I had a 57mm convex Bumper ( now cafelat ) but because my understanding was that it would just be too small I never used it.... well after 6 months of fighting uneven shots and trying everything from dropping my pressure to 6 bar ( guessing that gauge was not accurate since I refurbished machine) and grinding very tight to loose tip finally deciding on buying a new tamper for this size basket... well one last ditch effort was that maybe I need a convex shape for whatever reason sand BAM! pulled a normal shot like I do on all my other machines! and WOW! Flavorful!! hmmmm and that was with a 57mm convex!
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boar_d_laze
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Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014, 1:37pm
Subject: Re: Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
 

Just bought a Coffee Complements (aka precisiontampers on ebay) "Brass Handle Tamper" with a 58.4mm C-Flat Serrated, and a "Butterfly Tamper" (from Clive) with a 58.2mm, with 0.04mm convexed base.  I got the Brass Handle because the USPS lost a very trick, one of a kind tamper, I'd ordered from CC; and the Butterfly Tamper because WTF?  Why not?  

They're quite different from one another, work equally well in my Strada baskets, and I like both a lot.  

Tamper, shmamper.

BDL
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CMIN
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Espresso: Crossland CC1
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Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014, 1:50pm
Subject: Re: Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Just bought a Coffee Complements (aka precisiontampers on ebay) "Brass Handle Tamper" with a 58.4mm C-Flat Serrated, and a "Butterfly Tamper" (from Clive) with a 58.2mm, with 0.04mm convexed base.  I got the Brass Handle because the USPS lost a very trick, one of a kind tamper, I'd ordered from CC; and the Butterfly Tamper because WTF?  Why not?  

They're quite different from one another, work equally well in my Strada baskets, and I like both a lot.  

Tamper, shmamper.

BDL

Posted February 6, 2014 link

That guy makes top notch quality tampers and can't beat em' for the money
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gucciago
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gucciago
Joined: 6 Apr 2004
Posts: 87
Location: Palm Beach,FL
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: 07 La Marzocco Linea...
Grinder: MAZZER Major with doser
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: Custom Gas Drum Roaster/PID...
Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014, 1:55pm
Subject: Re: Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
 

Yes I just ordered one too from them. they are here locally for me! I just ordered the 58.35 concave but liked the instead of the serrated one... about 12 or so years ago I thought of doing a serrated style and I drew up allot of different designs of tampers and portafilters but I never made any and now they are available so no need to make any now! lol I was really excited to have a breakthrough in my shots from this machine.... I went back and forth with espresso parts looking for the small replacement parts I needed for my Linea and they helped allot but there were some questions and answers that were either proprietary or just not known even though I figured a specific year linea was a standard in industry... even down to the grow gaskets... Id order the recommended ones and they would be too thick and the ones that supposedly didn't fit my machine worked perfect...I think they assumed it was used and so that is how the standard is figured anyway... who knows... they were super helpful and what they could help me ith they did... but this basket and tamper issue was perplexing and I went through several machines restorations before learning the standard with the VST... anyway... all is now with a bright future! lol
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,454
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014, 1:58pm
Subject: Re: Tamper question...Convex vs. Flat
 

gucciago Said:

Yes I just ordered one too from them. they are here locally for me! I just ordered the 58.35 concave but liked the instead of the serrated one... about 12 or so years ago I thought of doing a serrated style and I drew up allot of different designs of tampers and portafilters but I never made any and now they are available so no need to make any now! lol I was really excited to have a breakthrough in my shots from this machine.... I went back and forth with espresso parts looking for the small replacement parts I needed for my Linea and they helped allot but there were some questions and answers that were either proprietary or just not known even though I figured a specific year linea was a standard in industry... even down to the grow gaskets... Id order the recommended ones and they would be too thick and the ones that supposedly didn't fit my machine worked perfect...I think they assumed it was used and so that is how the standard is figured anyway... who knows... they were super helpful and what they could help me ith they did... but this basket and tamper issue was perplexing and I went through several machines restorations before learning the standard with the VST... anyway... all is now with a bright future! lol

Posted February 6, 2014 link

Yeh their very cool, there's always slight manufacturing differences or odd basket sizes, like VST etc, VST they know right away what size tamper, but if you measure your baskets and its like 58.2 or 57.8 like it's off or something, either way can send that measurement to them and they make sure a tamper fits perfectly.
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